By Sri Nandanandana dasa
There have been some people who have declared that the worship of Deities or images or the murti in the temples is but a recent invention of Vedic culture. However, that is not an accurate point. It is true that according to the different yugas or ages (such as Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga, and Kali-yuga) there are different processes for spiritual development that have been more recommended than others. For example, meditation was the recommended process for Satya-yuga, when people lived much longer and could sit in meditation for long periods of time. Then in Treta-yuga it was best to engage in various and extravagant rituals, havans, yajnas, or fire ceremonies. Then in Dvapara-yuga it was best to engage in elaborate worship, with opulent offerings to the Deities and prayers and mantras sung to the Deities. So, all of these processes have continued down through the ages to some degree or another. However, in Kali-yuga, though we still see all of these processes used, it is now the chanting of mantras, especially the Hare Krishna mantra, that is the most highly efficient and recommended process of spiritual growth in this age.