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There are two forms of worship – external and internal. External worship is associated with tantra, and internal with yoga. In this note, I would like to pay attention to what worship is in general, since usually this word carries some religious connotation, sometimes even negative, in the minds of some people. Yes, as a rule, worship is associated with religion, but our task is to understand why this is so and what its real meaning is.

Firstly, when we worship someone or something, we feel reverence, respect, love or devotion, worship is an expression of special love or relationship. This is a process when we put the object of our worship above ourselves and believe that he has more capabilities than we do. Faith plays a special role here. Faith is not necessarily related to religion, as we can believe in different things, in different people. We can believe, for example, in a teacher, bowing inwardly to his knowledge and experience. We can believe in money, that it will give us power and a good life. And so on. In fact, there are very few people in the world who do not believe in anything, even those who consider themselves atheists believe that there is no God. As for spiritual practice, there is always faith in the spirit, soul, or, as they call it in India, in Atman. We believe that there is something, our soul, pure and eternal, and not just a limited body, conditioned by time and space. And that is why at some point we embark on the path of spiritual development – the development of our spirit, on the path that will lead us to the comprehension of this state of the soul – Atman. All this is important to understand and be aware if you are seriously interested in yoga, and practice it, because this is the goal of your practice.

Thus, for the practitioner there is already something Higher – his soul, and, as a rule, if the thought is developed further – then there is a globally Higher Power, and the soul is a part of it. This force can be called God, it can be called Absolute, Allah, Shiva, Supreme Consciousness... Nathas call it Alakh Niranjan – Pure Being.

So, hundreds of methods have been found over many centuries to comprehend this Supreme, but one of the most ancient and, apparently, natural and effective, existing in all religions and teachings, is worship. Worship is based on openness that is based on trust, on faith. Openness here means the possibility of perception, the opportunity to learn something, to receive something. When a person is closed, it is very difficult to teach, change him – he is not in the mood to accept anything. Of course, it can be quite difficult to open up right away, especially for a Westerner who is used to not trusting anything and focusing only on his own strengths and personal qualities. But we can still gradually open our hearts and weaken the power of the mind when we understand that there is really nothing to be afraid of, when we realize that we need help to progress spiritually, because due to our own imperfections and obscurations, we often do not see much, we can not change the embedded programs, the worldview.

Worship is inextricably linked with such a concept as "sacrifice". The sacrifice could not be on its own, it was necessarily performed for someone in order to obtain some result, spiritual or material benefit. In fact, the sacrifice was not separated from the process of sacrifice, from the donor, and from the recipient of the sacrifice. Which in general forms is a ritual, a moment of worship.

One of the most ancient written sources describing in detail the process of sacrifice are Vedas. All Vedism, in its original and modern form (Brahmanism), is imbued with the spirit of sacrifice. According to Vedas, the Creator, called Prajapati, created the world (our Universe) by sacrificing himself. To himself. And in accordance with this, all human sacrifices reflect this process. It is argued that in the sacrifice, if it is done properly, there is no place for personal and selfish motivations, Brahman sacrifices Brahman to Brahman. Through this process, integrity is gained and Atman awakens – our inner soul, which is actually identical with Brahman.

In the process of worship, we sacrifice something – it can be our attention, our time, all kinds of offerings, those elements of life to which we are most attached. Another aspect of worship is purification. Sincerely honoring someone, we forget about ourselves, about our ego, we try to give the object of our veneration the most precious and best. This is a manifestation of pure feelings that can purify and elevate any soul. It is believed that by sacrificing to the Divine something we are attached to, we purify these attachments – that is, they gradually cease to be such, and the energy that was the basis of these attachments begins to circulate normally again and returns under our control.


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