TOUCHNG & WORSHIPING THE DEITIES – RULES & BENEFITS!
Sri Rupa Gosvami explains many rules for touching & worshiping the deities. Srila Prabhupada gives them nicely. Let us read them:
WHO CAN TOUCH THE DEITIES?
In the Visnu-dharmottara there is a statement about touching the lotus feet of the Lord.
It is said, “Only a person who is initiated as a Vaisnava and is executing devotional service in Krsna consciousness has the right to touch the body of the Deity.”
(HONOURING THE DEITIES OF KRISHNA – PROPER WAY – PART-1! READ HERE!)
…..But anyway, the present law is the law of all scripture–that if anyone is purified he can enter into the temple.
Actually, that is the position. Only one who is properly initiated, who is properly following the rules and regulations, can enter, and touch the Deity–not all.
And one who touches the body of the Deity, following such regulative principles, is immediately delivered from the contamination of material sins, and all of his desires become fulfilled without delay.
In the Varaha Purana, there is a statement praising the seeing of the Deity of Sri Krsna in the temple.
A devotee says there, “My dear Vasundhara, any person who goes to Vrndavana and sees the Deity of Govindadeva is free from the courthouse of Yamaraja and is allowed to enter into the highest planetary system, in which reside the demigods.”
This means that even an ordinary person who goes to Vrndavana out of inquisitiveness and by chance sees the temple, especially that of Govindadeva, even if he is not elevated to the spiritual kingdom, is still assured promotion to the higher planetary systems.
(Offering & Smelling the Incense Sticks & Flowers to the Deities – Rules! READ HERE!)
This means that simply by visiting the Deity of Govinda in Vrndavana one becomes highly elevated in pious life.
In the Skanda Purana, there is the following description of the result of seeing arati (worship) of the Deity:
“If someone sees the face of the Lord while arati is going on, he can be relieved of all sinful reactions coming from many, many thousands and millions of years past. He is even excused from the killing of a brahmana or similar prohibited activities.”
As we have already explained, there are different ceremonies to be observed, such as the birthday of Krsna, the birthday of Lord Ramacandra, the birthday of some prominent Vaisnavas, the ceremony of Jhulana-yatra with the Lord sitting on a swing, and Dola-yatra (the Lord’s activities in the month of March).
In all festivals the Lord is seated on a car, and the car moves through different streets of the city so that people may take advantage of visiting the Lord.
(MATHURA VASA & MURTHY SEVA OF 8 DEITY TYPES – GREATNESS! READ HERE!)
In the Bhavisya Purana it is said, “In such a ceremony, if even a candala [dogeater], simply out of curiosity, sees the Lord on the cart, he becomes counted as one of the associates of Visnu.”
In the Agni Purana it is stated, “Any person who in gladness sees the worship of the Deity in the temple will obtain the results of kriya-yoga which are described in the Pancaratra scripture.”
Kriya-yoga is a system of practice much like practical devotional service, but it is especially meant for the mystic yogis.
In other words, by this gradual process the mystic yogis are eventually elevated to the devotional service of the Lord.
(Importance of Caranamrta (Charanamrutha) in devotion! READ HERE!)