In the same way, the body of a living being is nothing but a composition of the five elements, and the living entity embodied in the material condition is also part and parcel of Me. The living entity is imprisoned in the material condition on account of his false conception of himself as the supreme enjoyer. This false ego of the living entity is the cause of his imprisonment in material existence. As the Supreme Absolute Truth, I am transcendental to the living entity, as well as to his material embodiment. The two energies, material and spiritual, both act under My supreme control. My dear gopīs, I request that instead of being afflicted, you try to accept everything with a philosophical attitude. Then you will understand that you are always with Me and that there is no cause of lamentation in our being separated from one another.”
This important instruction by Lord Kṛṣṇa to the gopīs can be utilized by all devotees engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The whole philosophy is considered on the basis of inconceivable, simultaneous oneness and difference. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says that He is present everywhere in His impersonal feature. Everything exists in Him, but still He is not personally present everywhere. The cosmic manifestation is nothing but a display of Kṛṣṇa’s energy, and because the energy is not different from the energetic, nothing is different from Kṛṣṇa. When this absolute consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is absent, we are separated from Kṛṣṇa; but, fortunately, if this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is present, then we are not separated from Kṛṣṇa. The process of devotional service is the revival of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and if the devotee is fortunate enough to understand that the material energy is not separate from Kṛṣṇa, then he can utilize the material energy and its products in the service of the Lord. But in the absence of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the forgetful living entity, although part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, falsely puts himself in the position of enjoyer of the material world and, being thus implicated in material entanglement, is forced by the material energy to continue his material existence. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Although a living entity is forced to act by the material energy, he falsely thinks that he is the all-in-all and the supreme enjoyer.
If the devotee knows perfectly that the arcā-vigraha, or Deity form of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the temple, is exactly the same sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (BS 5.1) as Kṛṣṇa Himself, then his service to the temple Deity becomes direct service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, the temple itself, the temple paraphernalia and the food offered to the Deity are also not separate from Kṛṣṇa. One has to follow the rules and regulations prescribed by the ācāryas, and thus, under superior guidance, Kṛṣṇa-realization is fully possible, even in this material existence.