(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 22 June 2014, Bhaktivedanta Manor, London, Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-Lila 8.63-66)
It is mentioned in the Hari Bhakti Vilasa that if one accepts the worship of a deity then, not only should one worship that deity very nicely during his lifetime, but one is also responsible to make sure that the seva puja goes on after one’s lifetime! So we see that it is a major responsibility to worship a deity.
Krsna is very kind when he manifests himself in his deity form. Krsna descends from the spiritual world in that particular form and manifests himself here. When Krsna manifests himself in the deity form, the spiritual world is also manifest. Therefore in a way, one can say that our temples are non-different from Vrindavan because wherever Krsna is, the entire spiritual world is also manifest! That is the nature of Krsna.
In this way, we can appreciate the mercy that is manifest through the deity of the Lord. Just like here at the Bhaktivedanta Manor, it would have no meaning without the deity. It is a beautiful Manor but the deity is the centre of the entire property. Srila Prabhupada, as the principle servant, is leading all of us in service to the deity. Everything is going on very nicely. Whatever is here is an asset of the deity and whatever we develop, is offered to the deity. In that way, wherever the deity is manifest, automatically life begins to centre around Krsna. Therefore, deity worship is a very important and powerful element of the bhakti process.