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As per what I have heard in Hindu belief, God manifests in front of a devotee in any form that the devotee wants him to. However, from a personal viewpoint, my mind does not find any connection or attraction towards any of the forms of Bhagavan or the devatas which the scriptures mention.

This begs me to ask the question - If I worship God in a certain form that isn't sanctioned by any scripture, would God heed to me and appear before me in that particular form, or will the worship go fruitless?

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  • There are hundreds of rūpas of many devatās in śāstras, how many have you really seen and read about? Do you know about all of them?
    – Bingming
    Feb 19 at 15:54
  • @Bingming I am aware of the Shanmata devatas and their vibhutis. As for the minor dieties like varuna,indra etc...don't really feel too invested about them.
    – user32828
    Feb 19 at 16:46
  • No. Vedanta doesn't talk about gods with forms. It rather talks about the self, which is formless and the one that is god. A good summary of Vedanta is via four Mahavakyas - Tat Tvam Asi, Aham Brahasmi, Prajnanam Brahma, and Ayam Atma Brahma. Vedanta only says - know yourself, that's enough. Ref: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mah%C4%81v%C4%81kyas
    – user29449
    Feb 19 at 17:00
  • @User29449 I know that, and the question isn't asking what vedanta talks about or not. It's asking whether it's possible to worship God in a certain form that isn't sanctioned by any scripture or not...
    – user32828
    Feb 19 at 17:18
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    @Soumya You can worship a Brahman in any form you wish. But yakshas, bhutas, pisachas aren't devtas. They are conscious beings and need specific instructions to worship (or communicate).
    – user29449
    Feb 20 at 5:23

2 Answers 2

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Ishwara/God is not limited to only a few forms. Ishwara can take any form. For worship, the form of Ishwara does not matter. What matters is the correct understanding of the tattva (nature) of Ishwara. The tattva of Ishwara comes from scriptures.

Ishwara can be worshipped in any form.

yē yathā māṅ prapadyantē tāṅstathaiva bhajāmyaham. mama vartmānuvartantē manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ৷৷ Bhagavad Gita 4.11৷৷

Whoever resorts to Me in any manner, in the same manner do I favour them; men experience Me alone in different ways, O Arjuna.

Ishwara has innumerable forms.

śrī bhagavānuvāca, paśya mē pārtha rūpāṇi śataśō.tha sahasraśaḥ. nānāvidhāni divyāni nānāvarṇākṛtīni ca৷৷ Bhagavad Gita 11.5৷৷

11.5 The Blessed Lord said - O son of Prtha, behold My forms in (their) hundreds and in thousands, of different kinds, celestial, and of various colours and shapes.

Ishwara can be formless (unmanifest) too.

mayā tatamidaṅ sarvaṅ jagadavyaktamūrtinā Bhagavad Gita 9.4.1

This entire universe is pervaded by Me, in an unmanifest form

Ishwara assumes all forms.

rūpaṃ rūpaṃ pratirūpo babhūva, tadasya rūpaṃ praticakṣaṇāya | indro māyābhiḥ pururūpa īyate...Brihadaranyaka upanishad 2.5.19

‘(The Lord) transformed Himself in accordance with each form; that form of His was for the sake of making Him known. The Lord on account of Māyā is perceived as manifold..

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If one whimsically creates a form of God, it will only be a product of imagination resulting from samskaras or subtle mental impressions from past actions.

The feeling of connection or attraction to a particular form of God happens at the state known as Dharana in yoga. However, there're some prerequisites prior to attaining this, beginning with Yamas and Niyamas (righteous living). This has been systematically described in in the Vishnu Purana.

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Sage Kesidhvaja further goes on to explain the illusion of the embodied soul, the divine form (and the formless aspect) of Lord Vishnu, and the ways of worship through contemplative meditation to go from Dharana to Dhyana and Samadhi.

In summary, it is only the worship of the form of God as per the revealed scriptures which would lead to the destruction of illusion and attainment of the knowledge of the self which is the same as Moksha or freedom from worldly existence.

This process of forming a lively image in the mind, exclusive of all other objects, constitutes Dhyana, or meditation, which is perfected by six stages, and when an accurate knowledge of self, free from all distinction, is attained by this mental meditation, that is termed Samadhi.

You may refer to the Vishnu Purana for more details.

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  • Good answer, but slightly Vasihnava centric in bias nothing wrong with that and I agree that one should only worship forms provided by Shastra.
    – Haridasa
    20 hours ago
  • @Haridasa - Thanks for reading. 17 hours ago
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    No problem bro good to see more users citing Sastra versus just writing from opinion.
    – Haridasa
    17 hours ago

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