Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7, Verse 21

यो यो यां यां तनुं भक्त: श्रद्धयार्चितुमिच्छति |
तस्य तस्याचलां श्रद्धां तामेव विदधाम्यहम् || 21||

yo yo yāṁ yāṁ tanuṁ bhaktaḥ śhraddhayārchitum ichchhati
tasya tasyāchalāṁ śhraddhāṁ tām eva vidadhāmyaham

yo yo yam yam tanum bhaktah shraddhayarchitum ichchhati
tasya tasyachalam shraddham tam eva vidadhamyaham

yaḥ yaḥwhoever; yām yāmwhichever; tanumform; bhaktaḥdevotee; śhraddhayāwith faith; architumto worship; ichchhatidesires; tasya tasyato him; achalāmsteady; śhraddhāmfaith; tāmin that; evacertainly; vidadhāmibestow; ahamI

Translation

BG 7.21: Whatever celestial form a devotee seeks to worship with faith, I steady the faith of such a devotee in that form.

Commentary

We find countless devotees around us engaging in devotion toward the celestial gods, with unflinching faith and wonder, how people develop such high faith in the lower form of worship? In this verse, Shree Krishna answers this and says that He is the creator of the faith in the celestial gods as well. When He finds people worshiping the devatās for the fulfillment of their material desires, He helps them in their devotion and steadies their faith. The ability to create śhraddhā or faith is beyond the capacity of the celestial gods; it is the indwelling Paramātmā or the Supreme Soul who inspires faith in the hearts of the devotees.  Later in the Bhagavad Gita verse 15.15, He states, “I am seated in the hearts of all living beings, and from me come memory, knowledge, and understanding.”

Shree Krishna had earlier mentioned that those who are in true-knowledge engage in the highest and the most beneficial kind of śhraddhā that is to worship the Supreme Lord. Then one might ask, why the Supreme Lord creates faith in people toward the celestial gods—is it not inappropriate?

Let us look at this example of parents giving dolls to their small children. The child plays with these dolls as if they were real people and develops love and affection towards them. The parents are aware of the child’s innocence, yet they encourage this play to help the child develop the qualities of love, care, and affection towards other people. These qualities will help children become socially responsible when they grow up.

Similarly, our eternal parent God is aware of our ignorance. Hence, when He finds that some souls engage in worship of the celestial gods for material gains, He helps them by steading their faith. He is aware that this experience will help in the evolution of the soul, and once they acquire true-knowledge that the Supreme Lord is the summum bonum or the highest good of everything, they will surrender to Him.