Nature consists of different kinds of animals, tress, plants, birds and languages. Mankind itself consists of crores of people. In this, the physical structure of any one is not similar to another. The way of talking or walking of any one is not the same as another. Even enjoyment varies from person to person. Another dislikes a story that one likes. One can point out such differences in all matters. All do not possess the same food or clothing habits, culture, or mental attitude. What appears to be just seems unjust to another. Some have a taste for idlis (rice cakes), some for chappatis, yet others for dosas. Thus there is a difference even in the taste for food. Even amongst those who like idlis some like to have it with chutney while others prefer sambar. So, no one human mind thinks like another. There are vast variations in the human minds. It is difficult to change this. With such differences one has to attain that (God) which does not vary. When
the human mind is so diversified in everything, preaching only one god to all or one path to all can only result in collecting a crowd akin to a flock of sheep and no interest can be instilled in their minds. Hence, man cannot change his mental attitude and thus comprehend the limitless God. As God is omnipotent He comes down to the level of man. To one who is truthful and righteous He comes as Rama, to one who enjoys the divine plays as Krishna, to one who upholds brahmachariyam (celibacy), humility, devotion and service He appears as Hanuman and to one who possesses affection as towards a mother He comes as Devi (Goddess). To attain the limitless, all pervading Lord it has been set to worship Him as per his/her mental attitude.
A person desires to steal. But because of his fear for the rigid law of the country he abstains from stealing. However, as long as he entertains this thought to steal he will not become virtuous. So the law of the country has not reformed him. It has only petrified him. He will try to trick the law and steal. So, as long as the change does not come about in one’s mental attitude it cannot be deemed as a transformation. And any transformation that may come about will not be lasting. It is questioned why God does not instantly punish the wrong doers. That is, it is argued that one who steals should lose his hand immediately and one should become blind immediately if a crime has been committed with his eyes. But, God does not do so for the mere reason that any physical punishment without mental transformation will not serve the purpose. Moreover, if God were to execute such a system of justice then those who argue thus will themselves be devoid of all
their organs! God is compassionate. That is why He desires us to reform and forbears all our faults.
One who is totally devoted to God will not be able to even think of the idols in the temples as mere metal or stone. When a mother looks at her child she will only enjoy its curly hair, beautiful eyes, mischievous talks and will not try to gauge as to how much bone weight or ounce of blood the child is made up of.
In the temples thus consecrated and installed with idols we find that the rules and regulations for the performance of puja vary from Kshetra to Kshetra (holy place) and from god to god. A doubt may arise as to which form of worship from amongst these is pleasing to God. All are proper. How? A mother instills certain types of habits in her child from its young age, including food habits and the child sticks to these till the end. In the same way Mahatmas have established certain system of puja for the gods that they had worshipped and as those gods have become used to that particular system of worship the same should be followed scrupulously. This is the reason for the birth of so many kinds of worship. Those who perform these pujas today may not be tapasvis of such high calibre. But one need not doubt if the divinity will diminish in these Kshetras. Devas, Kinnars, Siddha Purushas visit these temples built or consecrated by Mahans and perform puja with
flowers, etc. Even if this is not visible to us it is visible to Mahans. So, divinity does not diminish in these Kshetras.
Next, God is worshipped through offerings such as rice, goat, hen, liquor, etc. The question may arise as to which of these is proper? All are. The mental make up of men is classified into three kinds, viz. sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. Those with sattvic nature offer things like rice, fruits, etc. in worship. Those with rajasic nature worship God with meat, etc. and those with tamasic nature worship Him with things such as liquor. Thus people are happy and contented only when they worship God with things that they themselves like. It is only to earn such mental peace/contentment that Aagama Shastras have laid down various rules for the construction of temples. The Rajagopuram (Tower) of such temples, even when viewed from a distance, fills the minds of people with peace. If this philosophy is understood and worship is conducted as per the regulations laid down in these temples then people will attain mental maturity and thus attain the highest goal.