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The Murti Puja: Idol worship?

Idolatry is considered one of the worst sin in many abrahamic religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism. But do Hindus worship an idol or is it something else?

 In this post we will be discussing both of these topics in detail. Hindus generally call it a Murti which means it is the representation of the divine and not the divine itself.

What is a Murti?

The murti is a sacred image or statue that is used as a focus for worship in Hinduism. The term can refer to any type of statue, but is most often used to refer to those that represent the gods or goddesses.

The murtis of the Hindu deities are often made from materials such as stone, metal, or wood, and they may be either freestanding or mounted on a wall. They may also be adorned with jewelry, clothing, and other items.

The murtis are usually placed in temples or shrines, where they are worshiped by Hindus. In some cases, they may also be found in homes or other private spaces.

The worship of murtis is a central part of Hinduism, and it is believed that the deity is present in the murti. This presence is thought to be especially powerful when the murti is made from a material that is associated with the deity, such as stone for Shiva or metal for Vishnu.

The murtis are also often used as a focal point for meditation and other forms of prayer. Hindus may also offer food, flowers, and other items to the murti as a way of showing their devotion.

History of Murti puja in Hinduism

Vedic religion was completely different from the popular form of Hinduism that we find being practiced in India and around the world. Murti Puja was not a part of Vedic religion or Vedic practices in general. Fire worship or Yajana was the main method of worship.

But due to outside influences, Hinduism also integrated Murti puja as a legitimate method of worship. With the advent of Mahayana Buddhism it became even more prevalent. Slowly Mahayana Buddhism became the predominant religion all over India.