Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, if someone feels that way, then it is alright. In reality you do not need it because this entire Creation is God’s portrait. Whatever we see as manifest in this Creation is nothing but a painting crafted by God. It is His manifestation alone.
Now, why should we say no to someone who want to keep a picture of God if that makes them feel nice? Many times, by having a picture before you, you establish a connection with the Divine through your mind.
See, we all keep pictures of our family members and grandparents in our house. The moment we see it, we feel a deep connection with them and remember them dearly, 'Oh! My Grandfather', or, 'My dearest mother'. Do you not miss them and remember them fondly when you see their picture? Similarly, we also keep pictures of saints in our homes, like Guru Nanak Devji, or Lord Mahavira, or Lord Buddha. Why are there idols of Lord Buddha kept in temples? That is so that you remember him the moment you see their idol, and then you instantly become meditative simply by remembering him.
We keep pictures of Lord Krishna as an infant in our homes. Why? It is because by seeing that picture, we remember that blissful innocence of a child. But it is not that you will remember the Divine only and only if you have a picture before you, that is not the case.
You all would know that the 10-day Ganesha festival is in full swing in Maharashtra right now. In these 10 days, the entire atmosphere feels so different. There is a very different vibration (of positivity and sacredness) everywhere in the environment. One’s mind moves away from the affairs of the material world and goes towards the deeper spiritual realm. There is celebration everywhere. This is why we celebrate festivals like Holi, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturti and Navratri; so that we remember the Divinity within.
It is not that God is not present every moment of every day. He is ever present, every day. God is present in everyone, and belongs to everyone, and is all-capable. That is what God really is. So when God is present everywhere, would He not reside within you as well? Of course He dwells within you as well. And when He is said to be omnipresent, that means He is present right now too. And when He is present everywhere, and all the time, then does He not belong to you? He does, and this is what love is. When you love someone or something, you feel that they belong to you so totally. This is Devotion.
Always remember this: God is not a person, He is a power, a vibration that is manifest everywhere, and that power resides within us as well. The aim of man’s life is to have this question arise from deep within, 'Who am I? Who is God?' This is good enough. One who knows the answer to this will not tell you, and he who tells you the answer to this does not truly know (laughter).
This question does not arise in the minds of many people. Most people just continue to live life in a mechanical and superficial way, spending their time just eating, drinking and sleeping. But when one sincerely inquires about life and the secrets of life, that is when one’s (spiritual) journey truly begins.