For a flame to rise, you need space above it. In the same way, for a man to rise up in his life, he needs an ideal, he needs something to adore and worship.
What is Worship?
Worship is the culmination of love and appreciation. In worship, a sense of belongingness, love, honor, and respect, all come together.
Without a sense of belongingness, worship or idealism can bring low self-esteem. The ancient people knew this, and so they insisted that people should feel part of what they worship. They encouraged people to worship the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, plants, animals, and people.
Why is Worship Important?
Worship prevents love from turning into hatred or jealousy, and prevents appreciation from becoming low self-esteem. In life, if you do not adore or appreciate anything, you will be filled with negativity. And a person who has nothing to worship or adore is sure to fall into depression.
Lack of adoration has led to many emotional, psychological, and social problems in society. If you have nothing to hold up high in life, selfishness, arrogance, and violence are sure to follow. Adoring and honoring each other in society eliminates stress and fosters compassion and love.
In the previous century, it was thought that worshipping was an uncivilized and unintelligent thing to do. Worship was thought to rise from a slavish mentality. In fact, it is just the contrary. Worship can only happen through gratefulness and not through subservience. Worship in the true sense is a sign of maturity and not weakness.
Question: You said worship is the culmination of love. Does worship also have a culmination?
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The culmination of worship is self-knowledge – Samadhi.