Why deities?

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The question may arise – if all that is required is a structure which will hold and transmit energy, why do we need the form of a particular deity? There are two reasons for this: One, most of us are not yet so evolved that we can relate directly to the formless cosmic energy. That is why the ‘personal Divine’ is a concept close to the heart of every devotee. On the Bhakti Marga (the path of devotion), which is one of the four major paths to enlightenment, loving devotion to the Divine is used as a technique to purify our common emotions of lust, jealousy and selfishness. The devotee withdraws the energies wasted in such emotions, and turns them upon the object of his devotion. When the Divine is present before him in a form he can see, touch and relate to, the transmutation becomes an easy and joyful process. Second, deities in a real kshetra are always carved in the form of ancient masters and enlightened beings. Even though no longer in the body, they can be invoked through the name or form they used while in the physical plane. When we pray to the deity or chants its name, the corresponding divine vibration is automatically awakened, and becomes available on the energy plane to guide and bless us.