What is an Idol?

An idol is a man-made object that is worshipped in some way.
Since the common mind of man cannot comprehend the abstractness and transcendence of the nameless and formless version of God, different idols and images enter the picture. These myriad symbols, images and idols are only symbols, images and idols. They are not substitutes for God. Each of these points to the Supreme Power inherent in everybody and it is that One God who is worshipped in the form of idols and images.

When an Idol does become a Deity?
Pran Pratishtha is the Hindu religious ceremony of infusing life in an Idol to make it a deity.

Pran Pratishtha means infusing life into an idol. Without breath- pran - a human body is nothing. Similarly, an idol is a piece of metal, wood or stone until life is infused into it. This is done through a detailed ceremony by chanting mantras requesting God to reside in the idol. Once this is done the idol becomes deity.
The quantum physicist tells us that intentions alone can change an event and its change can be measured to prove how intentions work.

The infusion of power in the idol is a very complex process involving many rituals of Yogic significance which activate the psychic and spiritual energy of those who participate in the function. Through these processes the spiritual energies in man are activated and infused in the idol. These powers are personified as the deity. Thus, for all practical purposes, the deity assumes a subtle personality. ...

Applying psychic and spiritual means, a Thanthri, an expert in this field, draws from the infinite resource of Brahman certain aspects and bestows them on a conceived deity, physically represented by an idol. And when a devotee concentrates his mind on the deity the same spiritual resources in him are activated which help him to solve his physical, cultural, and spiritual problems....

The ancient explorers found that through special psychic and spiritual rites such idols could be made powerful to help activate the divine depths in man. Thus a consecrated idol becomes both a language that explains the deeper spiritual facts and a spiritual dynamo that activates the dormant divinity in man.

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Thus the idol of a deity is the deity itself


An idol is an object without any powers but it becomes a deity after this ritual.

What is a deity?


A deity is a name used to identify beings with divine qualities and powers.

The concept of deities in the science of Spirituality is best explained with an analogy. Have you ever wondered why there are myriad colors in the world when we have only three primary colors i.e. red, blue and yellow?

We know that various permutations and combinations of the three primary colors lead to so many new colors.

So also though God is one, He manifests in various ways to perform the various individual functions in the Universe. In order to perform the various functions in the Universe, God manifests in five primary principles. They are:

Creation: Everything is created

Sustenance: Everything that is created is sustained

Dissolution: Everything that is created and sustained is destroyed

Multiplicity: God is in everything

Bliss: The quality of God is supreme and everlasting happiness

These five primary principles combine with each other in myriad ways to give millions of unique aspects of God to perform various functions in the Universe. For example, there is an aspect of God that facilitates learning, teaching, protecting, health etc. According to the science of Spirituality each such aspect of God has a form and is known as a deity. There are a total of 330 million deities, each having their unique role in the Universe.
A Hindu deity (god or goddess; note small g) represents a particular aspect of the Supreme Being.