Nama Article 25th November 2017
In a freely flowing conversation, Sri Swamiji answers four vital questions on our sampradayam (tradition) to a devotee, who questions 'pariprashnena sevaya', with humility and simplicity.
Devotee: Sri Swamiji, I have a question... it is about our sampradaya. Should we, as Krishna bhaktas, go only to Krishna temples or can we go to other temples as well?
HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji: Humans should love and respect other humans and not hate one another. We need to see Krishna in every individual being. Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself says in the Bhagavad Gita (6:30):
"yO mAm pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyati
tasyAham na praNashyAmi sa cha mE na praNashyati"
The one who sees Me everywhere, and sees all in Me, to that person I am not lost, nor is that person lost to Me.
So when Sri Krishna tells us to see Him everywhere and in all beings themselves, what to say about higher deities?
We worship Krishna; we do smaranam (joyful meditation) of Krishna. If it so happens that you need to go to any temple due to some circumstance or by chance, certainly you can go. At times when we go for an upanyasam (discourse), for example, there happens to be a sanctum there of some other deity (a deity which is praised by the Vedas). We should never disrespect Vedic deities. Even these deities have Krishna alone as their Indweller (antaryami); we pray to these deities also for Krishna bhakti alone. This is our sampradayam.
At the same time, we will not start worshipping other deities in our Ashram. We will always stick only to Krishna bhakti. We will never speak low of or belittle or demean any other deity.
In a joint family, the wife loves her husband with her heart and soul. Towards all others who are related to her husband, she holds respect. The love she has for her husband is different, and the respect she has for others who are related through her husband is different. The respect she has for others is because of their relation with her husband.
We will always have respect for all deities. Likewise, we Krishna bhaktas shall never rebuke or disrespect any deity. Do you understand?
Devotee: Yes Swamiji, it is so clear now. When we Krishna bhaktas are directed by our Bhagavan in the Gita to respect every other life form and to see Krishna everywhere, how much respect should we have for deities who are praised in the Vedas! (Bhagavatam says "vEdO nArAyaNa sAkshAt")
Of course, we adore our Thakurji – Sri Radha Krishna – with all our heart and soul. But this does not mean that we should belittle other Vedic deities or criticize or speak ill of them. Respect all deities; love our Krishna! This is very clear now.
HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji:
Very good. You have truly understood. Krishna blesses you!
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare