Four Vedas approving the Deity Worship

Hare Krishna 

Dandvats ! 


All Glories to Srila Prabhupada ! 

Dear Devotees. We have four primary Vedas : Arthveda, Yujurveda, Samveda, Rigveda, Most of the Aryasamaji will criticize deity worship by quoting from above vedas. As Bhgavad Gita and Bhagvad Puran is the summery of all Vedas it is impossible that above four Vedas have not discuss the process of devotion through  'Saakar Marg" or Deity worship. If anyone has some reference from above four Vedas regarding Deity worship please let me know through this form 

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  • Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    Sudipta Roy Prabhu made everything clear with all the references.

    Good to have devotees like Sudipta prabhu, Maral Mataji, Rashmi mataji etc. who

    inspire others to take up devotional service seriously.


    Your Servant



  • Volunteer
    The Panchratra agama and Vaikhanasa agama specifically gives all details about deity worships in temple . They are told by Lord Narayana himself and they are part of Vedas. Even legendary acharya shankaracharya gives credit to Panchratriki vidhi in his Vedanta sutra bhasya.

     Shankara, the advaita AcArya, instead says that the vaiShNava position regarding the (i) supremacy of nArAyaNa, (ii) the practice of single-minded devotion, and (iii) the various holy rites and rituals enjoined in pA~ncarAtra samhitas are not to be refuted, but respected by any one who claims to be in the path of Vedanta (Upanishads):

    "tatra yattAvaducyate yo.asau nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt prasiddhaH paramAtmA sarvAtmA... yadyapi tasya bhagavato.abhigamanAdilakShaNam ArAdhanam ajasram-ananya-cittayA.abhipreyate, tadapi na pratiShidhyate, shrutismR^ityorIshvarapraNidhAnasya prasiddhatvAt"

    [We do not intend to oppose the doctrine that nArAyaNa, who is superior the material universe, who is the supreme soul (paramAtmA), and the soul for all (sarvAtmA)... Nor do we mean to object to the inculcation of unceasing single-minded devotion on the Supreme Lord which appears in the Pancharatra doctrine under the forms of abhigamana (visiting Vishnu temples with utmost devotion in mind, with senses subdued) etc., for that we are to meditate on the Lord we know full well from shruti and smRti. - Brahma Sutra Bhashya, 2.2.42] [BrSuBhS:2]

    Sri Sankaracharya writes several times in his
      Brahma Sutra Bhashya, "yathA sAlagrAme hariH", "sAlagrama iva vishNoH",
      "yathA sAlagrAme vishNuH sannihitaH, tadvat".) 

    The world knows Shankaracharya as an advaitin or impersonalists but his statement in authentic text like Vedanta sutra certainly proves the validity of deity worship in Vedas. Else he would not have said that. 


    "Concerning this system we remark that we do not intend to controvert the doctrine that Nârâyana, who is higher than the Undeveloped, who is the highest Self, and the Self of all, reveals himself by dividing himself in multiple ways; for various scriptural passages, such as 'He is onefold, he is threefold' (Kh. Up. VII, 26, 2)', teach us that the highest Self appears in manifold forms.". - Brahma Sutra Bhashya, 2.2.42]

    And what to talk of Ramanujacharya and Madhvacharya , they were Narayana parayana atma. So I specifically gave the statements of Shankaracharya though being an advaitin he never said any non sense like uneducated Arya samajins and the neo vedantins.
    • Hare Krishna Prabhu, very well explained and it contains a lot of scriptural reference. Prabhu do you care to share which scriptures do you read and how can i get hands on them, if they are available online. i would like to study the scriptures. though i'm in a neophyte stage, studying BG and SB right now. But still i want to quote from various scriptures, specially if there's any reinforcements made from vedas and upanisads, people take ti seriously. because from the childhood, they are taught that vedas are the primary scripture of Dharma. whereas in Agni purana, Brahma states that if someone wants to understand the vedas completely, one has to study the puranas. So if you could share your sources. Hare Krishna. 

    • Thanks a lot prabhuji for making clear how the arya samaj is a srivaishnavas/Ramanujacharya follower n am of the opinion that Arya Samaj philosophy is only man made that is made by religious leader DAYANAND.i think he preached the same or alike philosophy of the muslim. -  Resources and Information. is your first and best source for all of the information you’re looking for. From general topics to more of what you would expect to find her…
  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Pamho. AGTSP

    Arya samaj is not a reliable authority on Vedas therefore holds no position to get preferences from learned traditional Vedic devotee scholars who comes in bonfide parampara. When it come to interpretation of Vedas it is Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya and Madhvacharya whom we should listen not Dayananda saraswati who was an antagonist because of his childhood incident.

    [ once in his childhood On the occasion of Shivratri, Dayanand had to sit awake the whole night in obedience to Lord Shiva. One such night, he saw a mouse eating the offerings to the God and running over the idol's body. After seeing this, he questioned himself, if the God could not defend himself against a little mouse then how could he be the savior of the massive world.] so his interpretation of Vedas was biased, motivated and shaped by this particular experience which happened in his childhood.

    Vedas certainly talks about deity worship but not idol worship. There is vast difference between this two. When Britishers invaded India , the Christian missionaries also entered into the country with the ill motive to convert the Hindus. They started to propagate that Vedic rituals are totally irrational and superstition which has no logical and intellectual basis. Idol worship was the term Christian missionaries started using when they first saw that Indians were worshipping some form made of stone in temple. This attracted the attention of the indian intellectual class at that time who had no conventional vedantic training. So therefore they also started rejecting the ritual portion and came up with some conceptualisation of Hinduism which they thought would have universal appeal and acceptable to the modern mind thus they would not have to feel shame for their religion. This was the time when Raja Rammohan roy , Madhusudan Datta, Dayananda Saraswati, vidasagar all came up with their own concocted idea of Vedic religion and established society like Brahmo samaj, Arya samaj which has minimalized and eradicated the vast Vedic concept and traditional practice. This was the brief history how this idol worship concept started.

    The famous verse which is generally used by this anti-devotional people is to prove that Vedas doesn't talk about worship of any deity is " na tasya pratimA asti, yasya nAma mahat yasha:"(He, whose glory knows no bounds, has no images-VAjasanEyi Samhita of Shukla Yajur Veda). This is fortified by another quote, which specifically denies the Supreme Being a body-" na tasya kAryam karaNam cha vidyatE".

    But they don't know that In arriving at the true purport of Veda vAkyAs, the aid of upabrahmanas (clarificatory and supportive texts) like ItihAsAs ( Srimad Ramayana and Sri Mahabharata) and PurANAs (like the Sri Vishnu PuranaBhagavatm), is indispensable. No scriptural text can be taken in isolation and its meaning arrived at on that basis. The Veda Purusha himself is reported to be afraid of those who misinterpret the Shruti based merely on superficial study ("bibhEti alpa shrutAt Veda: mAm ayam pratarishyati iti")

    The interpretation this atheists place upon the text " na tasya pratimA asti" belongs to the aforesaid category, and is without an appreciation of the true meaning of the word "pratimA". They take it to mean "image" and arrive at the erroneous conclusion that the Lord has no images, and hence deny sanctity to the numerous images of the Lord in various temples, making us all fools worshipping mere stones. Our Acharyas, on the other hand, favour the other meaning of the word, viz., "equal". This leaves us with the more acceptable version, which reads, "He has no equals". In English too, when we say "He is the spitting image of GOpAla", we mean that he is equal in all respects, especially looks, to GOpAla. This interpretation is also more appropriate to the context, considering what follows-"yasya nAma mahat yasha:". The whole sentence would now mean, "He, whose glory knows no bounds, has no equals", which makes eminent sense. And the meaning of "equal" ascribed to the term "pratimA" is quite a popular use.

    The Rigveda Samhita (eighth ashtaka, eighth adhyAya, 13th sarga, 3rd khanda) too provides more proof, if further proof were needed, by referring to the wooden image of the Lord which floats in the ocean, unsculpted by human hands, to which the devotee is exhorted to pay obeisance-

    "adO yat dAru plavatE sindhO: pArE apourusham
    tat Arabhasva durhaNO tEna gaccha parastaram".

    Two itihasas Mahabharata and Ramayana also gives reference to deity worship. Now if someone says itihasas are not part of Vedas let me slap in his face by quoting this from upanishad.In the ChāndogyaUpaniṣad (7.1.4), the Purāṇas and Mahābhārata, generally known as histories, are mentioned as the fifthVeda.

     when we find Sri Rama worshipping in the temple of Sriman Narayana as a prelude to His Coronation. The night prior to the great event, Sri Raghava, along with Sri Mythily, visits the temple of Sriman Narayana within the palace precincts and, after a purifying bath and with a balanced mind, worships the Lord to His heart's content, offering Him food and partaking of the same as bhagavat prasAdam. Here are the worthy words of Sri Valmiki-

    "GatE purOhitE Rama: snAtO niyata mAnasa:
    saha patnyA VisAlAkshyA NArAyaNam upAgamat.

    Pragrihya shirasA pAtreem havishO vidhivat tadA
    MahatE daivatAya Ajyam juhAva jvalitE analE."

    It is crystal clear from the aforesaid that during Sri Rama's times, there were temples to the Lord, that ritualistic worship was indeed in vogue and the Lord was offered food, which was partaken of by the devotee later as "prasAdam".

    Similarly, in Sri Mahabharata too, the BhIshma Parva contains slokas, which comment with wonderment on the occasional strange behaviour of the Lord's images in His temples. It appears that the divine vigrahAs used to shake, roar with laughter, spit blood and fall down by themselves-

    "DEvatA pratimAschaiva kampantE hasanti cha
    vamanti rudhiram cha asyai: svidyanti prapatanti cha"

    hope this will help. 


    • Hare Krishna Prabhu jee

      Wonderful explanation!!! Prabuh jee thanks for sharing going through it will come back if have some questions

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