We, like the christians, are contrary to worshiping statues or images.
However we see christians worshiping so many images and statues of Jesus, Mary, doves, rays of light, crosses and saints.
And we also are seen bow down in front of images and statues.
How is that? Isn’t there a contradiction?
To understand this point we first have to understand two of the most important principles of our philosophy, which are that God is a person and that we have an eternal (although now forgotten) loving relation with Him.
Accordingly, we have to learn to reciprocate with Him in terms of personality and love.
If God were light, or a dove or even someone who hurl you down to eternal hell for sins committed, we wouldn’t be able to relate with Him as a person and certainly not as a loving personality. How can you love a light? And how can you love someone who sends you to eternal hell?
In a loving relations you do so many things for the loved one: you buy things, you give him food, you tell him kind words, you think of him when is away and you put photographs in your bedside table to remember him.
So to facilitate the development of this spiritual consciousness (untill we will be able to see him in his spiritual body) He accepts to come down in material forms, like for instance marble statues, to allow us to do service (seva) like if He was a living person. In this way we learn how to relate with Him in love. Since He enters into those forms the so-called statues are persons and becomes Srimurtis, spiritualized.
In the Scripture we learn that He established precise rules on how this may happen. The Deities have to be of certain materials, have to be installed following precise ceremonials, served as we would do if He was present in front of us as a person etcetera.
Certainly we don’t worship all forms and not outside scripturals guidelines. If we’d do that we would be idol worshipers, which is definitely not good.
Srimurti-seva is very important for our spiritual advancement because we, through practice, learn to love God and that He reciprocates.
– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
7 march 2019