Deity Worship

Deity Worship

The Radha Govind Temple (ISKCON) is famous all over the world for its spectacular deity worship. Needless to say, though, much goes on behind the scenes to make this happen.

For instance, in a single day, up to 100 people will be actively involved with the worship. This includes at least 10 pujaris, 5 cooks, a number of assistants, purchasers, bakers, cleaners and garland makers.

One of the special features of the deity worship is the quantity and variety of flowers used to decorate Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Radha Govindji, Sri Sri Srinathji and Sri Sri Sita Ram Laxman. More than 10 large garlands are offered every day for their Lordships

The gorgeous deity outfits are also exceptionally beautiful and there is an inventory of about 64 deity dresses kept in stock at all times.

Head Pujari Chitrak Prabhu believes that next to overseeing the gorgeous worship, he puts special emphasis on the seva puja, the actual worship going on behind the altar doors, such as bathing the deities, etc. He also says the cleanliness of the altar and deity rooms is very important as is the spiritual life of his pujaris. In fact, they are all required to regularly learn verses from the sastra and take tests on their study. The result of this incredibly coordinated devotional effort is a transcendentally surreal darshan that can be experienced by anyone who comes before the deities.

In fact, it is not unusual to see devotees standing before the altar being rooted to the spot, as if they desire to never leave. One can also see the increasing number of native pilgrims to the temple become hushed with awe when they enter the temple and see the deities for the first time. This is all the mercy of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.