Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji had a very nice way of describing the act of daily worship or उपासन:
"Consciousness is reflected off everything but the brilliance of the reflection depends on one's upaasana."Pujya Swamiji then briefly referred to the story of Kaag Bhusundi (aka Kak Bhusundi) from the Ramayana.
Despite his birth in Ayodhya, he was cursed by Lord Shiva to become a python because he showed disrespect to his Guru. His compassionate Guru intervened and Lord Shiva said that Kaag Bhusundi would gain liberation through his devotion to Śrī Rāma. In time, Kaag Bhusundi becomes a disciple of the great sage Lomasa. This time, due to the disciples impatience with the sage's insistence on the formless Lord, the sage curses the disciple to become a crow. Even though the crow is considered to be an unclean bird, yet Kaag Bhusundi's unbroken devotion to Śrī Rāma brings him the honor of being one of the narrators of the Ramayana on the shores of the holy lake Manasarovar. In Tulsidasji's Ramcharitmanas, Kaag Bhusundi is shown to be narrating the Ramayana constantly to Garuda, the divine vehicle of Lord Vishnu and the other birds.
What a beautiful story of transformation through Upasana. This brings to mind, 12-6 & 12-7
ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि संन्यस्य मत्परः |
अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते ||१२-६||
ye tu sarvaaNi karmaaNi mayi sa.nnyasya matparaH .
ananyenaiva yogena maa.n dhyaayanta upaasate .. 12-6..
But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, meditating on Me with single-minded devotion (YOGA) . . .
तेषामहं समुद्धर्ता मृत्युसंसारसागरात् |
भवामि नचिरात्पार्थ मय्यावेशितचेतसाम् ||१२-७||
teshhaamahaM samuddhartaa mR^ityusa.nsaarasaagaraat.h .
bhavaami nachiraatpaartha mayyaaveshitachetasaam.h .. 12-7..
For them, whose minds are set on Me, verily I save them from the ocean of finite experiences; the SAMSARA.
My gratitude to Swamiji for revealing the beauty of upaasana. Those who want to know the story in detail may refer to http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071105042406AAGp1ik
Hari Om and Namaskaar until the next post