Srimad Bhagavatam 11.27.13 - Importance of Deity Worship (download mp3)
by Radhanath Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty
udvāsāvāhane na staḥ
The Deity form of the Lord, who is the shelter of all living entities, can be established in two ways: temporarily or permanently. But a permanent Deity, having been called, can never be sent away, My dear Uddhava.
The devotees of the Lord understand themselves to be the Lord’s eternal servitors; recognizing the Deity to be the Lord Himself, they permanently install the Deity and engage in perpetual worship. The impersonalists, however, regard the eternal form of the Lord as a temporary manifestation of illusion. In fact, they regard the Deity form as a mere stepping-stone in their ambitious program to become God. Materialistic persons of whatever stripe consider the Lord to be their order supplier, and so they make temporary arrangements for religious ceremonies to achieve temporary material sense gratification. This temporary mode of worship is favored by those desiring to exploit the Personality of Godhead for their personal ends, whereas the loving devotees in Kṛṣṇa consciousness eternally engage in worship of the Personality of Godhead. They install permanent Deities meant to be worshiped perpetually.