Friday, June 27, 2008
Debido a que adoramos las deidades en el humor de Laksmi-Narayana,(no Radha-Krishna), debemos ser conservadores en vestirlos. Al vestir las deidades, deberiamos hacerlo en el humor de gran respeto y reverencia.
1. Aceites no deben ser usados en areas pintadas de la deidad, especialmente de la cara. Pinturas son desfaforablemente afectadas por aceites.
2. Los encargados de vestir Gaura Nitai, deberian coordinar colores y ornamentos con los encargados de vestir Radhe-Shyam.
3. Las cejas de la deidad deberan estar siempre visibles. No los cubran con los turbantes o coronas. Los arcos son encatadores y no quisieramos privar a los devotos de su encanto.
4. Flores artificiales no fueron aprovadas por Srila Prabhupada.
5. Telas usadas deberan ser de dobles acabado (no tela desenebrada). Ademas, estas telas extras no deben cubrir las bellas decoraciones del vestido. Mantener un minimo de telas para complementar no para sobrecargar el atuendo.
6. No se deben intercambiar las joyas entre las deidades grandes o pequenas, pues todas tienen su propia parafernalia.
7. Al usar alfileres, estos deber apuntar afuera de la deidad. Siendo siempre cuidadosos de no punsar a la deidad. Recomendacion: Deslizar el dedo debajo del sitio donde se quiere introducir el alfiler, esto evita la posibilidad de punsar al la deidad con alfileres.
8. Al hacer los turbantes, asegurarse de que no hayan protruido alfileres que puedan punzar la cabeza de la deidad. Antes de vestir el turbante en la cabeza de la Deidad este debera ser cuidadosamente inspeccionado por dentro. Importante:Haga esta inspeccion cada vez que vaya a poner el turbante a la cabeza de la deidad.
9. Cuerdas que no se utilizen deben ser acultadas o remobidas al terminar. Se puede usar blue-tac para pegarlos a un lado. Cuerdas colgando en el altar distraen.
10. NUNCA amarre cuerdas para sostener las ropas, joyeria o girnaldas de las deidades pequenas.(o conectar ambas deidades juntas) NUNCA use alfileres para conectar las deidades pequenas juntas. Las deidades pequenas son movidas para vestirlas, desvestirlas, banarlas , ponerlas a descansar, etc. Sujetas una con otra con cuerdas o alfileres pueden provocar la caida de la deidad cuando la otra es removida.
11. Vestir arêtes: Coloque los arêtes siempre en la parte baja (el lobulo) de la oreja, no en la parte de arriba.
12. Colacar anillos: Los anillos deben ir en los dedos donde naturalmente correspondan.No coloque pendientes(como arêtes) en los dedos.
13. Los vestidos de noche deben ser simples. No joyeria pesada. Coronas, arêtes, tobilleras (siempre incluso de noche), una vuelta de collar y bracelets para Sri Sri Radha.
14. Hojas de Tulasi son ofrecidas a los pies de loto de la deidad, en girnaldas (para Gaura Nitay y Shyam) y en la mano derecha de bendicion de Radha. Ningun otro sitio.
1. Radharani lleva tobilleras todo el tiempo, incluso en la noche.
2. Ella lleva braceletes de noche.
3. Sus pies no se muestran, exepto en Radhastami.
4. Bindis autoadhesivos no deben ser usados como marcas de gopi. No solo que no se ven bien sino que el adhesivo deja marcas en Su cara y para sacarlos se tiene que raspar; lo que puede afectar otras partes como las cejas.
5. No pinte la cara de Radharani con marcas de gopi o Madera de sandalo, exepto en dias de festivos.
6. Su girnalda no debe pasar debajo las rodillas. Debajo de su cintura esta bien.
7. Asegurarse de que siempre tenga: anillo de nariz, un bindi y algo para ofrecer a Krishna en Su mano izquierda.
8. Su mano de bendicion (la mano derecha)puede tener manjari de Tulasi o girnalda. No canastas en la mano derecha, es para bendicion.
9. Sus manos y dedos son MUY delicados y delgados. Uno debe ser muy cuidadoso al colocar cosas en Su mano izquierda como incrustar gruesos ramos de flores.
10. El velo debe cubrir Su peinado.
11. Su pelo no debe ser artificial. No coloque largos mechones de pelo en Su cabeza.
12. Por lo menos el 50% de su pelo debe ser cubierto.
13. Si ella tiene una trenza, el extremo flojo no debe ser más largo de 4 pulgadas. No debe extender más allá de su mano izquierda. Ella no usa más de 2 trenzas.
14. Su pelo suelto no debe pasar los hombros. (Amarre su cabello atras).
15. Su chandrika debe siempre estar dirigida hacia Krishna.
16. No la vista con girlandas voladoras( amarradas con cuerdas) y vestido como remolino.
17. Cubra siempre Su enagua, incluso esta sea preciosa.
18. Sus bracelets en la noche no deben ser grandes o pesadas.
1. Su flauta debera estar a un lado de su cara( no cubriendo su boca).
2. Su forma de tres curvas deben ser siempre visibles.
3. La flexion de su pierna debe ser visible.
4. El siempre lleva: flauta, tobilleras y pluma de pavo real con un “ojo”.
5. No coloque joyas en el espacio de Su tilak dorado, es muy delicado!
6. Su turbante no debe ser mas alto de la medida de Su cara.
7. Su cabello deberia estar igual en ambos lados.
8. Si viste anillo de nariz, debe ir en el lado derecho(Su derecha) o debajo de la nariz pero no en ambos.
9. NUNCA pinte gopi puntos en el espacio entre Sus pestanas o cejas. Al remover tambien se remueve la pintura de los parpados.
10. Su girnalda debe colgar de Su cuello. No de su cintura o algun otro lado.
11. Su girnalda debe estar entre sup echo y brazo izquierdo. No coloque la girnalda (o collares) sobre su brazo izquierdo. Ese no es un estilo natural.
12. No joyeria en el ombligo.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Many of the Deities' beautiful beaded belts, necklaces, and anklets have been made by Govinda Mohini dasi. She spends many hours designing and creating these beautiful pieces for the pleasure of Their Lordships. Right now she is working on pieces to coordinate with the outfit for Janmastami.
However it's come to Nitai's attention that some pujaris are pinning these pieces in a way that can weaken and break the threads used to string the beads. Ideally, the way to attach these belts and necklaces is by using pipe cleaners fastened to the ends of the piece. They can also be pinned. But please DO NOT stick a pin through the hole of one of the beads to attach to the cloth. This method wears out the threads holding the beads together, and risks having the piece fall apart. (It's very difficult to repair them.)
This photo detail shows the correct way to pin a belt to cloth.
Our Deities always look so beautiful, but you may be surprised how gorgeous They look after They have been so exquisitely painted last week! In particular, Chota and big Gaura Nitai both have beautiful new paintings on Their bases. And Chota Shyam has been completely re-done, looking so fresh and clean!
As a reminder, please be sure not to apply oil to parts of the Deities bodies covered by paint. If you should have a question about where to apply oil (or where NOT to), please see Nitai.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Attending: Nitai, Kesava, Kiritraja, Hari Puja, Gandarvika, Indradyumna, Chaturatma
TOPIC: Nitai expressed her concern that regular meetings of this board are a must. We should be attentive to our schedule of every other week.
TOPIC: This coming week (6/16-6/20) the deities will be painted. This will be done from just after class and run for the entire day. This will mean no darsana until possibly the last arati. This will take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday if a 3rd day is needed.
TOPIC: A report was given on the developments by a group of devotees to rebuild the Tulasi house. As this is still pending, full details are not being put out yet. However, this is a serious crew that wants to see this project rebuilt and have the knowhow and funding to do so. This is being taken as a serious show of interest. Currently research is being put into the rebuilding in standard greenhouse materials: aluminum and glass. This board will be kept informed of this as details develop.
TOPIC: It is decided that in the case of deities that have underwear or gumchas painted on, that there is no need to continue offering cloth underwear or gumchas as well.
TOPIC: Hari Puja will set up two boxes in the pujari room for the devotees dressing and putting away clothes. One will be labeled “Holding”. This will be for say a pair of earrings where only one is used and the other is kept in this box until the evening so the two can be kept together. The other box will be labeled “Unknown”. This will be for devotees at night who are putting away the jewelry at night and are not certain where a piece goes.
TOPIC: It was confirmed that as Nitai needs items for the pujari room, petty cash is available in the treasury. It was also noted that funding is being set aside as it comes into the deity account for outfits at festival times.
TOPIC: We will plan to inaugurate the Garuda that has been made for the temple room during the Janmastami festival.
TOPIC: A request was made by Chaturatma from Hari Puja for a list of Radharani Club donors so they are not asked for donations when they have already given.
TOPIC: Chaturatma will investigate obtaining a large number of pavitras for use during pavitrapani Ekadasi. These would be offered to the Lord and sold as prasad to the devotees.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Because we worship the deities in the mood of Laksmi-Narayana, (not Radha-Krishna), we need to be conservative in our dressing of Them. While dressing the deities, we should have a mood of awe and reverence.
1. Oils should NOT be placed on any painted areas of the deity, especially the face. Paint is adversely affected by oil.
2. Gaura Nitai dressers should coordinate with the pujari dressing Radhe Shyam, so that Gaura Nitai's colors and ornaments will coordinate the Radhe Shyam's.
3. The deity's eyebrows should always be visible. Don't cover them with turbans or crowns. His bow-like eyebrows are enchanting, and we don't want to deprive the devotees from this enchantment.
4. Artificial flowers were not approved of by Srila Prabhupada.
5. Coordinating fabric used should always have a finished edge (no raw edges). In addition, this extra cloth should not cover the beautiful decorations on the outfit. Keep the cloth to a minimum. The cloth should compliment, not overwhelm, the outfit.
6. Don't interchange jewelry between Radhe Shyam and Gaura Nitai or Nrisimhadeva, or even between the big deities and the small deities. Each set of deities has Their own paraphernalia.
7. When using pins, the pin points should always point AWAY from the deity. Be careful so that you don't poke the deity with the pin. Tip: Slip your finger underneath where you want the pin to go. That way you won't poke with the pin.
8. When making the turban, be sure that the pins don't protrude through the turban base underneath, and don't poke into the deity's head. Before you put the turban on His head, pick up the turban, and place your closed fist underneath and test to make sure that there are no pins sticking through. Important: Do this every time you are going to place the turban on the deity's head.
9. Unused strings should always be hidden or removed when you finish. You can use some blue-tac to put them to the side, and hide them. It is very distracting to see loose strings just dangling on the altar.
10. NEVER use strings to tie the small deities clothes, jewelry, or garlands together (so that the 2 deities are connected). NEVER use pins to connect the 2 small deities together. Because the small deities are moved (to be dressed, undressed, bathed, put in bed, etc.), tying or pinning Them together is very hazardous and can result in Them falling when one deity is moved.
11. Placement of earrings: Always place earrings on the lower portion (ear lobe) of the ear, not on the upper part.
12. Placement of rings: Rings should go on the fingers where rings are naturally worn. Don't put dangles (like earrings) on the fingers. Only use jewelry as you would a natural ring.
13. Evening dressing should be simple. No heavy jewelry. Crown, earrings, anklets (always, even at night!), a single strand of beads for necklace (and bracelets for Radha).
14. Tulasi leaves are offered to the lotus feet of the deity, in a garland (for Gaura Nitai and for Shyam), and in Radha's right (benediction) hand. Nowhere else.
1. Radharani wear anklets all the time, even at night.
2. She wears bracelets at night.
3. Her feet never show, except on Radhastami.
4. No stick-on bindis to be used as gopi dots. They don't look nice, and the adhesive leaves a mark on Her face, and must be rubbed off. This rubbing can remove Her features, such as eyebrows.
5. Do not paint Radharani's face with gopi dots or sandalwood, except on festival days.
6. Her garland should not reach past Her knees. Down to Her waist is good.
7. Make sure She always has: a nose ring; a bindi; something to offer to Krishna in Her left hand.
8. Her benediction hand (right hand) can have a tulasi manjari, or a garland. No baskets in right hand. It's for benediction.
9. Her hands and fingers are VERY delicate and thin. Be very cautious when putting things in Her left hand, and make sure that you don't shove fat bouquets in Her hand.
10. Her veil should cover Her topknot.
11. Her hair should not be unnatural. Don't put large bundles of hair on top of Her head.
12. At least 50% of Her hair should be covered.
13. If She has a braid, the loose end should not be longer than 4 inches. It should not extend past Her left hand. She wears no more than 2 braids.
14. Her hair should not be loose past Her shoulders. (Tie Her hair in the back.)
15. Her chandrika always points toward Krishna.
16. Don't dress Her with a flying garland (tied with string) and dress swirling wildly.
17. Always cover up Her petticoat (slip). Even if it's pretty!
18. Her bangles at night shouldn't be big and heavy.
1. His flute should be to the side of His face (not covering His mouth).
2. We should always be able to see His 3-fold bending form.
3. His bent leg should be visible.
4. He always has: flute, anklebells, and a peacock feather with an "eye."
5. Do NOT put jewelry in the space of his gold-painted tilak.. It is very delicate!
6. His turban should not be higher than the height of His face.
7. His hair should be even on both sides.
8. If He wears a nose ring, it should be on the right side (His right, not yours), or underneath the nose, but NOT both.
9. Do NOT paint gopi dots in the space between his eyelid and eyebrow! NEVER. To remove it also removes his painted eyelids.
10. His garland always hangs around His neck. Not from His waist, or somewhere else.
11. His garland comes between his chest and left arm. Don't put the garland (or necklaces) over top of his left arm. That style is not natural.
12. No navel jewelry.
On Thursday May 29th, a sizeable number of our pujaris met in the temple room following the evening arati. Chaturatma Dasa chaired the meeting.
He began by stating that as pujaris, we have many opportunities, as well as obstacles, in our service. The importance of communication cannot be overemphasized, because it can help us with both of these.
We need to strive for reaching the standards, and maintaining the guidelines we have set for deity worship. This training prepares us for serving Krishna. We actually have no access to the deity, but only through the mercy of the spiritual master. So when we go on the altar, we can offer flower petals to him first, and then approach the deity.
Twice monthly the Deity committee meets to address concerns. The members of this committee are: Kirtiraja, Haripuja, Nitai, Krishna Keshava, Indradyumna, Gandharvika, and Chaturatma.
We have so many pujaris serving in our department, which lead to many styles and flavors in our devotional service to the deity. This is an advantage, but can also be considered a disadvantage, since there can be so many ways of doing things. We need to standardize procedures so we can avoid problems.
Chaturatma outlined the new Guidelines For Dressing the Deities. (Note: to keep these posted minutes from becoming too long, we have made a separate post for these guidelines. Please take some time to read these guidelines, since there are many new items not previously mentioned.)
Following the listing of the new dressing guidelines, there was some discussion based on these points:
1. When painting the deity's face with gopi dots, be sure not to apply the paint too heavily. Heavy paint can be difficult to remove in the evening, and the rubbing needed to remove it can also remove some of the painted features of the deity's face. (Two tips were mentioned: Grating white chalk into the gopi dot paint makes the paint very easy to remove. And when attempting to remove the paint, you can moisten the area first, like applying a moist compress. This helps the gopi dots to loosen from the face. Be mindful of the devotees who have to remove all this in the evening.)
2. Morning dressers should inform the night un-dressers (either in person, or even a note is helpful) if there is some unusual pinning arrangement, or ornament fastening, to prevent damage to the deity or the paraphernalia, or injury to the pujaris.
3. Crowns can be used as attachments on the deity's turban if the crown is not too big, and it is done nicely.
4. In Mayapura, the pujaris like to make sure that Srimati Radharani's tikka is not placed too low on Her forehead. We should also be careful like that.
5. Training sessions are needed for those who put away the paraphernalia at night. Too many things are being misplaced. Even color-coded labels do not seem to help sometimes. Devotees need to become familiar with the paraphernalia, and take the time to sort it properly and put away nicely.
6. For the night dressers, it was suggested that some organization will assist in keeping the Lord's paraphernalia from getting lost or misplaced. Clothing and other cloth should go on one tray, jewelry on another tray, and flowers on a completely separate tray (Many items have been accidentally thrown away with the maha flowers!). Put tiny gems, like bindis and nose rings, in a separate part of the jewelry tray, using the blue-tac to fasten to the tray so they don't become lost.
7. For turbans for the little deities, be careful to not stick the deities with the pins, and to not put too many pins in the the wig (if you don't use a turban base) so that it becomes very difficult for the night pujari to undress. Also, be mindful of how many pins we are using. Don't use so many unnecessary pins.
1. We need more pujaris! Summer is here, and there is a need during this time to find devotees who can fill in for those who may be traveling to festivals in the summer. We also need to train up new people properly, using a systematic training program. This training is very important. New trainees need to be supervised when they begin. When they have learned, they can do the service on their own. (Regular pujari meetings can help in this area.)
2. Next pujari meeting: July 24th.
3. Complaints. Who do we tell? We can find the pujari responsible and speak to them in a nice way. If we are not satisfied, or if the problem is not solved, speak to the head pujari (Nitai). The next level is the Deity Committee, and then to the GBC. But this process of communication, as mentioned earlier, is very important so we can resolve these issues.
4. Krishna Balarama installation. What's happening?? When will They be installed? The present situation is that in order to install Them, we need a solid plan which will address the need for: bathing space on the altar; dressing space; storage space; expanding the pujari room into the kitchen area; making new outfits for Them; and fundraising to make it all happen. But these need to be resolved first. Unless we have devotees assisting in these areas, and sizeable donations, it won't happen within the next year.
5. Chandan Yatra. This year we will celebrate it on July 14th. We need a month to prepare by grinding the sandalwood paste. You'll be seeing us grinding soon.
6. If you haven't signed up on the email list for pujaris, please do so right away. We're making an attempt to keep every one connected, so please help us keep you informed. Lokasaksini has started the blog for pujaris, and you will receive regular emails to let you know when new items have been posted to the blog. If you know someone who is not on our list, please encourage them to sign the list in the pujari room (on the cooler door), or by sending us an email message to: email@example.com.
7. Deity sewing. In order to come up with sufficient outfits, we need devotees who can assist. If you would like to volunteer, please see Haripuja.
8. Garland volunteers. Again, we often need replacements for devotees who are away during the summer. Please see Nitai to help out.
9. If you'd like to become a pujari, please see Nitai or Keshava to be trained.
1. What is the standard for those who cook the Lord's offerings? It's been observed that some cooks eat breakfast, and then go right into the kitchen to cook. Answer: Cooks should not be doing their service in the clothes they have eaten in, slept in, or went to the bathroom in. If a cook needs to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom, the cook need to bathe and put on clean clothes before going into the kitchen to do his service.
2. Is it all right for ladies to wear "gopi dresses" (skirt with dupatta) on the altar? Answer: No. For women, the standard is a sari. For men, the standard is a dhoti and a chaddar. A pujari who goes on the altar, or in the kitchen to cook, needs a shower, tilak, and clean clothes. This is Srila Prabhupada's standard.
3. Is it necessary to put big blobs of blue-tack on the deity's wig? Answer: No. There is a nice article on the blog about this, with photos.
4. In the deity's earring drawers, the jewels are now fastened together with blue-tac, to make it easier to find pairs. If a pujari is only going to use one of the jewels, should they just put a single jewel back in the drawer? Or where should it go? Answer: We need to create a "holding box" for items like this. Put the extra jewel in the holding box, so when the devotee who puts the jewelry away gets the other jewel, she can match it with the one you put in the holding box. This should be introduced soon.
5. I want to cut jewelry or cloth, because I feel that it isn't the right size. Can I do this? Answer: Absolutely not! The Deity Committee plans the outfits and all the paraphernalia and jewelry to go along with them. No one has any business cutting cloth or jewelry. If you think something isn't the right size, and you feel and urge to cut it, always consult Nitai first. (An expensive sterling silver and pearl tikka was purchased in India for Radharani, and someone has cut it into pieces. Don't do this!)
6. I'm putting away the deity jewelry, and I don't know where something goes, and no one is around to ask. What do I do? Answer: This can often happen when someone uses something for another purpose, such as a tikka in a turban. We need to create a "question" box to put it these items, and another devotee or Nitai can help determine what they are and where they should go. Otherwise we end up putting tikkas in the box with turban pieces, and pujaris can't find the tikka when they want to use it.
7. Can we help train the devotees who put away the paraphernalia? Answer: Yes, all devotees need to learn the system for putting the Lord's things away, and we need to do this urgently. We should arrange a once-a-month spot check for the devotees, just to be sure that things are being put away properly. We need an experienced devotee to help oversee this program. Do we have any volunteers?
8. Do we have any Spanish translators? We can use a volunteer to translate this blog into Spanish. Any volunteers? Please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, thank you to all the devotees who attended the meeting, and who offered their wisdom, and special thank-you to Mother Pattarajni for making nice prasadam for those who attended. If you couldn't attend, we hope to see you next time!