The basic difference between a man and animal is his ability to use tools, with skill. Man has been able to create giant technical miracles, only with the help of tools and a little wisdom. The significance of idol worship could be understood by an example of ‘tool’, as provided by Indian sage, Sadhguru.
An idol is thus a sacred tool
An idol is a sophisticated form of a deity which is created and consecrated as per the detailed science described in Shastras (sacred scriptures) like Agama Shastra, Brihat Samhita, Shilpa Shastra and Manasara Silpshastra. Each and every aspect of idol and temple making has been researched by sages for thousands of years and all the ancient temples in India are the result of that knowledge. In Hinduism, idol worship is considered the absolute form of spiritualism. The size, placement and shape of the idol, the specific Mudras (posture) of the idol, the architecture, location and design of the temple, consecration of the idol and sacraments, each and every aspect and ritual have a deep science behind it.
Most of the ancient temples in India are thousands of years old. For most of us, the science behind temples has turned into a mystery; we feel strongly about it, wonder at its marvelousness but we can’t seem to understand it.
It is suggested to visit the temple every day in the morning after taking a bath and right before entering into the social life. It is also suggested to sit there for a while. An idol and the temple built around the idol creates a positive and energetic environment that helps one get into a meditative state of mind quite spontaneously. All the ancient temples of India are located at places that have the highest magnetic field of the earth. The bells and Shankha produce meditative sounds. It seems like each and every aspect has been thought very carefully for thousands of years by the ancient temple architects.
Idol making is not merely about depiction of gods, rather these idols are powerful energy centers, carved with details from holy scriptures. Idols of god and goddesses is a fusion of art and science, a skill of infusing life into centuries old belief of idol worshipping in India.
Such is the journey of stone to idol in India, carved out of love by skillful hands, rightly called, The Science of Idol Making.
Temples, idols, Yantras are the metaphysical tools that could lift the energy of one’s being and the environment around but one could also make his own body a temple with meditation. Temple creates an environment that naturally fosters awareness of consciousness but one must not forget that awareness is a natural state of being and by being aware of this fact one could transform himself into the energy of an idol.