TEXT 97
hasina gopala kahe,--"sunaha, brahmana
tomara pache pache ami kariba gamana
SYNONYMS
hasina—smiling; gopala—the Lord Gopala; kahe—says; sunaha—just hear; brahmana—O My dear brahmana; tomara—you; pache pache—behind; ami—I; kariba—shall do; gamana—walking.
TRANSLATION
Sri Gopalaji then smiled and said, "My dear brahmana, just listen to Me. I shall walk behind you, and in this way I shall go with you."
PURPORT
The conversation between Lord Sri Krsna and the brahmana is proof that the Lord in His arca-murti, or form made of material elements, is not material, for those elements, although separated from the Lord, are also a part of the Lord's energy, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Because the elements are the Lord's own energy and because there is no difference between the energy and the energetic, the Lord can appear through any element. Just as the sun can act through the sunshine and thus distribute its heat and light, so Krsna, by His inconceivable power, can appear in His original spiritual form in any material element, including stone, wood, paint, gold, silver and jewels, because the material elements are all His energy. The sastras warn, arcye visnau sila-dhih . . . naraki sah: one should never think of the arca-murti, the Deity within the temple, as stone, wood or any other material element. Because of his advanced devotional position, the younger brahmana knew that although the Deity of Gopala appeared to be stone, He was not stone. He was the son of Nanda Maharaja, Vrajendra-nandana Himself.
As such, the Deity can act exactly as the Lord did in His original form as Krsna. Lord Krsna was talking to the young brahmana just to test his knowledge about the arca-vigraha. In other words, those who have understood the science of Krsna-Krsna's name, form, quality and so forth-can also talk with the Deity. To an ordinary person, however, the Deity will appear to be made of stone, wood or some other material. In the higher sense, since all material elements ultimately emanate from the supreme spiritual entity, nothing is really material. Being omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, Krsna can deal with His devotees in any form without difficulty. By the mercy of the Lord, the devotee knows perfectly well about the Lord's dealings. Indeed, he can talk face to face with the Lord.

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