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There are many who cavil at image worship but its basis is really man's capacity to see the macrocosm in the microcosm. The value of image worship is testified to by man's experience; it does not depend on man's imaginative faculty. What is found in the Virat Swarupa of the Lord is found, undiminished and unalloyed, in the image Swarupa also. Images serve the same purpose as metaphors, similies etc., in poetry. They illustrate, amplify and make clear.
Joy comes to man, not through the shape of things but through the relationship
established with them. Not any child but her child makes the mother happy.
So also with each one and with all things. With each and everything in
the universe, if one establishes the kinship, that Iswara Prema, verily,
what an overpowering joy can be experienced! Only those who have felt
it can understand.