Deity installation letters by Srila Prabhupada

November 23, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Deity Installation Letters

Feb 12 1969 letter Sastvarupa
Regarding your idea of having an installation ceremony for the Deities, it is very good suggestion, and you may also have the sacrificial fire. The Deities should be bathed with milk, and while bathing, They must have covering of thin cotton cloth, and the whole Body and the clothing should be wet by pouring the milk. You can see the picture of this in the new Back To Godhead, and perhaps you saw the ceremony when it was held in New York. The Deities should be decorated with sufficient flowers and nice gorgeous dresses and ornaments. Beforehand, you should polish the Bodies with a mixture of tamorind pulp and fullers earth. Apply the pulp on the Bodies, then rub it and then polish nicely with tissue paper. This will gave a very good shine. Then bath the Deities with milk, and dress very nicely with ornaments, and place Them on the throne with flowers, candles, etc. The throne, if possible, should be coated with silver sheets, and the canopy should be red velvet with gold embroidered work. Before the Deities, on the staircase, there may be some silver polished cups, pitchers, etc. I think the Deities have already helmets and peacock feathers and hair to be dressed with. If not, make arrangements for this also. I do not know how big is the throne, but if it is very big, then within the throne there may be a raised seat to accommodate the Deities. On the whole, everything should be very gorgeous; then it will be successful.
Actually, although Radha-Krishna is worshiped in Vrindaban which is like a simple village, but we worship Laksmi-Narayana, and the worship is accepted by the Radha-Krishna Deity. Actually, in our present status, we can not worship Radha-Krishna. But as all the Visnu Murtis are situated in Krishna, therefore, our Radha-Krishna worship is transferred to Visnu, Lord Narayana. Visnu worship is the regulative devotional principles, and Radha-Krishna worship is spontaneous service of eternal feelings. Therefore, as Laksmi-Narayana is the Deity of great opulences, similarly our Radha-Krishna Murtis also should be worshiped with great pomp and dignity. Krishna will give you the proper intelligence to do this very nicely. So far as prayers, you may sing Hare Krishna, Govinda Jaya Jaya, and Govindam Ādi purusam.

Sept 5 1969 letter Hamsadutta
It has very good potency, and I am very glad to learn that you have got a nice house also and the rent is also not very high. But unfortunately you have only one year’s lease, so how you can install a lifesize Deity there? Therefore, for the time being to install a lifesize Deity may not be feasible; but if you can pay 250 dollars, I will get for you from India 24″ high brass Radha-Krishna Deities, one pair, for installing in Berkeley. In the mean time, I may remind you to fix up the altar exactly like Los Angeles. You have seen it personally, and I am also enclosing herewith a picture of the Los Angeles altar. I wish that this design of the altar should be followed by everyone. This Los Angeles altar has been erected under my supervision, especially the Radha-Krishna throne, and I would very much like to follow this idea everywhere. Get for your temple nice devotees and monetary help. I hope you will stick to this center organizing, husband and wife, and in the very near future it will be as good as our Los Angeles temple.
Regarding your question about rasa with the Spiritual Master, I do not know who is the someone who has said this, but it is a most unauthorized statement. Better you should stick to hearing from authorized persons, like your Spiritual Master or experienced Godbrothers. But never try to hear someone who is not in our line. It is simply a waste of time to hear and then again have to rectify the mistake. Regarding your question about my never returning to Spiritual Sky, that is possible simultaneously. So far as the quotation from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura you have cited, that is quite all right. Hare Krsna-Harinama In this age, chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra is the prime business of the devotee, and preaching of this Hare Krishna Mantra by outdoor Sankirtana and propagation of literature is our more important business. Side by side, Deity worship is recommended, but when there is a question of accepting one of them, we shall prefer to accept chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra first.
 
Nov 11 1969 letter Srimati
Regarding worshiping uninstalled Deities, generally this is not done. But you can aratis with Lord Jagannatha. He is very kind. I hope you are all chanting regularly and keeping in good spirits. I hope this will meet you in good health.
June 13 1970 letter Revatinanada
Regarding your question whether you may go to Rathayatra festival, yes, you may go because in your present temple the Deities are not regularly installed. So you can close the temple for a few days keeping in front of the Deities some dried fruits and a tumbler of water. When the Deity is installed it is called niyama seva. That means the routine seva prescribed after installation you cannot stop. But Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is very kind to the fallen souls of the Kali Yuga and He is satisfied with chanting of Hare Krsna mantra. And for chanting the Hare Krsna mantra there is no hard and fast rules and regulations, so if you are absent for chanting Hare Krsna mantra somewhere else, it is as good as to chant the Hare Krsna mantra in the temple. Your chanting may not be stopped; it does not matter where you chant.
The next question, about the living entities falling down in this material world are not from the impersonal brahman. Existence in the impersonal brahma is also within the category of non-Krsna consciousness. Those who are in the brahman effulgence they are also in the fallen condition, so there is no question of falling down from a fallen condition. When fall takes place, it means falling down from the non-fallen condition.
The non-fallen condition is Krsna consciousness. So long one can maintain pure Krsna consciousness he is not fallen down. As soon as he becomes out of Krsna consciousness immediately he is fallen down. It does not matter where a living entity stays. In the material world also there are different stages of living conditions, and to remain in the brahman effulgence is also another phase of that fallen condition. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that conditioned souls by their pious activities are elevated to the higher planetary system, but as soon as the stock of pious activities is finished he again comes down on the earthly planet. Similarly those who are elevated beyond the planetary system to the brahma effulgence, they are also prone to fall down as much as a living entity from the higher planetary system.
As such those who are thinking that they are liberated by being situated in brahman effulgence are described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as impurely intelligent. In other words, they are actually not liberated, and because they are not actually liberated they again come down to the material world as much as a living entity elevated to the higher planetary system comes down to this earthly planet. So we do not accept anyone elevated to the brahman effulgence as actually liberated
July 1 1970 letter Damodara
I do not know what Kirtanananda Maharaja has told you, but where there is want of pujaris only Panca Tattva picture should be worshiped by performance of Kirtana and as soon as Jagannatha or Radha Krsna Deities are installed you will require some qualified pujaris immediately. If there is scarcity of such qualifies pujaris, each center should be satisfied only by worshiping Panca Tattva of Lord Caitanya by performance of Sankirtana.
I learn that your marriage is already arranged, so I have no objection.
I am glad to learn that you are continuing your mahasankirtana., that is very nice. This is our main business. Temple worship is not so important as Sankirtana on the public roads and selling our literatures. Your class schedule is also very nice.
 

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