Saturday 27 May 2017 News Updated at 11:05 PM IST
Custom Search
Worshipping the formless - Deccan Herald
Worshipping the formless
More... A A
Speaking on the subject of worship, Adi Shankaracharya in his work 'Vivekachudamani,' in a series of ten verses, clearly explains the attributes of the one supreme power that goes by various names and innumerable forms. "The divinity that you worship is far from all limitations of caste, family and lineage. It transcends the limitations of name, form, space and time".

Shankara says all these distinctions like caste, name etc pertain only to the physical world. But the supreme power is beyond all these limitations. It is the sole cause for the evolution, sustenance and final dissolution of this universe.

It is beyond description by mere words, free from any taint or defect and it cannot be grasped or understood with the help of the sense organs. The Vedantic system says that the fact of the existence of this indescribable power has only to be understood by inference, by looking at the order in the functioning of this universe.

The sheer vastness, variety and functioning of this universe is patently visible even to the most untrained intellect. Shankara says that this great power is sheer intelligence whose greatness is beyond all that man is capable of.

The mortal body is constantly besieged by hunger, thirst, grief, delusion, old age, ailments and death. Shankara says that these are like the waves of the ocean, rising, hitting the shore of the human body and then subsiding in a never-ending cycle. No man is exempt from this. But the great power that man worships is far above all these afflictions. Since this power is the originator of all creation, it is the substratum of everything, upon which all this creation is superimposed.

Everything that exists, sentient or insentient is composed of this divinity. Again, Shankara says "this human body is subject to birth, growth, change, decay, disease and finally death. But this power is indestructible". The Upanishadic teaching that this great power has no other cause behind it, that ' it just exists' is driven home here, wherein man is told that whatever may be the multiplicity of names and forms, the God or divinity that he worships is just one, nameless, formless, beyond everything imaginable.