(Click to enlarge photo of Śrī-Śrī-Rādhā-London-īśvara, 1970)
Devotee: Prabhupāda, we were reading earlier this morning in Bhagavad-gītā, on the universal form of Kṛṣṇa—when He revealed Himself to Arjuna—and He said that the celestial beings, and devotees, and the demons both were fearful when they saw this universal form. How is it that devotees of Kṛṣṇa, like demigods, can be fearful even if they see Viśvarūpa?
Prabhupāda: Because they cannot love Viśvarūpa (click here to see). Is that all right? Can you love Viśvarūpa? If Kṛṣṇa comes before you with Viśvarūpa, you'll forget your love. Don't try to love Viśvarūpa. Love Śyāmasundara, that's all. We have seen Kṛṣṇa in Viśvarūpa during wartime. I remember, I think in 1942, December, date I forget. I was just eating and there was siren of bombing, in Calcutta. So the arrangement was, as soon as there will be siren of bombing, the government selected a place, shelter room, this room in your house will be shelter room. So we had to go into that shelter room and the bombing began— (imitates bombing sound). So we were seeing that Viśvarūpa, you see, at that time. So I was thinking of course, that this is also Kṛṣṇa's another form. But that form is not very lovable form, you see? (laughter) So a devotee in love, wants to love Kṛṣṇa in His original form. This Viśvarūpa is not His original form. He can appear in any form, that is His all-potency. But the lovable form is Kṛṣṇa, Śyāmasundara.
Suppose a boy's father is a police officer. So if the father comes as a police officer firing with revolver, even the child will forget loving father. You see? So naturally the child loves father when he's at home, just like father. Similarly we love Kṛṣṇa as He is— Śyāmasundara. The Viśvarūpa was shown to Arjuna to warn the rascal humanity. Because Kṛṣṇa said, "I am God." Imitating Kṛṣṇa, so many rascals declaring that "I am God." Therefore Arjuna said, "Please show me your Viśvarūpa." So that these rascals may also ask him to show his Viśvarūpa. So if you are God, please show me your Viśvarūpa. That they cannot. Yes?
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, February 21, 1969)