Instructions on Vaisnava Etiquette and Protocol,
Part Six


Photo courtesy 'Nagarajan74' @ Flikr

Oct 13, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of excerpts from 'Hari Bhakti Vilasa'.


Glory of the Conchshell

The Brahma Vaivarta Purana mentions that Shri Hari is situated in the conchshell; wherever there is conchshell, Shri Hari along with Laksmidevi is always situated and all inauspiciousness disappears from that place.

Wherever the sound of conchshell is heard, Laksmidevi resides there without moving. One who takes his bath in the water from the conchshell gets the benefit of bathing in all the places of pilgrimage.

The Padma Purana quotes: "O Narada! One who bathes the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Vishnu, with cow's milk [and] a conchshell, attains the position of Brahma."

One who bathes Shri Madhava with a conchshell full of Ganga water while saying, "O Narayana! I offer obeisances unto you", does not have to take birth again. He attains Vaikunthaloka."

The Skanda Purana states that one who bathes Shri Krishna with water from a conchshell derives the benefit of offering hundreds of desire-fulfilling cows in charity.

"O Narada! When the water from a river, a pond, a large reservoir, a well and a lake is placed in the conchshell, that water becomes like Ganges water."

"O best of brahmanas! All the places of pilgrimage within the three worlds reside in the conchshell by the order of Krishna. Therefore, one must treat the conchshell with respect."

The Agama Sastra says that as big, as pleasing and as transparent as the conchshell is, as great its power of beneficence will be.

The Glory of Water from Conchshell in Arati

One must sprinkle water from the conchshell offered in arati. That water, steeped in the nectarean glance of Shri Krishna, must be put on one's head after offering obeisances.

The Skanda Purana mentions that one who has sprinkled the water offered to Shri Hari over his head from a conchshell does not need to take bath in the Ganges.



The five ingredients of pancagavya are: milk, cow's urine, ghee, cow dung and yoghurt. When they are mixed in equal proportions, it is called pancagavya.


The ingredients of pancamrta are: milk, sugar, ghee, yoghurt and honey and a mixture of these five are called pancamrta. It is used in all spiritual activities.

Offering Plates

The Skanda Purana mentions that gold, silver and copper plates, bell-metal plates and plates made from earth, palash and lotus leaves are very dear to Vishnu. The Devi Purana also mentions that eighteen inch diameter plates are best, twelve inch are medium and six inch are the worst. Plates less than four inch diameter should not be used in the worship.

The Vishnu Dharmottara states that a person who offers plates and pots to Shri Hari, he does not have to go to hell again.


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