Swami ji said …
God has been worshipped by man in some form or another ever since his evolution. Right since ancient time, mankind has always acknowledged that – a divine force – powerful and all pervasive has always been watching over us – and, to whom we would be accountable, to , in the end. Different people practiced different ways of worship – some had very complex rituals, some prayed in the privacy of one’s personal space, while many others prayed together with their brethren. Yet, all these methods of worship, though very different in appearance and process, were borne of the same common need – to connect with God, to converse with God – straight from an honest , truthful heart. It was supposed to be as simple as this.
But being the way we are – prone to complicating matters – we have caused some dilemma and confusion by repeatedly asking ourselves and others – ‘भगवान की
पूजा कैसे करूं ?’ – an attempt by us , to find an answer , in fulfilling God’s expectations from us. We tend to forget that much like our parents, would God really expect anything from us ? We all have our fears and troubles, hopes and wishes – and it is through worship that we try to please God, appease Him , and even implore Him to provide us with guidance – मार्ग दर्शन. And, as long as we are true and good at heart, God shows us the way. Whether we have used an adequate number of decorative flowers ; burnt enough incense sticks or clothed His idol with rich robes and jewels – all this does not matter to Him. What matters to Him is the sincerity of our prayers.
God is neither transactional nor petty. He neither expects us to place a golden crown on His idol, nor does He look at us to provide Him with a roof over His head as shelter. He does not stand in judgement if we have a lesser number of fruits as an offering to Him. All He ever desires from us is love and goodness. So instead of worrying about whether we have prayed and worshipped Him correctly, it is more important to observe whether our prayers and thoughts are completely devoted to Him.
Rather than being adorned in gold by us , God would love to see His children perform ‘golden’ acts filled with kindness , love , happiness and compassion for others. ‘He’ would be happiest to see us lit with the radiance of sunny dispositions ; laughter and joy writ on our faces – blessed with the gift of smiling through adversities and day to day life’s challenges ; and above all be a reason for others to smile too. ‘His’ so called ‘expectations’ from us are few and meagre and this is one of the priceless traits that He would be happiest to see us possess and project.
Yes, we have rituals for a reason, and, it is important to follow them, but the success of worship lies not in only following and performing those rituals, but, in being able to concentrate on God for those few moments while offering prayers to Him. As long as we are able to truly surrender ourselves to God in prayer ; as long as we truly acknowledge that – it is only by His will and guidance, that we will be able to achieve – what we have set out to do – then, and only then, does worship attain its true meaning.
The only offering that God ever wants from us is that of love and kindness towards the world ; the only sacrifice He wants us to make is that of our ego and pride ; and the only words he wants to hear from us are those that are joyful and bring a smile to Him and His children. If we are able to do this, our worship will be perfect and our prayers shall always be answered.