The Musical Instruments used in the Spiritual World! Interesting facts!
A male devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krishna pr ji.Dandvats.
The harmonium may be played during bhajan if there is someone who can play melodiously. But it is not for kirtana and arati. (Prabhupada Letter to Bahudak 11th January, 1976)
Above instruction given by Srila Prabhupada but still today we mostly use harmonium in Aarti and specifically Kirtan very much. Could u please clear this doubt from my ignorant mind. Hari bol….”
WHY HARMONIUM IS USED IN ARATIS AGAINST THE WISH OF SRILA PRABHUPADA?
Srila Prabhupada indicated that harmonium should not be used in temple arati, but it can be used to accompany the congregational chanting of the maha-mantra and devotional songs.
Srila Prabhupada gave this permission in three stages considering the enthusiasm of the devotees in playing harmonium.
(i) First Srila Prabhupada said to the devotees that the harmonium should not be played in the temple except festival programmes.
It may be because he didn’t like harmoniums being played with western chords.
(ii) Then he said that harmonium could be played in the temple but not during the arati.
(PERFORMING ARATI TO KRISHNA AT HOME – COMPLETE STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE! READ HERE!)
(iii) And then in the another occasion, Srila Prabhupada said that harmonium can be played during an arati, but melodiously.
Melodiously means following the melody line, not hanging on chords. Melodiously means following the way Srila Prabhupada taught us to play harmonium. He recorded the harmonium not just that we can enjoy hearing, but so that we can learn how to play the harmonium.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD
One time, Srila Prabhupada was asked “Srila Prabhupada, what kind of instruments are there in the spiritual world?”.
Srila Prabhupada answered:
“Well, there is mrdanga, there are kartalas,” and then he said, “and there is a little harmonium.”
Srila Prabhupada appreciated the harmonium enough to import it to the spiritual world.
(CREATIONS BY KRISHNA – 2 : SPIRITUAL (VAIKUNTA) PLANETS! READ HERE!)
Srila Prabhupada himself played harmonium.
Srila Prabhupada said that the harmonium creates a nice atmosphere.
If you are going to play the harmonium you should be expert enough to play the harmonium like Srila Prabhupada, or at least according to his instructions.
So, though Srila Prabhupada did not give permission for Harmonium in temples, later, he permitted to play MELODIOUSLY.
He understood the desires of devotees and permitted them with conditions.
That is why, it is played in some places as you said. Everything is good if it is PROPERLY used in the service of Krishna.
(GOLOKA VRINDAVAN & VAIKUNTA & SPIRITUAL SKY – DESCRIPTION! READ HERE!)