Sunday, September 02, 2007

On Different Forms of Worship by PVR Narasimha

From: Narasimha P.V.R. Rao <>
Date: Sep 2, 2007 11:05 AM
Subject: [vedic-wisdom] Re: Navagraha Homam/puja

Dear Sir,

I am replying to the lists because others may benefit too. But,
because you sent your question to me by private email, I am removing
your name from the mail quoted below to keep your privacy. I hope this
is ok with you.

> On the other hand, as has been well established, all forms are
> nothing but the same paramthman. Then what is one supposed
> to do. Can we with the understanding that each deity is essentially
> the same paramathman continue to worship the different deities.
> Should there be any difference in worshipping different forms or
> one form given that all are the same paramathman's form? It is
> here that the approach of astrology seems to be different where
> depending on dasa bukthi/ gochara an appropriate mantra/
> sadhana is suggested. Is it fine if the sadhana keeps changing
> over time?

Fantastic question. It is indeed the same Paramatman that expresses as
various objects of this universe, including various deities and
various other beings. Blessed is the one who can see one's Ishta
Devata in all objects of this universe and not let any so-called
"unpleasant" object take one's mind away from Paramatman.

But that is not easy. It is easy to look at various idols and various
names and say "all these different forms are the same Paramatman
only". But, when one confronts objects and situations that are quite
"unpleasant", it is difficult to keep that state of mind and say "this
too is Paramatman only". If one wants to see Paramatman in all
objects, one should not distinguish between pleasure and pain, success
and failure, praise and criticism etc. If one gets cancer or a
terrible disease, for example, and the body starts to pain badly, one
should be able to see Paramatman in that disease, pain and suffering
too. Of course, a great saint like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was capable
of seeing Kaali in everything and even a terrible throat cancer did
not deter him or disturb his equanimity.

But, how many can be like that? If health, wealth, family happiness,
well-being of family members etc are very important to someone and one
cannot withstand certain "unpleasant" situations with respect to those
aspects, then one is not really ready to see the same Paramatman in
all. One is mired in duality/multiplicity then. The approach needed by
such a person is different from that needed by a great saint who can
be see the same Paramatman in all people, places, times, objects and
situations. Health or disease, wealth or poverty, pleasure or pain,
fame or censure, marital bliss or marital discord, praise or criticism
- such a Yogi sees no difference in all and sees the same Paramatman
in all. Such a Yogi looks at even the greatest suffering as a gift of
Krishna/Shiva and does not let it take one's mind off Paramatman. If
such focus, one-pointedness and equanimity of mind is present, then
there is no need to worship various forms. One can just focus on
Paramatman. Such a soul is close to moksha. Various shastras like
Jyotisha that deal with how the maayaa of this world works are
irrelevant to such a soul, as one is mostly beyond the grip of

But, one who sees pleasure and pain, wealth and poverty, health and
disease, fame and censure etc differently is is in the tight grip of
maayaa and hence shastras that shed light on how the maayaa works are
useful. Such a person may want to worship various forms (like grahas)
for specific purposes. This can remove from one's path obstacles like
diseases, suffering, pain etc and create a situation that is conducive
to doing sadhana to get a higher level of equanimity eventually and
loosen the grip of maayaa after a lot of effort.

Hinduism is full of teachings for people of various spiritual levels
and one should take what is applicable to oneself. A sadguru can be
helpful there.

> Your words always give so much of clarity and reflect very good
> knowledge and understanding of subtleties.

I am not saying this to sound humble, but I truly am merely a nimitta.
If a crow sits on a coconut tree and a coconut falls from the tree
just when the crow lands on the tree, one may think that the crow
actually broke the coconut. But it is a coincidence. This whole
universe is so full of coincidences and the Mother is the manager of
this whole show. When I write something, She is the cause and
manifestation of the desire inside me to write, the knowledge inside
me that drives the writing and my action of writing. She is also the
cause and manifestation of the desire inside the reader to understand
something from the written words, the action of reading and
understanding the written words and the knowledge that comes out in
the reader after reading. She does everything, through Her various
forms and manifestations. If somebody egoistically feels proud
thinking that *he* did something, even that veil of ego is Her
manifestation only. As one understands and unravels one level of Her
manifestation, She shows the next level.

Best regards,
Homam manual and audio:
Free Jyotish lessons (MP3):
Free Jyotish software (Windows):
Sri Jagannath Centre (SJC) website:

Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6