Is Shaligram Shila & Deity worship not recommended at Home For all?
Two devotees asked:
(1) Koena Ghosh:
“Hare Krishna Prabhuji. I heard that women can’t worship shaligram Shila. Is it true? But i read that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mother Saci Devi used to worship Shaligram and Nityananda Prabhu’s wife Jahnava Devi also used to worship Shaligram and did abhishek. Also there is this verse- STRIYO VA YADI VA SUDRA BRAHMANAH KSATRIYADAYAH VAISHNAVAM PUJAYITVA SILA CAKRA LABHANTE SASVATAM PADAM ” (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 5/452 From SKANDA PURANA conversation between Lord Brahma and Narada Muni )Worship of Salagram Sila can be done by Women, Sudras (low caste), Brahmanas (twice born), Kshatriyas (administrators), Vaishnavas, etc. and everybody who worships the Shila devotedly can achieve the eternal abode of Lord Krishna (Vaikuntha) perfectly. Then why such restrictions?”
(2) A Busy Banker devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Prabhu ji. I am a banker who is always very occupied but somehow manages to complete one round of Hare Krishna Mahamantra and reading Bhagwad Gita and other books. But can you please tell me about deity worship? Due to my living alone and having long and hectic work schedule it is not possible to perform deity worship very elaborately therefore I want to know if we can have deity worship in a manner that follows shastras but at the same time fits in my time. Thank you. Hare Krishna”
I do not encourage deity worship in home COMMONLY FOR ALL unless we are free to take care of them properly and unless he is a brahmana initiated devotee not working anywhere! Shaligram Shila of less than 3 inches of size worship can be followed at home if you follow the shila’s worship properly.
Why? Read the full post:
I never recommend anything that is difficult to follow and become offensive if we do not do that properly.
(WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS TO FOLLOW DEITY WORSHIP AT HOME? READ HERE!)
Deities are primarily meant for temples! Because the full time work of the temples is only serving the deities!
Whereas, in home, we have many assignments to do like going to job, working in shifts, working over time, interactions with spouse, etc.
And, after our death, there may be no one to perform deity worship in our family.
Whereas, temples will continue though a devotee passes away or get transferred to somewhere where it is not possible to perform deity worship properly. Another devotee will take charge of deity service.
And, the deities are Krishna Himself. They are the archa avatars of Krishna.
So, if you keep the deities, you should bathe the deities regularly, dress them, worship them and offer food to them perfectly in time. Among Shaligram Shila & Deity worship, Shaligram worship at home is ok.
(Who will take care of my Krishna deities after my death? READ HERE!)
Of course, Krishna will not punish any devotee if he misses the schedule.
But, why should we miss the schedules keeping the deities at home?
When you have the deities, the women in your home should be very careful by remaining outside the home (or) atleast outside the area where the deities are kept, during periods.
You should not go near the deities without bathing.
You should not keep them hungry when you tour to out stations for a week or month.
Because the deities expect your offering in time.
You should be very strict in discipline and cleanliness when you keep the deities at home.
If you are unable to follow these rules, you may feel tensed or upset or guilt.
All these things are not necessary.
(THE COMPLETE PROCEDURE TO BATHE & CARE THE DEITIES OF KRISHNA / BABY KRISHNA/ BAL GOPAL AT HOME! READ HERE)
Also keep this point in mind: Deity worship is not recommended at home in kaliyuga. It is for dvapar yuga in which only the deity worship at home and temples took one to Krishna.
For this dirty and short lived kaliyuga, there is only one recommendation:
Chant Lord’s Names as much as Possible and follow perfect discipline!(following regulative principles)!
To keep us in the spirit of devotion, keep some pictures of Krishna and His avatars at home. Keeping shaligram sila is also ok. Not offensive. You can treat them similar to Pictures and offer daily worship.
Offer all the services to them like offering food, worship, etc.
If you still like to follow Shaligram Shila & Deity worship, ensure that those shila and deities are of the height of 3 inches or less. It is allowed for home.
Please be practical. No need for excessive emotions in this matter.
Pray to the deities one day to forgive you and hand over the deities to a temple (or) mutt (or) respectfully drop them in a sea or river.
(ARE YOU UNABLE TO TREAT YOUR HOME DEITIES PROPERLY? READ THIS POST)
Krishna knows that I am writing this to encourage still more important sadhanas like chanting in this kaliyuga. So, I am 100% sure that Krishna has approved my advice here!
Do as said by me without hesitation. No need for guilt!
Should no one follow Shaligram Shila & Deity worship at Home?
Those who have taken Brahmana diksha and do not work materially anywhere, can keep because, the rules for them are very strict. They too should follow all the rules meant for brahmanas.
However, if a brahmana is working somewhere and earn, he is no longer a brahmana. So, he too need not follow Shaligram Shila & Deity worship at Home For all.
The above advice on this matter of Shaligram Shila & Deity worship at Home is final. Shaligram shila can be allowed if you seriously desire, but,, avoid deities unless you are sure of your adherence of rules. No relaxations in that.
(Deity worship of Baby Krishna and Radha Krishna – Which is recommended for home and what is the procedure? READ HERE!)