Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 19 May 2006



[Smt. Padma, wife of Shri Sarma passed a comment “God seems to be interested in money”. Sarma became angry and told her that she will be punished by God for commenting like that. Sarma came to Swami and complained about the matter. Swami told him, “You should not threaten anybody like that. You should analyze the topic and convince people through knowledge. By threatening, the thought is only suppressed and not removed”. Sarma came back along with his wife to Swami and Swami delivered the following divine discourse to the devotees.]

Why Is God After Money?

People say that God is [interested] in money. It is correct because money is Goddess Lakshmi. Lord Narayana is always in her heart. Money is also in the heart of God because Goddess Lakshmi is in His heart. Whatever is in the heart of Lord, the same came out in His word which is the Veda. The Veda says that sacrifice of money alone can please the Lord (Dhanena Tyagenaikena). The Lord came down in human form as Lord Krishna who also told the same point with the highest intensity. The Gita, the word of Lord Krishna, says that one should sacrifice the entire money possessed by one, to please the Lord (Sarva karmaphala tyagam). Jesus told a rich man to sacrifice all the wealth possessed by him. Lord Vishnu said the same in the Vishnu Puranam “Yasyaanugrahamichchami Tasya Vittam Haraamyaham”, which means that the Lord is pleased by taking away money from the devotee. The Lord is the Sadguru and one point is appreciable with Him. That is, whatever is in His heart He speaks it out. The present gurus aspire for money in the heart but speak against money in in their words. It is said that great people think, speak and do the same thing (Karmanyekam, vachasyekam, manasyekam mahaatmanaam). Whatever the Lord told, was also done by Him. The Lord came as a guest to Shaktuprastha and took all the flour from him for eating. This was when Shaktuprastha was about to eat the same, since he was suffering from starvation for the last ten days due to a drought.

Sage Vashistha asked Rama to submit Guru Dakshina (money) before preaching Jnana Vaashistham (Dhanamarjaya kakutstha) to Him. A sacrifice is useless if Dakshina is not offered (Adakshina hato yajnaha). All rituals involve the sacrifice of food and Dakshina (money). Sai Baba used to ask for Dakshina everytime [people visited Him]. Yoga Vaashistham says that money is the root of the world (dhanamoolamidam jagat). Shri Yantram [Shri Chakra] which is based on Shri (money) speaks about the importance of money. Everybody should frankly accept that everything is revolving around money. If money is not there, all the family members will leave you. Even the body leaves the soul if food (which is a form of money) is not provided. The proof of real love is only the sacrifice of hard earned money. Your real love is only for your children because all the wealth is given to them alone finally. Therefore if you say that you have real love for God, God will catch your money and will ask you to give it to Him. Your real colour will then come out. Therefore sacrifice of the fruit of work (money) is the real proof of devotion as praised in the Gita.

What is the difference between the Lord and ordinary human beings if money is only the criterion? No doubt, money is the criterion because real love is tested only by the sacrifice of money. But there is a difference between the account of God and the account of human beings. If you go to a [railway] booking clerk, he will give you a ticket for a 100 miles-distance by charging Rs. 100 and he will not ask you about the money left over in your pocket after paying the hundred rupees. He will give you a ticket for ten miles if you pay Rs. 10 and will not ask about the balance in your pocket. This is the account of human beings. But if the Lord sits in the same ticket booking window, His account is totally different. Suppose you have asked for a 100 miles-ticket. He will not tell you the fare of the ticket. He will ask you about the total amount present in your pocket. If you have only Rs 10 and pay Him all the ten rupees, He will give you a 100 mile-ticket. Suppose you have Rs. 1000 in your pocket and give Him Rs. 100, He will give you only a ten mile-ticket because you have paid 1/10th of the total money present in your pocket. This is the difference between human beings and God. God sees the extent of sacrifice but not the extent of sacrificed item.

Dharmaraja performed the Ashwamedha-sacrifice and donated a lot of wealth to the sages. Let us assume the worth of his entire wealth as 7 crores [1 crore = 10 million] in view of the value of rupee at that time. He donated wealth worth 3 crores. The Lord gave him the ticket only up to the third world which is called heaven or Swarga Loka. The Swargarohana Parva [chapter] of Mahabharatam says that Dharmaraja went only up to heaven. The top most Brahma Loka is the seventh world from earth. Therefore we would expect that the cost of the ticket for Brahma Loka is Rs 7 crores according to the account of human beings, since Brahma Loka is the seventh world from the earth. But when the Lord came in disguise of a poor hungry Brahmin to Shaktuprastha, he offered the Lord a flour-meal which was only worth of 7 rupees. According to the above account of human beings, the Lord can give a ticket for only 7 miles on earth. But the Lord gave him the ticket to Brahma Loka for the Rs. 7! Shaktuprastha sacrificed everything and nothing was leftover with him [after donating the flour worth Rs. 7]. This happened to be the total sacrifice of the fruit of work which is Sarva karmaphala tyaga as mentioned in the Gita.

Shankara went to the house of a poor householder. They gave a little food from their quantum of food that was prepared at that time. He gave blessings to them. Then Shankara went to another house of a poor lady. She searched the whole house and all she found was a small dry fruit. She immediately offered that to Shankara. Other than that fruit there was nothing to eat in the house. She could have kept that for herself or her family to pacify at least a trace of their hunger. Such sacrifice is Sarva karmaphala tyaga stated in the Gita. All these donors sacrificed without expecting anything in return from the Lord and hence, the sacrifice of all these people is very pure. But the sacrifice of Shaktuprastha and that lady was not only pure but also a total sacrifice as mentioned in the Gita. Shankara recited a prayer spontaneously called as Kanaka Dhara and gold was rained in her house immediately.

Similar was the sacrifice of Sudama to whom the Lord gave immense wealth. Sudama gave a handful of parched rice to the Lord even though his family was suffering with hunger for several days. The same Sudama in childhood had stolen a handful of parched rice, which was the share of the Lord and hence was hit by poverty. This shows that enjoying the wealth of others, especially the wealth of the Lord, by cheating like corruption or a business-minded attitude, will lead to severe punishment. Therefore sacrifice should be without aspiring for anything and also should be total to please the Lord. For the same reason, Jesus praised the sacrifice of one rupee of a widow, as the greatest among all the other heavy donations from rich people.

Limited Sacrifice to Humans

When the Lord came in the disguise of a poor Brahmin, Shaktuprastha started offering the food (flour) part by part. The guest [God] looked just like another poor human being. Since the guest was a learned Brahmin and a devotee, he was a deserving person for the sacrifice. This means that the sacrifice should be done to a deserving devotee. This is the social service (Pravritti) in which a deserving co-human being is served. In doing sacrifice to co-human beings, the deservingness of the receiver should be estimated. Here the receiver was a devotee, a learned scholar and was hungry. The criteria of deservingness of the receiver should be fixed in this way. You should not sacrifice to an undeserving person. Shaktuprastha sacrificed 1/4th of the flour in the beginning. This means that you should not exceed a certain limit in your sacrifice towards the society. The receiver was still hungry. But this is the maximum limit of social service, because the family members of Shaktuprastha were also suffering with hunger. This donation of only a small portion of the flour indicates a balanced judgment in social service and the sense of responsibility towards the family.

Shaktuprastha, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law were the four members of the family suffering from hunger for the past ten days in a drought. The guest looked like a co-human being who was hungry. But that alone cannot be the criterion [for deciding the deservingness of the person for donation] because poverty and hunger are the fruits of the sins of a soul. But the hungry man was a Brahmin (Brahma Jnani) who looked like a devotee and a learned scholar from his appearance and words. Therefore he deserved the charity. The flour had been divided in to four parts [for the sake of the four family members]. On seeing the guest Shaktuprastha gave only his share. But the guest still remained hungry. Shaktuprastha kept silent because he had no right to give the portions of the other three, even though it was his self-earned food. This means that the charity should not exceed 1/4th of the self-earned property for a householder having a family of 3 members [other than himself]. Therefore self-earned property should be divided into equal shares to the family members and one can donate only his share to the maximum extent provided the receiver is deserving.

[Seeing the guest still hungry,] The wife gave her share to the guest by her own will. The son and the daughter-in-law followed the same by their own will. Here the important point is that Shaktuprastha did not force his family members to donate their shares on the basis that it [the food] was his self-earned property. This shows the sense of responsibility towards his family in the mind of Shaktuprastha which is justified. But the sacrifice of every family member is a total sacrifice with respect to the individual members. Such a total sacrifice is not justified because the guest is not identified as Lord in disguise. The guest was only considered as a deserving devotee. In such a case how was a total sacrifice done by each member? Is it not a foolish social service? If the guest is recognized as the Lord, then there is no problem because the Lord will give back severalfold. When the receiver is only a deserving human being, such total sacrifice is foolish and is not justified. Since no food remained after the sacrifice, even their lives were in danger. This sacrifice amounts to suicide! The aim of human life is to please the Lord and not to please a co-human being. This aim is lost in such a sacrifice.

Total Sacrifice to God

The actual decision of total sacrifice was the result of a collective thinking of all the family members step by step. When Shaktuprastha gave his part, even though it was a total sacrifice from his side, he would get a share in the remaining 3/4th part of the flour. Obviously, if the guest had gone away satisfied after eating the first part [1/4th], the other 3 members would not have eaten their parts leaving Shaktuprastha; he would have certainly got some share in the remaining food. The donation of the first part was done by mutual discussion of the four members inside the kitchen. The guest was dining in the dining hall. Therefore the sacrifice of the part of Shaktuprastha to the co-human being was not a total sacrifice. This is not wrong because in social service, total sacrifice is not justified. It is against justice or Pravritti. The outsider should not be more important than the family and the self. The family members of Shaktuprastha were also as good a devotee and as hungry as the deserving guest.

When the guest was still expecting more, the second part was also given by Shaktuprastha’s wife only after mutual discussion. When the guest desired for the second part, there was a doubt in the family of Shaktuprastha whether the arrived guest was the Lord in disguise. The reason for this is that the guest had crossed the limits of justice or Pravritti. No human being, especially a devotee and learned scholar like the guest, would aspire for the second part in that situation. There were four members to eat the food and the guest was the fifth member. Actually the guest deserves only 1/5th portion. But he got 1/4th portion, which was more than his rightful share as per Pravritti. Once he asked for the 50% of the food [the wife’s share too], he had crossed justice. By crossing justice, the guest also knew that he would get sin. No learned guest would dare to do such a sin. Normally even an ordinary human being would not have asked for the second part.

The family members of Shaktuprastha had spiritual knowledge (Brahma Jnanam) and were experts in identifying the Lord in human form. The guts shown by the guest in crossing the boundary of Pravritti was a hint for identifying Him as the Lord. With the first part of food given already to the guest, the life of the guest could be saved. With the remaining food the life of each family member could be saved. If the guest were just greedy and were not caring for others, Shaktuprastha and his family members would have denied further food explaining the same. The life of any family member need not be sacrificed to satisfy the greediness of the guest. Human life is precious and meant for the realization of the Lord and service to Him. It need not be ended for the sake of meaningless social service (Pravritti). Therefore if the guest were only a human being and not the Lord, at this point itself, the guest should have been warned. The second part of food was given to the guest but the guest still desired for the third part. Now family members had confirmed that the guest was none other than God, who came to test them.

Assuming that the guest was greedy, he should have been satisfied by eating 50% of the food, because the other half had to be shared by four hungry devotees like him. Even the topmost greedy person would stop at this point. But the family members concluded that the guest was the Lord even while serving the 3rd part. The conclusion was reinforced when the fourth part was also desired by the guest. Even a person having the nature of a cruel animal would not have asked for the fourth part in that situation because if he ate the fourth part too, the four starving devotees would die as a result of the greed of the guest. As expected, the guest showed them His real form as the Lord and gave them Brahma Loka. Suppose the guest were really a cruel animal in nature and had cheated the family of Shaktuprastha and had gone away after eating the entire food. What would happen? The guest would be punished by God with suitable action. Shaktuprastha and his family members would have missed correctly identifying the Lord only by a very narrow margin. After all, in their mind, they were doing the total sacrifice towards the Lord alone. Therefore the Lord would protect them and give them Brahma Loka. Therefore there is no loss if you miss the Lord by a narrow margin, because you have put all your efforts in the analysis and did not believe everybody blindly in doing the sacrifice.

Therefore we should first start with social service limiting charity to one part. The family members should divide the property giving an equal share to the justice [charity]. This charity is only Pravritti but still it is related to God if you select a deserving devotee as a receiver. In the beginning, even the Lord in human form will test you only in Pravritti. He will appear as a deserving devotee and will test you in Pravritti. If you cannot climb the first step of Pravritti, how can you suddenly climb up to Nivritti? If the Lord appears in the beginning itself, everybody in the world will fall at His feet, surrendering everything. Therefore the Lord will first come as a deserving receiver in Pravritti. Sometimes the Lord comes as an undeserving receiver so that He can test you about your knowledge of Pravritti. If you serve the undeserving person, the Lord will be displeased with you even though He is in the disguise of same undeserving person.

Avoiding charity to undeserving persons and doing charity to the deserving person are the two important steps of Pravritti. The knowledge of both these aspects constitutes Pravritti. People blindly do charity without discrimination. Such charity is ignorance and sometimes results in the accumulation of sin, if the receiver is undeserving. These ignorant donors justify their actions in the name of kindness to everybody. Kindness to the deserving person is appreciated by God because it is for the welfare of the society. Kindness to the undeserving person harms the society and you are purchasing the sin [by such kindness]. If you give milk to the serpent it will bite you and others. By such charity, the balance of the society is lost and for this, you are responsible and you will be punished by God. Therefore analysis and knowledge are necessary in charity as the primary step.

The Veda says that one should have analysis and discrimination of the receiver, before doing charity (Samvida deyam). The hunger of a serpent should not be sympathized with because the serpent will never change its nature. If you are following Pravritti (dharma), good qualities and devotion should be sought in the receiver. Devotion is more important than good qualities, but if the devotion is selfless, good qualities naturally exist. The devotion of a selfish devotee is not true love for God. Ravana was a great devotee but his devotion was selfish and therefore such devotion is not true. If you are serving the devotees in Pravritti, God will certainly come to you one day in the form of a devotee. Without Pravritti, Nivritti is not possible. When God comes in human form, certainly He will give you a hint for His identification. If you have spiritual knowledge, you will certainly catch Him. He will neither cover Himself completely nor reveal Himself completely. He will be like a tough problem with a hint given to help solve it.

Suppose Shaktuprastha alone had spiritual knowledge. Then Shaktuprastha would sacrifice his share. In that case the family members may not be in Nivritti but may only be in Pravritti. They would not object to the sacrifice of the part of Shaktuprastha. But they would not sacrifice their parts. Of course they would offer food to Shaktuprastha from their shares. In that context, suppose the guest had asked for the other parts also. Shaktuprastha would have had a severe fight with his family members because Shaktuprastha alone would have recognized the guest as the Lord. Even if the food was not earned by Shaktuprastha, he would fight for the other shares to be donated to the guest because in Nivritti a spiritual person will always try for a total sacrifice to the Lord irrespective of justice in any angle. God is beyond both injustice and justice and He expects you also to rise above the justice and injustice in His case (Sarvadharmaan—Gita).

If the family members were not even in Pravritti, they would resist even Shaktuprastha for the sacrifice of his part. Such situations will complicate the tests more and more. The test becomes simple if all the family members are of the same spiritual level. Since all the members of the family of Shaktuprastha were of the same level, God gave Brahma Loka to all of them at once. Today in Kali Yuga, the entire family including Shaktuprastha [head of family] knows neither Pravritti nor Nivritti. They will ask the beggar to get out in the first instance itself and there is no question of the Lord coming to their house in disguise as a guest.

Natural Love for God

[Worldy] Justice (Pravritti) and devotion to God (Nivritti) are the two subsequent steps. The Purva Mimamsa (justice) of Jaimini and the Uttara Mimamsa (devotion) of Vyasa are the two subsequent parts of the same spiritual path. Dharma or justice is the atmosphere into which God descends down. You must first serve God’s devotees and please God. This will create an atmosphere for God to visit you one day or the other. A selfish demon does not create this atmosphere and wants to sacrifice something for God suddenly. He wants a jump to the second step suddenly. The reason for this is that he is selfish and wants to get maximum benefit from the Lord by such sudden and excessive devotion. Such devotion may be excessive but it is not true. It is like the sudden excessive love of a prostitute.

Ravana insulted Nandi, who is a devotee of Lord Shiva. But he sacrificed himself by cutting his head for the sake of Lord Shiva. He had no devotion for the devotees of Shiva. But he had spontaneous and infinite devotion for Shiva. His devotion for Shiva was also not true. His devotion for Shiva was only to get boons. The parents of Shiriyala were real devotees of Shiva who did not aspire for any boon from Shiva. They were worshipping the devotee of Shiva as Shiva. Shiva came in the form of a devotee and asked for the sacrifice of their son. They killed their son and offered him to the devotee of Shiva. When Shiva appeared [in His real form], they did not ask Him for any boon. Therefore for Nivritti, Pravritti stands as a background. Meera was worshipping the devotees of Krishna and finally Krishna came to her. Shiva did not come in the form of a devotee to Ravana to test his devotion because Shiva knew that the devotion of Ravana was only for boons. For such artificial intense devotion of Ravana, boons were given to him, but Ravana was destroyed soon. The devotion of those parents was tested and permanent salvation was given to them. Ravana neglected the devotee of Shiva because the devotee was not useful in any way except for sharing his divine experiences which were not required for Ravana. The divine experience is desired only when true love exists for the Lord. Ravana liked Lord Shiva because of His utility. Therefore people with the mind of utility like to jump directly into Nivritti because selfishness is hidden in them at least in their subconscious state.

The main aim of God is that you should have natural love for Him as you have for your child. You do not have the view of utility from the small kid who is your son. You are attracted towards him. You do not aspire for any benefit in return for your service and sacrifice of wealth to him. Your love is not disturbed even if he gives you serious troubles. Such natural love should come for God. But unfortunately the problem with God is that once you realize God, the utility aspect of God comes in your heart unconsciously. Everybody knows that God is omnipotent and this aspect brings excessive love for Him, which rises like a tsunami. If all that infinite love was natural, God would be immensely pleased with you. He is not impressed with that huge quantity of love. He starts searching the reality or naturality in it. This naturality is destroyed by the knowledge of the omnipotent aspect of God. Your child is impotent [in giving you any benefit] and depends on you for everything. But still your love flows for him; that is natural. Therefore if you have to develop natural or real love for God, He must hide or mask His aspect of omnipotence by appearing as a human being.

The human form of God masks His omnipotence so that your love for Him can then be real and natural. But unfortunately, when the human form masks His omnipotence completely and appears as an ordinary human being, a trace of even artificial love does not appear for Him because He is just an outsider, and not even your family member. In that case, even the rules of Pravritti do not allow you to show more natural love for Him compared to your child. In fact natural love will not arise at all in your heart and there is no need for the rules of Pravritti to oppose it. Krishna was the son of Yashoda who was just a neighbor to the Gopikas. Why should a Gopika love Him more than her own son? There is no need of even a trace of natural love for Him because He is an outsider and even not a relative. If at all some love arises, it should only be artificial because He was the son of the ruler of that village. If the mask is removed [Krishna reveals that He is God], the reality or naturality of the love disappears. If the mask completely covers God, even a trace of artificial love will not rise in your heart because He is just a co-human being, who is as good as any outsider. Love for God appears but it is not natural due to the appearance of God’s omnipotence spontaneously. For an ordinary human being, no love will be generated.

Now suppose God becomes your son like Rama in the case of Dasharatha. Even now the problem is not solved because Dasaratha showed natural love for Rama as his son and not as God because God [in Rama] remained completely covered by the mask of the human form. When Krishna removed the mask by showing the whole world in His mouth to His mother, not only the naturality of the love, but also the slightest trace of love disappeared in her because she was shocked due to fear and astonishment. Therefore the Lord immediately covered Himself with the mask and also made her forget the entire situation. Thus there is one problem if the human incarnation reveals Himself as God and there is another problem if the human incarnation covers Himself completely. Similarly Arjuna was shocked when the Vishwarupam was shown to him. Therefore the only way for God is to cover Himself with a mask and remove it now and then for a fraction of a second to give a hint. The aim of such behavior is to reveal Himself as God but at the same time not letting the love and its naturality dissappear. This is a very difficult training like introducing poison drop by drop.

You should not misunderstand that He is playing this game for His entertainment. Everything is done only to uplift you. Your upliftment is the primary aim and the entertainment of the game is only a secondary aim which is accidentally associated. By such sadhana you will finally reach the stage of Hanuman, Radha, Lakshmana etc., in which you will have the undisturbed natural love while simultaneously recognizing Him as God. You will be aware of the omnipotence but it will not create any awareness of its utility in your mind. God loves such natural love of the devotee while the devotee recognizes Him as the omnipotent God. Some ignorant people think that God is doing all this only for His entertainment and therefore He is cruel. Without the primary aim, which is the upliftment of devotees, the aspect of entertainment is not present. If you say that only the aspect of upliftment should be there without the aspect of entertainment, which is only accidentally associated, that shows your sadism or intolerance of the enjoyment of others even when there is no loss to you.

Direct Worship

The direct worship of the human incarnation of God gives satisfaction both to the subject [you] and object [God]. When you offer food to the human form of the Lord, you have the satisfaction of offering it and the Lord has the satisfaction of enjoying that food. But when you offer the food to a statue of a past human incarnation, you may have the satisfaction of offering the food, but the satisfaction of receiving the food is not there in the statue. The angle of the worship of a statue differs from one devotee to the other. One angle is that you are so attracted towards the past incarnation so that you want to serve it directly. But unfortunately you missed the opportunity because you are in the present human generation and the Lord is not there in the present human generation, in the same human form [He is in a different human form]. You like the Lord only in that particular dress. But that dress is now destroyed and cannot be regenerated. Your liking for the Lord in that human form is a combined love for the Lord and that particular dress. Therefore there is no alternative for you except to worship a statue or photograph of that same human form.

You are not recognizing the present human incarnation of the same Lord. You may like the present external dress of the Lord but you are not recognizing the internal Lord. Therefore your love for Him is only the love for a co-human being, which is just the external dress. Even if you recognize the present human incarnation, you may like the inner Lord but not the external dress. Even in that case, your love or devotion is not full. But if you carefully analyse, the statue or photograph is only a representative of the past external dress of the Lord and not even the actual dress. The Lord is not in the photograph or statue (Natasya pratima—Veda). It is not even the exact external dress but your liking to that external dress is so fantastic that you treat the photograph of that external dress as exactly the same external dress and also imagine that the Lord is present in this statue or photograph. You further imagine that the food offered by you is taken by the Lord. Therefore your worship is just a net of imaginations because neither is the statue the exact human form of the Lord, nor is the Lord present in the statue and nor has the Lord eaten your food. Thus if you analyse your devotion, you are just mad for that particular external dress and not for the internal Lord. This cannot be real devotion to the Lord.

There is another angle of greediness in the worship of statues in the case of some other type of devotees. You have the love for the Lord, you are not mad of the external dress, you have recognized the Lord in the present human form (dress) and you want to serve the Lord and get His grace. Everything is alright with you. But you are very greedy. You want to get the grace of the Lord, but not even a single morsel of your offered food should be taken by anybody including the Lord; you want to keep it for yourself. You want to eat the entire food but at the same time you want to attain the grace of the Lord like others. You think that others are fools who offer food to the present human form of the Lord or to God’s devotees in the name of the Lord, for attaining the grace of the Lord. You are a genius who is attaining the same grace of the Lord without losing an iota of your food. The worship of a statue or photograph is the best path for such type of the topmost greedy people. They go one step further and declare that they are the absolute God (Aham Brahmasmi). While eating the food they offer the same to the Lord present inside them. By this, the doors of sacrifice are completely closed from all sides. Thus there are these two types of devotees who worship statues and photographs.

The first type of devotees are ignorant or innocent and are not greedy. But they are mad about a particular external dress of the Lord that was destroyed in the past. They worship a statue or photograph of the same human form of the Lord, imagining it to be the actual Lord present in a living body. They treat the past human incarnation as the present human incarnation due to their madness. Their devotion is blind and without analysis, but they derive happiness and satisfaction in their hearts, which cannot be denied. A mother who is very fond of her dead child becomes mad and treats a photograph or a doll as her child and lives with it as if it is alive. She is deriving all the satisfaction and pleasure in her madness. Such devotees are not greedy. They are generous and good but they are simply mad without the analysis of the truth and the divine knowledge. Hanuman played a role of such a mad devotee by not recognizing Lord Krishna. He was only thinking of the past incarnation, Rama. He did not like the new name ‘Krishna’ and the new form of the Lord in the next human generation. But finally Hanuman recognized Krishna as the same Lord present in Rama. All these mad devotees should take the concluding part of this story. The story did not simply end with Hanuman not recognizing Krishna and living in the illusion of worshipping the past form of Rama. Had the story ended there, the state of these mad devotees who worship the statues of previous human forms of Lord would be really justified. You must recognize the concluding part of the story in which Hanuman left the illusion of the past external dress (Rama) and recognized the same Lord in the present existing dress (Krishna). This does not mean that Hanuman became ignorant and then realized the truth. He just acted in the role of the present mad devotees who worship statues and showed them the right path.

All these mad devotees were present then too in different human bodies with different names. The same history repeats itself. It is better to offer food to devotees of the Lord than to offer it to statue of previous incarnations of the Lord. The king feels happy if his son is honoured. Similarly a devotee is very dear to God and God feels happy, if His devotee is worshipped. The king will be more pleased with the worship of his son than the worship of his photograph or statue.