Bhagavad Gita sings:
स तया श्रद्धया युक्तस्तस्याराधनमीहते
लभते च ततः कामान्मयैवः विहितान्हितान्
sa tayā śraddhayā yuktastasyārādhanamīhate
labhate ca tatah kāmānmayaivah vihitānhitān
“Possessing this strengthened faith, the worshipper devotes himself to his chosen deity with devotion and, through this undoubtedly achieves the enjoyment of desired pleasures which are also appointed by my laws.”
Possessed of faith that is propped up by God, the desire – ridden worshipper devotes himself with renewed vigour to the adoration of some unworthy gods, but surprisingly he too is rewarded with the desired satisfaction. But this satisfaction is also a gift from God. So God is also the bestower of enjoyment of worldly pleasures. Mean pleasure rather than divine bliss is the reward for those who worship other gods for satisfaction of their desires. But in a way they are rewarded. So there seems apparently nothing wrong with this form of worship. However, this is what Sri Krishn has to say on the question in next verse.
Sri Krishna adds:
अन्तवत्तु फलं तेषां तद्भवत्यल्पमेधसाम्।
देवान्देवयजो यान्ति मद्भक्ता यान्ति मामपि
antavattu phalam tesām tadbhavatyalpamedhasām
devāndevayajo yānti madbhaktā yānti māmapi
“But the rewards of these deluded men are finite because they only attain to the gods they worship, whereas the man who worships me howsoever he does it -realizes me.’’
The prizes won by these ignorant men are destructible. They are impermanent because they are worldly pleasures which have a beginning and an end.
The pleasures that are with us today slip away from us tomorrow. Men who worship other gods acquire powers that are themselves perishable. The whole world, from the level of divinities to that of the lowest creatures, is mutable and subject to death. On the contrary, the man who worships God attains to him and so to the ineffable peace that descends on the Soul after he is united with God.
Yogeshwar Krishn had exhorted Arjun to foster gods, that is pious impulses, through the observance of yagya. Good fortune accrues from an increase and strengthening of these riches. And ultimately, with gradual progress, there is the attaintment of perception and supreme peace. In this context ‘‘gods’’ represent forces of piety by which the divinity of God is secured. These godly impulses that have to be fostered are the means for salvation and their twenty-four attributes are enumerated in Chapter 16 of Bhagavad Gita.
The righteousness which garners the sanctity of God within the worshipper’s heart is named “god.” It was at the outset something internal, but with the passage of time people began to visualize these qualities in palpable forms.
Sri Krishn has attempted to refute the misconception about gods and goddesses. Naming “other gods”, he has emphatically said that they do not exist.Whenever faith declines or grows feeble, it is he who supports it and makes it firm, and it is also he who provides rewards for this faith. But these rewards are finite and perishable.
Fruits are destroyed, gods are destroyed, and worshippers of these gods are also destroyed. So only the ignorant who are lacking in discrimination worship other gods.
[Revered Swami Adgadanandji Paramhans]