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Thread: Why is ISKCON Krishna so opulent?

  1. #1
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    July 2012
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    Why is ISKCON Krishna so opulent?


    One can see Krishna and Radha are always dressed in a very opulent manner in ISKCON temples. Not that they aren't looking as regal in regular Krishna temples, but yet, dressing is seen an opportunity to shower one's love on Krishna idol by ISKCON devotees and you can see so many videos on the net where just the turban is built with numerous unique decorative pieces and so forth for the complete Krishna look.

    Today in my Facebook feed, I got a message from a cyber ISKCON group portraying a letter by Srila Prabhupada on why Krishna is so opulent in his dressing style. The master had said in the letter that such an opulent form of Krishna's dressing is meant for the advanced devotee and not for a beginner.

    The letter had more to say but this one line is sufficient for this discussion.

    Krishna was a cowherd. But he was the son of Nanda, who was the chief of the area where they lived. That makes Krishna very prominent as a prince in his area, even without considering any of his great deeds while in Vrindavana.

    So that is why he dresses in simple robes but yet opulently, with the unique peacock feather and all that. As said, one can also see a pure devotee's sheer excitement and fun with clothing the Krishna idol, which is seen as their way to show him their love.

    As another addition to this discussion, HG Amarendra Dasa in one of his lectures notes:

    "Whereas other forms of Vishnu such as Ranganatha dwell in Vaikuntha, their devotees are attracted to their lord for the opulence. Their bhava or tone in bakthi is thus one of 'servant' (Daasya Bhava) because to them, Vishnu is their Lord, the master.

    In Krishna bakthi too, there is opulence. Krishna with Rukmini is the form for daasya bhava bakthi, love mixed with opulence being the reason for bakthi and this form of Lord exists in Vaikuntha.

    But yet, there is a last but most supreme form of bakthi towards Krishna, and that is one of pure love, where the Lord is never seen the master, but only as a friend, and to them, the lord behaves as such, in all his simplicity. This form of pure love is seen in the devotees of the Lord's most beloved 'Goloka'."

    A story (I guess, from Bhagavatham) is remarkable here:

    Once Lord Krishna was in severe headache. He sent for his servants and told them to bring a handful of land stepped on/stood upon by his beloved devotees so as to be rubbed on his forehead and that only this would stop his pain.

    First the servants went to Rukmini and she told them that it is blasphemous for her to give the sand or soil that she has stepped on for this purpose as then, she would rot in hell for punishment of this deed and denied to comply with the request.

    But then the servants went to Goloka and met with gopis who loved Krishna dearly. When they told them about the request, immediately they jumped with joy and gave the requested mud and said, for Krishna, they do not mind the hell.

    Such is the mood of the gopis! Pure love is the mood of the whole of Vrindavana and Goloka.

    This is why the Lord is dressed as such, for he is the friend of devotees of such high caliber.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  2. #2
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    July 2012
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    Re: Why is ISKCON Krishna so opulent?

    I am surprised at this sudden increase in view count overnight. Yesterday it was in the teens.

    I'm motivated to give the name for this 3rd form of Prema bakthi towards Krishna. The bhaava or tone of bakthi is named 'Mathurya Bhaava'.

    Thanks and regards.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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