Meditating Before a Divine Image


I used to meditate before the image of Goddess Durga but over the last few months I have noticed that there is an increasing glow around the image as if it is a self-radiant star. The image also seems to smile at me most of the time. I feel some connection between us. I am experiencing some sort of pressure on the third eye in last few months. I am also seeing at this point between my eyebrows a deity image protruding out and radiating light. As l am meditating, the image is also getting brighter and brighter. I need your opinion.

—Vivek, India


Dear Vivek,

Have you read Autobiography of a Yogi? In it Yogananda, whose teachings we follow here at Ananda, describes an experience of the goddess Kali coming ‘alive’ in the chapter “The Heart of a Stone Image.” To read it, click on the link. Yogananda had many such experiences.

You may indeed be receiving a gift of spiritual encouragement from Durga. One way to know if this is your ‘imagination’ or divine presence is the feeling you have in your heart during your experience. Divine presence is uplifting, expansive and may be accompanied by divine qualities such as peace, joy, love, wisdom, light, power, calmness, or the sound of AUM. If indeed your experience has such an uplifting quality consider it spiritual encouragement.

It is important, however, in our spiritual lives not to be attached to having such experiences. We may have long periods of time when we meditate, pray and try to live in attunemtent with God’s will but do not have such tangible experiences. In fact it is how we live in our daily lives that is most important spiritually. Some people never have such experiences but this does not limit their spiritual progress.

On the other hand, if you find the images coming to you in meditation disturbing, it would be best to shorten your meditation time and to add a meditation technique such as hong-sau.

Many blessings to you in your spiritual work,
Nayaswami Mukti