His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
the Hare Krsna movement)
The following is an exchange that took place on our BLISS Page on FB between several BLISS members and two unknown devotees who took objection when they saw the picture of Paramahamsa Prabhu as seen above worshipping the Deities while wearing a kurta (shirt). We thought of sharing it with you.
Ayyappa Doss: He should not wear kurta and do deity worship. Pujaris should wear Chaddar while inside altar.Guru puja can be made by wearing kurta.
Purujit Dasa: there are various opinions on this point of deity worship. ultimately we have to come to srila prabhupada. so far i have not seen a statement from srila prabhupada saying one should not worship in kurta. in the western countries during the winter season i think it is very impractical.
Ayyappa Doss: hmm I see
Purujit Das: I mean i remember running a temple in canada in -40. it's not a joke exactly. you have to put on sweater even :) anyway, if there is a quote from srila prabhupada we can discuss. let us become accustomed to discuss on the basis of srila prabhupada's statements. he is the highest authority on all matters.
Elle Mitchell: You may not have seen a statement from Srila Prabhupada prohibiting kurtas but it's likely there are plenty of statements from him on what _should_ be worn on the altar. First recourse is "Siksamrta" where there are excerpts from his letters regarding deity worship. Second recourse is Vedabase, third is ISKCON Deity Worship ministry. I lived in a temple in a cold climate also but the standard for altar worship is cotton or silk dhoti, with chadar if it's cold, no socks.Further, if the pujari is cold then the Deities are cold. That means you put a space heater on the altar for Their comfort and pleasure. Conversely, in the summer you use a fan when it's hot. This entire discussion would be moot if Their needs had been put first.
Makhancora Dasa: (posts the following pictures of Srila Prabhupada worshipping the Deities in a kurta)
Elle Mitchell: Srila Prabhupada is a saktavesa avatar and a pure devotee. Are you suggesting your brahmacari pujari, the "paramahamsa", is on the same level? Find photos of any devotees during Srila Prabhupada's manifest lila conducting arati in a kurta. Find photos of any devotees doing so after Srila Prabhupada left the planet in Mayapur, Vrndavan or any other temple he established. I'll wait. And no, "time, place and circumstance" does not apply just because you want to justify a deviation. That is the privilege of a pure devotee, not kanistha adhikaris. The fact that you stated above that "_I_ think it is very impractical" reveals your mindset. Did you bother to look this up in Siksamrta or Vedabase yet, or do you even know what either is? There us also Hari Bhakti Vilas.
Purujit Das: You might be right, but i did not see the quote from srila prabhupada...:)
Makhancora Dāsa: maybe you can show us how you do it...
Purujit Das: ISKCON Deity worship ministry is definitely not any sort of authority for us :) :) :)
Ayyappa Doss : I prefer to wear Chaddar while inside the altar. Because in 4 Vaishnava Sambradaya temples only Dhoti , Urdhavapundra, Chaddar and some used to wear garlands or ornaments while deity worship. No high standards in Guru puja. Better if it's cold, wear a sweater and wear Chaddar above it. Pujaris in Vrindavan does this
Makhancora Dāsa: It´s ok, Prabhus, it´s not Treta yuga...
There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when Your Lordship's holy name is chanted, everything becomes faultless.
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way." (Brhan-naradiya Purana 38.126) In this age of Kali, it is extremely difficult to perform Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or sacrifices perfectly. Hardly anyone can chant the Vedic mantras with perfect pronunciation or accumulate the paraphernalia for Vedic performances. Therefore the sacrifice recommended in this age is sankirtana, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord. Yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah (SB 11.5.32). Instead of wasting time performing Vedic sacrifices, those who are intelligent, those who possess good brain substance, should take to the chanting of the Lord's holy name and thus perform sacrifice perfectly. I have seen that many religious leaders are addicted to performing yajnas and spending hundreds and thousands of rupees for imperfect sacrificial performances. This is a lesson for those who unnecessarily execute such imperfect sacrifices. We should take the advice of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah). Although Sukracarya was a strict brahmana addicted to ritualistic activities, he also admitted, nischidram anusankirtanam tava: "My Lord, constant chanting of the holy name of Your Lordship makes everything perfect." In Kali-yuga the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies cannot be performed as perfectly as before. Therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami has recommended that although one should take care to follow all the principles in every kind of spiritual activity, especially in worship of the Deity, there is still a chance of discrepancies, and one should compensate for this by chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In our Krsna consciousness movement we therefore give special stress to the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra in all activities.
Purujit Dasa: The pujaris in Vrndavana might do like that, but we follow Srila Prabhupada. There are different standards you can get confused. Therefore you must follow what the diksa guru says.
Ayyappa Doss: Makhancora Prabhu, I'm not forcing my concept. It's a preference, it's all upto themselves
Makhancora Dāsa: No problem, Prabhu
Purujit Dasa: There is nothing wrong in wearing chaddar only. Both are ok. Another point is that Srila Prabhupada is the first acharya who gave gayatri to women and had women pujaris performing puja. It is a common sense girls should not be bare chested and wearing chaddar only when doing aratika, so where is your sastra now?
Adi-kesava: What about in the temples, when we're visiting the temples? The temples we're visiting now... That book that Jayatirtha was making on Deity worship following from the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, he told me he is making on your order to make a standard of Deity worship. That is the standard we should be advising the temples to follow?
Prabhupada: Yes. Make it simplified. At the present moment, especially in the Western countries, it is not possible to follow very elaborate program, but what I have given already, that is sufficient, six times worshiping, arati, just like here going on, just like the same program. Not to make it difficult thing, because with the advancement of Kali-yuga, more difficulties are coming. So simple, things should be simplified. That is wanted.
Room Conversation -- February 19, 1977, Mayapura
In your Western countries Lord Caitanya should be entirely covered, He should not appear bare-chested."
(SPL to Dhruvananda, 4th January, 1973)
Why the Deity of Lord Caitanya should be entirely covered in the Western countries? Because it's cold and since it's cold His pujaris should also be entirely covered. It is just common sense. You can't worship the Deity in the West in the same way as you worship in India. But because we are not taking exclusive shelter of Srila Prabhupada but jump over to Hari bhakti vilasa, there is such confusion. Even a common sense person can understand that in a cold climate you are supposed to put a warm clothing.
Elle Mitchell: Purujit dasa, if you did not see the quote from Srila Prabhupada it's because you have not looked for it. Srila Prabhupada has also never mentioned people scrolling their cellphones in front of the Deities, but do you think he'd consider that allowable, since it's done by so many, just because he didn't mention it. In the meantime, if you were suggesting _I_ provide quotes, that is not my respondibility to look it up and educate you. You're the one doing Deity worship and posting photos online. If you chose to make your activities public you should be making effort to perform correctly and use the right resources, not crowdsource what you need to know. I'm not second initiated so I don't do temple worship, but I know I'm expected to wear a cotton sari, with a chadar in cold weather, cover my head and not wear docks on the altar. And if J were male I would follow the standard I mentioned above, which is what I've seen in every temple arati I've seen live and online for the past 12 years. While ISKCON is no standard for you, it seems like you have none at all besides doing what is convenient for you. I've seen the other posts where you misquoted Srila Prabhupada and tried to justify it when challenged. Wile I respect what you're trying to do I have to unfollow this page. Thrre has been enough deviation in ISKCON. I don't need more in my feed from people willfully infected with the "change disease".
Jaganath Balaram Dasa: Elle Mitchell we are sure that if you provide the quote of Prabhupada giving that order Paramahamsa will surely take it in count..but as you are the one claiming Prabhupada give this instructión you must provide the evidence..otherwise you are just creating your own conclussion
Purujit Das: The standard we follow is strictly under Srila Prabhupada's authority. You did take it upon yourself to educate us. Otherwise why are you even writing the comment? I assume you are a reasonable person who does things with some purpose in mind. If the idea behind your comment is not to educate us, instruct us about the right standard, then what is it? And since you have accused us from deviating, it is definitely your responsibility to provide evidence. Also, this can be done in a respectful manner: Prabhus, in my humble opinion it should be done like this. I am basing my conclusion on such and such statement coming from Srila Prabhupada. If you can point out flaw and support it, it would be most foolish from us not to accept it. But if you just write without any respect or etiquette immediately degrading into accusatory rhetorics of the type: "you are deviants", "you are bogus", "you are not authorized". I don't think anyone in any field would accept such self-appointed authority even he or she might be actually right. From this I can understand you have very little experience in preaching work and over all interacting with people and expressing your point of view without offending them. If you say we deviate but cannot supply any evidence by quoting Srila Prabhupada, your criticism has no basis, rather you are stepping into the danger waters of offenses. please, kindly do not jump into conclusions without thoroughly studying a particular devotee. I believe you are a reasonable and intelligent Vaisnava lady, please do not make yourself miserable by such low class mentality.
"One should not speak in such a way as to agitate the minds of others. Of course, when a teacher speaks, he can speak the truth for the instruction of his students, but such a teacher should not speak to others who are not his students if he will agitate their minds. This is penance as far as talking is concerned. Besides that, one should not talk nonsense. When speaking in spiritual circles, one's statements must be upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying. At the same time, such talk should be very pleasurable to the ear. By such discussions, one may derive the highest benefit and elevate human society. There is a limitless stock of Vedic literature, and one should study this. This is called penance of speech."
Bg 17.15, 1972
This is a video where a pujari with white kurta is distinctly seen in the presence of Srila Prabhupada:
FINAL NOTE: We have not heard from "Elle Mitchell" neither Ayyappa Doss since then. Perhaps they now do accept the standard of Deity worship we have in the BLISS?