My explanation on the basis of Upanishadic thought to those who look down upon those believing in Idol Worship and rituals: An answer to Western and Islamic propaganda against Hinduism
1) The Devtas or Devis that we worship or invoke are there in the stages or levels of consciousness. All subjective experiences such as thoughts, feelings, emotions etc are there in your consciousness and not in brain. That is why Rishi Ved Vyas said, ” You are not in this universe, the universe is in you. You are not in the body, the body is in you.”
2) So, the rituals that we perform are not empty rituals. We actually stimulate our consciousness by it.
3) Ritual or invocation of a deity is a way of trapping energy of the universe and then channelising it through your own intention where intention becomes the organising power that fulfils the intention.
4) When you invoke say Lakshmi through Dhyan, Dharna and Samadhi (Transcendence), then Lakshmi brings abundance.
5) Let us now understand Ganesha who has Riddhi and Siddhi beside him. Siddhis are super-normal powers in human consciousness. Riddhi is influence over the elements and forces of the cosmos. He has a big tummy to digest our problems. We have a Rat as his vehicle because greed is always a temptation and you know what does a rat do anything it starts eating.
So, let us not get trapped in Western or Islamic propaganda that those doing idol worship or traditional rituals are inferior people.