How to offer Garland to Guru??
Direct from Market or after offering to the Lord??
What is the right way?
Question- Sometime back, one Mataji from Sweden wrote a mail to us and in it, she wrote that She went to Iskcon and saw some Devotees buying flowers from the market and directly offering to their Guru, so she wants to know that if this is the right way to worship Guru or what is the right way? Mataji humbly requesting Maharaj Ji to please resolve it.
MAHARAJ Ji- Ok. Since I have been part of Iskcon for more than a decade, so…and I built that community of Iskcon in Delhi, so I know what happens in Iskcon, how things are done in Iskcon, Mangala Arati, Sringar Arati etc. and here as well in Radha kund also…
I am here for around 15 years now. So, I know the path which the traditional Guadiya Vaishnavas follow.
See, in Iskcon, in Guru Puja, flowers are offered at the feet of Srila Prabhupad and Garland is bought straight from the market and that is also offered straight to Srila Prabhupad. The question is – Is it right or wrong? Is it scriptural or it is whimsical?
So, for that, we must know what happens in the Eternal Realm of Navadveep. In Nitya Navdveep, Arati is offered first to Lord Gauranga, then to Lord Nityananda and then to Lord Advaita. These three are three Prabhus in Navdveep. Arati is offered only and only to the three Prabhus.
एको महाप्रभु आर प्रभु दुइजन…Nitai, Advait…These are two Prabhus and Mahaprabhu is Lord Gauranga. So, Prabhus are only three. Even Gadadhar is not addressed as Prabhu and Srivas Pandit is also not addressed as Prabhu. So, there are three Prabhus. Arati is offered to them and Their prasadi is given to Gadadhar Pandit. We don’t offer Arati to Gadadhar Pandit. We don’t offer Arati to Srivas Pandit. We don’t offer Arati to Swaroop Damodar or Roop Goswami etc. Arati is offered to the three Prabhus and it is given first to Gadadhar Pandit and then to Srivas Pandit. And then it goes on and on…Swaroop Damodar, then Roop Goswami varg and Guru varg and last…At last, Arati is offered to Gurudeva. Or you can say in your case, if at all…Prabhupad. Only Prasadi Arati can be given to any Guru in Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. There may be different in other Sampradayas. Let them be…but we are concerned only with our sampradaya…how things are done in our sampradaya eternally. And so prasadi garland of the Lord can be offered to Gurudeva or Srila Prabhupad.
Direct…no pure devotee of the Lord will even in dreams accept direct garland from the market without being offered to the Lord. No devotee will ever accept that. One who is situated in knowledge…even in dreams that Devotee will never…that Guru will never accept straight garland without being offered to the Lord. Never ever…
And prasadi flowers which are offferd at the Lotusfeet of Lord Gauranga or Nityananda, they are given unto the hands of the Spiritual Master. They are not offered to the feet of the Spiritual Master. Nothing is offered at the feet of the Spiritual Master accept our head. We should offer our head, bow down our head at the feet of the Spiritual Master, lotus feet of the Spiritual Master…but no flowers should ever be offered at the feet of the Spiritual Master if you are a Gaudiya Vaishnava. You have to decide whether you are a Gaudiya Vaishnava or not.