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Title: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Nava Gauranga dasa  Date: 2006-07-30 01:03:21


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

Dear Swami Gaurangapada,

please accept my humble obiesances.


Earlier this morning I went to a small secondhand market and found a small Bala Krishna Deity cast in brass. One dealer at the market said the statue was possibly circa 1900 or maybe earlier. It is very similar to the attached file. Possibly from Tamil Nadu. The lady I bought Him from did not know anything about the statue, so by grace I could afford to buy Him for a minimal cost.:gift:


I feel overwhelmed with gratitude in finding baby Krishna lost in the market this morning. Gurudeva, could you please share a little about this Deity, his pastime of dancing with a ladhu ball, and what is my duty to take care of Him, now that I have been graced by his association.1617


Title: Re: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-30 10:09:04


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! :pranams: Pranams! and :bless: Blessings! Thankyou for your question. I personally, in my bhajan, am not so much into Deity Worship as I feel Naam is much more merciful for me. This is confirmed by the Seventh Goswami Shrila Sacchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Hari Naam Chintamani:


ekati archana-pravritti, ekati smaaana-kirtana-pravritti.

ubhayei samichina haileo smarana-kirtana-pravritti aikaantika bhakta-digera madhye prabala.


“There are two processes in God-realization. One is Deity worship and other is the process of chanting and remembering the Holy Names (Naam). Though both are powerful, the path of chanting and remembering the Naam is preferred as the most powerful by serious, one-pointed and advanced spiritual aspirants.”


The above statement is confirmed by Naamcharya Shrila Haridasa Thakura who initiated the prostitute and told her to constantly chant Naam and worship the Tulasi plant and all perfection will come. He personally did not worship Deities nor recommend the prostitute to worship Them. When Lord Gauranga asked him about the 64 offenses in Deity Worship, Shrila Haridasa Thakura told Lord Gauranga that even though he was not so much inclined to Deity Worship, he will try to describe them by His causeless mercy. Deity Worship was performed by many other Associates of Lord Gauranga but since They were pure devotees, there was no consideration of any offense in the performance of their unalloyed Deity Worship so we cannot exactly imitate them in this regard. We also find that when Shrila Abhirama Thakura (Shridama Sakha) would offer obeisances to some Deities, they would crack if they were not installed and worshiped properly.


That said and done, Deity Worship is also a wonderful means of purification and advancement for the householder devotees and all others. Deity Worship requires a lot of care and attention and standards which may be difficult to adhere in the present Kali Yuga. So inadvertently some offenses (seva aparadhas) are always commited while worshiping the Deity of the Lord who is non-different than the Naam. So even a devotee who is attached to Deity worship has to very carefully chant the Naam as only Naam removes all the offenses in Deity Worship. So Naam is the ultimate goal and shelter of all other spiritual practices.


The normal standard is that proper Deity Worship should be performed for installed Deities only. Since you worship the Deities of Lords Nityananda Gauranga and chant Their Holy Names, you can also worship this Deity Lord Bala Gopala if you so desire as your Nityananda Gauranga Naam and Deity worship will remove any offenses which may occur in the Deity Worship of Lord Gopala. But for that you will have to perform a simple installation procedure for this Deity of Lord Bala Gopala along with bathing by milk before starting to worship Him. Also please understand that once you install the Deity, you invoke the Lord in that Deity and you will be responsible for the worship. This is especially very strictly applicable in the Deities of Lord Krishna where the 64 seva-aparadhas are fully applicable. In the future, I desire to write a detailed essay on Naam and Deity Worship.


I do not want to disappoint your spontaneous feelings for Lord Gopala but just wanted to let you know the responsibilities which accompany the Deity Worship of Lord Krishna. Try to search on the net for a simplified process of installation from our books. I will also try to post a simplified installation process later. I hope this helps.


Title: Re: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Igor     Date: 2006-07-30 10:51:41


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

Thank you so much dear Swami Gaurangapada for this wonderful explanation!

I was lammenting few days ago because I realised that I am completly unable to worship Deities with some high external standard.My standard is very very simple. Your answer gave me new light about this topic. There are so many very important points in your post.:ty:

harer nama harer nama harer nama...


P.S. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

Dear Nava, you must be very carefull Bala Gopala is makhana-chora, he will steal all butter from house! Beware!


Title: Re: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Nava Gauranga dasa  Date: 2006-07-30 11:18:57


Dear Swami Gaurangapada,

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

please accept my humble obiesances.


I feel that my standard of practice would not be sufficient to  worship Lord Bala Gopala if He was installed with proper procedure. My worship of Lords Nityananda-Gauranga is very simple, mainly offerings of vegetarian food and incense, with kirtana and japa. And I would very much like to follow your approach and focus on Naam bhajana, as I have also found your instructions in this regard most merciful. Maybe, install Lord Bala Gopala in some years to come, when I am purified more by Nityananda-Gauranga Naam.


I know for sure I would fail in Krishna Deity worship, and commit many offences. And would like to work my way to steadily chanting 64 rounds of Nityananda Gauranga Naam japa first.


Is it possible to have Lord Bala Gopala on the altar not installed. Swami, would it be offensive to do this and just offer incense. He is so beautiful. Now that He is with me I am not sure what to do? I need your wisdom and advice in this Gurudeva. Thank you.



Title: Re: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-30 12:30:05


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! :pranams: Pranams! and :bless: Blessings! It may not be fully appropriate if you just keep Him without installing Him as He will just remain as an idol and your offering of incense and bhoga to Him wont be proper strictly in the ideal sense though the Lord is always merciful to His devotees.


When some devotees found Lord Jagannatha's dolls in the shops, Shrila Prabhupada told them to start worshiping Them as They should not be kept as just idols or dolls or as an antique item for the showcase.


Either we dont bring Them to our home in the first place knowing the responsibilities involved or if we bring Them then there is no middle way. The Deity has to be installed and worshiped. So you have two options now:


(1) Bathe Him with milk and Tulasi and perform a simple installation and beg Him to come in the Diety. Since you have Lords Nityananda Gauranga Deities and Naam, I am sure Lord Gopala will forgive any offenses is His service and He should accept your simple worship. You would also need the bija mantra of Lord Gopala so that He can accept your offerings just like the bija mantras for Lords Nityananda Gauranga.


(2) Or the second difficult option would to give the Deity to another devotee who will install and worship Him. You cant even return Him back to the seller as that would constitute an offense as the seller did not even know who He was.


This actually goes to show that Deity Worship is not so easy and is accompanied by many rules and regulations. Naam has no such rules and regulations and can be chanted by anyone for any amount of time in any circumstance without any such considerations. That is why Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu Himself did not establish any Deities and travelled around to freely distribute His Naam to everyone and instructed everyone to chant and preach the Naam while remaining in their respective positions in life.


Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu said in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita that ideally one should one bring a Deity home and worship Him only when the Deity is given by a very advanced devotee to us on level of our Diksha or Shiksha Guru with instructions to worship. Or at least one should take permission and blessings from an advanced devotee before bringing the Deity home. It should not be done whimsically. Deity Worship is not as simple as just buying Him from an online shop or in the market whenever we feel. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Goswami started the worship of Lord Giridhari only when he was given the Giridhari shila by the Lord Gauranga Himself and ordered to worship Him. Shri Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada started worship only when he was given the Deity of Lord Kurma by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his childhood.


Photographs of the Lord, though they are also non-different than the Lord since the Lord is absolute, do not have these strict rules like the Deities including installation etc. though Shri Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada used to follow some rules for the photographs also. For example, he never printed the Lord's photographs on the book covers as sometimes dust may accumulate on the book or they maybe kept in an unclean place. Of course our beloved Shiksha Guru Shrila Prabhupada allowed the printing of the Lord's photos on book covers as he mercifully wanted to make the divine form and pastimes of the Lord more popular and famous in this world as per the time, place and circumstances.


I know that you are a very simple-hearted devotee and you would not have been aware of the requirements of Deity Worship. So anything you decide will be ok for me, dear Nava Gauranga dasa, since maybe the Lord is eager to accept your humble and simple services in any way you can offer them.


Title: Re: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Nava Gauranga dasa  Date: 2006-07-31 11:34:39


Dear Swami Gaurangapada,

Nityananda, Gauranga, Hare Krishna,

please accept my humble obiesances.


Thank you for answering my questions. It is difficult for me but I have decided not to keep Lord Bala Krishna. I will send him to the Iskcon centre in Melbourne through a friend. As there are many good devotees there, I will find one who surely will worship Him very nicely. He is a very rare, and old deity so I am sure, by the Lord's grace he will find a special home.


I wish to thank you for teaching me that your main practice is Naam bhajana and not so much deity worship. I never understood this fully before. Slowly I am learning more and more. I have just finished reading your e-book on Laksha Naam, and have decided to gradually over  time to work at this goal. Your teaching and persona is so merciful, and just by following your instructions on chanting Nityananda and Gauranga Naam, I have realised the depth of mercy to some degree of our Lords Nityananda and Gauranga. I wish to be a faithful disciple, as I have tasted your mercy and kindness. So I will now focus my bhajana on Naam Japa and Kirtana. Thank you.



I do have one query though about my Gaura-Nitai deities. They were given to me by a friend 3 years ago. And  actually they have never been officially installed. Should they be?

And if so would they then need to be worshiped with appropriate paraphernalia, such as conch, ghee lamp, fan etc, like they do in the temple. Or would simple kirtana, bhoga and incense offerings, and bathing be fine?


I have come to my decision tonight to give Lord Bala Gopala away, after reading your Laksha Naam e-book. It is a great book and helps me understand more how to apply myself as your disciple. My mood is to follow you in this way and not head off with my own ideas on how to worship Lord GaurangaKrishna. If I whimsically create my own practice I will fail, but i have strong faith that by following you I will eventually succeed in time as a sadhaka devotee.


So thank you for being so kind and allowing me to decide about the Lord Bala Gopala deity and worship of Him.:ty:




Title: Re: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-31 21:12:10


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! :pranams: Pranams and :bless: Blessings. I am happy that I was able to help you. Thankyou for considering my suggestions.


Shrila Rupa Goswami states in Shri Namashtakam:


vacyam vacakam ity udeti bhavato nama svarupa-dvayam

purvasmat param eva hanta karunam tatrapi janimahe

yas tasmin vihitaparadha-nivahau prani samantad bhaved

asyenedam upasya so 'pi hi sadanandambudhau majjati


"O Holy Name, You are manifested in two forms: 1. the Supreme Personal (Diety) Form of the Lord addressed by the Holy Name, and 2. the Spiritual Sound Vibration (Syllables) of the Holy Name. We know that the second form is even more merciful than the first, because although a person may commit many offenses to Your first form, he or she will still plunge into an ocean of supreme bliss by serving and worshiping Your second form with his or her voice and tongue."


Shrila Sanatana Goswami writes in Brihad Bhagavatamrita:


jayati jayati namananda-rupam murarer


 kathamapi sakrd-attam muktidam praninam yat

 paramam amrtam ekam jivanam bhusanam me



  "All glories, all glories to the all-blissful holy name of Lord Gauranga Krishna, which causes the devotee to give up all conventional religious duties, meditation and worship. When somehow or other uttered even once by a living entity, the Holy Name awards him liberation. The Holy Name is the highest nectar. It is my very life and my only treasure."


krishnasya nana-vidha-kirtanesu

tan-nama-sankirtanam eva mukhyam

tat-prema-sampaj-janane svayam drak

saktum tatah sresthatamam matam tat


"Of the all the unlimited many ways to glorify Lord Gauranga Krishna, chanting and singing of His Holy Names is the most principle and topmost process. Since Naam Sankirtana has the full power and capability to give anyone and everyone the greatest wealth of pure love for Lord Gauranga Krishna, it is considered the best of all spiritual processes."


Lord Gauranga instructs Shrila Sanatana Goswami in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita:


tara madhye sarva-srestha nama-sankirtana

niraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana


  "Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the Holy Names of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offenses, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead."


Shrila Jiva Gosvami gives the following directions in his Bhakti Sandarbha (270):


iyam ca kirtanakhya bhaktir bhagavato dravya-jati-guna-kriyabhir dina-janaika-visayapara-karuna-mayiti sruti-puranadi-visrutih. ataeva kalau svabhavata evatidinesu lokesu avirbhuya tan anayasenaiva tat tad yuga-gata-maha-sadhananam sarvam eva phalam dadana sa kritarthayati. yata eva tayaiva kalau bhagavato visesatas ca santosho bhavati.


    "Chanting the Holy Name is the chief means of attaining love of Godhead in Kali Yuga. This chanting does not depend on any paraphernalia, nor on one's having taken birth in a good family. By humility and meekness while chanting, one attracts the attention of Lord Gauranga Krishna. That is the verdict of all the Vedas. Therefore if one becomes very humble and meek while chanting the Holy Names, he or she can easily attain the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga Krishna in this age of Kali. That is the fulfillment of all great sacrifices, penances and austerities because when one achieves ecstatic love of Godhead, he attains the complete perfection of life. Therefore whatever one does in executing devotional service must be accompanied with the chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord."


Title: Re: Bala Krishna Deity

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-31 21:21:22


I do have one query though about my Gaura-Nitai deities. They were given to me by a friend 3 years ago. And actually they have never been officially installed. Should they be?




And if so would they then need to be worshiped with appropriate paraphernalia, such as conch, ghee lamp, fan etc, like they do in the temple. Or would simple kirtana, bhoga and incense offerings, and bathing be fine?


Shrila Prabhupada said that Their Lordships Lords Nityananda Gauranga are pleased with whatever you can offer. Daily Sankirtana is most pleasing to Them. Please read the book Nityananda Gauranga in Every Home for further details of the way They can be worshiped.