There is a way to again and again remind ourselves not to collect karma and to live without the influence of the earlier incurred karma. The first step is to have a clear understanding that karma is powerless in the presence of an elevated consciousness.
There is an important difference between normal human beings and enlightened masters. A normal person does not have the ability to make his body alive out of his will. His body is either alive or it is dead, that’s all. It is not under his control.
But for an enlightened person, it is under his control. He can either make his body alive, or relax. Because of this ability, he can also make another body alive!
When an enlightened being chooses to make a stone or metal alive, that stone or metal becomes a representation of his very self.
All the deities in our major traditional temples are energized by enlightened masters. Masters like Arunagiri Yogeeshwara from Tiruvannamalai, Patanjali from Chidambaram, Karurar from Thanjavur, Konganavar from Tirupati and Meenakshi from Madurai have energized the deities in these temples.
Deities are therefore considered to be the very bodies of the enlightened masters. Disciples continue serving the deities even after the masters leave their physical body.
The body of the deity is considered to be the body of the master himself. That is the reason why the deities receive the same respect offered to an enlightened master.
For example, all the disciples initiated by Arunagiri Yogeeshwara will worship the Arunachala temple for generations together. You will see that whatever is offered to the master will be offered to the deity also.
Masters, even after they decide to leave the body, are continuously available to the disciples through the deities that they energized. For example, even during my lifetime, my physical presence is not possible everywhere at the same time. So these deities are programmed to do my work where I am physically not present! They are my representatives!
The deities possess independent intelligence.
Energizing the deities is a big process. It is like giving birth to a child. These energized deities will directly respond to your prayers. They will directly relate with you if you are open in relating with them.
If you see our puja and our ashram routine, you will see that in the morning, they play the wake-up song to wake up the presiding deity. Then they give a small cup of oil for His hair and a small cup of tooth powder for Him to brush His teeth! Then, they give Him a bath and offer fresh, ironed clothes, just like how they offer to the master. They offer food and perform the evening arati. In the night, they put the deity to bed again in a ceremonious way.
Understand, all this does not add anything to the deity or to the master. It adds only to us! This is what is living with god. This is what is practicing the presence of god. Practicing the presence of the master is puja.
Puja is done every day because it is a technique to remember the presence of god every day.
source: Living Enlightenment