- Worship of God in India: Questions and Answers

Worship of God in India: Questions and Answers

Worship of GodQ: In India which is mostly worshipped: God with form (Saguna Brahman) or God without form (Nirguna Brahman)? Do you think that to worship the Personal God is better than to worship the Formless God?

Certainly in India Saguna Brahman is worshipped more than Nirguna Brahman. But we must not forget that Saguna and Nirguna mean with qualities (guna) and without qualities, not just with form and without form–though that is included. As usual it is good to turn to the Bhagavad Gita in this matter. There we find this in the twelfth chapter:

“Arjuna said: The constantly steadfast who worship you with devotion, and those who worship the eternal Unmanifest–which of them has the better understanding of yoga?

The Holy Lord said: Those who are ever steadfast, who worship me, fixing their minds on me, endowed with supreme faith, I consider them to be the best versed in yoga.

But those who worship the Imperishable, the Undefinable, the Unmanifested, the Omnipresent (All-pervading), Inconceivable, Unchanging, Unmoving, the Constant–controlling all the senses, even-minded everywhere, happy in the welfare of all beings–they attain to me also.

Greater is the effort of those whose minds are set on the Unmanifest, for the Unmanifest as a goal is truly difficult for the embodied ones to reach.

But those who, renouncing all actions in me, intent on me as the highest [goal] worship me, meditating on me with single-minded Yoga–of those whose consciousness has entered into me, I am soon the deliverer from the ocean of mortal samsara. Keep your mind on me alone, causing your intellect to enter into me. Thenceforward, without doubt, you shall dwell in me” (12:1-8).

Are Lord Krishna and Rama both the Personal God?

Brahman is one, being both Saguna and Nirguna, and also beyond those distinctions. The same is true of every individual jiva as well. So whether we consider an avatara to be Brahman Itself or a perfectly liberated being, a siddha (as do the Sankhyas), the same applies.

But They [Krishna and Rama] are not here in this world anymore. Why even until now do so many people worship Lord Krishna and Lord Sri Rama?

Again we find the answer in the Gita–in part of the section I have just cited. Krishna himself says:

But those who, renouncing all actions in me, intent on me as the highest [goal] worship me, meditating on me with single-minded Yoga–of those whose consciousness has entered into me, I am soon the deliverer from the ocean of mortal samsara.

Sri Krishna and Sri Rama are eternal as are we. Just as they delivered those who took refuge in them when they were here on earth, so they deliver their sharanagatis even now. Thousands of years have proven this to be true.

Of the Trimurti–Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva–which one is superior?

As you know, Brahma is reverenced but not worshipped, and both Vishnu and Shiva are worshipped throughout India. Since Vishnu and Shiva are manifestations or forms of the one God, they are equal. Only ignorance makes them seem different–and ignorance is a poor basis for worship and devotion.

In churches there are pictures or images of Lord Jesus and a cross. Are these used for concentration during worshipping Lord Jesus?

Some people do concentrate on them and some do not–it is according to the preference of the individual.

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