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  • Vaishnava Sadachaar : Paying Obeisances from left to the dieties.

    Posted by Yagya on July 22, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Dandawat Pranaam dear Prabhujee

    As per vaishnava etiquette module, while paying obeisances to the dieties, why it is recommended to pay the obeisances to dieties from left side.

    One general answer I received long back was that the demigods, vaishnavas and devotees of lord are present in front of the Vigraha worshipping him, so if one does pranama directly facing towards the idol, then he/she would be showing his/ her back or feet to them, which would be a sign of disrespect, thus vaishnava aparadha. If this is true, then how should we approach the archa vigrahas in other temples than iskcon if the Archa Vigrahas of lord and his devotees are placed facing each other or side ways . In all the direction placing feet would be considered aparadha since vaishnavas coming to take darshan and vigrahas itself, are present on all sides. And usually in other temples priests recommends darshans and paying obeisances from front of the vigrahas, without considering any aparadha to anybody even if feet faces another vigraha.

    How should we apply and justify this vaishnava etiquette .

    Also what should be ideal approach for a vaishnava while offering obeisances to Archa vigrahas in and outside Iskcon temples.

    Thankyou for going through this query.

    Hare Krishna !

    Medhavini Sakhi Devi Dasi JPS replied 8 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Ram Krishna Dasa

    September 2, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    Hare Krishna!

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    As per Vaishnav etiquettes, we generally offer obeisance to the deities from our left side.

    Sharing some references and points in this regard:

    1. Srila Prabhupada comments in his purport to SB 7.5.23-24 while explaining vandanam or offering obeisances that following are some of the offenses to be avoided: (a) to offer obeisances on one hand, (b) to offer obeisances with one’s body covered, (c) to show one’s back to the Deity, (d) to offer obeisances on the left side of the Deity, (e) to offer obeisances very near the Deity.

    2. As per Hari Bhakti Vilas 8.391, one should not offer obeisance too close in front of the deity, at His back or on His left side. So we offer obeisance from the left as we face Him or His right as He faces us.

    3. Generally in our ISKCON temples, we have a deity of Srila Prabhupada exactly opposite to the deity of the Lord. Hence if we offer straight obeisance from the front to the Lord, then our feet would be directed to Srila Prabhupada and we do not want to do that. Hence we offer obeisance from our left side or deity’s right side.

    4. We should offer obeisance not just physically by our body but also with our heart and words. Hence it is recommended to chant some pranam mantras while offering obeisances and also since our heart is on the left side, we prefer to offer obeisance from our left side.

    With regards to temples outside ISKCON, it depends on the traditions being followed there.

    Some temples do not have any deity opposite to the main deities of the Lord so they prefer to offer obeisance from the front although it is not wrong even if we offer obeisance from our left.

    Some temples have deities in all directions, so we offer full obeisances outside the temple before entering so as to not point our feet to any deity.

    Some South Indian temples have a deity of Garuda opposite to the deity of Vishnu so again it is not recommended to offer obeisance to the deities from the front.

    So keeping these general principles in mind and acting as per time, place, circumstance, we may offer obeisance accordingly in temples outside ISKCON.

    Hope this helps.

    In your service,

    Ram Krishna Dasa

  • Yagya

    September 11, 2023 at 11:36 am

    Thankyou so much Prabhujee for explaining this with so much clarity and giving your valuable time in addressing this . Also grateful for all the references you mentioned .

  • Medhavini Sakhi Devi Dasi JPS

    November 14, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Haribol!!! All Glories to HG Rama Krishna Pr for the profound answers backed by scriptural injunctions… just going thru all Q&A and feeling blissful…. tesham evanukampartham aham ajnana jam tamaha.. nashayami atma bhavastho jnana dipena bhasvataha – thank you for illumaniting the lamp of knowledge in our heart prabhuji… thank you for the wonderful questions and wonderful answers!! Perfect Q, Perfect Answers! Hare Krishna, pamho, ys, msdd

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