Gaura-Nitai: The Most Merciful

by Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Gosvami Maharaja

"The Supreme Lord Krishna manifests Himself in the material world in four forms as the Vaishnava, tulasi, the Ganges, and Srimad-Bhagavatam . The Deity Form of the Lord becomes worshipable only after it has been consecrated ritually and the Lord's presence has been invoked. These four things, however, are innately sacred."
(Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya 21.81-82)

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada comments on this verse in his Gaudiya-bhashya commentary: "The Lord appears in the material world in these four forms. Upon seeing them, it is not immediately evident to ordinary people that they are the Lord Himself. However, because of their intimate connection with Him, they are called His prakasa-vigraha, or visible manifestations.

"Generally people think that the Deity Form of the Lord is only worthy of worship after being formally installed (prana-pratishtha). These four prakasa-vigrahas, however, are considered to be naturally worshipable; there is no need for any kind of ritual in order to elevate them to that status. We should look upon them as in the position of the enjoyer, or bhokta, as the master or prabhu, and as bestowers of divine grace and knowledge.
"Mahaprabhu himself says, 'Those who worship Me directly but neglect My devotees are in illusion and cause Me pain. Their offerings feel like a shower of burning cinders on My body. Just because one is chanting is no guarantee of success. I destroy anyone who tries to hurt My devotees:

je amare dasera sakrt ninda kare
mora nama kalpa-taru samhare tahare

'If someone blasphemes My servant even once, then My Name will destroy him rather than fulfilling his desires."
(Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya 19.209)