Deity Worship, Not Idol Worship!

( – Deity Worship, Not Idol Worship!

From Back to Godhead

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lecture given on July 16, 1969, in Los Angeles

A talk given on the occasion of the installation of the deities Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakanatha.

This function of installing the deity is authorized. Several times I have given the example that when you put your mail in a box on the street, because it is written there “US Mail” you know that it is an authorized box. And if you put your letters within this box, they will surely reach the destination. The post office will work. So there is no difference between the huge post office building and that small box, because it is authorized.

Similarly, the difference between idol worship and deity worship is like that. Unless the authorized process is accepted, it is idol worship. That is the general rule. If somebody thinks, “There is a box, red and blue, on the street. Why shall I go to that box? Let me have a similar box at my door, and it will be cleared by the postman because it is blue and red,” oh, that will not be. Because the box you put at your door is not authorized.

Similarly, we have to worship the deity according to the authorized system. In our Gaudiya-sampradaya there is an authorized system given by the Gosvamis, and that is presented in a big book called Hari-bhakti-vilasa. Everything is stated there, especially how a Vaishnava family should perform its religious functions. The book is in the category called Vaishnava smriti. We follow shruti and smriti. Sruti is the Vedas, and smriti means derived from the Vedas. Srila Rupa Gosvami says in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.101),

Read Full Story at


What do you think?

25 Points

Leave a Reply

Bhagavad Gita

Mastering Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita (Study Guide)

Receiving guests at the Temple