Question 8. Is it not the height of foolishness to worship manmade images of stone, clay or metal? Does it not betray utter ignorance and superstition?
This objection, which is very common, has been raised without a proper understanding of the great and sublime principle behind image worship. No Hindu ever worships these images considering them as God Himself. Though they are insentient images it is the conscious and sentient God that is brought to the mind by them even as we remember the living and conscious person when we see his photograph. If even this is objected to, then, the Christians who worship the crucifix, the Muslims who adore the Kaaba stone or the patriots who honour the national flag all of them will have to be dubbed as idolators!
As regards the superstitions, the less said, the better. It is a well known fact of European history that hapless old women were branded as witches and burnt. Even today, the number 13 is believed by many in the West to bring bad luck. If by chance a shirt is worn inside out, they consider it as a bad omen that indicates failure in endeavours.
The killing of the chameleons by the Muslims can also be cited as another example. Actually many Hindu practices ridiculed as superstitions have deeper philosophical and psychological truths behind them than meets the eye. Even granting that superstitions do exist, they are all harmless. Lastly, the blind faith of the modem man in science and technology as if they are omnipotent, forgetting that they have miserably failed to give him peace of mind, is the greatest superstition of all!