• Volunteer







  • Volunteer

    Hare Krsna,

    His divine grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has recommended the following steps for Deity worship in general:

    Deity worship at home

    Please read the section “Setting up your home altar” before reading this section.

    Some Preliminary Considerations Before Beginning Deity Worship at Home:

    Srila Sanatana Goswami points out in his Dig-darcini-tika (11.63):If you cannot visit a public temple at least once a day, you have a valid reason to establish the Deity at home. But even in such a case, you should make every effort to visit a public temple as frequently as possible to see the Deities, associate with the devotees, and render some service in the temple.

    Minimum Standards for Home Deity Worship:

    In a letter Srila Prabhupada gives simple instructions for the worship of Gaura-Nitai, Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityanada: “He can worship Gaura-Nitai in his home. The most important element for their worship is the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. They can have at least one arati, and whatever foodstuffs are prepared can be offered" (letter from Srila Prabhupada 15 February 1975).

    In another letter Srila Prabhupada writes: "So far as taking care of the Deities and your family simultaneously, you have to do both mutually, but the main importance is Deity worship. Just like a busy housewife is always busy in household affairs, yet still she is engaged in dressing herself nicely, combing her hair, etc. So both things go together. Yes, at least once daily the Deity's clothes must be changed, in the morning. If the Deities are small, as they appear to be from the photograph, then they can be layed down in a bed at night. And they can be given nightgowns to wear before taking rest. That is nice. If there is time and facility then these things can be implemented. So far as bathing is concerned, it requires two hands and one tongue. In your left hand be ringing a bell and simultaneously with your right hand pour water. Chant Hare Krishna, Cintamani, Govinda Jaya Jaya, etc., like that. . . . (letter from Srila Prabhupada 1 May 1971).

    Householders who find it difficult to dress their Deities daily may bathe and dress Them once a week.

    Simple Home Worship Procedure:

    The following is a simple procedure for Deity worship at home, using the worship of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai as an example. With minor adjustments, one could also follow this procedure for worshiping other Deities, or for worshiping the Panca-Tattva in a picture.

    Waking the Deities:

    1. After bathing, dressing, applying tilaka, and performing achaman, offer obeisances to the spiritual master.

    2. While ringing a bell, call out jaya Sri-Sri- Gaura-Nitai! and turn on the altar lights.

    3. Ringing a bell, touch the spiritual master's lotus feet (in the picture) and ask him to rise from bed; then touch the lotus feet of Gaura-Nitai and ask Them to rise from bed. (If the Deities are not put physically in beds, visualize that They have rested in bed and are now rising from it.)

    4. Offer, or meditate on offering, water for Their Lordships to sip (achaman). Fill a small achaman cup with water, presenting three spoonfuls of water to each Deity, and then discard the water into a throw-out pot.

    Bathing and dressing the Deities:

    1. Gather all the required paraphernalia and arrange it neatly and conveniently for performing the worship. Make sure you have everything you need so that you will not have to interrupt the worship to get something. (Bathing receptacle, receptacle of warm water*, conch shell, cotton wool and cotton buds, ground tilak and fresh lemons **, Tulasi leaves, flower petals, small cotton towels***, toothpick or small twig, change of clothes and ornaments for the Lord).

    2. Sit on an asan and perform achaman; then sprinkle yourself, the area, and the paraphernalia with water, chanting the Hare Krsna mantra.

    3. Offer worship to the spiritual master as follows:

    Ringing a bell with your left hand, offer flowers at his lotus feet. Beg for his blessings to perform the worship of Gaura-Nitai. Then chant the guru-given Gayatri mantras silently.

    4. Offer worship to Gaura-Nitai as follows:

    a) Invite Their Lordships to the bathing receptacle with a gesture of the hands, remove Their clothing, cover Them with gamchas, and clean Them with a damp cloth. If the Deities are metal, polish Them at this time, using a cloth to apply powdered/grated gopi-candana (tilak) mixed with a little fresh lemon juice. So as to polish the Lord’s face while taking care to avoid the eyes and painted areas a cotton bud dipped in the tilak /lemon paste can be used. Clean off the paste with cotton wool dampened with fresh lemon juice.

    b) Ringing a bell, pour water over Their Lordships from a conch held in your right hand. Fill the conch at least three times. Chant the Hare Krsna mantra or the Brahma-samhita prayers while bathing Their Lordships. You may need to additionally bathe the Deity with wet cotton wool paying special attention to fingers and toes.

    c) Dry the Deities with towels while chanting the appropriate mantras and using a toothpick or twig mark The deities body with tilak markings. Dress Them. The deities should be dressed in clothing suitable to the season-warm clothing in the cold season, light in the hot season. Offer ornaments and fresh flowers and garlands if possible.

    d) Ringing a bell, offer flowers and Tulasi leaves (if available) with chandan to Their Lordships lotus feet.

    e) Show the Lord a mirror kept for this purpose.

    f) Roll a little cotton wool onto the end of a toothpick or twig. Dip it into some natural perfume and offer to the Deity by rubbing the cotton on the Deities' hands.

    f) Offer obeisances and beg forgiveness for any offenses you may have commited in the worship.

    g) Finally, clear away the paraphernalia used in the worship. At this time you may offer a simple arati with incense, flowers, and chamara- or simply chamara-while playing a recording of the Govindam song.

    h) Offer some fruits or sweets.

    *The principal element of the bath is pure water, with certain restrictions. Do not collect the water at night, nor touch it with your fingernails. In descending order of quality, the best water for bathing the Deity is Ganga or Yamuna water, then water from any tirtha, water from a river that flows directly to the ocean, water from a tributary river, water from a natural spring, lake, pond, or man-made reservoir, water from a well, and finally water from a pot. Bring the water to a pleasant temperature for bathing. Soak flowers in the water and add Tulasi leaves when bathing Krishna or Gaura-Nitai.

    **Brass deities require regular polishing. This is generally done with a paste made of tilak and fresh lemon juice. You may also polish the Deities with a paste made from tamarind pulp and a little water.
    To make the paste, add fresh lemon juice to powdered tilak, after a few moments the mixture will bubble. Apply the tilak to the body of the Deity with cotton wool. Always check the paste before applying to see that there are no small stones that will scratch the Deity.

    ***The towels for drying the Lord should be pure, soft cotton. Cotton is better than silk because it is absorbent and can be washed repeatedly. Do not use synthetics
    Always wash and dry new cloth before using for your Deities.

    Services During the Day

    In home worship the Lord is accepted as the most important guest. One does not have to follow strict temple worship rules of punctuality and minimum offerings. However one should cook and offer whatever the family will eat to the Lord first.

    If the Deities reside in your living room, amid various family activities, you may need to close the Deity curtains when the family is eating and at other times of the day. When the Deities are visible, make sure They are offered proper respect.

    Putting the Deities to Rest at Night

    1. Offer obeisances to your spiritual master and perform achaman.

    2. Remove The Lord's flute and garlands and crowns if possible.

    3. Arrange the Deities' beds and invite Their Lordships to take rest. Lay Them down in Their beds and visualize that you are massaging Their legs. If you cannot do this meditate on doing so. In winter wrap a woolen shawl around the Deities.

    4. Finally, offer obeisances and turn off the lights.

    P.S: In general, there are no strict schedules if I am not mistaken, but the most important points are sincerity, cleanliness and regularity.

    Hari Bol,

    Setting up your altar at home |
    • Hare Krishna

      Many thanks prabhuji, for larifications



  • hare krishna

    please someone clarify my query

    your servant


    • Volunteer

      correct Prabhuji, very nice.

      But while we do chamara and fan we won't be able to quaint. These numbers should be there but the main thing is while doing arati we have to be conscious of that offering fire we are offering fire element on our body to the feet of the Lord. While offering water then same mood, flower, smell, all five elements. Then while reading Bhagavatam to Them we are offering our intelligence, while chanting and hearing and being attentive we are offering our ability to hear, our ability of speech, our mind to the feet of the Lord.

      In this way we try to please Krishna.

      Your servant,  

      • Hare Krishna

        dear maral mathaji

        many thanks for your wonderful guidance, i am seeing your replies in most of the discussions. In this way you are doing a great service by clearing confused minds. Keep doing this wonderful service..

        your servant

        ramesvar kanai das

      • Volunteer

        as like Lord Rama says:

        "I promise, if one even once sincerely says: Oh Lord, i am Yours! then i will accept him. Even if Ravana comes and says that I will accept him."

        What to speak of Devotees?!

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