Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says He resides in every human being. Then, why do people go to temples to search for Him?

Yes indeed! Lord Krishna resides in every human being! In which form must He be residing? In the form of child (Bal Krishna) or the one with the flute or in any other form known to us? He resides in His true form that is the Soul. But are we able to see Him in our boss, parents, in-laws, foes, friends or each and every one in our life? Just think about it, if we were able to see the Soul (Lord Krishna) in every person we won’t have slight hatred for anyone - even for one who throws rubbish on the road or for a dishonest person or even for a drug addict! But the truth is that we do not have that pure vision to see Lord Krishna in every living being!!

We can only visualize (darshan) if we see the image, right? Without idols we would not be able to visualize the real God that it represents. That is why idols and deities have been placed everywhere. So when we come across a temple of Krishna, we do darshan of Lord Krishna. Seeing the idol will jog our memory, isn’t it? Besides the idol in big temples has been made alive; life force has been instilled through a specific ceremony. So there is a certain atmosphere and the effect is greater and you feel calm and peaceful while in temple. While we do the darshan we could pray that, “Lord, although You are there in everyone and we cannot see You, but through the worship of your image idol we are doing your darshan.”

Ultimately it is all done for the purpose of recognizing the One that resides within. The murti (idol) is a step; do not let go of it. Until we attain the amurta (the formless, the Self i.e. the Soul), do not let go of the murti. When we do darshan of murti, we are expressing our reverence and we bind merit karma (punya) in the process. Therefore, in doing darshan of the murti, our work will move forward, but the murti will not say anything to you. You need someone to tell you and show you your mistakes, don’t you? Idols and scripts prevent you from falling apart from dharma but to attain the divine vision which was bestowed upon Arjun by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita is still yet to achieve.

The entire inner intent of Lord Krishna is within these two words- “packing” and “material”. When a person dies, what is it that leaves when people say, "He left the body?" That, which leaves, is the 'real thing' and whatever is left behind is the 'packing'. What you see with your physical eyes is the packing and the material (Soul or Atma) is within. There are varieties of packing. Some are in the form of a tree, some in the form of a donkey, some in the form of a man or a woman, etc., but the material, the content within each is the same. The packing can be in any form; it can even be rotten but a smart person is not really concerned with the outer packing, he is only concerned with the material within. Similarly, you should do the darshan of that material (the Self, the Lord) within the packing (body).

Lord Krishna says, "The 'material' that is within is precisely what I am; that verily is Krishna. Recognize Him and you will find what you are looking for.

Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifested within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able to help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization.