Why worship a deity? Part 3

Thus by concentrating on or worshipping any form of Shakti, the individual is in fact worshipping Brahman. This is also widely mentioned in the Bhagavad Cita where Krishna says: “In whatever way men approach me, so do I reward them. My path men tread in different ways (that is, they choose different methods and objects of worship).” (4:11)

An individual can concentrate on anything from a candle to a deity. If the concentration is sufficiently powerful and constant, then the practice can lead to higher awareness. In the Agni Parana it says:

By the worship of Rudra one becomes Rudra himself. By the worship of Surya one becomes Surya himself. By the worship of Vishnu one becomes Vish nu himself. By the worship of Shakti one becomes Shakti herself.

In the Bible Christ says: “None shall know the kingdom of heaven (Brahman or the supreme experience) but through me.” These are not the exact words but the meaning is clear: worship of one thing (in this case Christ) will lead to something beyond. Thus blind worship has come to mean and be understood as blind superstitious faith, but its implications are far deeper and profound and not what most people think it is.

Enjoyment and enlightenment

This is a continuation of what we have just said in the previous section. If everything that we see around us is no more than Shakti, the manifested form of Shiva, then everything that we see and utilize in life can be regarded with a feeling of reverence. Every act that we do in life can be transformed into a form of worship

by merely regarding it as divinity incarnated. In the broadest sense there is really no exception, and one can feel or express veneration whether eating food or practising yogic techniques. There is ultimately no difference. This is the essence of tantra, especially the shakta form.

Tantra is called Bhuktimuktikaranika – the system of enjoyment and enlightenment or liberation through experience. It does not see any rigid demarcation or distinction between worldly or spiritual life. It sees everything as part of everything. In this sense it is different to many other systems, which tend to completely dissociate worldly and spiritual life, often inferring that enjoyment in life is detrimental to progress along the path to higher awareness. Tantra, on the other hand, says that the world is here to be experienced, so experience it, know it, and eventually gain enlightenment. Tantra is possibly the most understanding and least dogmatic system ever devised. It is a svstem of joy, not a system of sour, dour, narrow and tyrannical restrictions. It is a system of bliss, from top to bottom, from a material and physical sense to a spiritual sense. It aims to give the individual higher awareness here and now in every action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *