Despicable Wisdom

September 29, 2011 |

English; Valsad, Gujarat, India

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Question: My question is as follows. How can we distinguish between these (what appear to my understanding) two different outlooks regarding the matter of rejecting a guru. One point of view is represented by the verse from Mahabharata (guror apy avaliptasya..) and another point of view could be find in CC Antya 3.11 in Srila Prabhupada´s purport where… Expand>

Question:

My question is as follows. How can we distinguish between these (what appear to my understanding) two different outlooks regarding the matter of rejecting a guru.

One point of view is represented by the verse from Mahabharata (guror apy avaliptasya..) and another point of view could be find in CC Antya 3.11 in Srila Prabhupada´s purport where he says:

"Damodara Pandita was a great devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sometimes, however, a person in such a position becomes impudent, being influenced by the external energy and material considerations. Thus a devotee mistakenly dares to criticize the activities of the spiritual master or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Despite the logic that "Ceaser´s wife must be above suspicion," a devotee should not be disturbed by the activities of his spiritual master and should not try to criticize him. A devotee should be fixed in the conclusion that the spiritual master cannot be subject to criticism and should never be considered equal to a common man. Even if there appears to be some discrepancy according to an imperfect devotee´s estimation, the devotee should be fixed in the conviction that even if his spiritual master goes to a liquor shop, he is not a drunkard, rather, he must have some purpose in going there. It is said in a Bengali poem:

yadyapi nityananda sura-badi yaya
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"Even if I see that Lord Nityananda has entered a liquor shop, I shall not be diverted from my conclusion that Nityananda Raya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

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Krishna Conscious Paintings and Dolls

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Question: I am sorry to bother you, but I have some questions about painting and drawing Krsna consciousness themes. 1) Srila Prabhupada said that Krsna is never alone, but some of the pictures in BBT books shows Krsna with flute (beautiful painting by Pariksit das,1981) with peacock, cow, calf, parrot, holding Govardhana, Damodara tasting butter etc. Should cow, flute etc. be considered… Expand>

Question:

I am sorry to bother you, but I have some questions about painting and drawing Krsna consciousness themes.

1) Srila Prabhupada said that Krsna is never alone, but some of the pictures in BBT books shows Krsna with flute (beautiful painting by Pariksit das,1981) with peacock, cow, calf, parrot, holding Govardhana, Damodara tasting butter etc. Should cow, flute etc. be considered as Krsna`s devotees, so actually He is not alone on painting, or such scene is not bonafide. I started to paint Lord Krsna holding Govardana hill, but composition of painting don`t allow me to paint no one else but peacock or cow.

2) You said once that early paintings, untill 1977, have much lighter tones then paintings made later. I am doing portraits of Srila Prabhupada in charcoal, and pastel, and I saw this drawing (made by Dridha Mataji). It`s rather dark, but i like it.I would like to try that white chalk on black paper. Is it too dark? http://www.drdhaarts.com/portfolio/images/port/sp9.jpg

3) Is it OK to put miniature clay dolls representing Krsna, gopis, cowherd boys, pecocks etc. on halava made Govardhana hill, during Govardhana puja celebration, or should that hill be made of rice with eyes and mouth (like traditionally).

4) Is it OK to let children play with such dolls representing Lord Nrisimhadeva, Prahlada Maharaja, characters from Krsna lila, although they might break them, throw them or step on them.

5) Sometimes when drawing Srila Prabhupada with charcoal or pastel I need to blow on the picture to remove extra charcoal dust. Should I use some small ventilator instead?

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Sandesh Sweet – Dress for Nrsimhadeva

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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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