Importance of Arcanam

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva. 

While explaining about the nine process of devotional service Prahlad Maharaj says in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 7.5.23 as follows..

śrī-prahrāda uvāca
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) — these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

Among the above nine process - arcanam means worshiping the Deity. Deity worship is very essential for householders. The bliss and benefit of having Deity at home can only be experienced individually and indeed cannot be expressed in few words. Deities regulate our life and force our dirty, lazy minds to keep things clean. They eliminate the feeling of voidness in the home and our lives and keeps us going at all times. We remember our Maharaj giving the example of how even an adult feel scared to enter a big hall when its dark - whereas if we have Deity of Lord, even a small child enters the hall bravely without any fear. Such is the power and potency of the Deity. The process and mood with which we should worship the Deity is very nicely explained by His Divine Grace in his purport to the above verse.

He says - "Especially for householder devotees who are opulent in material possessions, the path of Deity worship is strongly recommended. An opulent householder devotee who does not engage his hard-earned money in the service of the Lord is called a miser. One should not engage paid brahmanas to worship the Deity. If one does not personally worship the Deity but engages paid servants instead, he is considered lazy, and his worship of the Deity is called artificial. An opulent householder can collect luxurious paraphernalia for Deity worship, and consequently for householder devotees the worship of the Deity is compulsory."

Having Deity at home is to revive our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord. So, understanding this, we should serve the Deities with our own endeavor and not employ others for serving Them. If we keep servants for serving our Deities at home, then even after millions of births, we will not be able to revive our relationship with Him. We might very well see that even in case of our own relatives like parents, grand-parents or our children, the loving reciprocation which we experience, the satisfaction which we get when we serve them directly is much more than when we employ care-takers for the same.

Our hunger cannot be satisfied if we ask someone else to eat for us. Similarly we will never remember Krishna - if we keep delegating to others, even the basic service which we are supposed to do Him. Ambarish Maharaj was the king of the whole planet and had so many people under his control. But still He used to clean the temple with his own hands (karau harer mandira-mārjanādishu - SB 9.4.18-20), bathe the Deities, offer flowers to Them, perform pooja etc. 

We are nothing when compared to Ambarish Maharaj's powerful position. So, let us atleast sincerely endeavor to serve our Deities at home to the best of our capabilities. Indeed, the only way to control our wavering senses, is to engage them in the service of Deity who is non-different from the Lord of Senses - Hrshikesha.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.