Radhanath Swami speaks of the archa form of the Lord



“How great are the Sanskrit Literature. They teach us that in order to facilitate our meditation on the Lord, our service to the Lord, and especially our creating communities of cooperative efforts for the pleasure of the Lord, the Lord can manifest within his own material energy, not just symbolically, but factually.” – Radhanath Swami

When the Lord self-manifests in a deity or when according to proper devotional principles is called upon through prana pratishta, Krishna with Sri Radha assumes the form of the deity.

Krishna, in the form of the deity, is accepting our love and is willing to put himself under our care. Krishna didn’t need mother Yashoda to feed him, but Krishna actually became hungry to inspire and facilitate love and service from Yashoda. And isn’t that wonderful, that Krishna does that even for us? He is here for us in the form of the deity, the Arca Murti. And when we understand the nature of the Arca Murti, we become so grateful. It’s out of mercy, causeless mercy, that Krishna appears within his name within this world, and that same name appears as the murti, the deity, to attract our hearts, and to attract our service, and ultimately to awaken our love. Krishna does not need anything from anyone, but by his own sweet will he assumes a role where he does need us. As the deity, he needs our protection, he needs our food, he needs us to dress him and to bathe him; he is atmarama, self sufficient, but this is the most glorious attribute of God—he assumes this relationship with his devotee just to facilitate loving relationships.

– Radhanath Swami