|They point out that
in this kind of upasana or worship God Himself is the object of worship, but that He is
super-imposed on the pratika for the time being and worshipped by means of the sixteen
ritual acts. But in great temples where the Deity has been permanently
super- imposed on
the image by means of elaborate ritual the image is looked upon as being equivalent to an
Avatar (Arcavatar) and worshipped accordingly. How ever the Gita says: -
"Ignorant men, not knowing my supreme nature which is immutable and
think that I, the un manifest, amend owed with a manifest form." This rebuke
applies not only to material images but also to all mental images that we can form of the
absolute. For every form with which we invest the Form less is an idol. And all
worship is at bottom idol worship.
The primitive man makes a scrawl of a head and arms on a piece of stone and
calls it God. The civilized man shuts his eyes and imagines a person with head and arms
and calls him God. Both are idols. The difference is not one of kind, but only one of
degree. Hinduism has the courage to say so.
It has also the humanity to admit into its
fold even those who cannot rise above grossly concrete forms of God and lead them
gradually from material images to mental images and from the various mental images to the
one personal lsvara and from the personal lsvara to the impersonal Absolute.