‘loko bhinna ruchi’ – the world is made up of varied tastes. That is, beginning with day-to-day matters like food and clothing, in all matters of the world no one person’s mental stance is like another’s. This is the way of the world. Having this in mind our Vedas, Shaastraas and Mahans do not recommend one common spiritual path for all but have given various paths to suit the different mind-set.
For crores of births we have been used to running hither and thither externally towards worldly matters. It is, therefore, certainly impossible for us to shun thoughts and go deep in dhyana [meditation]. We are always in search of some activity. To turn such minds towards God the Maharishis, out of their deep compassion, have offered sadhanaas to suit our attitude. These are, performing puja, reading the Holy Texts, listening to Holy Texts, etc. Puja is not just a mechanical act sans involvement of the mind and heart. Real puja is to sit in front of the idol/picture of the Lord and feeling that He is present, serve Him in various ways and make Him happy. Would beautiful garlands, costly articles, beautiful mantap, silver vessels and golden ornaments suffice? Unless all these were accompanied by Bhakti would not that puja become merely an exhibition of wealth? Real puja is to offer a single Tulasi leaf at the Lotus Feet of the Lord with melting heart and tear filled eyes even though all these aforesaid articles are not present.
In the last verse, we have already seen the state of affairs prevailing in most of the Temples and Holy Rivers, today.
Let us take up the Holy Texts. Of what use would it be to arrange for a discourse for the one reason that we are wealthy and fail to take part with deep Bhakti? In the same way, some who discourse on the Holy Texts do it with the sole purpose of earning money; thus, they degrade the Holy Texts. There is no relation between the matter spoken in the discourse and their life style. Listening to such discourses will certainly not create any impact on and bring about any transformation in the listeners.
Likewise, religious rituals that are done with money as the only criteria serve no purpose.
Therefore, in this Age it is impossible to attain God through puja, discourses on the Holy Texts and religious rituals done without purity of mind and involvement but with money and ostentation as the only goal.