Does Jnana (or Self-Enquiry) lead to Bhakti (or Self-Surrender) or the other way round?
Non-dual devotion, worship and prayer
Here we see Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teaching on those who ridicule and denounce idol-worship or image-worship as follows in Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 208:
O you that ridicule idol-worship, having not discovered through heart-melting love its secret, how is that you [daily] worship the filthy idol of your body as ‘I’?
Commentary on this verse by Sri Sadhu Om:
It is generally believed that idol worship is to mistake an idol as God and to treat it accordingly, offering it a bath, cloth, food, and all hospitality; but to mistake a body as Self, and to treat it accordingly, is also a form of idol worship. Indeed to treat and love a body as ‘I’ is the primal mistake which leads to all other forms of idol worship. So it is clear that we are all idol-worshippers, even if we take pride in scorning those that worship temple idols.
As long as one takes one’s body as ‘I’, there is no wrong in also worshipping an idol as God, and until one feels that it is wrong to treat one’s body as ‘I’, one should not be scornful and criticize others for treating an idol as God.
If one first roots out and destroys the ‘I am the body’ notion, one is then in a position to criticize idol worship, if such criticism is necessary [in the light of Jnana such criticism will of course be clearly seen as unnecessary].
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