Question: We have so much humanized ‘Gods’ to coincide with our limited perspective of what ‘they’ are, that we are just idolizing our own ego/image as the result.
Response: In fact the humanized form of the deities is a way for humans to be able to make some kind of visual identification with the things to which they are paying homage. In effect, every part of a deities physical representation is a metaphor for some more fundamental concept. For example, the five heads of Shiva represent many things:
- Tattwas/Bhuta (the five classical elements): earth, water, fire, air, ether/space
- Karmendriyas (the five organs of action): anus, reproductive organ, feet, hands, vocal chords
- Jnanendriyas (the five organs of sense): nose, tongue, eyes, skin, ears
- Tanmatras (subtle quality of the elements): smell, taste, sight, touch, sound….
And the list goes on.
If a person is inclined towards devotion to a physical figure which takes human form, then it is this object that his consciousness currently has the awareness to grasp. There are many levels of understanding of the divine, and there is not one “better” than the other. However, certain levels indicate a more graduated, aware consciousness and hence a deeper sense of peace and harmony of the individual.
The wrong-doing comes not from worshipping a humanized figure, but from passing judgement about the devotion of anyone other than yourself.
Om Tat Sat.