SP letters on Deity worship

November 15, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Part 2—letters on Deity worship continued
 
Dec 27 letter Satyabhama
I shall give you some facts about Lord Jagannatha also. I am very glad to learn the practical result of deity worship in your behavior. I am so glad to learn that you are feeling development of a bit of affection for Jagannatha by personal taking care, and that is the way of increasing our love of Godhead. Deity worship is the practical demonstration and hearing from the Spiritual Master is the nourishment of the idea. Krishna Consciousness is so nice that anyone who has a little taste of it must feel a distinction between his past and present life. It is not only the case with you but it is the case for everyone who has the fortunate opportunity for coming into contact with Krishna.
I thank you very much for your taking my time in this way. May Krishna be pleased upon you; both you and your good husband will be more and more spiritually happy by your nice service attitude in Krishna Consciousness.
Actually, I have no desire to start the school in any city. City life, especially in this age of kali yuga, is very much polluted. Poet Cowper stated that the city is made by man and the village is made by God.
 
Nov 4 1971 letter Vishnujana
It is very encouraging for me to hear that my Sannyasis are traveling and preaching. Regarding keeping our temples clean, this is essential. Unless we can maintain the temples we presently have superexcellently clean, we should not open new centers.
Two men may remain at the temple and clean thoroughly every day and the rest should go to the streets for sankirtana. For Spiritual life chanting Hare Krishna is sufficient but because we are habituated to unclean habits we must have temple worship. Sankirtana will keep everyone’s mind clean and surely this quarreling will cease.
 
Nov 17 1971 letter Himavati
I am especially pleased that you are finding great pleasure in serving Their Lordships in Hamburg Temple as pujari. I think that under your care They have become very gorgeous and satisfied. It is the sole aim of life to be constantly absorbed in thoughts about Radharani and Krishna, and because you are so determined to become fully Krishna Conscious, Krishna has given you this opportunity to realize that aim by serving Him directly. I have always instructed that the standard of arcana worship must be kept very high, because this will insure that every other temple activity will also flourish. So I am relieved to know that now the Deities are in your care. Thank you for this.
If one simply deposits all of his or her loving propensity onto the Deity of Krishna, immediately they are relieved of anxiety due to material sense agitation. This is Krishna Consciousness.
 
Nov 17 1971 letter Himavati
Because mushrooms grow in a filthy place, they are not usually offered to Krishna. It is very nice that all the men should participate in deity-worship, this will sanctify their all other work. I think you are the most clever manager, better than your husband, because you are organizing temple routine very nicely for serving the deities and this will have very good results for everyone.
 
July 30 1972 letter Arundhati
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 19, 1972, and I am simply surprised that you want to give up your child to some other persons, even they are also devoteesFor you, child-worship is more important than deity-worship. If you cannot spend time with him, then stop the duties of pujari. At least you must take good care of your son until he is four years old, and if after that time you are unable any more to take care of him then I shall take care. These children are given to us by Krishna, they are Vaisnavas and we must be very careful to protect them. These are not ordinary children, they are Vaikuntha children, and we are very fortunate we can give them chance to advance further in Krishna Consciousness. That is very great responsibility, do not neglect it or be confused. Your duty is very clear.
 
Oct 7 1974 letter Vrajesvari devi
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated August 11, 1974 (sic.) I have noted in your letter that you want to serve me. I only want that all you my disciples always think of Krishna and never forget Him for a moment. In this way you can conquer Krishna. He becomes so attracted by pure devotion that He gives Himself to His devotee. And if you get Krishna, then what you want more?
How to think of Krishna that I have given, following the devotional practices and chanting 16 rounds minimum. We have also established worship of the Deity in our temple so that all day long one will automatically think of Krishna, He is so kind.
 
Nov 5 1974 letter Lilasakti
I am glad to see that you are advancing in Krishna consciousness by this worship of the Deity. This is the practical application to what we find stated in the Bhagavad-gita, man manah bhava mad bhakto, mad yaji mam namaskuru. We do not speculate on what Krishna says but we follow whatever He says implicitly. I also follow this process. Every morning I go to the temple and see the Deity and offer obeisances, so I expect each and every one of my disciples should also follow what I have given in this connection, arising early, taking bath, attending mangal arati. yuktasya bhaktams ca niyunjato ‘pi **. The Deity is non-different from Krishna Himself. This we have to understand
 
Jan 29 1976 letter Dr Wolfe
In India the system is that people go to see the Jagannatha Deity. The Deity is not very beautiful from the artistic point of view, but still people attend by the thousands. That sentiment is required. Similarly with our kirtana we are only using drums and karatalas, but people come to the point of ecstasy. It is not the ornamentation, it is the ecstasy. This ecstasy is awakened by sravanam kirtanam by devotees. I hope this makes everything clear.
 
RESULTS OF PERFORMING DEITY WORSHIP
 
Sept 15 1968 letter Brahmananda
Regarding my Deity worship: I can understand that the regulative principles are taking much of your time, but you can minimize according to your convenience. There is no harm. But I am so glad to learn that this engagement makes one developing the Brahminical qualities. I thank you very much for appreciating this secret of worshiping the LordGenerally, we in the conditioned state, we are contaminated. But, this worshiping system called “Arcana vidhi” cleanses the polluted heart and one becomes actually fit for becoming qualified Brahmin. So at least you be engaged in that way. Where is that boy Jaya Rama, who was taking care of it? So one by one, one should be engaged in that “Arcana vidhi” so that one may be fixed up in his Brahminical qualification.
 

Sept 22 1969 letter Kirtanananda
So please welcome the Deity and install Him in a nice throne. I think Vamanadeva will be able to prepare a nice throne, and you have seen the New York Deities’ dress and process of worship, so you can do in that way. There is nothing to be added new. The same principle should be followed, and the Deities should always be well-dressed in clothing and some ornaments and flowers and incense. The Deities should always be attractive. And the more we are engaged in decorating the Deities, washing the room, the more we are engaged in Deity worship, the more we become purified. That is practical. Brahmananda is also taking care of my Deity in New York, and he is practically experiencing and doing it. So if necessary you can take some information from him also.
 
Oct 22 1968 letter Kirtananda
You have got very good engagement by the Grace of Krishna, do it nicely and your life will be glorious and successful. So also Hayagriva’s. When you go to Columbus take Radha Krishna with you and teach Hayagriva also how to worship the Deities. If required, ask Acyutananda and Jaya Govinda to send you another pair of Deity for Hayagriva. Radhakrishna shall be your life companion and thus you will be always secure from the attack of Maya. So also Hayagriva. The present mode of worship is quite alright, don’t worry. You have seen in Vrindaban so do follow as much as possible. Decorate the Deity as nicely as possible with nice flowers and dress. You will forget all other false beauty.
 
Jan 18 1969 letter Syama dasi
You have asked me some questions about the functions of sex life in Krishna Consciousness, and the basic principle is that it should be avoided as far as possible. However, if it is unavoidable, then it should be utilized only for begetting Krishna Conscious children. In that case, the husband and wife should chant at least fifty rounds before going to sex. The recommended period is six days after the menstruation period.
I am glad to hear that you are helping out in tending the Deities. This is very spiritually beneficial engagement and, along with chanting the required number of rounds of Hare Krishna, Krishna is sure to give you all facilities to perfect your life in full Krishna Consciousness. In this connection, the recipe for the caranamrta is enclosed here by Karatieya.
 
March 6 1970 letter Vasudeva
I am also very pleased to learn that the Deities are now receiving proper service and you are developing a great love for Them. Please continue your sincere service with even greater vigor, and your love will grow increasingly more. Actually when this dormant love for Krsna is aroused in the heart of the devotee, there are for him no more problems of life. So continue to chant regularly Hare Krsna and be happy. Your nice service attitude is most encouraging to me.
 
March 18 1969 letter Himavati
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter dated February 21, 1969, along with the Deity dress. It has come to me late on account of changing places so quickly and the statement given by you in the matter of worshiping the Deity is super excellent. Please continue this system and Krishna will bestow upon you all blessings. If one attains perfection in Deity worship, that is called Arcana Siddhi. Arcana Siddhi means simply by Deity worship one goes back to Godhead, immediately after this life. So this Arcana Siddhi program is given in the Narada Pancaratra especially for the householders. Householders cannot undergo strict disciplinary activities of austerity, therefore for every householder the path of Arcana Siddhi is very much recommended. According to Vedic system, all householders are ordered to keep Deity at home and follow strictly the worshipment process. That makes the home pure, body pure, mind pure, and quickly promotes one to the pure platform of spiritual life. The temple is also specially meant for the householders. In India, in every town, in every village, in every neighborhood, still there are Visnu temples for the convenience of the surrounding householders. So I am pleased that you are ideal householder. And you are doing very nicely combined together husband and wife. Please do it as you are doing and gradually Krishna will give you all facility.
 
Oct 27 1969 letter Upendra
I am pleased also that you are decorating your temple nicely, and the more you decorate the temple beautifully the more your heart will be beautiful. The example is that the more you decorate the original the more the reflection automatically is decorated. So our heart is the reflection of the Original Consciousness, Krsna, and the more Krsna and His paraphernalia are decorated the more this will be reflected in our heart and we will feel transcendental bliss.
 
March 6 1970 letter Vasudeva
I am also very pleased to learn that the Deities are now receiving proper service and you are developing a great love for Them. Please continue your sincere service with even greater vigor, and your love will grow increasingly more. Actually when this dormant love for Krsna is aroused in the heart of the devotee, there are for him no more problems of life. So continue to chant regularly Hare Krsna and be happy. Your nice service attitude is most encouraging to me.
 
April 26 1970 letter Himavati
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated sometime April, and I am so glad to learn that you are making advance in Krishna Consciousness as it is scheduled. It appears that you are on the attachment platform, this is very good. The next platform is ecstasy, and then pure love of God. So stick to your duties at the present moment, and when it is convenient you can go with the Sankirtana Party, but never neglect the Arcana regulation at any cost. If you have no time, you are not required to go with the Sankirtana Party. Your first business is to take care of the Deities. Practically you see that everyone is appreciating your Deity worship and Srimati Radharani is smiling, so it is a great credit for you, so continue this engagement.
 
May 27 1970 letter TKG
You have described Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krsna at London Temple as wonderful. Yes, that is the test of standard service. If we see the Deities in very pleasing mood, that will certify our service unto the Lord. So everywhere we shall see the Deities in such pleasing mood. As soon as we see the Deities in a different mood we must immediately understand our discrepancies.
 
NoteI once visited Iskcon Jaipur about 10 yrs ago and their Srila Prabhupada murti was the saddest looking deity I have ever seen. I also noted they were following the un-authorized system of deity worship there as well.
 
Nov 13 1970 letter Karandhar
Regarding Seattle center, I know that Krsnakanti is a very nice devotee and highly intelligent and enthusiastic, so he is certainly a good man for the presidency there. I am so pleased that Srimati Jambavati devi is caring for the Deities there so well. When the Deities will be radiant, it means that the service is going on nicely. So regarding the Los Angeles Deity worship, you were carrying it out very well in my presence, so you continue in that way. Two baths daily for Their Lordships is not required, but twice dressing is nice. Your program for training everyone in the proper form of Deity worship and other temple activities is very, very good. We want that all our men shall be able to do everything in Krsna Consciousness—a devotee is expert in all things.
 
June 15 1971 letter Citralekha
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter undated and have noted the contents. I am so glad to hear how nicely you are attending the Deity. Please continue this activity along with your other godsisters. The more you beautify the Deities, the more your heart will be beautiful and you will understand Krishna Consciousness very distinctly.
Yes, the bumblebee is very much favored by Krishna and Radharani. Sometimes the bumblebee is taken as a messenger by Radharani and she rebukes the bumblebee because the bumblebee is blackish and Krishna is also blackish. Still, in spite of all rebuking, the bumblebee tried always to touch the Lotus Feet of Radharani. Therefore the bumblebee is to be offered our all reverence and respect. So please try to attract always the bumblebee by sufficiently decorating the Deity with flowers.
Nov 17 1971 letter Himavati
If one simply deposits all of his or her loving propensity onto the Deity of Krishna, immediately they are relieved of anxiety due to material sense agitationThis is Krishna Consciousness. Your prayer that you may be put always in difficulty is just like Queen Kunti Devi. She prayed to Krishna in the same way, because whenever there was trouble Krishna felt the suffering of His devotees and stayed by them to help them. And as soon as the trouble ended, Krishna went away! So let us always pray that Krishna may put us into difficulty so that we may expect that He will also remain by us and not go away.
 
Dec 31 1972 letter Bali mardana
I note also that your expenses have remained almost constant for so many months, except for the money paid to book fund, which is increasing more and more, so that is the best system: pay to the books fund larger and larger sums, keep other expenses constant as much as possible or reduce. But one thing is, you were spending $900 monthly for deity expenses, and still you are spending $900, so if total income is increasing more than double, why not increase also expense for the deity? We may spend anything and everything for the deity, as long as there is no scarcity, and by that lavish spending to glorify Radha and Krsna, they will become very much pleased upon you and bless you more and more.
 
July 26 1974 letter Hladhini
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated July 17, 1974 with enclosed photographs of Lord Jagannatha. I can see that you are very nicely taking care of the Deities, and this is much appreciated by me. Now you stick to this process of worship of the Deity and you will advance more and more in Krishna consciousness. I very much enjoyed my stay in New Vrindaban, and was glad to see everything going on very nicely. So now just cooperate with the leaders there and expand it more and more.
 
Nov 10 letter Madhudvisa
As a child when I was going to the neighboring Mallik temple, I was thinking then when will I have such a nice Deity to worship and now Krsna is so kind that I am establishing so many nice temples all over the world. Now I want that there should be established 108 temples before my death, so you think how to do it. Make some program, train up devotees. All temples in Melbourne, London, Paris, Bombay, all are very nice. Everything is very bright and brilliant. The Deity is proof of the sincere service. It is the duty of the GBC now to maintain this. Their duty is how to enthuse them and maintain.