The atheist will say, "They are worshiping some idol." No. That is not fact. They do not know that here is Kṛṣṇa personally. He is accepting the devotees' service in a manner in which we can serve Him at the present moment. If Kṛṣṇa shows you the virāṭ-rūpa, then you cannot serve Him. Where you'll get the dress of the virāṭ-rūpa? The whole world's cloth factory will fail you. (laughter) Therefore Kṛṣṇa is accepted, a four-feet-small Deity, so that you can acquire Kṛṣṇa's dress within your means. You can put Kṛṣṇa within your means. That is Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Therefore it is forbidden, arcye viṣṇu śilā-dhīḥ. If any rascal thinks that in the Viṣṇu form, as stone, as wood..., vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ, devotees considered as belonging to certain nation, caste, these are nārakī-buddhi. This is not to be done. It is fact that here is Kṛṣṇa. Very kindly, just to show me favor, He has come in this form. But He's Kṛṣṇa; He's not stone. Even it is stone, that is also Kṛṣṇa, because there is nothing else but Kṛṣṇa, anything. Without Kṛṣṇa, there is no existence. Sarvaṁ khalv idam brahma. So Kṛṣṇa has got the power that even in his so-called shape of stone, He can accept your service. That is Kṛṣṇa.
So you have to understand these things, and if you understand properly what is Kṛṣṇa, this much qualification will make you fit for being liberated even in this life.
- janma karma me divyaṁ
- yo jānāti tattvataḥ
- tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
- naiti mām eti kaunteya
- (BG 4.9)
It is all stated there. So Kṛṣṇa can be understood only by devotional service, by no other. You cannot speculate, "Kṛṣṇa may be like this." Just like Māyāvādīs, they imagine. The imagination will not help you. You cannot imagine God. That is foolishness. God is not subjected to your imagination. Then He is not God. Why He should be subjected to your imagination? So these things are to be understood properly, and one can understand properly when he's pure devotee. Otherwise not. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtāḥ: (BG 7.25) "I am not exposed to everyone." Why He should be exposed to everyone? When He's pleased, He will reveal Himself to you. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). You cannot ask the sun to appear immediately. When he is pleased, he will appear in the morning. Similarly, you have to please Kṛṣṇa so that He will appear before you and talk with you and bless you.