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SECTION D. WORSHIP
THE GLORY OF VISNU'S WORSHIP
1. All the activities of one who does not worship the Lord after receiving the mantra become useless. ( 3rd vilasa)
2. If one becomes delivered just by receiving initiation, then who can describe the glories of the person who always worships Vishnu with great respect.
3. There is no Vedic activity more auspicious than worshipping Shri Vishnu . Therefore, one must worship Shri Hari Who has no beginning, middle or end.
4. One who worships Shri Vishnu goes to His all blissful eternal Vaikuntha dham.
5. If one worships Kesava in the morning, noon, evening and any other time, all his desires are fulfilled.
6. If one worships the Lord of all demigods, Shri Hari, He who carries the conch-shell, disc, mace and lotus, then all the demigods are worshipped. Therefore, there is no need to worship any other demigod because Shri Hari is situated in all the demigods.
7. One who has worshipped Vishnu or offered Him obeisances once, even neglectful, will go to Shri Vaikuntha Dhama which is worshipped by the demigods and is rare even for them.
8. The glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described by citing examples (from Shrimad Bhagavatam).
9. Different scriptures have described Vishnu and demigods such as Lord Siva, Durga and Kali as the greatest. Therefore, the Padma Purana declares that to bewilder the moving and non-moving world until then end of the kalpa, and to allow them to believe different demigods to be the greatest, the Puranas and other scriptures consider their respective demigods to be the chief. However, when one considers the necessity of all the scriptures, it will be established that Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the greatest of all demigods. Nrsingha Purana started to dance in ecstasy upon hearing this statement and confirming it said, "With my hands raised upwards I am telling again and again that this is the truth, this is the truth. There is no other scripture greater than the Vedas and there is no other worshipable Lord greater than Kesava."
10. The Padma Purana says that if Hrsikesh, Vasudeva, becomes pleased, an enemy becomes a friend, poison becomes nectar and irreligiosity becomes religion. But if He becomes displeased, the friend becomes an enemy, the nectar becomes poison and religion becomes irreligiosity.
11. Vasudeva accepted the statement of Padma Purana and He said, "If one commits sinful activities for My pleasure, that becomes piety. But if one performs pious activities disregarding Me, that is known as sin."
12. The Skanda Purana states that if a person rejects Vasudeva and worships other demigods, he is worshipping a candalini woman rejecting his own mother. The Padma Purana further states that such a person is like a fool who is drinking halahal poison while rejecting nectar.
13. The Mahabharat also says that if a totally bewildered person worships other demigods while rejecting Vishnu, he is collecting ash while rejecting gold.
14. If a person, rejecting Vishnu, takes shelter of other demigods, his condition is like a thirsty person rejecting Ganga water and running after a mirage. If after worshipping Vishnu, one even once mistakenly equates Him with other demigods, he more degraded than a candala.
15. Durga Devi said, "How sad it is that in spite of Shri Hari's presence, the Supreme Lord and giver of all kinds of happiness, foolish people suffer in this material nature. For that Supreme Lord Hari my husband, Mahesh, became a naked mendicant with matted hair and ash smeared over his body. Who is greater than the husband of Laksmidevi and the enemy of Madhu?"
16. Lord Siva said in the Hari Vamsa, "O brahmanas with qualities in mode of goodness! Please worship Shri Vishnu all the time, chant the mantra Vishnu all the time, and meditate upon Vishnu."
OFFERINGS TO VISNU
1. The Shrimad-Bhagavatam quotes the Supreme Personality of Godhead:
"Whatever is best in this world should be offered to Me. Things that are very dear to one, even in a small quantity, should be offered to Me; that produces endless results."
2. Foodstuffs that are offered to Me should not be less than a square meal and should not be of inferior quality.
3. Lord Vishnu should be offered various types of food and drink and all of them must be of the best quality. If other foodstuffs are not available, rice with ghee should be offered. Rice should never be offered without ghee because the scriptures state that rice without ghee is food for the demons.
4. The Vamana Purana states that when barley, wheat, rice and mung dal are mixed with ghee, they become very dear to Shri Hari.
5. In the Varaha Purana the Supreme Personality of Godhead says;
"Buffalo milk, yoghurt or ghee made from buffalo milk should never be offered to Me."
THE GLORY OF SRI KRSNA'S CARANAMRTA
1. Shri Krishna's caranamrta should be offered to the Vaishnavas first and then one should drink it respectfully and put it on his head. The mantra for respecting caranamrta is from Gautamiya Tantra, namely: "After drinking Shri Vishnu's caranamrta, which prevents one from untimely death and destroys all kind of diseases, I hold it on my head."
2. The Padma Purana says that the benefit one derives by worshipping ten million Siva lingas every day is multiplied one hundred thousand fold by drinking Shri Hari's caranamrta.
3. It does not matter whether one is impure, a great miscreant or a great sinner. As soon as he touches the water from the lotus feet of Vishnu, he becomes purified.
4. "O Ambarisa! To one who has the remnants of Shri Hari's bath water (caranamrta) in his stomach you must offer obeisances and accept the dust from his feet."
5. One who drinks with devotion, even a drop of water from the salagram sila, does not have to suck his mother's breast again; in other words, he will not have to take birth again.
6. Those who regularly drink water from the salagram sila become free from a miserable existence in hell and their tenure of miserable existence in the womb is also burnt out.
7. "O Bhagirata! I am describing the glory of caranamrta. Listen carefully. It is more purifying than all the holy places and it destroys the sin of killing millions of living entities. When one drinks caranamrta and holds it to his head, all the demigods become pleased with him. In the age of Kali, the caranamrta of Shri Hari is the atonement for all sinful reactions."
8. In the Skanda Purana it mentions that because Lord Siva knows the glory of Shri Vishnu's caranamrta, he is holding Ganga, who comes from the lotus feet of Vishnu, on his head.
9. The glory of Shri caranamrta has been described in all scriptures. One may be able to count all the waves in the ocean, but it is not possible to describe the glory of caranamrta. One should offer the Vaishnavas caranamrta with tulasi leaves, especially from a conchshell, while reciting mantras and should then drink it himself.
10. All the places of pilgrimage and the Vaishnavas are contained in the sacred caranamrta of Shri Vishnu; one should not wash his mouth after drinking it.
SEEING THE DEITIES
1. The Vishnu Dharmottara states that an unintelligent person has to travel in this world of birth and death until he sees the deity of Kesava.
2. The Padma Purana states that those who do not see the worshipable deities of the Lord become punished by the servants of Yamaraja.
3. Those who see Lord Janardan while or after He is being worshipped, derives the benefit of offering one hundred desire-fulfilling cows in charity.
4. The Agni Purana says that one who sees Hari with devotion and one who respectfully allows others to see Him, achieves the perfection of yogic practices.
THE BENEFIT OF SEEING THE DEITIES
1. The Padma Purana says that those who do not see the worshipable deity of the Lord that has been established according to the religious codes of the Vedas are punished by the servants of Yamaraja.
2. Those who see Janardan during or after worship derives the benefit of offering a hundred desire-fulfilling cows.
3. The Agni Purana states that one who sees Shri Hari while He is being worshipped or after He has been worshipped with devotion, and one who respectfully approves of such worship, derive the result of performing yoga.
b) TULASI DEVI
THE GLORIES OF TULASI DEVI
1. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, "One who wears tulasi mala, even if he is unclean and devoid of proper activities, will surely attain Me."
2. Shri Krishna offers the benefit of residing in Dwaraka to one who wears tulasi mala. When one wears tulasi mala after it has been offered to Vishnu with devotion, becomes completely free of sin and Devakinandana Krishna is always pleased with him. He does not need to atone for any sinful activity as no sin remains in his body and any pious activity he performs in the age of Kali is multiplied ten million times. When the Yamadutas see tulasi mala, they fly away like dry leaves tossed in the wind.
3. The Skanda Purana says that one who wears tulasi mala after offering it to Shri Hari is undoubtedly the chief of the devotees. A fool who wears tulasi mala without offering it to Shri Hari surely goes to hell. When the mala is made it should be washed with pancagavya, have the mool mantra chanted upon it once and the Gayatri eight times. After that one should touch it with the smoke of incense and worship the mala by saying:
"om sadajatam prapadyami sadajataye vai namo namah
bhave bhave nadi bhave bhaja shaiman bhavad bhavaye namah"
One should then pray, "O necklace! You are prepared out of tulasi wood and you are very dear to the Vaishnavas; I am wearing you on my neck, please make me dear to Krishna. The meaning of the word 'ma' is 'to me', and the meaning of 'la' is 'to give'; O beloved of Hari! Please offer me to the devotees of Krishna. In this way you are known as 'mala'."
5. A Vaishnava who prays in this way and wears the mala on his neck after it has been offered to Krishna attains the lotus feet of Vishnu.
6. The Padma Purana states regardless of whether one is in a im pure or pure state, one should always wear tulasi mala and never take it off even when bathing, eating or even when passing stool and urine.
7. The Skanda Purana explains that in the age of Kali, the Lord leaves all of His thousands of holy places and elevated mountains and resides in gardens with tulasi.
8. Those who see the tulasi forest or plant tulasi according to rules and regulations, attain Vaikunthaloka. Those who serve tulasi every day by seeing her; touching her; meditating upon her; glorifying her qualities; offering obeisances to her; listening to her qualities; planting, watering and worshipping her, reside in Vishnuloka for an unlimited period of time. The Yamadutas do not approach the house where tulasi is being watered regularly and is being served very carefully.
9. No one should ever deride tulasi thinking her to be a tree. In Vaikuntha Dhama, tulasi's body is non-different from the body of Shri Vasudeva. It has also been mentioned in Agasta Samhita that just as the two mile radius around the Ganges is pure, the same area around tulasi is also pure.
10. "O best of the sages! Those who leave their body near a tulasi plant never suffer in hell but go to Vishnuloka. Shri Hari always resides in a tulasi garden, lotus garden and wherever the Puranas are recited."
11. It is very rare for one who has fallen into the ocean of birth and death to be able to serve tulasi, associate with devotees and develop love for Shri Hari.
12. The Prahlada Samhita and Vishnu Dharmottara says the leaves; flowers, fruits, wood, bark, branches, twigs, seedlings, root and soil of tulasi all are pure. When a dead body is burnt with tulasi, that person does not have to come back to this world again.
13. According to the Skanda Purana, those who always put tulasi leaves in their navel, mouth, head and two ears, do not need to go to any place of pilgrimage or perform any sacrifice.
14. Although the scriptures glorfy tulasi in this way, Vaishnavas will never accept tulasi without offering her to Krishna first.
1. The Lord said, "One who worships Me without picking tulasi every day, even if He worships me for a hundred years, I do not accept his worship."
(Hari Bhakti Vilasa, 7th Chapter)
2. It says in the Brhad Naradiya Purana that if one worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead without tulasi, that is not worship; if one bathes the Lord without tulasi, that is not bathing; if one feeds the Lord without tulasi, that is not feeding and if one offers water to the Lord without tulasi; that is not drinking.
(Hari Bhakti Vilasa, 7th Chapter)
3. The Varaha Purana says that Shri Hari never accepts worship without tulasi. If tulasi leaves are not available, touch Shri Hari with tulasi water and if that is not available, utter the name tulasi while worshipping Shri Hari.
4. One who worships any demigod (other than Vishnu) with tulasi commits sin equal to murdering a brahmana, murdering a cow or having sexual intercourse with the spiritual master's wife.
5. In the Hari Bhakti Sudodaya the Yamadutas say, "One who worships Shri Hari with tulasi, irrespective of whether he is religious or irreligious, we cannot touch him after his death."
6. The Agasta Samhita describes that in the past Tulasi Devi very intelligently performed severe austerities and asked Krishna for a boon and has become dearer to Hari than any other flower or leaf.
7. In the Padma Purana it says that of all leaves, Tulasi is the dearest to Shri Hari. Those who worship Vishnu in the age of Kali with Tulasi leaves and manjaris are glorious.
8. The Garuda Purana also quotes the Supreme Personality of Godhead;
"One who worships Me with tulasi leaf does not have to take birth again. He becomes delivered and goes back to Vaikuntha."
9. The Vishnu Dharmottara states,
"O Brahmanas! Vaishnavas should never pick tulasi on dvadasi day."
10. According to the Garuda Purana, a religious person should not pick durva grass on Sundays and tulasi on dvadasis. If one does so he will lose his longevity.
THE GLORY OF CONCHSHELL
1. The Brahma Vaivarta Purana mentions that Shri Hari is situated in the conchshell; wherever there is conchshell, Shri Hari along with Laksmidevi is always situated and all inauspiciousness disappears from that place.
2. Wherever the sound of conchshell is heard, Laksmidevi resides there without moving. One who takes his bath in the water from the conchshell gets the benefit of bathing in all the places of pilgrimage.
3. The Padma Purana quotes:
"O Narada! One who bathes the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Vishnu, with cow's milk a conchshell, attains the position of Brahma."
4. One who bathes Shri Madhava with a conchshell full of Ganga water while saying, "O Narayana! I offer obeisances unto you", does not have to take birth again. He attains Vaikunthaloka."
5. The Skanda Purana states that one who bathes Shri Krishna with water from a conchshell derives the benefit of offering hundreds of desire-fulfilling cows in charity.
6. "O Narada! When the water from a river, a pond, a large reservoir, a well and a lake is placed in the conchshell, that water becomes like Ganges water."
7. "O best of brahmanas! All the places of pilgrimage within the three worlds reside in the conchshell by the order of Krishna. Therefore, one must treat the conchshell with respect."
8. The Agama Sastra says that as big, as pleasing and as transparent as the conchshell is, as great its power of beneficence will be.
THE GLORY OF WATER FROM CONCHSHELL IN ARATI
1. One must sprinkle water from the conchshell offered in arati. That water, steeped in the nectarean glance of Shri Krishna, must be put on one's head after offering obeisances.
2. The Skanda Purana mentions that one who has sprinkled the water offered to Shri Hari over his head from a conchshell does not need to take bath in the Ganges.
1. The five ingredients of pancagavya are: milk, cow's urine, ghee, cow dung and yoghurt. When they are mixed in equal proportions, it is called pancagavya.
1. The ingredients of pancamrta are: milk, sugar, ghee, yoghurt and honey and a mixture of these five are called pancamrta. It is used in all spiritual activities.
1. The Skanda Purana mentions that gold, silver and copper plates, bell-metal plates and plates made from earth, palash and lotus leaves are very dear to Vishnu. The Devi Purana also mentions that eighteen inch diameter plates are best, twelve inch are medium and six inch are the worst. Plates less than four inch diameter should not be used in the worship.
2. The Vishnu Dharmottara states that a person who offers plates and pots to Shri Hari, he does not have to go to hell again.