Is the idol target of worship or is God the target? Is the idol used only to get nearer to God? If yes how can an idol bring us nearer to God?

  • this question specifically asks do hindus believe that Idols make a person closer to God?
    – user225
    Jul 1, 2014 at 5:35
  • I think that will be opinion based and hence it will be off topic, if you want to know why we target idols to worship god, than the duplicate question will answer your question :)
    – Mr. Alien
    Jul 1, 2014 at 5:36
  • I am asking about standard belief hence it cant be offtopic
    – user225
    Jul 1, 2014 at 5:39
  • Does looking at a photograph of your loved ones inspire finer feeling in you? Does it make you remember them? This is a very simplistic analogy but sufficient for now. Idol worship has significance and powerful energies associated with it but it is not necessary to go into their detail for this question.
    – user1195
    Feb 11, 2015 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


No, idols are just a mean to grow inner faith, devotion and attachment to God. So the Garuda Puran states:

na kāśṭhe vidyate devo na śilāyam na mrutsuca
bhāve hi vasate devastasmādbhāvo hi kāraṇam
[GP - 2.28.11]

Deva (god) is neither present in the wood nor in the stone, nor in the soil (i.e. idols made of these things). He resides only in the emotion or feelings (bhava), hence bhava (devotion / emotion) is the only reason.

But it's difficult for an embodied being with a form to concentrate and worship the formless:

For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied. [BG - 12.5]

Hence, in Hinduism there is also the provision for worshiping idols.

  • This is what means getting closer to god i.e "grow inner faith, devotion and attachment to God."
    – user225
    Jul 1, 2014 at 8:17