We often speak of the need to worship God, but what should be the nature of this worship?
Unfortunately, we often resort to worship for the wrong reasons and with an intention of impressing people with our wealth. God does not demand costly things. It is enough for us to offer Him some flowers. If we cannot afford that, it is enough to recite His name. We cannot impress Him with a show of our wealth, said B. Sundar Kumar in a lecture.
Many people spend lavishly on worship, only because they want to show others how much they are capable of spending. But in the process, any merit that could stem from the worship is lost, for God dislikes pride, and our pride in our wealth will take us further away from Him. And when we are so concerned about the grandeur of our worship, we have little time to spend thinking about Him. What is the use of such worship?
The aim of one's prayer is also important. One should never pray for the downfall of others or hope some ill would befall others.
Sage Kasyapa had two wives — Diti and Aditi. Diti prayed for 12 months, but gave birth to demons. Aditi prayed for the protection of her children from harm and the restoration of their kingdom to them. She performed ‘payo vrata' for 12 days and at the end, Mahavishnu Himself appeared as her son, taking the Vamana avatara. Aditi did not resort to severe penances. All she did was to worship the Lord and make a humble offering of milk porridge at the end of her penance. But God was pleased with her worship and appeared before her.
It is the simple worship of a true bhakta that moves the Lord. There are many examples of such bhakti, wherein a devotee melts when he visits a temple and cries his heart out for the Lord.
There is an ‘abhang,' in which the ardent desire of a devotee to visit a Rama temple is fulfilled at last. He cries that though he is in the temple, he is unable to see Lord Rama, for his tears are blinding his eyes. Devotees shed tears of joy when they see the deity in a temple. They cry when they think of God and His kindness. The Lord values such bhakti.