S. V. Subrahmanian svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 6 11:56:06 CDT 2000

To both Shri Jaldhar Vyas and Shri Swaminarayan,

1.  Why would Advaita not recommend idol worship ?  Advaita only negates the
illusory view of multiplicity.  What is illusory is only the feeling of
separateness.  But one can always see the idol as one's own Self and
experience love towards it, as much as one loves oneself even in the
relative plane - or am I grossly missing something ?

2.  Shri Ramakrishna, who reached the pinnacle of realization, has
recommended idol worship and he is known to have constantly admonished
Vedantins for denying idol worship, saying that God with form and God
without form are equivalent.  Also his argument in many places, seems to
have been that if God is omnipotent, why can't he be such that he is equally
potent/complete with form too. (Courtesy - Gospel of Ramakrishna)

3.  If worship of a form/name is not the highest as per Vedantins, then what
is their view of avatars ?  For eg., Krishna is known to have said that his
adopting a form does not diminish his Being (Brahmanhood) - this can be
derived from some of the shlokas in Bhagavad Gita.  (Sorry, I can't quote
off-hand, I am not so good at it)

4.  I heard from a student of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi that they too are quite
comfortable with the idea of God with Form and without Form both being
supreme and have no problems with Adavaita.  If there are any members who
are aware of his teachings well, please enlighten.

5.  How does the idea of Vedantins as per the mails below reconcile with the
vedic aphorism : sarvam khalvidam brahma - where is the question of 'sarvam'
for an Advaitin ?

>"Jaldhar H. Vyas" wrote:
>On Fri, 2 Jun 2000, T Swaminarayan wrote:
> > The masters of Advaita surely do not recommend any idol worship at
> > all.Any pooja means two entities,one performing the pooja and the
> > other that is being worshipped by that puja! Is that not verily
> >
>Is worshipping an invisible God any less a sign of a Dvaita outlook?
>The word 'worshipping' in your comment above denotes' ACTION' and surely
>,it comes within the scope of Dvaitam.Could you please clarify if your
>question is addressed to an Advaitin, and whether by this, you indicate
>that an advaitin worships an invisible Deity? A true Advaitin really does
>not 'seek' anything,for, seeking  is 'action' and hence is a part and
>parcel of Dvaitam.
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