Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
This is in continuation of the previous offering titled "Glories of Lord Varadaraja" wherein we saw how
1. Lord Varadaraja appeared from the sacrificial fire during the Ashwamedha yajna conducted by Lord Brahmaji in Kanchipuram.
2. By mercy of Brahmaji Lord Athivarada agreed to give darshan to all and later by His sweet will decided to give darshan once in 40 years.
3. When we take darshan of the Lord, by His glance He gives us inspiration to serve and by His smile He nourishes and protects our desires to serve.
Now we shall see further.
Few days ago, when Lord Athivaradar was taken out of temple pond after 40 years on June 28 2019, His transcendental body was covered with green algae. And the algae were all very fragrant. So just like how Lord's body is spiritual - saccidaananada vigraha - full of eternity, knowledge and bliss - so is the body of the Deity. The Lord mercifully descends in the archa-vigraha form to accept service from His dear devotees. The Lord being "aatma-raama" is not in need of any of our service. But out of His causeless mercy on conditioned souls, just to give us an opportunity to purify our existence, Lord appears in deity form. Krishna's names, forms, leela are all non-different from Him. So anything which comes in touch with Supreme Lord becomes transcendental. Those who are devotees can very easily appreciate the transcendental nature of Deity. For those who don't believe in Lord's form - it is not possible for them to accept/understand/appreciate this truth. Such people with poor fund of knowledge decry the greatness of the Deity and keep doubting the transcendental nature. Therefore they remain always disturbed both in this life and next. Deity may be made of wood, stone or any metal. But as soon as Lord enters the archa form - it no longer remains material. Normal human body would stink when submerged in water even for few days. But Deity is transcendental.
In this regard Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions in the purport to verse 5.17.14 "Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura informs us that the demigods worship the Supreme Lord in His various Deity forms (arcaa-vigraha) because except in the spiritual world, the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be directly worshiped in person. In the material world, the Lord is always worshiped as the arcaa-vigraha, or Deity in the temple. There is no difference between the arcaa-vigraha and the original person, and therefore those who are engaged in worshiping the Deity in the temple in full opulence, even on this planet, should be understood to be directly in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead without a doubt. As enjoined in the shastra, arcye vishnau shilaa-dhir gurushu nara-matih: "No one should treat the Deity in the temple as stone or metal, nor should one think that the spiritual master is an ordinary human being." One should strictly follow this shastric injunction and worship the Deity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without offenses. The spiritual master is the direct representative of the Lord, and no one should consider him an ordinary human being. By avoiding offenses against the Deity and the spiritual master, one can advance in spiritual life, or Krishna consciousness."
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi
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