What is the importance of the family deities? Do we need to worship them? (Saranga Thakura Dasa)
OUR REPLY: Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.31.14) states that since Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, worshiping Him satisfies all other deities just as watering the root of a tree nourishes all twigs, branches, leaves, and trunk etc. Thus, worshiping Lord Krishna is enough for everyone and there is no need to worship any other deity separately. However, a person not engaged in pure devotional service to Lord Sri Krishna may derive temporary benefit by worshiping the family deity.
Often when I hear a song or a lecture about Lord Krishna, His incarnations or Srimati Radharani, or take Their darsana, tears just start flowing from my eyes instantly. Sometimes I get goose bumps all over my body. Why does this happen? (Radhika Potdar)
OUR REPLY: These symptoms are indicative of intense spiritual ecstasy experienced by devotees of very high caliber and purity. Sometimes, they may even manifest just because of emotional outburst.
Srila Prabhupada mentions in Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 17:
“Ecstasy is the first symptom of pure love for the Personality of Godhead, and in that stage one is sometimes found shedding tears or shivering. …Elevation to this stage of ecstasy can be possible in two ways. One way is by constant association with pure devotees. The other way is by the special mercy of Krishna or by the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. Elevation to the ecstatic stage of life is generally attained through association with pure devotees, while elevation to that stage by the special mercy of Krishna or His devotee is very rare. The purport is that one should execute devotional service rigidly in the association of devotees so that there will be certainty in raising oneself to that ecstatic position. In special cases, of course, there is special favor from Krishna, and although we should always expect that, we should not sit idly and simply wait for Krishna’s special mercy; the regular duties must be performed.”
You may accept your symptoms as special mercy of Lord, and yet you should simultaneously try to engage in regulative principles of sadhana-bhakti to further purify yourself. Great devotees try to hide their internal ecstasies and generally don’t exhibit such symptoms publicly, which may attract cheap adoration.
GOD FOR ATHEISTS
A thousand pranamas to Srila Prabhupada for his exciting sum-up on Mother India. (BTG December 2009). Although India is a land of many religions, yet there are Godless atheists as well, “Why do people become atheists?” (BTG, Jan 2010). People have lost the much-needed patience in understanding the Lord. Losers in life cry and blame destiny and God for their failure. They do not understand that God was always with them. They cannot be blamed for that though. How will they feel the glories of God in chaos? (PKV Menon)
Replies to the letter were written by Nanda Dulal Dasa (Nanda.Dulal.RNS@pamho.net)