dá¹á¹£á¹vÄ teá¹£Äá¹ mitho ná¹á¹Äm
tretÄdiá¹£u harer arcÄ
kriyÄyai kavibhiá¸¥ ká¹tÄ
dá¹á¹£á¹vÄ - after practically seeing; teá¹£Äm - among the brÄhmaá¹as and Vaiá¹£á¹avas; mithaá¸¥ - mutually; ná¹á¹Äm - of human society; avajÃ±Äna-ÄtmatÄm - the mutually disrespectful behavior; ná¹pa - O King; tretÄ-Ädiá¹£u - beginning from TretÄ-yuga; hareá¸¥ - of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arcÄ - the Deity worship (in the temple); kriyÄyai - for the purpose of introducing the method of worship; kavibhiá¸¥ - by learned persons; ká¹tÄ - has been done.
As it is said in ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam (12.3.52):
ká¹te yad dhyÄyato viá¹£á¹uá¹
tretÄyÄá¹ yajato makhaiá¸¥
kalau tad dhari-kÄ«rtanÄt
âWhatever result one obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viá¹£á¹u, in TretÄ-yuga by performing sacrifices and in DvÄpara-yuga by serving the Lordâs lotus feet one can also obtain in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Ká¹á¹£á¹a mahÄ-mantra.â In Satya-yuga, every person was spiritually advanced, and there was no envy between great personalities. Gradually, however, because of material contamination with the advance of the ages, disrespectful dealings appeared even among brÄhmaá¹as and Vaiá¹£á¹avas. Actually, an advanced Vaiá¹£á¹ava is to be respected more than Viá¹£á¹u. As stated in the Padma PurÄá¹a, ÄrÄdhanÄnÄá¹ sarveá¹£Äá¹ viá¹£á¹or ÄrÄdhanaá¹ param: of all kinds of worship, worship of Lord Viá¹£á¹u is the best. TasmÄt parataraá¹ devi tadÄ«yÄnÄá¹ samarcanam: and recommended more than worship of Viá¹£á¹u is worship of the Vaiá¹£á¹ava.
Formerly, all activities were performed in connection with Viá¹£á¹u, but after Satya-yuga there were symptoms of disrespectful dealings among Vaiá¹£á¹avas. ÅrÄ«la Bhaktivinoda á¹¬hÄkura has said that a Vaiá¹£á¹ava is he who has helped others become Vaiá¹£á¹avas. An example of one who has converted many others into Vaiá¹£á¹avas is NÄrada Muni. A powerful Vaiá¹£á¹ava who has converted others into Vaiá¹£á¹avas is to be worshiped, but because of material contamination, sometimes such an exalted Vaiá¹£á¹ava is disrespected by other, minor Vaiá¹£á¹avas. When great saintly persons saw this contamination, they introduced worship of the Deity in the temple. This began in TretÄ-yuga and was especially prominent in DvÄpara-yuga (dvÄpare paricaryÄyÄá¹). But in Kali-yuga, worship of the Deity is being neglected. Therefore chanting of the Hare Ká¹á¹£á¹a mantra is more powerful than Deity worship. ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu set a practical example in that He did not establish any temples or Deities, but He profusely introduced the saá¹ kÄ«rtana movement. Therefore Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness preachers should give more stress to the saá¹ kÄ«rtana movement, especially by distributing transcendental literature more and more. This helps the saá¹ kÄ«rtana movement. Whenever there is a possibility to worship the Deity, we may establish many centers, but generally we should give more stress to the distribution of transcendental literature, for this will be more effective in converting people to Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness.
It is said in ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam (11.2.47):
arcÄyÄm eva haraye
pÅ«jÄá¹ yaá¸¥ Åraddhayehate
na tad-bhakteá¹£u cÄnyeá¹£u
sa bhaktaá¸¥ prÄká¹taá¸¥ smá¹taá¸¥
âA person who is very faithfully engaged in the worship of the Deity in the temple but does not know how to behave toward devotees or people in general is called a prÄká¹ta-bhakta, or kaniá¹£á¹ha-adhikÄrÄ«.â A prÄká¹ta devotee, or neophyte devotee, is still on the material platform. He certainly engages in worshiping the Deity, but he cannot appreciate the activities of a pure devotee. It has actually been seen that even an authorized devotee who is engaged in the service of the Lord by preaching the mission of Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness is sometimes criticized by neophyte devotees. Such neophytes are described by ViÅvanÄtha CakravartÄ« á¹¬hÄkura: sarva-prÄá¹i-sammÄnanÄsamarthÄnÄm avajÃ±Ä spardhÄdimatÄá¹ tu bhagavat-pratimaiva pÄtram ity Äha. For those who cannot properly appreciate the activities of authorized devotees, Deity worship is the only way for spiritual advancement. In the Caitanya-caritÄmá¹ta (Antya 7.11) it is clearly said, ká¹á¹£á¹a-Åakti vinÄ nahe tÄra pravartana: without being authorized by Ká¹á¹£á¹a, one cannot preach the holy name of the Lord throughout the entire world. Nevertheless, a devotee who does so is criticized by neophyte devotees, kaniá¹£á¹ha-adhikÄrÄ«s, who are on the lower stages of devotional service. For them, Deity worship is strongly recommended.