The Radha-Madhava Deities in Mayapur: what are they made…

T he Radha-Madhava Deities in Mayapur: what are they made of?
“Jananivasa told me about a conversation he had had in the temple with a middle-aged Bengali guest who had asked him, “Are Radha-Madhava made of brass or gold?”
“Well, what are you made of?” Jananivasa replied.
After a pause, the gentleman answered, “Flesh and blood.”
Jananivasa told him, “As long as you think you’re made of flesh and blood, then you’ll think the Deity is made of one metal or another. But if you can understand that you’re not the body, that you’re spirit soul, and also that the soul is part and parcel of God, then you’ll understand that you’re of the same nature as Krishna.”
The man wasn’t sure that he had understood, so Jananivasa continued, “Do you accept that God is in your heart?”
“So what’s He made of there, brass or gold?”
The man didn’t know.
“On the basis of the revealed scriptures,” Jananivasa said, “we can understand that God’s form is eternal and full of bliss and knowledge. That form, which is present in the heart of every living entity, is made of pure spirit, and that is what the Deity in the temple is also made of. You can’t see the Deity in your heart,” he explained as the gentleman nodded in agreement, “you don’t know who He is. So the Lord comes in a form you can see. Radha-Madhava appear to be material, but They are purely spiritual, and to the extent that you realize your nature is spiritual, to that extent you will understand that Krishna Himself is personally on the altar.”