Pure Kirtan

April 10, 2011 |

English; Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Question: What is role of jivatma in this universe as I am a jivatma could you please guide me on characteristics of jivatma and how to live in this universe. Also please let me know the disadvantages of jivatma.… Expand>

Question:

What is role of jivatma in this universe as I am a jivatma could you please guide me on characteristics of jivatma and how to live in this universe. Also please let me know the disadvantages of jivatma.

Answer:

Well, there’s no disadvantage of being a jīvātmā. Even if there is, there’s no way not to be a jīvātmā. Because acchedyo ‘yam akledyo ‘yam aśoṣya, jīva… You can’t destroy the jīva. The role of the jīvātmā in this universe is to… We’re in this universe to forget Kṛṣṇa. But it’s not a good thing to do. So, the best thing is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious and get out of this universe. The characteristics of the jīva: jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa. The characteristic of the jīva is that he is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. How to live in this universe? Gṛhe thāko, vane thāko, sadā ‘hari’ bole’ ḍāko. Whatever situation you’re in, chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. For more guidance, read Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books. Read all of his books. And for practical guidance on how to be Kṛṣṇa conscious, see that Beginner’s Guide to Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

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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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