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Title: Deity Worship
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-02-14 23:30:00
1) We are told that Radha Krishna are supposed to be worshipped as Lakshmi Narayan at home. But isn't that a totally different kind of worship, prabhu? Different mantras are chanted and the atmosphere is totally different.
2) People tell us to look at Radha Krishna with formalities. I do agree, we have to try our best not to commit the stipulated offences with the deities around. However prabhu, i do believe that each individual's relationship with Radha Krishna is very personal. Please correct me if i am wrong. The reason why i say this is that my family went through 15 years of struggles - materially,spiritually and emotionally, till finally we came to a situation whereby we knew the only sole protector and well-wisher was Krishna only. Life was a non-stop struggle for all those years, and finally we came away from all relatives and friends who were non-devotees. that's when the deities arrived in our residence. See Prabhu, we can't see them as deities or as '' Boss and employee''. Rather we see them as life beings whom we take care of. Wonderful events have happened in our life's only by Krishna's causeless mercy,prabhu.
In this regards, I want to simply say that to come above the mood of awe and reverence in the worship of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna and worship Them with spontaneous offenseless devotion is only possible if one regularly chants the all-offense destroying Holy Names of Nityananda Gauranga and worships the Deities of Nityananda-Gauranga in one's home for atleast a few years. For those who do not worship the Names and Deities of Nityananda-Gauranga first, spontaneous worship to Radha-Krishna will remain like a far-off illusory mirage in the desert even though one may sentimentally feel that one is doing it. And one will become simply overburdened by the 64 seva offenses which are considered in the worship of Radha-Krishna Deities.
Shrila Prabhupada told a devotee community that because they were immaturely worshiping Radha-Krishna Deities, their offenses to the Deities was taking away their taste in chanting and spiritual life.
We are recommending everyone to worship Nityananda-Gauranga or Pancha Tattva Deities or Pictures and to very regularly (atleast 25,000 Names daily) chant the Holy Names of Nityananda-Gauranga and Hare Krishna for atleast 5 years before bringing the Deities of Radha-Krishna in one's home. And that too after obtaining permission and blessings from the spiritual master and the vaishnavas.
3) Suppose my brother gets married, i understand it is not appropriate for newly married couples to be staying at the same place as the deities in the house. It's not appropriate owing to the regulations stipulated. Is this correct? I believe i have read this somewhere,but recall where.
This prohibition is not there in the list of 64 seva aparadhas to the Deities in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu.
4) Are there any instructions by Shrila Prabhupada that we should not worship deities in an household? Please enlighten me.
NITYANANDA-GAURANGA ARE VERY KIND AND LENIENT
"Unless we have got sufficient experienced devotees we shall not install Radha Krishna or Jagannatha Deities. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is very kind and lenient. Simply chanting of Hare Krishna will please Him. But when we have Deities like Radha Krishna or Jagannatha we must strictly follow the regulative principles of Arcana." (SP Letter to: Hamsaduta, Los Angeles, 22 June, 1970)
"If there is scarcity of such qualifies pujaris, each center should be satisfied only by worshipping Panca Tattva of Lord Chaitanya by performance of Sankirtana." (SP Letter to: Damodara, Los Angeles, 1 July, 1970)
FOR HOUSEHOLDERS NITYANANDA-GAURANGA ARE EVEN MORE RECOMMENDED THAN JAGANNATHA DEITIES WHAT TO SPEAK OF RADHA-KRISHNA DEITIES:
Devotee 8: Shrila Prabhupada, many people who live outside the temple have Jagannatha Deities and..Prabhupada: "Better Gaura-Nitai Deities." (Morning
Walk with Shrila Prabhupada, May 22, 1975, Melbourne)