Gita Series 52. Bhagavad Gita Chapter IV 10 - 12:
"A number of people have attained my preternatural form by means of knowledge, disinterested in other activities and surrendering unto me by sacrificing desire, fear and anger. Arjuna! I approach my devotees in the same way they worship me. Entire humanity in all respects pursues my path. In this earth, those (materialistic persons) who seek the fruits of karmas worship (various) gods; because, by doing so they are able to attain the fruits of their karmas easily. “ The Divine or the Brahman has no form and due to maya all that we see around us is only the reflection of the Brahman. It is like seeing objects in a mirror. For realising this truth, the highest form of intellect is necessary says Krishna. This process is known as intellection where one’s thought transcends the materialistic world, unafflicted by sensory influence. This is also known as thought process, where thoughts get highly refined leading to the stage of thoughtlessness, void and stillness. Only during this stage, the Brahman is realized.
Brahman can neither be realized nor seen through biological eyes. He can be realized only through the third eye which gets automatically activated during true spiritual progress. Spiritual progress does not mean the time spent on reading scriptures or performing rituals. Ecstasy is not the advanced stage of spirituality but the bliss is. Such progress can be attained only through supreme intellect that makes a person to explore within. Only during the advanced stage of internal exploration, one tends to disassociate from the materialistic world where one is able to get rid of desire, fear and anger as this stage can be reached only if one is able to disassociate his consciousness from the power of sensory influence. The perpetual integration of self consciousness and Supreme consciousness leads to unconscious and thoughtless stage, where the Brahman is realized in absolute stillness. This is the stage that Krishna refers to as attaining His preternatural form (nirguna Brahman). Brahman cannot be worshipped and can only be realized. Various forms of the Brahman are worshipped, depending upon one’s ability to visualise.
The attributes of the Brahman (saguna Brahman) have been depicted in the forms of different gods and goddesses. Brahman is Supreme and all alone. Due to ignorance (avidya) the Brahman is visualized in different forms. But the fact remains that none can realize the Brahman overnight. The realization happens through a series of processes beginning with ritual worship, mantras, recitations, study of Vedanta, meditation, perpetual meditation leading to a stage where all materialistic worships cease and final emancipation takes place. Based upon the concept of the omnipresent nature of the Brahman, various forms of gods and goddesses are appeased. Those who do not possess supreme knowledge that is required to realise the Brahman, worship such forms. The practitioner during the process of such worship gets some miraculous powers known as siddhis. Those who want to make further progress with intent to realize the Brahman get rid of those siddhis that are considered inferior and distracting.
Krishna never leaves these propitiators alone, though He does not consider them as jnanis or yogis. Krishna surely fulfils their desires, provided they are performed with dedication and devotion. Attachment to material prosperity is the root cause of such worships as ritual worships yield results much faster. But this does not lead to salvation, which is possible only through the process of self-realisation. Irrespective of the path one chooses, he still pursues karma yoga elucidated by Krishna in the earlier chapters, as no man can remain idle without performing requisite karmas. Non-performance of prescribed karmas is a greater sin than performing karmas seeking fruits of actions. Krishna can be attained by any of the means taught by Him, karma yoga, jnana yoga, sanyasa yoga, inner yajna, bakthi yoga, etc. Every soul that gets manifested has to necessarily follow any one of the above paths. Liberation of the soul or otherwise purely depends upon the path one chooses. If the right path is not chosen to attain Him, the soul bound by karmic afflictions is born again. But the soul finally gets liberated only if the Brahman is realized.