First and Foremost Srila Prabhupada's Books

December 4, 2016 |

English with తెలుగు Translation; Tadepalligudem, Andhra Pradesh, India

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The Attractiveness of Srila Prabhupada, Part-4

August 23, 2014 |

English; Govindadvipa, Ireland

The Great Misconception

August 28, 2014 |

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Sandesh Sweet – Dress for Nrsimhadeva

August 19, 2012 |

Question: My question is regarding deity outfits. On Nrsimha Caturdasi, at an ISKCON temple in Germany, the deity of lord Nrsimhadev was dressed/pasted with different flavours/colours of sandesh milk sweet dough instead of any sort of cloth outfit. Maharaja, my question is that is the above performed act, proper and in line with the scriptural rules of deity… Expand>

Question:

My question is regarding deity outfits. On Nrsimha Caturdasi, at an ISKCON temple in Germany, the deity of lord Nrsimhadev was dressed/pasted with different flavours/colours of sandesh milk sweet dough instead of any sort of cloth outfit. 

Maharaja, my question is that is the above performed act, proper and in line with the scriptural rules of deity worship, just as during chandan yatra the deities are pasted with sandalwood paste or just as there are flower outfits for the deities in many temples? Or is it not to be accepted. I mean something similar to the previous incident of the deities dressed in Santa Claus outfits?

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami: 

I’m not aware of any scriptural rule that says to dress the Deities in a dress made of milk sweets. It’s the first time I ever heard about it. There are various aspects of Vaiṣṇava culture which may not be directly described in śāstra, but they may be performed in some places as a tradition. So, may be that in some traditional temple in India that there is a tradition on certain days dressing the Deities like that; although, at least in India, if you were to do so, then quite likely the Deity would be covered with ants very quickly. So, that may not be a very good idea to do that. Ants and flies would come. Probably not so much in Germany because there are not so many little living entities as there are in India. But there are some very desirable elements of Vaishnava culture which could, according to the discrimination of the devotees – that may be questionable also (the level of discrimination as to what should be accepted and what should not be accepted). But there are various items of Vaiṣṇava culture which can be adopted, but if something is not in śāstra, is not in tradition… I’d be very cautious about making innovations, especially in Deity worship. So, you probably have to ask the devotees in Germany where they got this idea from. One consideration is that it’s fairly common in India to see Deities of Hanuman covered with butter. That’s quite a common practice. I don’t know if the Deities get attacked by ants, or whatever. Flies come. I’ve seen that. It’s quite often done.

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Happiness for Elderly Devotees

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Departure Lecture

May 15, 2017 |

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Bhaktisiddhanta and Bhaktivedanta: Ideal Disciples and Gurus

June 1, 2011 |

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Krishna West is not the Best

November 23, 2013 |

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February 26, 2014 |

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Celebrating Hindu Festivals at ISKCON Temple

October 21, 2011 |

Question: Is it necessary or correct to celebrate Hindu festivals such as Siva Ratri, Holi and other such events in ISKCON temples?

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Ha Ha Mora Gaura-kisora with Explanation

May 17, 2016 |

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Glorification Turns to Blasphemy …

January 1, 2011 |

Question: Could you please speak something regarding the verse and purport of CC Madhya-lila 10.182, in which Srila Prabhupada writes that "The Lord herein confirms that if one is overestimated, glorification is just another form of blasphemy." It seems like a very deep statement, and significant, but it is difficult to understand properly.

English; Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India

The Attractiveness of Srila Prabhupada, Part-5

August 24, 2014 |

English; Govindadvipa, Ireland

Santa Claus Outfits for Radha-Krsna

December 25, 2012 |

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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English;

Leaving Home in Pursuit of Self-realization

January 9, 2014 |

Question: There are many examples given in the Bhagavatam about personalities who leave their homes in pursuit of self realization. So my question is; do we get the karma if we leave our families to take up the practise Krishna consciousness seriously? There are many examples given in the Bhagavatam about personalities who leave their homes in pursuit of self realization.… Expand>

Question:

There are many examples given in the Bhagavatam about personalities who leave their homes in pursuit of self realization. So my question is; do we get the karma if we leave our families to take up the practise Krishna consciousness seriously? There are many examples given in the Bhagavatam about personalities who leave their homes in pursuit of self realization. So my question is; do we get the karma if we leave our families to take up the practise Krishna consciousness seriously?

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Guru Follows Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON

November 7, 2011 |

Question: Following on this topic, there is a very unusual but common understanding among devotees which prevents them from understanding and thinking about the points that you have discussed in your lecture on this topic. Their understanding is that "Every Guru in ISKCON has a different mood and thus a different way of pleasing Srila Prabhupada. So all… Expand>

Question:

Following on this topic, there is a very unusual but common understanding among devotees which prevents them from understanding and thinking about the points that you have discussed in your lecture on this topic.

Their understanding is that "Every Guru in ISKCON has a different mood and thus a different way of pleasing Srila Prabhupada. So all of them are right in their own capacity" For eg: H H Indradyumna Swami preaches by telling stories, H H Bhakti Marg Swami preaches by walking around Canada, H H Jayapataka Swami preaches by travelling extensively throughout the world, likewise every Guru has a different way of preaching. This thought is more prevalent in a multi guru scenario where disciples of various gurus are in the same congregation. One example, could be Damodardesh. If all devotees start thinking like this, there will be a day when there won't be any difference between right and wrong.

How do we address this understanding?

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English; Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Tattooing in Krsna Consciousness

May 6, 2011 |

Question: In the Nectar of Devotion, Part1 Chapter 9, Further Consider of Devotional Principles, Srila Prabhupada says and I quote–The Padma Purana also mentions, “A person whose body is decorated with the pulp of sandalwood, with paintings of the holy name of the Lord, is delivered from all sinful reactions, and after his death he… Expand>

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In the Nectar of Devotion, Part1 Chapter 9, Further Consider of Devotional Principles, Srila Prabhupada says and I quote–The Padma Purana also mentions, “A person whose body is decorated with the pulp of sandalwood, with paintings of the holy name of the Lord, is delivered from all sinful reactions, and after his death he goes directly to Krishnaloka to live in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

Does this authenticate tattooing our body which I have seen is prevalent in Iskcon on North America?

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English with தமிழ் translation; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Suksmah, Su-goshah

February 12, 2016 |

English with తెలుగు translation; Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India