The Difference between a Deity and a Statue | Insights from the Master

The Difference between a Deity and a Statue | Insights from the Master


…prabhuji was saying the statue,
you used the word statue. You see, normally when it’s referred
to a holy figure in the Hindu tradition we
don’t use the word statue. We use the word murti, vigraha or
in English, deity. You see? Because statue,
these are statues which are just there
for decoration, you see. Of course, it’s an angel,
you know, but it’s lifeless. It’s just a piece of
plastic, nothing else. So, it will come to a question,
say, yes, also the stone which the murti is made of,
the deity is made of stone, no? The difference is, you see, when we say Prana
Pratishta: Prana means the life force, Pratishta means
installing the life force. When one is doing the prayer of installing this life force,
it doesn’t mean that God is not there. God is present everywhere,
in all His creation He is present. But what is happening
during Prana Pratishta, the Lord is more alive
within the heart of men. Within your heart He is active.
Within creation He is inactive. So, a stone can’t attain Krishna.
A stone can’t attain Narayana, but Narayana is
in that stone also. Narayana is in the animals,
but they can’t attain Him. But whereas, humans
can attain Him. But humans are fools
sometimes due to Maya. So, Prana Pratishta, not everybody can
do Prana Pratishta. Firstly, you have to understand
that. There are many people, many priests who say, “Yes, we have
done the prayer of Prana Pratishta, that’s it, you know, the murti is blessed
and…” Of course, through your faith the deity is blessed. You are praying, you are
worshipping, because in the Hindu tradition we don’t see any difference
between the deity and God. We worship the deity the
same as worshipping God due to that blessing, due to that
infusing of that life force inside it. So, that essence
we are worshipping. We are not
worshipping the stone. We are worshipping the essence
of God which is present everywhere. So, during the prayer, there are
many mantras which are chanted. While chanting
these mantras those who have faith,
they are invoking the Lord to take seat,
to manifest Himself from their heart to the deity. So, asking
the Lord which is inside of you to take, to manifest Himself
in the outside so that you can build a relationship, an easy
relationship one to one. Very often you see people,
yes, look for God inside of you, but which part of you, you will look for God?
Where would you look for God? In your heart? No, you can’t find
God in your heart. Otherwise doctor
would have already found and take Him out and put Him
in a small bottle and give it to you. He is not there. So, where to find Him? He is in your spiritual heart.
But your spiritual heart is not visible. It’s not a place where you say,
yes, of course, through certain texts say,
yes, it is here in the middle, not on the
left side, but in the middle. But this is an energy
point, you see, your spiritual heart
is an energy point and within that energy
point the Lord resides. So, how small He is. Here out of love He
made Himself the smallest and abides within
His creation and at the same time
we are all in Him. You see, when we chant, for example,
Om Namo Narayanaya. The mantra Om Namo Narayanaya,
this is our mantra, no? This mantra has a
great secret in it. In itself it reminds mankind
of what is one’s duty here. One’s duty is to
attain the Lord. Why we have to attain the Lord?
Because we are eternally bound to Him. This is our core duty. The rest
is just a game, a drama, a drama which
we think it is real, and due to that how many times you
have think that you have done this drama. Still you keep doing it, you keep thinking,
“Yes, I will be happy in this world. If I get this, I will be happy,
If I get that, I will be happy. If I have that person next to me, I will be happy.
If I have this person next to me, I will be happy. How many lives have you done the same drama?
How many lives have you played the same role? How many lives have you gone for
pilgrimage, just merely physically? How many times have you chanted
the Name of God just hypocritically the tongue is chanting
without you feeling anything? Countless of lives
you have done that. Not one life.
Thousands of lives! But why have you not
attained that supreme bliss? Because once you would have attained that
supreme bliss, you will eternally dwell with the Lord. Because you are looking for Him
elsewhere when He is seated within you. And how to attain Him? Is only when your
mind runs towards Him, not your heart. Very often people say,
“Yes, you know, my heart.” You don’t have control over your heart,
but you have control over your mind. That’s why Krishna said in the Gita,
“Surrender your mind to Me and I shall take care of everything.”
He didn’t say, “Surrender your body”, He didn’t say,
“Surrender your senses”, He didn’t say surrender anything else,
He didn’t say surrender your soul. How can you hold your soul and surrender
it? You can’t. You belong to Him already. What He said? “Surrender
your mind upon to Me.” That’s why, when there is a deity
outside, it’s easy to surrender the mind. When you have an image outside,
it’s easy to surrender the mind. Because you are material, no? That body,
you have a mind, you have a body, you have emotions, you have
intellect, you have senses: they are all material, and the mind runs
towards the material. This is the nature of
the mind. The mind runs where there
is personal benefit. Where you get your personal
benefit, you will run there. This is the
greediness of men. So, the deity is a reminder
of the presence of God, where the mind
has to be focused. So, Prana Pratishta is the ritual into
reminding oneself that this is the
presence of God. There are many things what
happen during the Prana Pratishta, even if it is just a mantra
or if it is just a symbol, but the Lord really
gives His presence. There was a saint
in Rajasthan, actually, some years back. He is a great
devotee of Krishna. So, one day there was
a big Prana Pratishta. So, the priest was chanting
all the Vedic mantras, and after finish chanting the mantras,
of course, we do all the prayers, all these things, then we do arati, so everybody was
bowing down in front of the deity, but the saint refused to bow down.
They said, “Why?” He said, “Krishna is not yet inside
of him, inside of the deity.” They said, “How do you know?” He said,
“I’ll show you.” So, he took a piece of cotton, placed it in front
of the nostril of the deity, nothing. You see, if you put
a cotton in front of your nose, you know, this is how they test also if
somebody is still alive or is gone, you know. So, the cotton
is so fine that if any little bit of
breath, it will move. So, nothing. So, then the saint said,
“Thakurji is there. Krishna is there and I am asking Him to
please, bless the deity, enter into the deity.”
So, he saw Krishna entering the deity. So, when he saw Krishna entering the deity,
he said, “Here, you will see the difference.” Then this time when
he put the cotton, He was inhaling and exhaling.
So, the cotton would move. So, like that, you see, through
the mantras, through the prayers, through the faith of the people especially,
through the faith of the people, a mere statue which is made
of stone is transformed into a vigraha, a deity. So, this is Prana Pratishta where the live
force, you know, God’s life force is flowing and that place doesn’t stay just a place,
because the place becomes a temple, this is a temple where God resides, because
the temple is not just a place like every place. You can say, yes, for some people,
they can find God everywhere, but why do you think that temples are special?
Because temples are energy places, energy point where
you can meet the Lord, where He makes it easy
for you to connect with Him. Otherwise, elsewhere
it would be more difficult. You can say, “Yes, I’m going to
nature.” Very often you will hear people say, “Yes, I am going to walk
in the nature, I feel more connected to God.” Yeah, but you feel connected to
nature, but you don’t feel connected to God. This is the mistake that
people do very often. God is superior to nature. He is superior to Maya. Everything
else is Maya. Everything. Your mind is Maya, your body is Maya, your
senses are Maya, your emotions are Maya, the whole creation is Maya, but the Lord is superior to that.
Maya doesn’t touch Him. So, what is inside of you which
is linked to Him? It is your Atma. Only your Atma has
connection with Bhagavan. So, when your mind alters itself,
when your mind transforms itself, when your mind changes
from the materialistic way, with the mind which is always
running towards the outside, that mind which is like a monkey
which is jumping from one desire to the others thinking that, “Yes, I will be happy”,
when that mind transforms into Divine, that mind itself becomes the way to the Lord.
That’s what Krishna said, “A controlled mind is your best friend and
an uncontrolled mind is your worst enemy.” So, it is the same mind. In one go it is positive and another
it is negative. When it is filled with favorable emotions, it becomes love. When it
is filled with negative emotions, it becomes hate. But mind is still the same.
There is only one. You understand? That when you go to a temple, it is
that mind that has to surrender.

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