Instructions on Vaisnava Etiquette and Protocol, Part Four


Worshipping the Lord on Procession
South India Ratha

Oct 11, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of excerpts from 'Hari Bhakti Vilasa'.


The Glory of Visnu's Worship

All the activities of one who does not worship the Lord after receiving the mantra become useless. (3rd Vilasa)

If one becomes delivered just by receiving initiation, then who can describe the glories of the person who always worships Vishnu with great respect.

There is no Vedic activity more auspicious than worshipping Shri Vishnu . Therefore, one must worship Shri Hari, Who has no beginning, middle or end.

One who worships Shri Vishnu goes to His all blissful eternal Vaikuntha dham.

If one worships Kesava in the morning, noon, evening and any other time, all his desires are fulfilled.

If one worships the Lord of all demigods, Shri Hari, He who carries the conch-shell, disc, mace and lotus, then all the demigods are worshipped. Therefore, there is no need to worship any other demigod because Shri Hari is situated in all the demigods.

One who has worshipped Vishnu or offered Him obeisances once, even neglectful, will go to Shri Vaikuntha Dhama, which is worshipped by the demigods and is rare even for them.

The glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described by citing examples (from Shrimad Bhagavatam).

Different scriptures have described Vishnu and demigods such as Lord Siva, Durga and Kali as the greatest. Therefore, the Padma Purana declares that to bewilder the moving and non-moving world until the end of the kalpa, and to allow them to believe different demigods to be the greatest, the Puranas and other scriptures consider their respective demigods to be the chief. However, when one considers the necessity of all the scriptures, it will be established that Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the greatest of all demigods. Nrsingha Purana started to dance in ecstasy upon hearing this statement and confirming it said, "With my hands raised upwards I am telling again and again that this is the truth, this is the truth. There is no other scripture greater than the Vedas and there is no other worshipable Lord greater than Kesava."

The Padma Purana says that if Hrsikesh, Vasudeva, becomes pleased, an enemy becomes a friend, poison becomes nectar and irreligiosity becomes religion. But if He becomes displeased, the friend becomes an enemy, the nectar becomes poison and religion becomes irreligiosity.

Vasudeva accepted the statement of Padma Purana and He said, "If one commits sinful activities for My pleasure, that becomes piety. But if one performs pious activities disregarding Me, that is known as sin."

The Skanda Purana states that if a person rejects Vasudeva and worships other demigods, he is worshipping a candalini woman rejecting his own mother. The Padma Purana further states that such a person is like a fool who is drinking halahal poison while rejecting nectar.

The Mahabharat also says that if a totally bewildered person worships other demigods while rejecting Vishnu, he is collecting ash while rejecting gold.

If a person, rejecting Vishnu, takes shelter of other demigods, his condition is like a thirsty person rejecting Ganga water and running after a mirage. If after worshipping Vishnu, one even once mistakenly equates Him with other demigods, he is more degraded than a candala.

Durga Devi said, "How sad it is that in spite of Shri Hari's presence, the Supreme Lord and giver of all kinds of happiness, foolish people suffer in this material nature. For that Supreme Lord Hari my husband, Mahesh, became a naked mendicant with matted hair and ash smeared over his body. Who is greater than the husband of Laksmidevi and the enemy of Madhu?"

Lord Siva said in the Hari Vamsa, "O brahmanas with qualities in mode of goodness! Please worship Shri Vishnu all the time, chant the mantra Vishnu all the time, and meditate upon Vishnu."

Offerings to Visnu

The Shrimad-Bhagavatam quotes the Supreme Personality of Godhead: "Whatever is best in this world should be offered to Me. Things that are very dear to one, even in a small quantity, should be offered to Me; that produces endless results."

Foodstuffs that are offered to Me should not be less than a square meal and should not be of inferior quality.

Lord Vishnu should be offered various types of food and drink and all of them must be of the best quality. If other foodstuffs are not available, rice with ghee should be offered. Rice should never be offered without ghee because the scriptures state that rice without ghee is food for the demons.

The Vamana Purana states that when barley, wheat, rice and mung dal are mixed with ghee, they become very dear to Shri Hari.

In the Varaha Purana the Supreme Personality of Godhead says: "Buffalo milk, yoghurt or ghee made from buffalo milk should never be offered to Me."

The Glory of Sri Krsna's Caranamrta

Shri Krishna's caranamrta should be offered to the Vaishnavas first and then one should drink it respectfully and put it on his head. The mantra for respecting caranamrta is from Gautamiya Tantra, namely: "After drinking Shri Vishnu's caranamrta, which prevents one from untimely death and destroys all kind of diseases, I hold it on my head."

The Padma Purana says that the benefit one derives by worshipping ten million Shiva lingas every day is multiplied one hundred thousand fold by drinking Shri Hari's caranamrta.

It does not matter whether one is impure, a great miscreant or a great sinner. As soon as he touches the water from the lotus feet of Vishnu, he becomes purified.

"O Ambarisa! To one who has the remnants of Shri Hari's bath water (caranamrta) in his stomach you must offer obeisances and accept the dust from his feet."

One who drinks with devotion, even a drop of water from the salagram sila, does not have to suck his mother's breast again; in other words, he will not have to take birth again.

Those who regularly drink water from the salagram sila become free from a miserable existence in hell and their tenure of miserable existence in the womb is also burnt out.

"O Bhagirata! I am describing the glory of caranamrta. Listen carefully. It is more purifying than all the holy places and it destroys the sin of killing millions of living entities. When one drinks caranamrta and holds it to his head, all the demigods become pleased with him. In the age of Kali, the caranamrta of Shri Hari is the atonement for all sinful reactions."

In the Skanda Purana it mentions that because Lord Shiva knows the glory of Shri Vishnu's caranamrta, he is holding Ganga, who comes from the lotus feet of Vishnu, on his head.

The glory of Shri caranamrta has been described in all scriptures. One may be able to count all the waves in the ocean, but it is not possible to describe the glory of caranamrta. One should offer the Vaishnavas caranamrta with tulasi leaves, especially from a conchshell, while reciting mantras and should then drink it himself.

All the places of pilgrimage and the Vaishnavas are contained in the sacred caranamrta of Shri Vishnu; one should not wash his mouth after drinking it.

Seeing the Deities

The Vishnu Dharmottara states that an unintelligent person has to travel in this world of birth and death until he sees the deity of Kesava.

The Padma Purana states that those who do not see the worshipable deities of the Lord become punished by the servants of Yamaraja.

Those who see Lord Janardan while or after He is being worshipped, derives the benefit of offering one hundred desire-fulfilling cows in charity.

The Agni Purana says that one who sees Hari with devotion and one who respectfully allows others to see Him, achieves the perfection of yogic practices.

The Benefit of Seeing the Deities

The Padma Purana says that those who do not see the worshipable deity of the Lord that has been established according to the religious codes of the Vedas are punished by the servants of Yamaraja.

Those who see Janardan during or after worship derives the benefit of offering a hundred desire-fulfilling cows.

The Agni Purana states that one who sees Shri Hari while He is being worshipped or after He has been worshipped with devotion, and one who respectfully approves of such worship, derive the result of performing yoga.


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