Does a stone smeared with turmeric become God? (PK answered 23)
Question- Does a stone smeared with turmeric become God?
Answer– Not at all! A stone is always a stone. Whether it is smeared with turmeric or anything else it does not make any difference. Ignorant people may consider a stone worshipable and that is their misfortune and ignorance. Yet it is true, that God can manifest through anything, even a stone. But there’s a profound philosophy behind that. There’s a difference between any ordinary stone and the sanctified image of God which may also be made of stone.
Just as there may be a rough paper which the mother may tell the child to tear and throw in a dustbin and one day from the pocket of his father a hundred rupee note slips and falls off. The child seeing it may think that this is also a waste paper and starts tearing it. The mother would then immediately shout and tell him not to tear it as it’s actually money! The child may ask, ‘what money? You only told me to tear a paper and this is also a paper’. But if the child is told that with this paper you can buy five hundred chocolates, he may not even believe on it. When the child goes to the shop with that note and gets five hundred chocolates then the child can understand that this paper is not an ordinary paper.
Externally a paper and a currency note look similar but an intelligent person who doesn’t have childlike mind understands the difference. Similarly an ordinary stone and the image of God; also called as the ARCHVIGRAHA (the worshipable manifestation of the Lord), they may both be stone but there’s a huge difference. One is only an ordinary stone like an ordinary rough paper and the other, by undergoing a certain process (like going through a currency press), it is actually money that has manifested through that note.
Similarly there’s a whole philosophical and technical process by which God manifests through certain images and that is called the ARCHAVIGRAHA. In English there’s no word for the Archavigraha. One word which is approximately means the Archavigraha is ‘deity’.
How then does a stone become a deity? First of all it is not an ordinary stone which one smears with turmeric and it becomes a deity. No! Actually the form of God is described in the scriptures. When image of God is fashioned by trained artisans according to scriptural description and then the great devotees of the Lord pray to Lord saying, ‘O Lord we want to practically serve You, we want to touch You with our hands so we may be able to dress You, we may be able to bathe You etc. so that we may develop a relationship with You. Please manifest in this form.’ After undergoing such a process, then only God manifests in the deity form in reciprocation of the prayer of the devotees, to give them the opportunity to approach Him personally, to love Him, and to serve Him. This is actually God’s great compassion that He manifests as a deity.
Now let’s consider another example, say there’s an elephant which is far high up and a child wants to touch the top of the elephant, say its trunk, but the child cannot touch that how much hard he tries. But if the elephant sits down and lowers its head then the child can touch the head of the elephant. Like that we are also tiny and small and we are at the material level of consciousness right now so we can’t pursue spiritual things and God is spiritual so we can’t access Him. Just as elephant sits down, similarly God descends from the spiritual level to material level to give us access to Him. That is God’s great mercy!
So God doesn’t manifest through ordinary stone or by simple smearing but firstly a special stone is selected, then the form of the Lord is carved according to the scriptural description, and then there are prayers for the Lord called as ‘ PRANA- PRATHISHTHA’. These prayers are invoked for Him to appear so we get the opportunity to serve Him and approach Him as a person. After this process, He mercifully makes Himself accessible to us. There’s profound philosophy by which God can manifest because God is everywhere and He can manifest through matter, which ever He chooses to.
Thus that stone doesn’t remain an ordinary stone but becomes a manifestation of God. Just as a currency note doesn’t remain a piece of paper but becomes a manifestation of wealth!