Deity Worship

There is alot I don't understand about Deity worship. I remember the nice analogy Srila Prabhupada used about the authorized mail boxes being just as good as the post office. So my first question is: what makes the Deity of Krsna (or His many other forms) "authorized"? Is any picture or statue of Krsna worshipable, just like the Deity? Are the scriptures equally worshipable? Understanding that everything is coming from Krsna and everything is part of Krsna, "vasudevah sarvam iti", isn't everything worshipable? If someone attempts to steal or harm the Deity, should one be prepared to kill or be killed to protect the Deity? It's not that I doubt the authenticity of Deity worship. I just want to broaden my understanding for preaching purposes.

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            • I wonder if that is the same Dhruva that I remember. I remember a Dhruva, who was a book distributor and chanted japa very loudly. He had a heavy beard. Was that him? Anyway, I'm quite excited about Lord Jaganatha. I already ordered the book. Got to go. Talk to you soon.
              • Volunteer
                That was him. When he got on the bus he had a beard and he did chant with good enthusiasm.
                • I was never on the same bus as Dhruva, so I didn't know him very well. But I admired him. Like you said, he was very enthusiastic.
                  I'm going to read "Jaya Jaganatha!". Any other books you'd recommend? When one worships Lord Jaganatha is it required to also have Baladeva and Subadra? You see, I know nothing. Thanks Sarvo. Jaya Radha Damodara!
                  • Volunteer
                    Yeah, when the devotees brought Lord Jagannatha from the store in San Francisco, Srila Prabhupada had them go back and sure enough, Baladeva and Subhadra deities were also there. My wife claims that it's best if the deities somehow come to you. If you can also have a picture of Srila Prabhupada on your altar that would also be good. Some would also recommend pictures of the six Goswamis, the Pancatattva, the parampara and even Lord Nrsimhadeva. The main thing to bear in mind though, is that all of this is primarily meant to help us deepen our appreciation of the maha mantra.
        • This was endlessly helpful.

          Hare Krsna!
  • Haribol Prabhuji,
    Dandavat Pranaam

    My opinion on a part of your question about worshiping pictures & deities -this question was asked by a devotee during a class and the reply was that a picture of the Krishna in the altar is equally worshipable just like a deity.But with a deity we have many additional procedures involved in worship like dressing the deities,bathing them,putting them to rest,waking them etc.Our relation with Krishna in deity form becomes much more intimate .The deities become a part of the family..more aptly (as advised by my counsellor )- when we welcome deities to our house-the house belongs to them-they become the masters of the house and we the servants(which is our constitutional position).Hence it is recommended to do deity worship for our spiritual progress.This was the gist of the answer.

    Also I think-rather than deities being authorised it is the worship which is supposed to be authorised..i.e.for our home deities (Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga) we did not have pran pratishta or prema pratishta but we had a welcoming ceremony (abhishek and aarati) and we worship them according to set rules.It is the worship(archana) which distinguishes the form of Krishna on the altar (archvigraha) from the one in the showcase

    Kindly note that I am just a beginner in KC and not an authority on deity worship and would love to know more about deity worship.I may be wrong in MY thinking & would greatly appreciate if corrected.

    Please forgive me for my offenses and pray for me

    Hari Hari
    • Hari bol! Thank u so much for this reply..
    • Hare Krsna. Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your comments, especially about seeing the Deity as master of the home.
      Here in the USA many people say that the devotees are worshipping objects made of wood or stone and so are sentimental, not very intelligent. Others say they prefer to worship God through nature.
      I hope to deepen my understanding of Deity worship to more easily defeat such rascals, and to convince sincere seekers of the benefits of Deity worship.
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