• Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    First of all we must know difference between an idol and deity. 

    Let us read what Srila Prabhupada has to say about it.

    Srila Prabhupada explains that Deity worship is authorized by God while idol worship is not. He uses the analogy of the mailbox. If you put mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox it will go to the destination. If you make your own box, and paint it red and blue and write 'U.S. Mail" on it, the letter won't go anywhere, because the box is not authorized by the postal service.

    Chapter 12 text 5 BG purport:- 

    God has an authorized representation in the Deity form, which is called arca-vigraha. This arca-vigraha is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. God will accept service through that form. The Lord is omnipotent and all-powerful; therefore, by His incarnation as arca-vigraha, He can accept the services of the devotee, just to make it convenient for the man in conditioned life.

     Worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form within the temple is not idol worship. There is evidence in the Vedic literature that worship may be saguna and nirguna-of the Supreme possessing or not possessing attributes. Worship of the Deity in the temple is saguna worship, for the Lord is represented by material qualities. But the form of the Lord, though represented by material qualities such as stone, wood, or oil paint, is not actually material. That is the absolute nature of the Supreme Lord.

    To conclude ...deity is worshiped and not idol. Idol or statues of politicians or famous personalities are installed without any procedures ... But deity in the temple is installed according to Strict Sampradaya traditional ways abiding by the rules in the scriptures by a pure devotee of Lord, and it is called PranaPratishtapana.

    Prana means life. Prana Prathisthapana means instilling invoking life into the idol to make it deity. Now the deity is no longer treated as idol or putla It is treated as a person sitting with life in it. So, we do devotional service and offer bhog and do aarti etc. thinking Krishna is sitting there. 

    Many devotees as quoted by Radha Rasmayi DD mata ji have experienced the deity reciprocating. There are many pastimes also showing the proof of devotees faith in the deity.

    Faith maybe blind but the experiences are truth. 

    Lord has many forms. One form of the lord is Archa Vigraha form

    God is present everywhere they claim ( those who are against Idol worship) but fail to see God in idols and animals. They mercilessly kill animals and they cannot see God in stones. ( EXCEPT IN KABA) They circumbulate around a stone. and they keep the photos of the KABA ( MECCA ) at homes. 

    Show God said Hiranyakashyapa to his son. Is your God present in this pillar? Show HIM and he banged the pillar with his mace. Little Prahalada didn't fear and said..Yes He is there without hesitation. Lord is Omnipresent. and it is proved. As He emerged out of a pillar also.

    It is the devotees faith that can turn even a stone into Lord. A devotee alone can see feel and experience Lord in everything and everywhere. Not an ordinary person. For an ordinary person the stone might look nothing..or no value but for a Devotee it is a Gem of all stones.

    Once Vivekananda was questioned by a Muslim king that how can Hindus do idol worship it is absurd.

    Vivekanada gave a fitting reply. He asked the soldiers to get him the picture of the King made. When the soldiers brought the painting of the King , Vivekananda asked them to spit over the picture. They were frightened. Then Vivekananda said why can't you do it it is just a picture .. They said we can see the image of the King in it. If the lifeless painting is depicting the King why not the deity made of brass, wood or any metal or stone..which are made according to the descriptions of Lord given in Srimad bhagwatam can be called as Lord?? Especially after prana pratishtapana procedure and other rituals done to invoke life in that deity??

    Hare Krishna.

    About His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada |
  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


    I will give you few arguments which you can place in front of such people.

    1) If God is all pervading, He is everywhere, then how is it that He is not in the deity?

    2) The deity is made of certain metal, or sand or mud or picture, as authorized by God Himself in Srimad Bhagawatam. We do not whimsically call anything the form of the lord and start to worship. Like any box is not post box. If you want your letter to reach its destination, you have to put the letter in the box designated as post box, right? Same way, if we want to worship the lord in deity form, there are clear prescribed guidelines - what should be the composition of the deity - whether metal, stone, sand etc. The form of the lord has also been extensively described lots of times in SB. The lord is made in that form and with the decorations as described in the scriptures. This deity form is the representation of the lord and non different from the lord.

    There are so many instances of deities reciprocating with devotees - Kshir chor Gopinath, Sakshi Gopal, Tota Gopinath, Allarnath temple, many. If the deity was different from the lord, then these pastimes cannot be explained.

    Best of luck prabhuji.

    Do revert with how the convincing session went.


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD

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