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Yajurveda says, “Na Tasya Pratima Asti”. How come then Hindu Gods and Deities have forms?

A seed is a form. A tree is a form. A fruit is a form. But the fragrance of the fruit is formless. And the delicious taste of the fruit is formless. A flower is a form. But the fragrance of the flower is formless. And the formless is hidden in the form. And what was needed for the formless to surface? Just a moment of ripening !! The form and the formless are both divine and mysterious. The form is visible before the flowering and fruition, and the formless is visible after the flowering and fruition.


The mind has a form. It can take any form. A thought has a form. And the silence is formless. And the silence is hidden in the mind. And on the path of self-knowledge we have to move from the form to the formless. A form can have attributes. A thought can have attributes. A mind can have attributes. It can be negative (Tamas), It can be positive (Rajas), and it can be balanced (Satva). The no-mind experiences silence and hence it has no attributes. And it enters into the domain of the Nirguna (the one beyond all the attributes). Yajurveda says, “Na Tasya Pratima Asti”. It has no image and no form. It’s beyond all forms and reflections. Yes, that’s absolutely true. Ishvara is beyond all Gods and Demigods. So, the Gods and Demigods can have image (Murti) and reflection (Pratima). But there can not be an image and reflection of Ishvara. So, all the deities can have images and reflections. Because all the deities are just reflections of the formless (Ishvara). We all are just reflections of the same divine. Because, the same formless is hidden in all of us. 


This is where the Rigveda says, “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti”. The truth is one (non-dual) but the awakened ones may express it in many ways. So, we need to be very careful about the expressions. The language is a product of duality and we have to express the non-dual. It’s a very challenging task. We have to express the non-dual through the duality of a language. It’s a biggest challenge. 


In the ancient India we had this tradition of sharing different perspectives. And this approach was called Shastrartha (a scriptural debate). It was a healthy and democratic way of looking into all the perspectives of the truth. So, let us have the culture of having healthy debates to have different perspectives, worldviews, and viewpoints.

A form can have attributes. A thought can have attributes. A mind can have attributes. It can be negative (Tamas), It can be positive (Rajas), and it can be balanced (Satva). The no-mind experiences silence and hence it has no attributes. And it enters into the domain of the Nirguna (the one beyond all the attributes).



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