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God is one, the Supreme being (Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama and so on). All are the names of the supreme being who is not a human, but energy.

Now, can I put my own name for that Supreme being and my own symbol for worshiping him? Sometimes, I represent him as space. Will doing so give moksha, fulfill material desires etc?

I doesn't mean to represent them as demigods like Sun, Moon or gods of other religions. But in an entirely new name, a new representation (not Shiva Linga, not the way Lord Vishnu is represented). But entirely new.

I feel one must Love the Supreme Being but not his name or the way he is represented or the gifts he is giving. However, I still agree that the way they have been represented will induce bhakti but still, I am curious to know the answer imagining them in entirely new way.

  • True! Any representation of your desire can become a symbol of your faith. Meticulously worshiping it makes the representation fill with positive energy. The name or the shape does not matter at all. – Harish Prasanna Nov 11 '14 at 15:05
  • @harishprasanna Is moksha possible worshiping like that? Because as stated by Lord Krishna, that moksha isn't possible by worshiping demigods? Does it also mean, worshiping the supreme being with our own representation also? – user12458 Nov 11 '14 at 15:24
  • Short answer, yes. Long answer, its complicated. You can put your own name and form. If you have the faith that that form can grant you moksha, verily it shall be done! However it is easy for the mind to create doubts and confusions whenever there is a problem. Having faith is much easier when it is well established and there are many others to support your faith. Thus it all depends on the faith that an individual has. – Sai Nov 11 '14 at 16:53
  • And as for Sri Krishna, He is the Absolute, He is God. He is not talking about His physical form, when He says that. He is above and beyond that particular body which was present in Kurukshetra. in fact, he pervades the entire universe. He is saying that whatever form you may worship, you are actually worshipping Me, for it is I (in His formless and absolute nature) who pervades all of Creation. (Bhagavat Gita Chapter 10, Verse 6 - 42) This is the meaning, interpreted non-dualistically. Other interpretations may give different conclusions. – Sai Nov 11 '14 at 17:01
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You wrote:

Now, can I put my own name for that Supreme being and my own symbol for worshiping him?

  1. No you should not put your own name for the Supreme. There is great danger in this. Your ego will come to take your material body for God. Read Chhandogya Upanishad Part 8, Chapters 7-12. It tells the story of the Prajapati and Indra and how the demons took their body for the supreme Self.
  2. It is ok for some people to use their own symbol, for other people it is not. Your guru can instruct you on what is best for you.

You wrote:

Sometimes, I represent him as space. Will doing so give moksha, fulfill material desires etc?

  1. Representing him as space is a form of meditation practiced in Juana yoga. Your guru can determine if juana yoga is the path for you.
  2. Fulfilling material desires will not lead to moksha. Renunciation is the path to moksha.
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Question Part 1: God is one, the Supreme being (Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama and so on). All are the names of the supreme being who is not a human, but energy.

It is incorrect to say that the Supreme is just energy. He possesses both form as well as energy. In the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11 it says:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas

tattvam yaj jñanam advayam

brahmeti paramatmeti

bhagavan iti sabdyate

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan.

So the Absolute Truth consists of Bhagavan (a form that is transcendental unlike a material form that we are used to), Paramatma ( a form that resides in every one's hearts, along with the Jiva) and Brahman (all pervading aspect that you refer as energy)

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says Brahman is subordinate to Him.

brahmano hi pratisthaham

amrtasyavyayasya ca

sasvatasya ca dharmasya

sukhasyaikantikasya ca

And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.

In the same Bhagavad Gita 15.15, Lord Krishna says He is the paramatma in everyone's heart:

sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto

mattah smrtir jñanam apohanam ca

vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo

vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham

I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

And as I discuss in my answer to another question here, the Supreme has a personality and Lord Krishna is that Supreme Person.

Question Part 2: Now, can I put my own name for that Supreme being and my own symbol for worshiping him? Sometimes, I represent him as space. Will doing so give moksha, fulfill material desires etc? I doesn't mean to represent them as demigods like Sun, Moon or gods of other religions. But in an entirely new name, a new representation (not Shiva Linga, not the way Lord Vishnu is represented). But entirely new.

You can do what ever you want. Jiva has free will to act as he/she wishes but then one has to face the results of his/her own activities. You will not get moksa or get material desires fulfilled by such means. If you are making an imaginary form that doesn't exist, how can you expect that imaginary form to bestow anything upon you? It is illogical and we do not see any evidence of any one attaining moksa by such means in the realm of Vedic scriptures. A perspective from Srimad Bhagavatam follows. Depending on the degree of advancement, those who are materially absorbed are recommended to worship the Virat rupa, a form of Vishnu that represents the whole universe. You can read that from Srimad Bhagavatam here

Those who are more advanced are recommended to meditate on the four armed form of Vishnu who resides in every one's heart as Paramatma. This is found in the Srimad Bhagavatam in the next chapter here

Now those who are devotees, who accept the personal form of the Lord based on the sastra(sciptures) and sadhus(saints) worship deity forms, arca vigraha. These should not be of imaginary people, but they should be made as a replica of the form of the Lord as described in the scriptures. You see an example of this kind in Srimad Bhagavatam 4.2.17, in regards to Dhruva Maharaja's worship:

tasyam visuddha-karanah siva-var vigahya

 baddhvasanam jita-marun manasahrtaksah

sthule dadhara bhagavat-pratirupa etad

 dhyayams tad avyavahito vyasrjat samadhau

In Badarikasrama Dhruva Maharaja’s senses became completely purified because he bathed regularly in the crystal-clear, purified water. He fixed his sitting position and by yogic practice controlled the breathing process and the air of life; in this way his senses were completely withdrawn. Then he concentrated his mind on the arca-vigraha form of the Lord, which is the exact replica of the Lord and, thus meditating upon Him, entered into complete trance.

'sthule dadhara bhagavat-pratirupa' indicates he worshiped a physical form(sthula), which is made after the form of the Supreme Lord (bhagavat-pratirupe). This is the proper form of worship and not as per our own imaginations.

Question Part 3: I feel one must Love the Supreme Being but not his name or the way he is represented or the gifts he is giving. However, I still agree that the way they have been represented will induce bhakti but still, I am curious to know the answer imagining them in entirely new way.

As per the scriptural citations above we must worship in authorized ways only. Regarding His name, the names of the Lord are not material. They have full potency and infact the best means, in this age, for moksa and eternal service in Vaikhunta. The glories of the holy names are unlimted and here are a couple of references: (1)Some citations from various scriptures and (2)Wonderful story of a fallen Brahmana, Ajamila, being protected by chanting the holy name of Narayana, even indvartenty (the story continues in other chapters)

If you are serious about understanding Absolute Truth and attain moksa, Vedic epistemology of all schools of thought is through a guru and scripture and not by once imagination.

Note: Unreferenced citations from Vedabase.com

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