Seeing Deity as a Person

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.27.24 - Seeing Deity as a Person (download mp3)
by Nanda Dulal Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.27.24
tayātma-bhūtayā piṇḍe
vyāpte sampūjya tan-mayaḥ
āvāhyārcādiṣu sthāpya
nyastāṅgaṁ māṁ prapūjayet

The devotee conceives of the Supersoul, whose presence surcharges the devotee’s body, in the form corresponding to his realization. Thus the devotee worships the Lord to his full capacity and becomes fully absorbed in Him. By touching the various limbs of the Deity and chanting appropriate mantras, the devotee should invite the Supersoul to join the Deity’s form, and then the devotee should worship Me.

The body of a devotee is pervaded by the Supreme Lord just as a house is pervaded by the glow of a lamp. Just as one gestures in a friendly way to indicate that a guest should enter one’s house, one touches the body of the Deity, chants appropriate mantras, and enthusiastically invites the Supersoul to enter the form of the Deity. Since both the Deity and the Supersoul are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are not different. One form of the Lord can immediately become manifest in another.

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