933) Whether I know the importance of deity worship and initiation! Taught by Srila Prabhupada of Srila Jiva Gosvami!

Caitanya Caritamrta—Madhyalila-15.108—- For conditioned souls to do devotional service, deity worship is necessary.

933) Whether I know the importance of deity worship and initiation! Taught by Srila Prabhupada of Srila Jiva Gosvami!

—————- In his Bhakti-sandarbha (283–84), Srila Jiva Gosvämi describes the importance of Deity worship and initiation (diksä) as follows:

yadyapi sri-bhägavata-mate pancaräträdi-vat arcana-märgasya ävasyakatvam nästi, tad vinäpi saranäpattyädinäm ekatarenäpi purusärtha-siddher abhihitatvät, tathäpi sri-näradädi-vartmänusaradbhih sri-bhagavatä saha sambandha-visesam diksä-vidhänena sri-guru-carana-sampäditam cikirsadbhih krtäyäm diksäyäm arcanam avasyam kriyetaiva.

yadyapi svarüpato nästi, tathäpi präyah svabhävato dehädi-sambandhena kadarya-silänäm viksipta-cittänäm janänäm tat-tat-sankoci-karanäya srimad-rsi-prabhrtibhir aträrcana-märge kvacit kvacit käcit käcin maryädä sthäpitästi.

“It is Srimad-Bhägavatam’s opinion that the process of Deity worship is not actually necessary, just as the specific prescriptions of the Pancarätra and other scriptures do not have to be followed. The Bhägavatam enjoins that even without practicing Deity worship one can achieve the complete success of human life by any of the other devotional processes, such as simply offering oneself at the Lord’s feet for His protection. Nonetheless, Vaisnavas following the path of Sri Närada and his successors endeavor to establish a personal relationship with the Lord by receiving the grace of a bona fide spiritual master through initiation, and in this tradition the devotees are obliged at the time of initiation to begin engaging in Deity worship. ————————————-

Hari Bol.

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