Vedas,the sacred text of Hindus, do not advocate Idol worship or even personal God. Vedas talk about Reality,Brahman, as a Principle, which is beyond Attributes,Names,Forms,Mind, Intellect and Reason. Brahman is Unknowable but can be Experienced.
Then how does one attain Salvation if it is beyond Attributes, Names,Forms Mind and Intellect…? One must have tools to Realize Brahman.Hinduism, to sort out this issue, proposed the concept of Iswara,Personal God.
This Concept, one can find in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, as Iswara Pranidhana.The process and the end result of Search and Realisation of Brahman, is cessation of the modifications of Chitta, of the actions and reactions generated by one’s dispositions and actions.Then ,at that stage,one becomes devoid of the urge to Act and thereby is relieved of the bondage of Actions one accumulates.This results in the Individual Souls becoming aware of its innate Attributes of Being, Consciousness and Bliss. Sat, Chit and Ananda. At this level, the individual soul gets rid of its ignorance of perceiving itself being different from Brahman, the underlying Reality of Everything.
This is very difficult if one were to follow the description and methodology described in Upanishads.When I say difficult, I mean that it is difficult for most of us.But many have followed Upanishads in their own way and Realized Brahman,Ramana Maharshi, Kanchi Periyavar of our Times.
For us normal mortals, ruled by passions, this process is difficult. So the worship of individual God is proposed.
Human Mind behaves in a strange manner.Many of us are not aware that what we think about, we become.And when what we like are Attributes, Qualities that are Perfect in Measure, our mind is engrossed in It.And, defying Logic,we are bestowed with what we desire,which, under normal circumstances, are unachievable by us. Take the instance one, either in fear or Flight response, lifting weights which one can never imagine of lifting under normal conditions or running so fast that it would astonish one later.
So, Vedas have proposed personal God. Iswara.When one follows this Concept, he is taking a step closer to Know the Unknowable, by transforming the Unknowable into something which appears to be Knowable to The Heart.
Thus one deceives one’s Mind so that Heart experiences what can be experienced, which in the lexicon of Mind is not Knowable.
Cognition becomes Experience.
Experience,Experienced and Experiencer …All become One. Distinction disappears.
This is Experiencing Reality, Brahman.
This is Advaita.