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Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.1.17 – Wed, 30 July 2014

The Lord cannot be seen with our present eyes, nor can He be heard with our present ears. To the degree that we have entered into the service of the Lord or to the proportion that our lives are freed from sins, we can perceive the Lord. But even though we are not free from sins, the Lord is kind enough to allow us the facility of seeing Him in His arcā-mūrtis in the temple. The Lord is all-powerful, and therefore He is able to accept our service by presentation of His arcā form. No one, therefore, should foolishly think the arcā in the temple to be an idol. Such an arcā-mūrti is not an idol but the Lord Himself, and to the proportion that one is free from sins, he is able to know the significance of the arcā-mūrti. The guidance of a pure devotee is therefore always required.

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