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One devotee started worshipping Rama as a picture or a photo. Ever since he started this, he met with several difficulties. He thought that probably the worship of Rama does not suit him. He kept that photo in a closed almirah and brought the picture of Easwara and started worshipping the picture of Easwara. Then his troubles not only did not disappear, but they became worse. He was very disappointed and put away the picture of Easwara, also, in the closed almirah. He brought the picture of Gayatri and started worshipping Gayatri. That day he prayed to Gayatri in the traditional manner and put up some incense for Gayatri. He found that the smoke coming from the incense sticks was going into the closed almirah. He felt very upset that the offering he made was going to the pictures of Rama and Easwara who never responded to his prayer. In his anger he took a piece of cloth and tied up the mouth and nose in each of the pictures, believing that thereby he would be preventing them from receiving his offerings and the fragrance of his incense. Immediately, the Gods appeared before him and he wondered how and why they did not respond to his prayers but responded spontaneously when he decided to punish them. However, he wanted to clear his doubt by asking the Gods themselves and ventured to inquire why they responded with their grace the moment he decided to tie up their mouths and noses. To this, the gods replied that all his prayers earlier were directed towards lifeless pictures, but the moment he started tying up the mouths with a piece of cloth assuming the gods as filled with life, they appeared before him.

The lesson we must learn in this story is that God will respond only if we accept Him as being full of life force and not as a lifeless picture. We should develop firm faith in the divinity present in all human beings and respect them. Respect should come from the depths of your heart. The fruits thereof will also be full of life. Worshipping the external form and ignoring the commands of God is simply turning ourselves into disbelievers.