Q – When Ishwar is Niraakaar (shapeless), why do you recommend Saakaar Pooja (so-called) idol-worship?
1. You do Pooja to not please the Supreme, but to make yourself more worthy for Her. Agniveer
2. Saakaar Pooja is an honest and effective way to reach that Supreme. Whatever you experience in this world is through five senses. These 5 senses are touchpoints of your Man (mind). In Saakaar Pooja, you direct all these 5 senses in a coordinated way to become fit for experiencing higher realities. Agniveer
Instead of wasting your sight in lusting a girl, you evoke santaan-bhaav (child emotion) towards Maa Lakshmi. You visualize Maa Lakshmi as a glorious woman on lotus as if away from the garbage of the pond of world. She blesses with prosperity. Her confident smile exudes a feel that She will take care of all worries like a Mother protects the child. Even the powerful elephants worship her.
You do not have to even get in all these details. In one glimpse you get the feel and surrender. What do you do next? You close your eyes and look within. You establish this purity within yourself. You uplift yourself a bit.
You offer flowers, you sing Aartis, you chant Mantras, you recite Stotras you do Yajna – all to surrender every neuron of your brain to this wonderful holistic process of uplift. This is the real Vikaas. Through emotions, visualization, vibrations, direction of senses, worthy actions and what not! Agniveer
These deities along with their worship processes were designed by wise sages to optimize this Vikaas process. So many deities for so many aspects of Vikaas. Her properties are infinite. So are the deities and worship methods to activate these properties within yourself. Agniveer
3. And what more. Dharma gives you freedom to create your custom Pooja process, so far it complies with the basic tenets of purity and surrender. Ever heard story of Dhanna Jaat? Agniveer
4. True, many misused this and packaged this worship with lots of nonsense and social evils. Use your brains to ignore the nonsense. But you do not stop traveling in train because some idiot in Ghaziabad soiled the seat! Agniveer
5. Yes, it is true that ultimate reality is Nirakar Brahma. A Yogi gets beyond senses and establishes direct connection with Supreme without any strings whatsoever. This is the best form of worship. Jumping from top floor is fastest way to reach the street. But are you strong enough to not break your bones in being fastest? Have you done necessary training to not get killed in process? Agniveer
6. Unfortunately, most advocates of Niraakaar Upasana are not worthy of the jump. Thus they end up being wailing broken souls. They cite how their role model advocated Niraakaar Upasana as best way as per Vedas. What they do not understand is that their role-model also was a Yogi. Agniveer
When a girl passes by, his eyeballs will not fluctuate to have that momentary fun. He was Jeetendriya (master of senses). He had built the core foundation necessary for Yog Sadhana. He would not get desperate urges of Kaama, Krodh, Lobha, Mada, Mohaa, Matsar (Lust, Anger, Greed, Delusion, Attachment, Jealousy). Agniveer
7. Yes, if you are a Yog Sadhak, you will automatically drift towards Niraakaar Upasana. Because you will see Her everywhere. And nothing else is lucrative enough to distract your attention. Agniveer
If you are someone in this path seeing tremendous progress, go ahead for Niraakaar Upasana. Agniveer
8. But if you are not, or doubtful, start from basics. Do whatever directs your emotions to purity and constant association with Her. Agniveer
9. An unprepared soul trying Niraakaar Upasana is like a body-building aspirant trying to do pushups and build muscles in zero-gravity vacuum. He ends up floating randomly. And deludes himself to believe he is so free! Agniveer
10. Or eventually, He ends up taking support of some Saakaar element (image of Heaven, Hell, Virgins, a definite prayer process, some specific dress etc). Hence Syrias and Somalias get created! Agniveer
My recommendation to Mukti aspirants:
Start from basics. Use the gift of sense organs to uplift your intellect. Start practicing Yog Sadhana. Surrender to Her without ego. And you will automatically gravitate to what is best for you.