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690716 - Lecture Festival Installation, Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakanatha - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

690716DI-LOS ANGELES - July 16, 1969 - 19:21 Minutes

Prabhupāda: 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 "US 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 so 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," oh, that will not be. 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 Gauḍīya-sampradāya there is authorized system by the Gosvāmīns, and there is a big book which is called Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. So everything is stated there, how the Vaiṣṇava family should have their all function . . . it is called Vaiṣṇava-smṛti. Śruti and smṛti. So we have to follow this regulation of the śruti, Vedas, and smṛti. Smṛti means derived from the Vedas. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says:

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pāñcarātrikī-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate
(Brs. 1.2.101)

Without following the rules and regulations of Vedic injunctions, without reference to the regulative principles mentioned in different smṛtis, without reference to the Purāṇas and without reference to the pāñcarātrikī-vidhī . . . the pāñcarātrikī-vidhī means it is a special concession for this age. Vaidika-vidhī and pāñcarātrikī-vidhī. Vaidika-vidhī is very authorized, but this Vaidika-vidhī is specially meant for those who are highly elevated Brahmins.

In this age it is accepted as a fact by the śāstras, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In this age nobody is actually bona fide Brahmins by birth. Formerly they used to be. The family tradition, the garbhādhāna system, the saṁskāra were strictly followed; therefore a son born of a Brahmin father was accepted as a Brahmin — 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 brāhmiṇ, therefore Nārada Pañcarātra is there. So these Gosvāmīns, Rūpa Gosvāmī especially, recommends, śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañc . . . (Brs. 1.2.101). Either you follow the principles of śruti, Vedas, followed by smṛti, purāṇādi, or you follow the pāñcarātrikī-vidhī. The pāñcarātrikī-vidhī . . . just like we are introducing in this temple for worshipping Deity, but actually the Deity can be worshipped by the bona fide Brahmins.

There was agitation in India, perhaps you know, that Gandhi stamped some persons as harijana. Harijana. They were coming from the bhaṅgīs. Bhaṅgīs means sweepers or the cleaners of the toilet room. So Gandhi accepted them. The government was creating . . . British government was creating faction between the caste, low caste. So Gandhi thought that, "I shall make these bhaṅgīs and camars as harijana, as great devotees." But simply by rubber-stamping, how one can become devotee? That is not possible. Without going the pāñcarātrikī-vidhī, they remain the same unclean drunkard and the all nonsense habits. And simply by rubber-stamping, harijana? No.

Here, what we are doing, it is not rubber-stamp. It is actually training according to the pāñcarātrikī-vidhī. We are training all boys to become Brahmin: to refrain from four kinds of sinful activities, to take bath, to take this, take that. And above all, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Ceto-darpaṇa-marjanam (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1), cleansing of all sinful activities. So in this way harijana can be made, but not that you pick up somebody nonsense and rubber-stamp 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, Kṛṣṇa, and jana means His person. Just like we have got here government servant, special, or ordinary person. So haijana 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-gītā says equal opportunity for everyone. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśrityā ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32). Low-class born birth is understood due to sinful activities—low-class birth, animal birth. Sinful activities. But Kṛṣṇa says pāpa-yonayaḥ, born in sinful families, never mind. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśrityā . . . if he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious by bona fide process, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśrityā . . . vyapāśrityā 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 śāstra like śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañca . . . (Brs. 1.2.101). Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśrityā ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ. Never mind in whatever family one is born, sinful family. Never mind. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyaḥ, including woman and śūdras and vaiśyas, they are considered as less intelligent. They are considered as less intelligent.

Therefore, according to Vedic system, a boy born in a Brahmin family, he is allowed all the saṁskāras, reformatory, purificatory process, but the girl is not. Why? Now, because a girl has to follow her husband. So if her husband is Brahmin, automatically she becomes Brahmin. There is no need of separate reformation. And by chance she may be married with a person who is not a Brahmin, then what is the use of making her a Brahmin? That is the general method.

So therefore the . . . even born in a Brahmin family, a woman is taken as woman, not as Brahmin. But Kṛṣṇa says: "Never mind. Even if she is woman, even she is śūdra, even she is vaiśya, or any other," I mean to say: "family born in, never mind." Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśrityā, if anyone is bona-fidely made Kṛṣṇa conscious, te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim, so his way is open to the path of Vaikuṇṭha, parāṁ gatim. Kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā (BG 9.33). So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice, it opens the door of highest perfectional platform for everyone, provided he follows the rules and regulation. 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 Rūpa Gosvāmī:

pāñcarātrikī-vidhīṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate
(Brs. 1.2.101)

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 Kṛṣṇa. You'll become purified.

Without being purified you cannot touch Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. 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 . . .

Kṛṣṇa is the Parambrahman. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Puruṣaṁ śāśvatam. Therefore one has to keep himself very purified; otherwise you cannot touch Kṛṣṇa. 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 it is, you are becoming warmer, warmer, warmer, warmer. And when you fully become red-hot warm, then your body is as good as Kṛṣṇa's.

So we have to keep ourself always in the fire of Kṛṣṇa 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 Kṛṣṇa? Here is Kṛṣṇa. Oh, I have to serve Kṛṣṇa, I have to dress Him, I have to serve Rādhārāṇī, 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 Kṛṣṇa 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 yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy 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 Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then Kṛṣṇa, this Kṛṣṇa, will talk with you. This Kṛṣṇa will talk with you.

There is a Vaṁsīdāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, he was talking with his Deity. And Kṛṣṇa . . . just like Madana-mohana, He was talking with Sanātana Gosvāmī. Madana-mohana . . . Sanātana Gosvāmī at that time had no temple; he was hanging his Deity on the tree. So Madana-mohana was talking with him, "Sanātana, you are bringing all these dry chapatis, and it is stale, and you don't give Me even little salt. How can I eat?" Sanātana Gosvāmī said, "Sir, where shall I go? Whatever I get I offer You. You kindly accept. I cannot move; old man." You see.

So Kṛṣṇa had to eat that. (chuckles) Because the bhakta is offering, He cannot refuse. Ye māṁ bhaktyā prayacchati. Real thing is bhakti. What you can offer to Kṛṣṇa? Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. What you have got? What is your value? And what is the value of your things? It is nothing. Therefore real thing is bhaktyā; real thing is your feeling. "Kṛṣṇa, kindly take it. I have no qualification. I am most rotten, fallen, but (weeps) I have brought this thing for you. Please take." This will be accepted. Don't be puffed up. Always be careful. You are dealing with Kṛṣṇa.

That is my request. Thank you very . . . (weeps) (end)