The Lord is manifest in the picture or image that one worships, but is this due to any special excellence of the picture or image? No. The picture, the photo, the image — these are and remain as picture, photo, and image. The fact is that on account of the intensity of the devotion of the devotee, the Lord cannot desist from manifesting Himself for that person. For that reason, He assumes — in stone, wood, or paper — the form that the devotee contemplates and meditates upon and worships. But you have to pray to the Lord with one-pointed concentration. This type of single-mindedness comes only out of the pure quality (satwa-guna), and that again is the product of meditation. Therefore, you must cultivate good qualities, and in order to develop these, you should desire the company of the good (satsang). Your real companions, from whom you derive the maximum good, are those who talk and discourse about the Lord, about truth, about the service of others, and about love that considers all as equal. - Dhyana Vahini, Ch 9.