Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears with His personal entourage once in paraphernalia, just to attract the conditioned souls of the material world. Although the material world is only a shadow of the spiritual world, the materially encaged living entities seek spiritual happiness here in a form perverted by materialistic attachment.
– His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: ‘Light of the Bhagavata’, adaptation of the 20th Chapter of the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, written 1961 for the 1962 Congress for Cultivating the Human Spirit, Japan.
And if so, why should not we suppose that he makes the inferior in imitation of the superior, the material of the spiritual, on purpose to have a resemblance and shadow of them? We see that even in the material world God makes one part of it strangely to agree with another; and why is it not reasonable to suppose he makes the whole as a shadow of the spiritual world?
– Jonathan Edwards: ‘Images of Divine Things’, 1728