MATHURA VASA & MURTHY SEVA OF 8 DEITY TYPES – GREATNESS!
In his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Sri Rupa Gosvami has divided the various practices of bhakti in sixty-four categories. Five of them have been declared as the most important by Sri Chaitanya.
(i) Sadhu Sangha (Associating with the saints)
(ii) Nama Kirtana (Japa and Kirtana)
(iii) Bhagavatha Seva (Reading and preaching Bhagavatham)
(iv) Mathura-vasa (Livingin Mathura)
(v) Sri Murthy Seva (Deity worship)
Out of these Five, we have already seen the first three in detail.
(Greatness of the Dvaraka City ruled by Krishna –Description! READ HERE!)
In this post, Let us see the last two MATHURA VASA & MURTHY SEVA.:
Mathura Vasa means Living in the Holy Land of Mathura.
When the Lord descends to this world with His eternal associates, His divine abode descends along with Him to serve as His playground in this world. He visits in Vraja Mandala only. This holy abode of the Lord manifest in the earthly realm is an exact replica of the Spiritual world in the realm beyond.
The various places around Vraja Mandala are a perfect impetus for invoking remembrance of the Lord’s pastimes within the heart, and the association of saints living in such places, spending their time in absorption in thoughts of the Lord, can never fail to leave one empty-hearted. However blinded one may be, he can never escape the supramundane potency of such a holy place.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU LIVE FAR AWAY FROM VRAJA MANDALA?
For those unable to live in or visit places such as Vraja Mandala, it is advised that one should live there mentally by being absorbed in thoughts of the Lord’s pastimes there.
(WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY (SACRED) PLACES INCLUDING CHAR DHAM? READ HERE!)
WHY THE NAME VRINDAVANA CAME?
The land of Vraja Mandala is divided in twelve forests, spreading over 84 krosas (168 square kilometers). They are collectively known as Vrindavana, or the forest of Vrinda, named after Vrinda Devi, the goddess presiding over the forests, making all varieties of delicate arrangements to perfect the loving pastimes of the Divine Couple.
VRAJA MANDALA SUPERIOR TO VAIKUNTA! WHY?
In his “Nectar of Instruction”, Sri Rupa Gosvami says:
“The city of Mathura is superior to the spiritual world of Vaikuntha, since the Lord Himself appeared there. Superior to Mathura is the forest of Vrindavana, since Krishna displayed His pastime of rasa-lila (circle dance) there. Superior to Vrindavana is the Govardhana hill, which was lifted by the Lord Himself, and where He enacted numerous pastimes with His dear associates. However, above all is the lake known as Radha Kunda, since it is overflooded with the nectarine blissful loving plays of the Lord of Gokula. Where is that discriminating person who would not desire to serve this divine lake situated at the foot of Govardhana hill?”
(Deity worship of Baby Krishna and Radha Krishna – Which is recommended for home and what is the procedure? READ HERE!)
Vraja Mandala is saturated with divine love, being the personal playground of the Lord, and therefore it is a most befitting place for an aspirant who desires to perfect his spontaneous loving propensity for the Divine Couple.
SRI MURTHY SEVA
Murty Seva means Serving the Worshipable Form of the Lord.
The transcendental form of the Lord is beyond the grasp of mundane sense perception. However, since there is a need for the practitioners to render concrete service for the Lord, in His kindness He assumes a form consisting of the elements of this world, visible to humans. Such a form of the Lord is called an ARCA VIGRAHA (form to be worshiped) or an arca-avatara (an incarnation for worship), commonly referred to as a deity-form of the Lord.
Faithful service to the deity of the Lord allows the aspirant to establish a personal relationship of service with the Lord by cooking for Him, preparing clothes for Him, singing for Him, arranging festivals in His celebration, offering incense and flowers unto Him, and so forth.
(Is Shaligram Shila & Deity worship not recommended at Home For all? READ HERE!)
EIGHT FORMS OF DEITIES
The deity forms of the Lord are of eight kinds: (1) Made of stone, (2) made of wood, (3) made of metal, (4) made of earth, (5) painted, (6) made of sand, (7) envisioned in the mind, and (8) made of jewels.
After the completion of the deity form, the Lord is invoked into this form by a dear devotee of the Lord, a loving servant of His. Thus the Lord appears among the elements of this world to accept the loving service of His devotees.
The process of arcana (deity worship) also helps the practitioner to become clean and regulated on account of the various ceremonies to be observed in relation to serving the Lord. The maintenance of both external and internal purity is essential for securing sound progress on the path of spiritual life.
The most common deity forms worshiped in the Gaudiya tradition are the forms of Radha Krishna, Sri Chaitanya and His brother Nityananda.
HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS PART OF THE ARTICLE ON MATHURA VASA & MURTHY SEVA OF 8 DEITY TYPES!
(Importance of Caranamrta (Charanamrutha) in devotion! READ HERE!)