Bhakti or devotion ensues upon Chittasuddhi. Says the Lord: It is by bhakti that you can know My real nature, who and what I am.
‘bhaktyaa maam abhijaanaati yaavaan yaschaasmi tattvatah. tato maam tattvato jnaatva visate tadanantaram.’
If it is said that it is only by bhakti, one can know who and what God is, how to have bhakti to Him without knowing Him? To be devoted to someone you must know who he is. But Sri Krishna says: It is by bhakti that you can know Me. Is this not to indulge in a contradiction?
To have devotion, knowing about God is not a necessary pre-condition. At first. one ' starts with the idea: God is in this temple. He is in the sanctum of the temple. He is in the stone idol there. He is nowhere except there. Or, He is in that dome or sikhara.
In Vishnu temples there is the custom of distributing, to the devotees the food offered to God its part of the worship. The food so distributed is called the Prasaadam.
It is reverently received in the palms of the hands and eaten out of them. Then the Palms are rubbed against Pillars to rid them Of whatever is sticking to them. Now would the devotees rub their Palms on the Pillar if they felt that God was in the pillar? At that time, they are ‘sure' God is not in that Pillar! They feel that God is Only in the stone image in the sanctum and not in the pillar!