“I am the Self, O Gudakesha, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.20)
अहम् आत्मा गुडाकेश
अहम् आदिश् च मध्यं च
भूतानाम् अन्त एव च
aham ātmā guḍākeśa
aham ādiś ca madhyaṁ ca
bhūtānām anta eva ca
1. Inside of the temple
Deity worship is an integral aspect of the Vedic tradition. The aim of the human birth is to realize God. The possibility is absent in the other species, except for rare instances. More than just focusing on the needs of the senses, the intelligence coupled with the specific form is for advancing beyond life and death.
Contemplate higher matters. What is the reason for my existence? Everyone senior to me has passed on. Obviously, the same will happen to me in the future. Why is this the case? Why even appear in this world if you have to eventually leave it?
The deity is important because it gives an idea of transcendental features. Someone beyond the dualities of birth and death. Arms, legs, and a face, but of a different nature. The deity is typically the chief resident in an establishment designed for the purpose of worship, archana.
Without hesitation a knower of the truth, tattva-darshi, confirms that God can be found within the temple. There is no doubt on the matter. Otherwise, the time-honored practice would not be passed down for the benefit of mankind.
2. Outside of the temple
If the Supreme Lord only resided in the form as the deity inside of the temple, He would be severely limited. His size and stature would be fixed. He could be the plaything of any person, who would thus become a superior purusha, or living being.
Bhagavan is most certainly outside of the temple. Every result manifests because of His sanction. He is the first lawgiver. He is the final word of authority. His energies are at work in this vast creation. All beings rest in Him, as the planets and stars belong to the seemingly infinite space.
3. In Vaikuntha
In Vedic culture we hear references to returning and travelling. Back to home. Back to Godhead. We infer that the Supreme Lord has a fixed residence. He remains somewhere else. The pious souls get to live there.
In truth, that is the original home. It is known as the final destination because upon returning there, an individual never has to leave. While birth in the material world has the guaranteed end of death, placement in the Vaikuntha realm does not have the same rule.
In that place God resides as Bhagavan. This is His full and complete feature. The distinctions are for the purposes of analysis. Whether inside of the temple, in every aspect of space, or in Vaikuntha the Supreme Lord is always the same; unchanging.
4. In the heart
As He explained to Arjuna, Bhagavan is also in the heart. Mine? Yours? Actually, in everyone’s. This expansion is known as Supersoul. The meaning is that God can be found very quickly. I don’t need to travel far. I can look both within and without.
The representative helps me to identify the different locations. They also teach me how to stay connected in what is known as yoga. The best way to practice yoga in the modern day is to chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Bhagavan is in that sound that represents Him.
Very quickly found,
In that sacred sound.
Of maha-mantra chanting,
Immediate meeting granting.
Like visit to Vaikuntha realm place,
Or in temple with hands and face.
Outside as well as in the heart,
Krishna never from this space apart.
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