What is Worship

Worship in the literal sense means devotion or love directed towards something, which one finds worthy of one’s love and devotion. Worship also means looking with respect and admiration at a power, which one perceives as being greater than one self. Worship can also be taken as asking the power higher than one self for help, advice and progress.

The mistake, which most people make, is getting into some sort of method or practice, which is monotonous. This method then becomes a daily habit, some sort of routine which has to be completed at some period of time or place. When the mind gets into this routine, superstition is born and with it comes fear. This fear then keeps telling the mind of the consequences that you will suffer if you do not complete your routine.

When one starts worshipping out of fear, compulsion and habit then it defeats totally the very purpose of true worship. What you are engaged in cannot even remotely be called worship; it is something else, a mutation in the thought process. This mutation then hinders your natural evolution process. This habit is to say the least extremely harmful and dangerous.

I would like you to have a look at this writing of Rabindranath Tagore taken from his work “Thought Relics”

“IF we allow our act of worship to deaden into a habit, then it frustrates itself, stiffening into mere piety which is a calculated economy of love. For worship has its worth, not in the action, but in a perfect outflow of consciousness in which habit has the tendency of becoming an impediment. We grow worldly in our devotion when we imagine that it confers upon us some special advantage, thus causing pious habits to be formed and valued. For when it is a question of profit, buying in the cheapest market is the best wisdom; but when complete giving out is the sole object, then economy is cheating one's own self.”

Tagore says that a feeling of frustration arises if worship were to mutate into a habit. This frustration arises when one realizes that one is going nowhere. He says that worship is meant for a natural outwards flow of your consciousness, without friction. Worship is a natural process of the growth of the consciousness, for it to expand beyond its material restrictions and the boundaries of the material body.

This is another quote of Tagore from the same work-
“But as our body seeks its harmony with the great world-body for its fulfillment, so the one in us seeks its union with the great One. The One in us knows itself, has its delight in itself and expresses itself in its activities. It is truth and joy and expression. Therefore, its union with the highest One must be in wisdom, in love and in service. This is our religion, that is to say, our higher nature. Its purposes cannot be definitely pointed out and explained, for it belongs to that life in the spiritual world where our objects have their recognition in something which we vaguely try to describe as blessedness,--a state of perfection, which is an end in itself. It is easy for man to ignore it and yet live, but man never did ignore it. He doubts it, mocks it, and strikes it, he fails in his realization of it, but even in his failures and rebellions, in his desperate attempts to escape from it, he revolves round this one great truth.”

This probably defines worship the best. Worship is to harmonies the self with the oversell or the Ever-Existent. Worship is a natural process of evolution, where one grows beyond the limitations and reaches his destination, that of union with the Ever-Existent. It is when one reaches this destination that one finds his true nature, that of the realization that he and the Ever-Existent are one and the same, one cannot exist without the other.

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  1. Worship, then, is a form of self-transcendence which enables one to realize one's true Self.


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