|This means that the
mind of the worshipper should dwell for a time on the form of the deity worshipped and on
the significance of the ritual gone through. When this is done for a sufficiently long
time the deity becomes an abiding presence to the worshipper even without any ritual or
image. The author of the Narada. Sastras says in two most beautiful and unforgettable
sastras: "Worship God at all times with all your heart and with all
your mind. Glorify Him in your heart and He will soon reveal Himself to you and make you
feel His presence."
So in all types of
Upasana the practice of feeling the presence of the deity worshipped is considered most
important. There is no experience more thrilling than the feeling that when you withdraw
from the world and meditate on God you are actually in His presence. When that experience
comes, all that self-conscious weaving of words against a background of darkness, which we
call prayer is automatically stopped. For all desires are overcome and all wants satisfied
when the great enlightenment for which we have no adequate word begins.
It is only then that the expression, love of God, becomes
something more than mere words and begins to indicate a poignant experience of the heart,
compared with which all earthly pleasures and even domestic affections are but fleeting
shadows. There are some Upasakas like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who live on terms of great
intimacy with their Istadevata, who becomes a Pratyaksa devata or a visible presence of
them, giving them help and guidance in all perplexities of life.