In Hinduism, worship of idols has been a valid method of veneration practiced for millennia among most Hindu traditions or sampradayas. Idol worship provides a focus for worship and is a reminder of God’s virtues as described in the Shastras.
When an idol is consecrated in accordance with Vedic and Agamic rituals in temples, that idol is believed to be the manifestation of the Divine. Thereafter, worship of the idol is believed to tantamount to the direct worship of the deity. The devote can then express and develop his or her devotional attachment to God in various ways.
Generally, the idol has a pleasing form and inspires the devotee to develop feelings of love, faith, humility, introspection, repentance, glory and indebtedness. He or she also experiences divinity and peace of mind by having darshan (divine sight) of and meditating upon the sacred image. The devotee also prays and makes resolutions for self-improvement due to the physical presence of the sacred image.