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Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakanatha
Los Angeles, July 16, 1969
Prabhupada: Now today this function of installing Deity, this is authorized. Just like several times I have given the example that when you put your mails in a box in the street, because it is written there U.S. Mail, you know that it is authorized box. And if you put your letters within this box, it will surely reach the destination. The post office will work. So there is no difference between the huge post office building and that small box because it is authorized. Similarly, the difference between idol worship and Deity worship is like that. Unless authorized process is accepted, it is idol worship. That is the general rule. If somebody thinks that "There is a box, red and blue, on the street. Why shall I go to that box? Let me have similar box at my door and it will be cleared by the postman because it is blue and red," that will not be so. Because the box which you put at your door, that is not authorized.
Similarly, we have to worship the Deity according to the authorized system. Just like in our Gaudiya-sampradaya there is authorized system by the Gosvamis and there is a big book which is called Hari-bhakti-vilasa. So everything is stated there, how the Vaisnava family should have their all function... It is called Vaisnava-smrti. Sruti and smrti. So we have to follow this regulation of the sruti, Vedas, and smrti. Smrti means derived from the Vedas. Srila Rupa Gosvami says, sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhim vina, aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate [Brs. 1.2.101]. Without following the rules and regulations of Vedic injunctions, without reference to the regulative principles mentioned in different smrtis, without reference to the Puranas and without reference to the pancaratriki-vidhi...
The pancaratriki-vidhi means it is a special concession for this age. Vaidika-vidhi and pancaratriki-vidhi. Vaidika-vidhi is very authorized, but this Vaidika-vidhi is specially meant for those who are highly elevated brahmanas. In this age it is accepted as a fact by the sastras, kalau sudra-sambhavah. In this age nobody is actually bona fide brahmanas by birth. Formerly they used to be. The family tradition, the garbhadhana system, the samskaras were strictly followed; therefore a son born of a brahmana father was accepted as a brahmana, not immediately, but going through the process. But in this age because it is very difficult to find out a person who is born of a qualified brahmana, therefore Narada-pancaratra is there. So these Gosvamins, Rupa Gosvami specially recommends, sruti-smrti-puranadi-panc... [Brs. 1.2.101]. Either you follow the principles of sruti, Vedas, followed by smrti, puranadi, or you follow the pancaratriki-vidhi. The pancaratriki-vidhi... Just like we are introducing in this temple for worshiping Deity, but actually the Deity can be worshiped by the bona fide brahmanas.
There was agitation in India, perhaps you know, that Gandhi stamped some persons as Harijana. Harijana. They were coming from the bhangis. Bhangis means sweepers or the cleaners of the toilet room. So Gandhi accepted them. The government was creating, British government was creating faction between high caste, low caste. So Gandhi thought that, "I shall make these bhangis and camars as Harijana, as great devotees." But simply by rubberstamping, how one can become devotee? That is not possible. Without going the pancaratriki-vidhi, they remain the same unclean drunkard and the all nonsense habits. And simply by stamping rubberstamping, Harijana? No. Here what we are doing, it is not rubberstamping. It is actually training according to the pancaratriki-vidhi. We are training our boys to become brahmanas, to refrain from four kinds of sinful activities, to take bath, to take this, take that. And above all, chanting Hare Krsna. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], cleansing of all sinful activities. So in this way Harijana can be made, but not that you pick up somebody nonsense and rubberstamp this "Harijana." No. There must be process.
There is no hindrance for anyone to become Harijana. Harijana means God's person or devotee. Hari means God, Krsna, and jana means His person. Just like we have got here government servant, special, or ordinary person. So Harijana means the servants of the Supreme Lord. So that is not ordinary thing. There is no harm to create Harijana by regular process, but you cannot make Harijana simply by stamping. Bhagavad-gita says, equal opportunity for everyone. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah [Bg. 9.32]. Low-class born birth is understood due to sinful activities. Low-class birth, animal birth. Sinful activities. But Krsna says, papa-yonayah, born in sinful families, never mind. Mam hi partha vyapasritya... If he becomes Krsna conscious by bona fide process, mam hi partha vyapasritya. Vyapasritya means bona fide process. Not an imitation, bona fide. And bona fide means as they are depicted, as they are described, as they are enjoined in the authorized sastra like sruti-smrti-puranadi-panca... [Brs. 1.2.101]. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah. Never mind in whatever family one is born, sinful family, never mind. Striyah sudras tatha vaisyah, including woman and sudras and vaisyas, they are considered as less intelligent. They are considered as less intelligent. Therefore, according to Vedic system, a boy born in a brahmana family, he is allowed all the samskaras, reformatory, purificatory process, but the girl is not. Why? Now, because a girl has to follow her husband. So if her husband is brahmana, automatically she becomes brahmana. There is no need of separate reformation. And by chance she may be married with a person who is not a brahmana, then what is the use of making her a brahmana? That is the general method. So therefore the, even born in a brahmana family, a woman is taken as woman, not as brahmana. But Krsna says, "Never mind. Even if she is woman, even she is sudra, even she is vaisya, or any other, I mean to say, family born in, never mind." Mam hi partha vyapasritya [Bg. 9.32], if anyone is bona fidely made Krsna conscious, te 'pi yanti param gatim, so his way is open to the path of Vaikuntha, param gatim. Kim punar brahmanah punya bhakta rajarsayas tatha [Bg. 9.33].
So Krsna consciousness is so nice, it opens the door of highest perfectional platform for everyone provided he follows the rules and regulations. That's all. That is the only condition. Otherwise, if simply by imitating, if somebody thinks, "Oh, I can become a..." like that. "If such and such person can become, I can do..." No. That is warned by Rupa Gosvami,
aikantiki harer bhaktir
If we simply imitate, oh, that will not do. So do not try to imitate, follow the simple rules and regulations, it is very nice, and above all, chant Hare Krsna. You'll become purified. Without being purified you cannot touch Radha-Krsna. In the Vedas it is stated, "Without becoming Brahman you cannot approach Brahman." Just like without becoming fire you cannot approach fire. Because the inconsistency of temperature. It will burn. Just like here is fire, and I am feeling temperature, but the fire flames within the fire, they do not feel because the temperature is the same. Similarly, without becoming Brahman, without understanding oneself, realizing himself, nobody can... Krsna is the Parambrahman. Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Purusam sasvatam, therefore one has to keep himself very purified; otherwise you cannot touch Krsna. That is not possible. It is fire, so you have to become fire. And how to become fire? Fire, you are also fire, but now you are covered fire, covered by this material body. Therefore you have to spiritualize this body by purificatory process. The same example, just like the iron rod, it is iron, but you put into the fire. It becomes warm, warmer, warmer, then red hot, then it is fire. Similarly, by this process, chanting process, by regulative process, you are becoming warmer, warmer, warmer, warmer. And when you fully become red hot warm, then your body is as good as Krsna's. So we have to keep ourself always in the fire of Krsna consciousness; then everything is all right. (laughs) Otherwise, it will become dull and it will be simply idol worship. That's all. That is the difference between idol worship and Deity worship. If there is no life, then it is idol worship, hedonism. And when there is life, feeling, "Where is Krsna? Here is Krsna. Oh, I have to serve Krsna, I have to dress Him, I have to serve Radharani, She is here. Oh, I must do it very nicely. And as far as possible decorate Her to the best capacity." In this way, if you always feel Krsna conscious, then you are fire. The same example, keeping with the fire. And if you think it is a brass-made doll, I mean to say, idol... Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham [Bg. 4.11]. If you think this is a brass-made idol, then it will remain a brass-made idol to you forever. But if you elevate yourself to higher platform of Krsna consciousness, then Krsna, this Krsna, will talk with you. This Krsna will talk with you.
There is a Vamsidasa Babaji Maharaja, he was talking with his Deity. And Krsna... Just like Madana-mohana, He was talking with Sanatana Gosvami. Madana-mohana... Sanatana Gosvami at that time had no temple; he was hanging his Deity on the tree. So Madana-mohana was talking with him, "Sanatana, you are bringing all these dry capatis, and it is stale, and you don't give Me even little salt. How can I eat?" Sanatana Gosvami said, "Sir, where shall I go? Whatever I get I offer You. You kindly accept. I cannot move, old man." You see. So Krsna had to eat that. (chuckles) Because the bhakta is offering He cannot refuse. Ye mam bhaktya prayacchati. Real thing is bhakti. What you can offer to Krsna? Everything belongs to Krsna. What you have got? What is your value? And what is the value of your things? It is nothing. Therefore real thing is bhaktya, real thing is your feeling. "Krsna, kindly take it. I have no qualification. I am most rotten, fallen, but (begins to cry) I have brought this thing for you. Please take it." This will be accepted. Don't be puffed up. Always be careful. You are dealing with Krsna. That is my request. Thank you very much. (end)
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