Now Work Harder and Sacrifice More

June 1, 2014 |

English; Houston, Texas, USA

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Question: Recently one congregation devotee asked me "I am having some material problem for a long time and my father suggested/forced me to show to an astrologer who suggested me to worship some demigod and my problems will be solved. He gave 100% guarantee. This will cost Rs.35,000 but if result is not there he… Expand>

Question:

Recently one congregation devotee asked me "I am having some material problem for a long time and my father suggested/forced me to show to an astrologer who suggested me to worship some demigod and my problems will be solved. He gave 100% guarantee. This will cost Rs.35,000 but if result is not there he will return all money". So his father is forcing him but he doesn't want to take shelter of someone else than Krsna. But he asked me "when a devotee becomes sick he also goes to see doctor which is like taking shelter of a demigod for curing some material problem. So why this is allowed while demigod worship for solving material problems is not? What is the difference? In Ayurveda also worship of demigods is sometimes recommended to cure some disease. It seems logical that we worship demigods to solve material problems that are posing hindrance in our service to Krsna".

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Santa Claus Outfits for Radha-Krsna

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Question: Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?… Expand>

Question:

Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?

 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

So, I’ve been informed that some temples in Europe in the Christmas season dress Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus, and that one temple, ISKCON temple (we are talking about ISKCON temples here), is dressing Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus. And one temple in India also did this. And what do I think about this? 

Unfortunate…is one word I could use. Nonsense is another.

In one letter Śrīla Prabhupāda was informed that devotees sent some Christmas cards with a picture of Krsna. Śrīla Prabhupāda wrote that we are not for Christmas greetings. In another or several times, Śrīla Prabhupāda also spoke about speculation in Deity worship… So, there may be various reasons given. In India, the reason was given that Christians come to our temple. Well, in that case you can dress Kṛṣṇa as cricket star, maybe the cricket fans would come. Or you can dress Kṛṣṇa like some famous film star, then maybe people interested in movies, they would come. 

But the whole idea…Deity worship is to dress Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā likes Him, and dress Rādhā as Kṛṣṇa likes Her, according to the directions of great ācāryas. Getting mixed up with this Western culture…as far as possible we should try to avoid that. We have our own festivals. Why adopt this Christmas, which is supposed to be a birth of Christ, although they don’t actually know when Christ was born? The main feature of Christmas in the modern world is killing lots of birds, especially turkeys in England, drinking lots of alcohol…

Especially, dressing Deities like this, all I can say is- unfortunate. My saying so won’t stop it going on. There are so many great ācāryas in our movement who are introducing things that none of our previous ācāryas was doing…So, what to say? Whether to laugh or to cry?

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