By Dr Manish Pandit
People often ask, “Does Hinduism say that you can become God”
The issue is that it’s not that you actually “become” God, or more technically, you don’t become a Devata, but that you actually put the Devata into/onto yourself using a set of procedures. What are these procedures? Where are they given? What must be done?
The Devata exists as its vernal incarnation ie. the mantra. The mantra is put onto the body using the hands and using a series of well known gestures called Mudras usually using some sort of substance.. either kumkuma or Haldi or vibhuti. This can be very simple or very very detailed including the joints and fingertips. This procedure is called Nyasa. This “mantrifies” the external body over a period of time.
Mantra recitation: The mantra is recited a set number of times, imaging that the Devata of the mantra resides within the practitioner. Adjuncts can be used such as certain substances and so on but one practice is to do japa at a fixed place and time for a fixed duration with niyama. Once a certain number is crossed and some other things are done, then the so called lock of the mantra is removed. Normally you won’t see many people actually really wanting a Devata to reside within their bodies even for a small period of time as the stress on the human body is terrific (in Theyyam for example, no real mantra practice is used but the Devata comes readily as an Aavesha and that shortens the life span of those practitioners)
People often make the mis judgement that Devatas either don’t exist or some huge amount of mantra practice is needed. Neither is strictly true, although if you believe in that idea enough then of course it will become true for you. The catalyst which can truly make one progress is Bhakti. That Bhakti can transform the practitioner by a small change in the personality as the mantrika actually images the Devata as him or herself. Over 1 or two or 5 years, something may or may not change, but eventually over decades, there is a possibility that the Devata may for small or large instances of time begin to reside near or in the practitioner’s body. I gave the example of Theyyam, that requires neither higher “Varna” nor purity outside the time period of Theyyam… but as the practitioners demonstrate, the Devi/Devata is present and is shown due respect which is expected. Thus, the Theyyam practitioner is “Rama” or Chandika or something else for a period of time. Ritual desssing is used here but is not strictly necessary…
This article is written only to show that these things are indeed possible…. peculiarly the person”becomes the Devata “ for some small instance of time. Of course the two are not to be confused but indeed the idea of Theyyam can be used by other mantra practitioners.