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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Worshiping Rādhā alone, Girirāja and Panca-mālā

Tongue of Govardhan at Rādhākuṇḍa

Bhakta:

A friend of mine has a deity of Rādhā alone. He worships her without Kṛṣṇa. I never heard of any worship like that.

Advaita Dās:

That is not right, that is wrong. This is concocted. No śāstra and no ācāryas said this. No one did this either. People are uncultured - they do not know śāstra so they just make up one thing after the other.

Bhakta:

Even he thinks that he is a mañjarī. How can explain it to him that it is wrong?

Advaita Dās -

Just repeat what I said - this worship must be:

1. Prescribed in śāstra
2. Coming through paramparā
3. Received from Guru

If that will not work then quote Rādhā-rasa Sudhānidhi 259 –

dhyāyaṁs taṁ śikhi pincha maulim aniśaṁ tan nāma saṅkīrtayan
nityaṁ tac caraṇāmbujaṁ paricaraṁs tan mantra varyaṁ japan
śrī rādhā pada dāsyam eva paramābhīṣṭaṁ hṛdā dhārayan
karhi syāṁ tad anugraheṇa paramodbhutānurāgotsavaḥ

            “I always meditate on Kṛṣṇa, who wears a crown of peacock feathers, I always sing His name in saṅkīrtana, I always serve His lotus-feet (the deity) and repeat His best of mantras (gopāla mantra and kāma gāyatrī), holding the desire for the supremely cherished service of Śrī Rādhā's lotus-feet in my heart.  When will that great festival of prema arise in my heart by His grace?”

paricaraṁs – paricaraṁs means worshiping the deity of (Rādhā-)Kṛṣṇa, while holding the aspiration for rādhā dāsya in the heart. Jīva Goswāmī quotes Viṣṇu Rahasya in Bhakti Sandarbha (283), saying that if one does arcanā, even with bhakti, without proper knowledge, one gets only 1% benefit. In other words, concocted arcanā, or arcanā not prescribed by Guru –

avijñāya vidhānoktaṁ hari-pūjā-vidhi-kriyām
kurvan bhaktyā samāpnoti śata-bhāgaṁ vidhānataḥ

Bhakta:

Yes...sevā aparādha. Leads to no inspiration...loss of faith...confusion.

Advaita Das

Yes - like veganism. This is also sevā aparādha - cooking for your own bones.


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This is a somewhat edited version of a conversation I had with a devotee in December, 2006 –

Bhakta - 

Please accept my obeisances. Praises to the Vaisnavas.
1. What is the difference from a Govardhana-śilā as Girirāja and that of a Govardhana śilā as Giridhāri? How is the identity and mood of worship different?

2. At Rādhākunda I have seen some chanting gāyatri with a cloth covered necklace on. What is inside the necklace and what is the significance of the articles inside, what is the reason for wearing it and historical context of wearing it?

Advaitadās -

1. Mount Govardhan is both Kṛṣṇa (Mahāprabhu told Raghunāth Dās Gosvāmī the śilā is kṛṣṇa kalevara, Kṛṣṇa’s body” (C.C. Antya 6.292), and Kṛṣṇa Himself said śailo’smi – I am the mountain’ in Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.24.35) and haridāsa varya (the best of Hari's servants, in Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.21.18), however the śilā is primarily worshipped as Kṛṣṇa. The mood is one of sweet rustic simplicity. The worship is briefly explained by Śrīman Mahāprabhu in Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya-līlā chapter 6.


2. It seems you must have seen someone doing that out in the open. Actually mantra japa should be done in private, not in public. The wreath they wear is called a pañca mālā and consists of five substances – Guñjā-berries, cloth from Lord Jagannātha, Tulasī, Āmalakī or Dhātrī and clay from Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa. Some Vaiṣṇavas believe that it enhances concentration. I have not received such a tool from my Guru, nor have I seen it mentioned in any Vaiṣṇava śāstra.

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