Srimad Bhagavatam 10.84.10-11 - Krishna-Bandhan Priya Thakur (download mp3)
by Dwarkadhish Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
kim svalpa-tapasam nrnam
How is it that people who are not very austere and who recognize God only in His Deity form in the temple can now see you, touch you, inquire from you, bow down to you, worship your feet and serve you in other ways?
na hy am-mayani tirthani
na deva mrc-chila-mayah
te punanty uru-kalena
darsanad eva sadhavah
Mere bodies of water are not the real sacred places of pilgrimage, nor are mere images of earth and stone the true worshipable deities. These purify one only after a long time, but saintly sages purify one immediately upon being seen.
Because the Personality of Godhead is absolute — the Supreme Spirit — any representation of Him, whether manifested in stone, paint, sound or any other authorized medium, is nondifferent from His original form in the topmost spiritual planet, Goloka Vrndavana. But ordinary demigods are not absolute, being infinitesimal spirit souls, and thus representations of the demigods are not identical with them. Worship of demigods or ritual bathing in a sanctified place gives only limited benefit to those who lack transcendental faith in the Supreme Lord.
On the other hand, great Vaisnava saints like Vyasadeva, Narada and the four Kumaras are always absorbed in Krsna consciousness, and thus they are veritable moving tirthas, places of pilgrimage. Even a moment’s association with them, especially by hearing their glorification of the Lord, can deliver one from all material entanglement. As King Yudhisthira said to Vidura,
tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho
“My Lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage.” (Bhag. 1.13.10)