Friday, May 18, 2018

Importance of arcana (deity worship)

Importance of arcana (deity worship)

[PADA: For many devotees living outside ISKCON it is harder for them to engage in opulent deity and kirtan programs. So these devotees can at least hear Krishna conscious audios or read original edition books, and there are so many web sites now that provide these services. 

Many outside folks have their own home deity as well, and that is also a wonderful idea -- if it is possible according to their living situations. The overall idea is to think of Krishna as much as possible, with the goal of thinking of Krishna full time i.e. 24 / 7. At the same time, there are a few independent fully functioning temples, like the one locally in Sunnyvale, so if it is possible to start such programs that is another great idea.

A devotee once told Srila Prabhupada -- we are in Krishna consciousness but sometimes fall into maya consciousness. And he said no, you are in maya consciousness and you sometimes fall into Krishna consciousness. Hee hee! ys pd]  

1.) A devotee must visit a Visnu temple at least once or twice every day, morning and evening.
– Nectar of Devotion Chap. 6

2.) ….The actual import of the verse is that one must see the form of Govinda if one at all wants to forget the nonsense of material friendship, love and society.
(Below, is the actual verse spoken of above.)

Rupa Gosvami has stated that five kinds of devotional activities namely, residing in Mathura, worshiping the Deity of the Lord, reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam, serving a devotee, and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra – are so potent that a small attachment for any one of these five items can arouse devotional ecstasy even in a neophyte.

Regarding worship of the form of the Lord, or Deity, Rupa Gosvami has written the following verse:

"My dear friend, if you still have any desire to enjoy the company of your friends within this material world, then don't look upon the form of Krishna, who is standing on the bank of Kesi-ghata [a bathing place in Vrindavana]. He is known as Govinda, and His eyes are very enchanting. He is playing upon His flute, and on His head there is a peacock feather. And His whole body is illuminated by the moonlight in the sky."

The purport of this verse is that if someone becomes attached to the Sri Murti, or Deity of Krishna, by worshiping at home, then he will forget his relationships of so-called friendship, love and society. Thus it is the duty of every householder to install Deities of the Lord at home and to begin the process of worshiping along with all of his family members. This will save everyone from such unwanted activities as going to clubs, cinemas, dancing parties, smoking, drinking, etc. All such nonsense will be forgotten if one stresses the worship of the Deities at home.

Rupa Gosvami further writes, "My dear foolish friend, I think that you have already heard some of the auspicious Srimad-Bhagavatam, which decries seeking the results of fruitive activities, economic development and liberation. I think now it is certain that gradually the verses of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, describing the pastimes of the Lord, will enter your ears and go into your heart."

In the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that unless one has the capacity to throw out, just like garbage, the fruitive results of ritualistic ceremonies, economic development and becoming one with the supreme (or salvation), one cannot understand Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Bhagavatam deals exclusively with devotional service. Only one who studies Srimad-Bhagavatam in the spirit of renunciation can understand the pastimes of the Lord which are described in the Tenth Canto. In other words, one should not try to understand the topics of the Tenth Canto, such as the rasa-lila (love dance), unless he has spontaneous attraction for Srimad-Bhagavatam. One must be situated in pure devotional service before he can relish Srimad-Bhagavatam as it is.

In the above two verses of Rupa Gosvami, there are some metaphorical analogies, which indirectly condemn the association of materialistic society, friendship and love. People are generally attracted to society, friendship and love, and they make elaborate arrangements and strong endeavors to develop these material contaminations; but to see the Sri Murtis of Radha and Krishna is to forget such endeavors for material association. Rupa Gosvami composed his verse in such a way that he was seemingly praising the material association of friendship, love, etc., and was condemning the audience of Sri Murtis or Govinda. This metaphorical analogy is constructed in such a way that things which seem to be praised are condemned, and things which are to be condemned are praised. The actual import of the verse is that one must see the form of Govinda if one at all wants to forget the nonsense of material friendship, love and society.
– Nectar of Devotion Chap. 13

3.) If one attains perfection in Deity worship, that is called Archana Siddhi. Archana Siddhi means simply by Deity worship one goes back to Godhead, immediately after this life. So this Archana Siddhi program is given in the Narada Pancharatra especially for the householders. Householders cannot undergo strict disciplinary activities of austerity, therefore for every householder the path of Archana Siddhi is very much recommended.

– Letter to: Himavati, 18 March, 1969

4.) Archana means to worship the Deity in the temple. By executing this process one confirms himself as not body but spirit soul. In the Tenth Canto, 81st Chapter, 16th verse, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is told how Sudama, an intimate friend of Krishna, while going to the house of a brahmana murmured to himself, "Simply by worshiping Krishna one can easily achieve all the results of heavenly opulence, liberation, supremacy over the planetary systems of the universe, all the opulences of this material world, and the mystic power of performing the yoga system.

– Nectar of Devotion Chap. 9

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