NEVER THINK OF THE DEITY AS MADE OF STONE OR WOOD

Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

Bombay

10 November, 1975

 

 

To,

Jayatirtha das and Manjuali dasi

Los Angeles

 

 

My dear Jayatirtha das and Manjuali dasi,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your card dated October 25, 1975 along with the beautiful photographs of Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakadhisa of New Dvaraka. So do it nicely. I have invited Krishna and He may not be insulted by disrespectful behavior. I have introduced this system of Deity worship amongst the non-believers, the atheists, the mlecchas, the yavanas and I prayed to Krishna that I am inviting You to come, so please, because You are seated in their hearts, please give them the intelligence how to serve You so that You may not be inconvenienced. I have introduced this system to the mlecchas, the yavanas and the lowest and the fallen, but still it is successful. I think that you are doing nicely.

The Deity of the Alachua Temple

The Deity of the Alachua Temple

As soon as one thinks that he is greater than his spiritual master that is the greatest offense. Krishna will give one everything, but to these offenders everything is lost. I thank you very much. You know how to dress and how to worship and I am very much pleased. It is a question of heart how to please Krishna. One simply has to agree to be trained up how to do it. You have done very nicely. I am very much pleased. And now you should teach others how to do it. This is very important business, Deity worship. The more the Deity is decorated, the more your heart will be decorated with Krishna consciousness. This is the way for the neophyte devotee how to absorb his mind in Krishna consciousness.

Never think of the Deity as made of stone or wood. Every worshipper must remember that Krishna is personally present. He is simply kindly presenting Himself before us in a way so that we can handle Him. That is His mercy, otherwise He is unapproachable.

atah sri-krishna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

sevon mukhe hi jivadau svayam eva sphuraty adah

[Brs. 1.2.234]

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Padma Purana).

I hope this meets you in good health.

Your ever well wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

 

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