Puja and Seva
ASK BVKS | March 18, 2016 |
English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India
From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1 — October 22, 1976, Vrndavana
Puja means I call you and offer you some respectable [indistinct], some foodstuff, and then very much seated very comfortably. Naturally I may ask, "What do you want?" Then I'll expect, "Give me this. Give me that. Give me that." That is going on. That is called puja. But those who are worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is not called puja; that is called seva, krsna-seva. We never say krsna-puja. Nobody... Never says like that. Seva. Seva means it is my duty. I am eternal servant of Krsna. Seva is my duty. So there is difference between puja and seva. Puja means I flatter you to satisfy you, and after being satisfied, you may offer me something, or I'll ask you something and you offer me. That is called puja. That is devata-puja. But, so when you come to Krsna, or Visnu, that is not puja; that is seva. Seva. So as Krsna is offered seva, service, similarly His representative, he is also offered seva.
(end of quote)
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to BG 6.47:
The word bhajate is significant here. Bhajate has its root in the verb bhaj, which is used when there is need of service. The English word "worship" cannot be used in the same sense as bhaj. Worship means to adore, or to show respect and honor to the worthy one. But service with love and faith is especially meant for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can avoid worshiping a respectable man or a demigod and may be called discourteous, but one cannot avoid serving the Supreme Lord without being thoroughly condemned.
(end of quote)
However we use the word "puja (worship)" in relation to guru. Guru-puja, Vyasa-puja etc. Also Krsna says to Uddhava: mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika. What is a context in these cases where the word "puja" is used?
March 11, 2012 |
Question: Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued. Some time in the… Expand>
Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued.
Some time in the future I would like to organize such festivals and do mass book distributions. However, for that I would need a lot of training from Indradyumna Maharaj even though I am aspiring to serve you.
Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:
We are all supposed to be servants of Śrīla Prabhupāda in the saṅkīrtana movement. So, if you are inspired to help with some particular service which pushes forward the saṅkīrtana movement, that’s not against what I’m doing. And if at all I’m to guide you, I’m to guide you to serve in the association of devotees the bona fide activities of the saṅkīrtana movement.
So by all means:
nāca, gāo, bhakta-saṅge kara saṅkīrtana
kṛṣṇa-nāma upadeśi’ tāra’ sarva-jana (CC Ādi 7.92)
[‘My dear child, continue dancing, chanting and performing saṅkīrtana in association with devotees. Furthermore, go out and preach the value of chanting kṛṣṇa-nāma, for by this process You will be able to deliver all fallen souls.’]
Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself received the order to sing and dance, perform saṅkīrtana in the association of devotees and by instructing the holy name to everyone to deliver the whole world.
So that order is coming in the paramparā, and wherever and however you get the opportunity to help the devotees in, and join with the devotees in spreading the saṅkīrtana movement, do it. It’s not that if you become my disciple, you have to be locked into a little bubble in a little corner. Let’s all be part of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s big family.^ Show less
September 17, 2016 |
English with தமிழ் translation; Colombo, Sri Lanka
November 18, 2015 |
English; Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
January 30, 2010 |
Padmi, Padma-nibhekshanah, Padma-nabhah, Aravindakshah, Padma-garbhah, Sarirabhruth, Maharddhih, Riddhah, Vruddhatma
August 3, 2014 |
English with Русский translation; Moscow, Russia
May 1, 2016 |
Question: Are there different grades of pure Devotees?
English; Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
June 26, 2012 |
English; Mumbai, Maharastra, India
September 2, 2014 |
English; Simhachalam, Germany
September 2, 2016 |
English; Manchester, UK
August 24, 2014 |
English; Govindadvipa, Ireland
July 20, 2014 |
English with Русский translation; Dobromysh, Tatarstan, Russia
February 8, 2012 |
Question: How do we understand the statements of Srila Prabhupada that defy common sense? My question is not specific to what I could eat to make my body happy, but "how do we understand statements by pure devotees that defy common sense?" One might be able to explain away sentences such as in the purport… Expand>
How do we understand the statements of Srila Prabhupada that defy common sense?
My question is not specific to what I could eat to make my body happy, but "how do we understand statements by pure devotees that defy common sense?" One might be able to explain away sentences such as in the purport of CC 2.4.169 Srila Prabhupada mentions that, "One should not eat fish or other non-vegetarian food during the month of Kartika. A non-vegetarian diet means fish and meat. Similarly, masura dhal and urad dhal are also considered non-vegetarian. These two dhals contain a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is considered non-vegetarian," however if you have to give to an intelligent reader they defy common sense. So, then comes the question of hermeneutics. In our parampara, it is not just important to understand the scriptures, but the writings of acaryas such as Srila Prabhupada. I refuse to compromise myself saying that some parts of Srila Prabhupada's writings from which I can't extract sense from should be avoided.
April 27, 2011 |
January 24, 2011 |
English; Mumbai, Maharastra, India
November 3, 2012 |
English; Valsad, Gujarat, India
December 2, 2016 |
English with తెలుగు translation; Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India
May 21, 2012 |
Question: When reading Srila Prabhupada’s instructions through letters, how should one tell to himself that the instructions hold good for him too (with abject humility I say here that I am not questioning Srila Prabhupada, his instructions are very much relevant to the jivas, to the every atom in the universe) and not just to… Expand>
When reading Srila Prabhupada’s instructions through letters, how should one tell to himself that the instructions hold good for him too (with abject humility I say here that I am not questioning Srila Prabhupada, his instructions are very much relevant to the jivas, to the every atom in the universe) and not just to the said person in question. Sometimes if someone says, ‘oh, that was between Srila Prabhupada and the said person’ how should we reply that 'no, that also holds good for us too.’ Is there a quote from Srila Prabhupada to answer this question? I heard Srila Prabhupada talked about an analogy of sun in this context.^ Show less
August 28, 2016 |
English with Český translation; Brno, Czech Republic
September 7, 2012 |
English; Dallas, Texas, USA
September 6, 2012 |
English; Sedona, Arizona, USA