Namakal Nama-hatta Opening

Assorted Lectures | November 16, 2008 |

English; Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India

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Why I Don't Give Brahminical Initiation Easily

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Question: 1) We see that Srila Prabhupada gave pancaratriki initiation (braminical) to many devotees without taking in consideration if the devotees were employed by some karmi neither if they had a braminical background. Maharaja, you are very strict in following Srila Prabhupada. Why is that you have those policies to give second initiation? 2) I've heard (maybe even in one of your lectures… Expand>

Question:

1) We see that Srila Prabhupada gave pancaratriki initiation (braminical) to many devotees without taking in consideration if the devotees were employed by some karmi neither if they had a braminical background. Maharaja, you are very strict in following Srila Prabhupada. Why is that you have those policies to give second initiation?

2) I've heard (maybe even in one of your lectures or in conversations with your disciples) that you won't be giving second initiation to those working for other people (having a sudra occupation). Recently, I was asked to speak to bhakti-school students in the temple about the desire for second initiation and I also came across quotes, saying that chanting the Gayatri mantra gradually delivers one from the material clutches (CC Madhya 8.138) and even more, unless one is initiated as a brahmana, one cannot worship the holy name properly. Why, then, second initiation isn't given more freely, considering only the qualities of a disciple and not his ways of maintenance as well or the need of second initiation for service only?

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  • Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.22.74

  • 54 m 16 s  |  24.8 MB

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Santa Claus Outfits for Radha-Krsna

December 25, 2012 |

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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