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  1. Gurudev, there is a five faced (Panchamukhi) Ganapati idol in the temple of Gurukul. What is the meaning of Panchamukhi?

    We have five senses in our body: the sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing, and there are five elements in the creation: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. There are five senses and five elements, so in this way there are five facets to God. So ...
  2. Gurudev, Buddhists say they do not believe in God. Even Lord Buddha said that we must not worship idols. Now He too was an enlightened being, so what did he mean by that?

    Lord Buddha never talked about God. He never really entertained any discussion on God. What He said was – the first thing is to realize that there is misery. People keep denying there is misery, many don’t even recognize it. Many a time if you talk to a si ...
  3. Dear Gurudev, my question is about idol worship in the Hindu religion. Christians don’t have churches everywhere. Mosques and Gurudwaras are also not everywhere. Then why do Hindus have temples everywhere? Under every tree and in every corner you see a temple. To what extent is idol worship acceptable?

    Who says that idol worship is not practiced in Christianity? Even Christianity gives importance to idol worship. They put the symbol of Cross anywhere, even on the road, or on top of the hills, isn’t it? Many mosques are also being built at many places. ...
  4. When a person dies, it is said after 12 days the soul takes rebirth in some other place. If the soul takes rebirth, then why do we hang the picture as ancestor and worship them?

    If a person is reborn then why should one do shraadh? What you are saying is correct. In the ancient days, people were self-realized, so they used to know that so-and-so person has taken rebirth, and then they would stop doing shraadh.
    N ...
  5. For a devotee, what is more important, worship of the form or worship of the formless?

    First you tell me, do you have a form or not?
    (Devotee: Yes Gurudev, I have a form.)

    You have a form? Where is the form? What is the form of your mind?
    (Devotee: The mind does not have a form.)

    See, your body has a form but your ...

  6. Why is Shiva Linga not worshipped alone (referring to the upper stone or crystal portion of the Shiva Linga) but along with Yoni (the base or the platform of the Shiva Linga on which the stone or the crystal rests)?

    As I mentioned earlier, both are worshiped in the form of Shiva and Shakti. They are worshiped alone also. There are many places where only the Pind is there. ...
  7. Gurudev, we worship the whole body of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, but we worship only the Linga of Lord Shiva, why is it like this?

    The Linga is a symbolic representation or swaroopa of Lord Shiva.
    First you understand what Linga is. Linga is a symbol.
    Why are genitals also called Linga? That is because it is the symbol through which ...
  8. What is the significance of ‘Panchamrita (mixture of five foods used in Hindu  worship) Abhisheka’? Why were only these materials chosen?

    These five are like nectar: Milk, Curd, Honey, Jaggery and Ghee. Though jaggery needs to be used, sugar is being used instead of jaggery nowadays.

    Five Devatas (Deities) reside in them. Savitru resides in Sugar, Vishwedeva in Hone ...

  9. Gurudev, is it necessary to visit temples if one has a direct connection with the Guru?

    Visiting temples is more of a cultural and sociological phenomenon. Of course there is a spiritual flavour to it also. But that is not essential.
    You can sit at home and feel the temple where you are.

    For the sake of keeping the culture and tradit ...

  10. Dear Gurudev, how and when did the twelve Jyotirlingas (literally meaning ‘pillar of light’, a sacred divine shrine of Lord Shiva) come into existence? Please shed some light on this.

    See, every Jyotirlingam has a different story behind how it came to be. There is a Sthala Purana (local folklore or legends) attached to each. For example, Lord Rama went to Rameshwaram and established the Jyotirlingam th ...
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