Become a Yogi

December 10, 2016 |

English with தமிழ் Translation; Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu, India

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Santa Claus Outfits for Radha-Krsna

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Question: Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?… Expand>

Question:

Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?

 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

So, I’ve been informed that some temples in Europe in the Christmas season dress Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus, and that one temple, ISKCON temple (we are talking about ISKCON temples here), is dressing Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus. And one temple in India also did this. And what do I think about this? 

Unfortunate…is one word I could use. Nonsense is another.

In one letter Śrīla Prabhupāda was informed that devotees sent some Christmas cards with a picture of Krsna. Śrīla Prabhupāda wrote that we are not for Christmas greetings. In another or several times, Śrīla Prabhupāda also spoke about speculation in Deity worship… So, there may be various reasons given. In India, the reason was given that Christians come to our temple. Well, in that case you can dress Kṛṣṇa as cricket star, maybe the cricket fans would come. Or you can dress Kṛṣṇa like some famous film star, then maybe people interested in movies, they would come. 

But the whole idea…Deity worship is to dress Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā likes Him, and dress Rādhā as Kṛṣṇa likes Her, according to the directions of great ācāryas. Getting mixed up with this Western culture…as far as possible we should try to avoid that. We have our own festivals. Why adopt this Christmas, which is supposed to be a birth of Christ, although they don’t actually know when Christ was born? The main feature of Christmas in the modern world is killing lots of birds, especially turkeys in England, drinking lots of alcohol…

Especially, dressing Deities like this, all I can say is- unfortunate. My saying so won’t stop it going on. There are so many great ācāryas in our movement who are introducing things that none of our previous ācāryas was doing…So, what to say? Whether to laugh or to cry?

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Question: I am sorry to bother you, but I have some questions about painting and drawing Krsna consciousness themes. 1) Srila Prabhupada said that Krsna is never alone, but some of the pictures in BBT books shows Krsna with flute (beautiful painting by Pariksit das,1981) with peacock, cow, calf, parrot, holding Govardhana, Damodara tasting butter etc. Should cow, flute etc. be considered… Expand>

Question:

I am sorry to bother you, but I have some questions about painting and drawing Krsna consciousness themes.

1) Srila Prabhupada said that Krsna is never alone, but some of the pictures in BBT books shows Krsna with flute (beautiful painting by Pariksit das,1981) with peacock, cow, calf, parrot, holding Govardhana, Damodara tasting butter etc. Should cow, flute etc. be considered as Krsna`s devotees, so actually He is not alone on painting, or such scene is not bonafide. I started to paint Lord Krsna holding Govardana hill, but composition of painting don`t allow me to paint no one else but peacock or cow.

2) You said once that early paintings, untill 1977, have much lighter tones then paintings made later. I am doing portraits of Srila Prabhupada in charcoal, and pastel, and I saw this drawing (made by Dridha Mataji). It`s rather dark, but i like it.I would like to try that white chalk on black paper. Is it too dark? http://www.drdhaarts.com/portfolio/images/port/sp9.jpg

3) Is it OK to put miniature clay dolls representing Krsna, gopis, cowherd boys, pecocks etc. on halava made Govardhana hill, during Govardhana puja celebration, or should that hill be made of rice with eyes and mouth (like traditionally).

4) Is it OK to let children play with such dolls representing Lord Nrisimhadeva, Prahlada Maharaja, characters from Krsna lila, although they might break them, throw them or step on them.

5) Sometimes when drawing Srila Prabhupada with charcoal or pastel I need to blow on the picture to remove extra charcoal dust. Should I use some small ventilator instead?

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What Does It Stop Us Being Krsna Conscious?

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Question: What is that which stops us from being Krishna conscious? Lot of people study Srila Prabhupada glorious books but they are still not able to make a difference in their life? What is that stop people from becoming fully Krishna conscious? Please help.… Expand>

Question:

What is that which stops us from being Krishna conscious? Lot of people study Srila Prabhupada glorious books but they are still not able to make a difference in their life? What is that stop people from becoming fully Krishna conscious? Please help.

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

Well, it’s the same question that Arjuna asked to Kṛṣṇa. 

atha kena prayukto ’yaṁ
pāpaṁ carati pūruṣaḥ
anicchann api vārṣṇeya
balād iva niyojitaḥ

Why do people perform sinful activities even against their wish, as if they are forced? Kṛṣṇa replied… What did he reply? What’s the next verse? All right, anyone else apart from… 

kāma eṣa krodha eṣa
rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ
mahāśano mahā-pāpmā
viddhy enam iha vairiṇam

So far so good, they’re biting others, or maybe they’re listening to the lecture. Not very likely. So, Kṛṣṇa said that is because of material desire and anger… (Krodha generally means anger. That can mean frustration also. Frustration is another phase of anger.) …Which are born of rajo-guṇa, the mode of enjoyment of this material world, which burn like fire, which are highly sinful. One should know these to be the enemy. So it’s material desire. Ultimately, that’s our own desire, because of our own wrong desire. Why are we not Kṛṣṇa conscious? Because we don’t want to be, ultimately. Because we are rascals. So therefore, we have to take to the process of sādhana. This is a common question. Why aren’t we Kṛṣṇa conscious? We read the books. All right. We have a serious disease of not being Kṛṣṇa conscious. We have to take the medicine, but don’t expect it’s going to happen… One instant pill, you take one pill and everything finished. People, they advertise some medicine: “Guaranteed cure in seven days of all diseases”. You know it’s bogus. Guarantee: 35 000 rupees, worship some demigod and guaranteed all your problems solved. Bogus. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the cure, but take some time. Some patience is required. What stops us from becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious? Our own wrong desire that has to be rectified by regularly hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa, following the prescribed process.

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