The Deities in Vedic Temples are not idols, they are real. There is a life force in all the Deities in Vedic Temples which were properly installed following the Vedic scriptural procedures.
In new Temples, after the installation of the Murtis (images). There is a “Prana Prathistha” ceremony, wherein mantras are chanted to infuse the Murtis with life energy or prana. The energy of the respective form of God or His devotees is invoked in the Murtis, making them alive and then called ‘Deity’. So all these Deities have the divine present in them in every Temple. Millions of times, the form of God or His devotees in the Deities have come out and given darshan, and performed a pastime, for the pure devotees.
There are millions of accounts of God coming out from His Deity form to give darshan to His pure devotees. Here are some real accounts.
– Durga Devi in form of Kali use to come out from her Murti and play and have prasadam with Saint Ramakrishna Paramahansa in Calcutta, Dakshineshwar Temple.
– Durga appeared to Saint Bamakhepa as mother Tara in a place called Tarapith in Bengal.
– Durga as Mother Baglamukhi appeared to the Pandavas at a place near Madhya Pradesh.
– Durga as Mother Kamakhya appeared to Baba Bhoothnathji in Assam .
– In Rameshwaram, Lord Rama installed the Shivalinga and Lord Shiva appeared from that Deity form.
– In Kashi, Lord Shiva’s Deity form authenticated the Book “Ram Charit Manas” written by Saint Tulsi Das.
– In Kashi, Shankaracharya had the Darshan of Ma Annapoorna and Lord Shiva.
– In Gujarat, Lord Shiva appeared to the famous Saint Narsi Mehta . On the direction of Lord Shiva, Narsi became a great devotee of Lord Krishna.
– In Maharastra, the famous AshtaVinayak or eight forms of Ganesha’s Deities at different places also has a history where Ganesha gave Darshan and guided the devotees.
– Lord Hanuman appeared from his deity form to give darshan to Saint Tulsidas.
– Sant Gyandasji saw Lord Krishna in Person right in front of him at Raman Reti Temple, Vrindavan.
– Rupa Goswami saw Radharani at Ter Kabamba, Vrindavan.
– Sanatan Goswami saw Lord Krishna, blissfully standing before Him
– Saint Tulsidas saw Sri Hanuman, Sri Lakshmana, Lord Ram, Lord Shiva, and Lord Krishna.
– Saint Bamakhepa saw Mother Tara at Tarapeeth, Calcutta.
– Saint Ramakrishna saw Mother Kali
– Sri Sankaracharya saw Lord Narsimhadeva, and Lord Shiva at Kashi.
– Bharat Maharaj saw Mother Kali come out from her Deity form and appear before him
– The Deities in some Temples of Lord Krishna are actual transformations of Lord Krishna Himself into a Deity form.
- There are also billions of occurrences of flowers and jewelry falling from Deities to some distance away from them. In my own home, we saw a flower placed in the hands of Radharani Deity, which was 5 inches above the floor, moved at great speed to a distance of more than 17 inches, when I was doing arti. There were many flowers and only one moved. Radharani basically offered the flower to us and showed that she is actually present in her Deity form. This was a real miracle, because based on physics, if an item is dropped from a height of 5 inches, it’s impossible for it to fall 17 inches away, especially if it’s a flower, since flowers would instantly stick on landing due to it’s flat structure on one side.
Does God eat food offered to Him?
Yes. The food that is offered to the Deities in Temples, is actually eaten by the Deities. The foolish will say, if the food is eaten then why is it still on the plate? The foolish will compare themselves with God. They fail to realize that God is great and we are not. God does not have to eat with His mouth like we do, He can eat simply by glancing at the food. God can also completely eat everything on the plate, but still it will appear to us that nothing has been touched, this is the greatness of God. He can eat everything but still the food remains. For us 1 minus 1 is zero, but for God 1 minus 1 is 1. On millions of occasions, God has also appeared from His Deity form and eaten with His mouth and physically removed the food at the request of His pure devotees. God proves that He is merciful by accepting the offerings of His pure devotees.
“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a ﬂower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.26)
As recently as on 21 September 1995, millions of people saw Vedic Deities in Temples across the world, drinking milk offered to them. I personally witnessed this on live TV. This has happened millions of times to millions of people. Only those who are qualified can understand and see God in Person, standing in front of them.
For the owls who refuse to look up and for the narrow minded who cannot see anything outside their tiny well. God will be just a character in a book, completely unknown, unproven, unseen, and unknowable.
God wants to be worshipped in His image Form
“Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krsna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 8.7)
“But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.22)
Some religions preach against image worship, because they have ZERO description of God and thus it’s impossible for them to correctly make an image of God, thus they are advised not to try.
“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.34)
“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 18.65-66)
The most advanced devotee can see Lord Krishna in His spiritual flesh form everywhere, but for the others, He is seen in the Deity form in Temples. There is no difference between the Deity form and His flesh form, He is present in them both. Most people would be too bewildered if they saw Lord Krishna in His spiritual flesh form and thus He makes Himself available in the Deity form so people are not too much bewildered and distrubed. If a famous person comes to see us, we get too excited and stop our normal life activites. In a similar way, if the Supreme Person is standing in front of us, most people would get too bewildered and their life would be completely disturbed. Thus Lord Krishna makes Himself available for worship in His Deity form, so as not to disturb us too much. If a person gets 100 million dollars in notes delivered to his home, he would be completely disturbed in anxiety for fear of thieves. But if he got a check instead, the fear of thieves would be zero. The cash and check are of the same value. In a similar way, most people would be completely disturted if they see Lord Krishna in His original spiritual form, but they would be less disturbed if they see Him in the Deity form. He is equally present in the Deity form and His original spiritual form, and He has appeared from His Deity form, millions of times to prove it.
In the material creation, most peole would be too bewildered to see the Supreme Person in front of them in His original spirutual form, but in the spiritual manifestation, everyone sees Lord Krishna, everyday, face to Face.
How can one understand and see God?
“My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 11.54)
For the foolish, God is not describe able and unknowable
“I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 7.25)
The foolish cannot understand God having a Form and appearing
“Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.11)
Just like any property owner, God also visits His properties from time to time, in Person.
God is OMnipresent
He is present everywhere. A person who is present everywhere is greater than a person who is not present everywhere. Thus if one accepts that God is great, then one must accept that God is present everywhere, OMnipresent. If God is present everywhere, then He must also be present in the Deities.
Lord Krishna is present in the heart of all living beings as the super soul and He is also present in every atom. He is the witness to all our actions and thoughts.
“I am the supersoul, O Arjuna, seated in the hearts of all living entities, I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all beings” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 10.20)
“Although He is present in His abode, He is all-pervading.” (Bhagavad-Gita 8.22)
“Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 6.29)
“Although I am everywhere, still My Self is the very source of creation.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.5)