Sri Vigraha Seva
Deity service is very important service. The more the Deities are decorated with various ornaments, the more your heart will be decorated with Krishna consciousness." [Srila Prabhupada - Letter, October 1974]
“Serve Krishna with love. This is the only qualification to do Deity service. If you have pure and intense love for him, then you will be able to serve him very beautifully. ,
“The Lord is inaccessible to our worldly senses. He cannot be seen with our present eyes, nor can He be heard with our present ears. We can realize the Lord to the extent that we have entered into the service of the Lord or to the extent that our lives remain free from sins. But although we are not free from sins, the Lord is so kind that He allows us to see Him in the form of His deities in the temple. God is omnipotent, so He can accept our services by presenting His archa form. Therefore one should not be fooled into thinking that the archa-roop of the temple is an idol. Such an archamurti is not an idol, but the Lord Himself, and one can understand the importance of an archamurti according to the proportion in which he is freed from sins. Therefore there is always a need for a pure devotee to guide him.” [Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.1.17]
Srila Prabhupada established the importance of Deity service during his manifest lila and taught his disciples to worship and serve the Deity on the basis of authentic scriptures.
Vigraha-seva means taking care of the Lord as a person. By serving the Deity, we are able to experience our true position of being a servant and serve the Lord personally. Lord Krishna is a divine person, and when we serve him, care for him, remember him and meditate on him, he purifies our heart and brings us closer to him and reciprocates with us. Therefore, through the Deity, the Supreme Lord incarnates in the temple and by His presence, that temple is transformed into His supreme abode. By serving the Deity, the devotee's body, mind and senses gradually become spiritualized and as a result the Supreme Lord appears before the devotee in His complete form. By rendering service to the Deity of the Lord and by engaging the senses in bhakti-yoga, the essential spiritual nature of the living entity is revealed. As a result, the devotee experiences spiritual realization and at the same time the Deity manifests its divine form in front of such devoted and pure living beings according to their spiritual progress.
This leads up to the transcendental love stage in which the Supreme Lord in His Deity form reciprocates and performs loving pastimes in personal relationship with the devotee, as seen earlier with many realized devotees.
To see the deity in this state is not just to see but to exchange in a personal loving relationship with the deity. Then while having darshan, not only do you see the deity, but the deity also looks at you lovingly and starts revealing its form and nature in front of you. This self-experience is what separates the advanced and established devotees from the novice devotees. The great souls who have experienced this exchange with the Lord become situated in a state of pure-affection beyond the three gunas, in which they unlimitedly demonstrate their pure and intense love for the Lord by service.