Vigraha Is Not a Doll
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Saksad Vrajendra Nandan: vigraha (Deity) is not a doll. This is why it is told: sraddhaya sri murtir sevan [worship the Deity with faith]. It is going on everywhere, but you must have sraddha, full faith, when you give an offering to the Deity.
You know Arjun Mishra's story (when Lord Himself came to him as a boy) and there is also another story. There was a husband and a wife, and they had a son. Every day they did puja, offered the bhog, did everything. Their Gurudev had told them, "Offer bhog and always take prasadam," but they did not have so much strong faith that Krishna was actually accepting it—you give something to Krishna, but you see that the same plate comes back from the altar room, so how can one say that Krishna takes it?
One day this husband and wife told their son, Raghunandan Thakur, to offer the bhog, and they went away somewhere. Raghunandan made the offering, but he saw the Deity was not taking it. He took a gong stick and charged the Deity, "Hey! My mother gives You food every day and You take it, and when I am giving You, You are not taking! Today a little boy comes to offer and You are neglecting him! Why are You not taking from me?!" He talked to the Deity like this, and the Deity began to take the food.
His parents came back from the market and saw that all food was gone. His mother asked,
"Where is the prasad?"
"Prasad? Today you cooked less, and Krishna, the Deity, has taken it all."
"What? Thakur [Deity] never takes it when I offer it. You must have given it to some of your friends, otherwise where could it all be gone?"
"No, I did not do anything wrong." He began crying, and His mother was perplexed.
In the evening, she finished cooking and sent her son to again go and make the offering. Raghunandan again went there and spoke to the Deity, "Now eat! At noon time You ate, and now You are not eating... Eat, otherwise my mother will beat me! She will not believe me. Take it!"
His mother heard his voice and looked through a hole in the door. She saw he was talking to the Deity and the Deity was taking the bhog. She became senseless.
This is happening.
And Sachi Mata also was cooking and crying, "If only Nimai was here today, He would take it... He likes this and this..." She was thinking about it and crying.
Narad Goswami asked the Lord, "Where do You stay, Prabhu?" The Lord replied, "I stay at Srivas Pandit's house, at Sachi Mata's kitchen, where Nitai is dancing, and at Raghav Pandit's house (his sister Damayanti cooks for Me every day)—I stay in these four places."
"Nimai likes this so much, but He is not here, who will eat it? Who will take it?" Sachi Mata always thinks like this, and tears come to her eyes. She cooks and cries.
Mahaprabhu sent Damodar Pandit to Sachi Mata, another time He sent Nityananda Prabhu, and another time Jagadananda Pandit with some cloth. Mahaprabhu asked Jagadananda Pandit once to go and tell His mother that on a certain day Sachi Mata cooked certain dishes, and He came and ate it all. Jagadananda told that to Sachi Mata. On that day, Sankranti day (Sankranti means the end of the Paus month, winter season, December-January, we also make some special pitha, cakes), Sachi Mata cooked patishapta, saruchakli, and many other things for Nimai.
Sometimes with tears she offered the bhog and saw the plate was empty. Nimai had come and eaten everything, but she thought maybe she had forgotten to offer. She went and looked into the pots, but the pots were full (you can see there was an illusion). Sometimes she also suspected her daughter-in-law, Vishnupriya, "Maybe she has eaten it!"
Krishna takes everything that a devotee gives Him. Sometimes Krishna even takes banana skin—Vidura's wife once gave banana skin to Krishna and He took it. Do you see? The Lord takes it. But those who are not devotees cannot give anything to the Lord—they give something, but in lieu of that they ask for something, they have some desire within, some asking mood. That is not niskam bhajan, niskam seva—it is sakam. When you give something, do not keep any desires, do not ask for anything. We must have unconditional surrender, unconditional mood. Everything is causeless mercy, ahaituki krpa.
Also, Nimai went to Sridhar Pandit's house and asked for some water, but Sridhar Pandit did not have a proper glass—there was a hole in it; but Nimai took water from it. Another time, Mahaprabhu took thor mocha [banana stem, banana flower] from him. It was His favourite, and He would play with Sridhar Pandit—He would take that thor, but Sridhar Pandit would not want to give it. Nimai would pull it from Sridhar Pandit's hands, and because thor is slippery, sometimes Sridhar Pandit would lose it and fall down.
In Mahaprabhu's time, Mahaprabhu's Deity installation happened in three places—Vishnupriya's Deity, Gauri Das Pandit's Deity in Kalna, and Dvija Vaninath's Deity. After that, Vrindavan Das Thakur installed the Deity—he always served Nitai, Nityananda, and Mahaprabhu's form came later, after Mahaprabhu had left. In Kalna, Gauri Das Pandit's Deities are self-manifest, and also in many other places, the Deity manifested Himself.
The Lord wants our service. He comes to rescue the whole universe, and He comes in a Deity form—sometimes Himself, sometimes through His devotees. Today is the day when Radha Raman Sundar came to the Kaikhali temple through Gurudev. Some Deities came through Guru Maharaj; some Deities were installed by Gurudev. Also Mahaprabhu's Deity is now in various countries. I am thinking that some places are a few thousands of miles away, but Mahaprabhu went there, and now they are worshipping the Deity there. How merciful the Deity is, how merciful Mahaprabhu is, and how merciful Nityananda Prabhu is —They rescue the jiva-souls all over the world...
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