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Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada

By HH Satsvarupa Das Goswami

Amith, an Indian devotee who lives in Albany, recently came back from a pilgrimage to Kumbha-mela in India. In the ISKCON tent he saw a murti of Laddu-Gopal, and he was very attracted to it. He thought of buying it and giving it to me as a gift. When the devotee-sellers heard that it was coming to me as a gift, they donated two sets of clothes. Laddu-Gopal is very beautiful. He is crawling, and in His right hand He is holding forth a laddu. I think I like him better without His clothing, which makes Him less accessible for holding and fondling. Laddu-Gopal worship is very informal. I’ve heard that devotees even toss Him up into the air and catch Him. I held Him in my hand close to my face and chanted Hare Krsna, just the way ladies did for Nimai to stop Him from crying. He is a new addition to my Deities upstairs. I don’t think it’s rasabhasa to worship Radha-Krsna and Laddu-Gopal. They are the same Krsna in different pastimes. He’s newly arrived, and He’s capturing my attention. I have asked Baladeva to supply Him a laddu every day at lunchtime. He is so interactive! I am holding Him in my hand as I dictate this. Saunaka Rsi has a Laddu-Gopal. When he was in Vrndavana, he lamented to a reputable favorite sadhu of his that he did not have a Govardhana-sila. Saunaka told him that he did have a Laddu-Gopal Deity. The sadhu said, “Well, that’s all right. Laddu-Gopal is as good as Govardhana-sila.” This gave a lot of comfort to Saunaka Rsi. So I consider that I have gained a great addition to my Deity worship. He does not require a lot of formal rituals, but He likes that His devotee loves Him and plays with Him and gives Him attention.
It was a total surprise for me when Laddu-Gopal arrived yesterday. I had never before thought of worshiping Him. But immediately on seeing Him, it seemed all right that I should have Him. I cleared a place on a nearby shelf and placed Him there. I don’t know if I will keep Him in His clothes or let Him crawl nakedly. If I leave Him without clothes, I can perceive His lotus feet and His crawling motion. The cloth seems too fancy and formal. We can always put a little chadar on Him when it’s cold at night. Now that I touch Him in the morning, He feels a little cold. But He is smiling and crawling forward with His acquired laddu. Krsna has descended as the baby son of Maharaja Nanda and Mother Yasoda. They love Him not as the Supreme Personality of Godhead but as their wonderful child.

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