Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
This is in continuation of the previous offering transcribing the class by HG Devakinandan Prabhuji in Abu Dhabi on 16th Oct 2011 on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 6.16.31 when king Citraketutakes darshan of the Lord. In the previous offering we saw the following points:
1. Whimsical approach to the deities is to be totally avoided.
2. Deity is non-different from Krishna.
In this offering, we shall see how Deity worship equals to behaviour.
3. Deity worship equals to Behaviour: When Citraketu Maharaj saw Krishna, he saw Krishna with all his heart. He did not see Krishna on the basis of philosophical speculation and that is why Srila Prabhupada says that the moment one takes darshan of Krishna, 'tad darshanaat', then the real test of our seeing Krishna is seen in the transformation of our behaviour. If the behaviour does not change and the deities are there and year after year we are not making improvement in devotional service, then we are not really seeing the deities. We may be seeing the deities with our material eyes, but we are not taking darshan of Them. Darshan of the deity is different from just seeing. That is why the word is darshan. Otherwise, if we do not take darshan of the deities then it means we are not changing our behaviour. Bhagavatam must equal to behaviour and deity worship must also equal to behaviour. It is the same. Here when Citraketu Maharaj took darshan of Krishna, immediately a few things happened to his behaviour. Bhagavatam tells us that he became silent and grave. These are the two qualities that we must have if we are truly worshipping Krishna. If we are really worshipping and taking darshan of the deities every day, then we must check ourselves and ask whether we are silent in behaviour and whether we are grave in behaviour?
Maharaj said silent does not mean we just sit there and keep quiet. Silent means that we preach and we speak only of Krishna. We do not speak nonsense in front of deities. Otherwise, that means deity is not deity. That means for us, Krishna is not actually alive. This deity form is only brass. It has no value. Whatever we speak before the deities, is how we must behave before the deities. The first thing we must know is that we must become silent. In families, if we have deities in our room or hall with TV etc it will be terrible. Maharaj said, "With the deities, if we are turning on the television, with the deities we are talking nonsense; with the deities, we are fighting. That means deity is not present before you. The deity may be there, but factually speaking, Jagannath has run away from the house. Why? Because there is no behaviour. There is no translation of theory into practice." So silence means we should speak Krishna Katha or we should make determined plans on how to preach or if we have to conduct our family life in front of the deities it should be of the standard which is required in Vedic culture. That is very important. That is the meaning of silence.
Maharaj also gave a deeper meaning to silence. He said, "silence means the ability to tolerate the material desires that come into our heart because in the purport, Srila Prabhupada writes that when one sees the deity regularly, one will gradually be disinfected of all material desires." The two words we must remember are 'regularly and gradually'. When we regularly see Krishna, gradually He will disinfect us."
4.Disinfection by deity darshan: If we regularly use soap, we will be disinfected. In the same way, if we regularly take darshan of Krishna, what will happen is, we will be disinfected of all the material desires in our hearts. The root cause of all our problems is the desires because if we never had a single desire in our heart, we would never have to take human birth again. This human body is the product of desires. This is what Rshabha deva says in Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.4:
nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma
yad indriya-prītaya āpṛṇoti
na sādhu manye yata ātmano ’yam
asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ
When a person considers sense gratification the aim of life, he certainly becomes mad after materialistic living and engages in all kinds of sinful activity. He does not know that due to his past misdeeds he has already received a body which, although temporary, is the cause of his misery. Actually the living entity should not have taken on a material body, but he has been awarded the material body for sense gratification. Therefore I think it not befitting an intelligent man to involve himself again in the activities of sense gratification by which he perpetually gets material bodies one after another.
What is the definition of sinful activities? Srila Prabhupada says that when one conducts a sinful activity, it is defined by not remembering Krishna. Any activity that does not make us remember Krishna, is defined as sinful. What an amazing definition of sin. In the entire world and all the religions, nobody has defined sin as Srila Prabhupada has done. So every time we take up an activity, even amongst the devotees, which does not make us remember Krishna, that activity is sinful. That is why we are engaged in deity worship, the test of our deity worship is found in our speech. What we speak is a true indication of how we worship the deity. If we speak non-sense, and everything and anything except Krishna, then the deity worship is really just sense gratification. But if we are always speaking Krishna Katha, reading Srimad Bhagavatam, studying very hard, then automatically one can tell that we are really disinfected from material desires.
Maharaj said, "If you really want to know how you are worshipping the deity at home, please examine your own behaviour first. There must be a direct relationship between deity worship and behaviour because 90% of our behaviour is dictated by our material desires. Every time we have a desire, we behave in a certain way. If the desire is to serve Krishna and His devotees, we are disinfected. If the desire is to show our name and fame, then we are infected. We cannot be silent. We will talk. Whatever that comes out of the tongue is going to be painful, going to be sharp, going to be harsh and instead of causing peace amongst the devotees, it will cause agitation and disturbance of the mind. That shows that we are not really taking darshan of Krishna." We are just putting Him up there, taking nice pictures of Him, changing shrngaar just like we change clothes for our pets. Nowadays pets wear dresses. Dogs wear trousers, bows and one time we were taking a walk along the beach and Maharaj saw this and he was shocked and said nowadays even dogs are being dressed and they are dressed more decently than human beings. So Maharaj said, "Do not make your deity into a pet. Oh! The shrngaar is very nice! So I am doing nice deity worship. No." When Maharaj takes darshan of the Deities, he used to see Them and if the shrngaar is very nice but the mood was not right, Maharaj will say, 'the shrngaar is not nice', because Maharaj connected deity worship to the behaviour of the person worshipping the deity, not what was put on the deity. Maharaj said, "Whatever shrngaar that is put on the deities looks nice because of the deity. It is not that if you put a nice mukut or crown the deity looks very nice. Please correct your attitude. The mukut looks nice because it is on the deity and not vice versa. So if we put a wonderful looking shrngaar it does not mean the deity looks nice. It just means the shrngaar looks nice because of the deities. This is the way to become grave."
Prabhuji went on to explain how the gravity in our devotional service is manifested and the same shall be transcribed and offered in the next offering, Krishna willing.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi,
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