27 Mar 2012 - QA 15

Guruji, when Mahmud of Ghazni attacked the Somnath temple in Gujarat, then the Pundit of the temple told everyone that Lord Shiva will help us and there is no need to fight. All the soldiers surrendered their weapons but even then they were defeated. So who is the ultimate God?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

See, that was a wrong thing they did. Shiva is there but he tells everyone to do their dharma, to fight against injustice. Otherwise why should Shiva have a trishul in his own hand? You have seen, all the Gods and Goddesses have shastras (weapons) in their hands. Why should they have weapons? Because intention as well as action, both should go hand in hand.
So Lord Krishna was giving knowledge and yet he was having his Sudarshan Chakra also.
So God is only ultimate, because there is only one God.
This is what they asked me in Pakistan. They said, ‘Why are there so many idol worships?’
I said, ‘In India also we believe in only one God, but that one God is worshiped in so many forms and so many ways.’
So it is one God who comes in many uniforms. God is not in the military; in the military they always wear the same type of dress. Our God comes in all the names and all the forms, but it is only one Divinity.
So just one idol, one Shiva Linga, or one Shaligram is good enough. In your temples you don’t keep so many idols, they all are just symbols of the one Divine.
Originally in the Hindu tradition the Pooja was done only for the fire and the Kalash, this is how it started. But when the Jain religion came and when they put idols and did such wonderful worship to the idols, the Hindus also felt that we should also do something.
Then the Hindus started making different idols. Before there was only one Shiva Linga, that’s all!