Q: It is said that saints like Guru Nanak, Kabir and others were very much against idol worship. Bhagavan has explained that such worship is useful for some people at a certain stage of their sadhana.
I have read that a true jnani will never criticize anything. Does this mean that these saints were not jnanis? Or is it that their followers didn't understand their teachings correctly?
AS: There is no doubt that Guru Nanak and Kabir were jnanis.
If mumukshus [people who want Self-realization] who are striving hard for liberation hold onto a form of God, it often happens that their progress towards the truth is completely stopped. So, out of compassion for such beings, the saints criticized idol worship.