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The nectar of having guests

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We just had 3 guests stay with us, and I always love to offer our home to our dear devotee friends, acquaintances, and sometimes couples who we counsel. My wife likes it 'cus the house gets cleaned nicely :->>, yet more importantly we get to spend some quality time with devotees, and offer our best hospitality. Since we live in a rural area, the atmosphere is very peaceful and conducive for spiritual practice, and we have very beautiful Deities (authorized forms of God described in the scriptures) who offer their blessings.

A discussion of why Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider the form of God greater then just his all-pervading energy is for another time. Suffice it is to say here, that according to one the Gaudiyas' primary scriptures, the Shrimad Bhagavatam, the Lord has three features, Brahman, or his all-pervading aspect, Paramatma, or the localized form of God within everyone's heart and w/i every atom, and the Source of both, Bhagavan, or the Supreme from of God, from whom everything and everyone emanates.....this is a big topic....in fact it is THE topic necessary to understand in order to engage in bhakti and surrender to Krishna.

Although we live out in the sticks here at Prabhupada village we do have opportunities to host sannyasis and householder couples and others. Besides giving in charity, I feel being able to have guests is very important for grihasthas (those married couples who try to live together in a spiritual way---whose home is an ashrama)

Beside providing a place for our spiritual practice and meeting the needs of the body/mind, the perfection of having a home is to host and serve guests. We are encouraged to treat our guests like God. I don't know if I treat them that well, but I do my best to make them comfortable, and tend to their needs. It is very personal and intimate. When designing our home, having a nice guest facility was very important. In Baltimore we had one, and I wanted to make sure we could nicely facilitate guests.

We are servants of our Deities, and what better way to please the Lord than by serving the devotees, and giving them a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere, where they can recharge, or just get a break on a stopover on a long journey.

We live 10 minutes from Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina.

combined comments

Beautiful Deities!!!

Hello Karnamrita Das Prabhu!
Your Deities are very, very beautiful!!! The purity of your devotion to them shows in the nature of Their alter and clothing etc... You are setting such a pure and beautiful example to follow! I am no where even close to your example, but I would hope that perhaps some day before this lifetime ends for me, I might possibly get a little closer to the precious devotional service that your are engaged in.
Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to view your Beautiful Deities.
Navasi

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Tue, 09/18/2007 - 19:58 — Karnamrita.das

Archana Siddhi

Hello there my dear Godsister. I am glad you liked seeing our incredible Deities. Thanks for expressing your sincere appreciation.

Actually Radha Gopinatha are supposed to be the Temple deities, but we are very far from having them permanently in the Temple. Somehow deities keep comng to us over the years---we probably have too many, though at least we have run out of room on our altar.

My wife's name is Archana siddhi dd, which means servant of the perfection of Deity worship, so somehow she has attracted Radha Krishna. Our spiritual names can give us a potential to strive for. Actually our standard is quite simple in the scheme of things. In any case, if we can inspire you by the merciful manifestation of God in our home, that is a blessing for us. It is not a question of any external competition---we are all different. So many things are relative, and what may be insufficient for one is adequate for another.

It is my experience that Krishna in his Deity form is extremely merciful, and is most concerned with our love for him, not in externals. The externals, ie, the clothes, jewelry etc, may or may not come from purity or high level Krishna consciousness. Of course if we can we should have a wonderful standard of worship, stiving for perfection and the highest level of love. We will become purified in due course of time.

I am not in any way negating your perception, just pointing out in general that sometimes we do things for less than pure reasons for show, and we may have a certain standard of wealth to be able to easily afford what appears to be a high standard of worship.

The topic of Deity worship is an important one, and I hope to address it in the near feature.

I am a little out of my blog groove since my computer just crashed, but I hope to share more pictures in future blogs (not that I have learned how to include images).

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita

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Tue, 09/18/2007 - 22:20 — Navasi

Navasi Devi Dasi

Hello Karnamrita Das,
I respectfully submit to your kind and generous instruction regarding all these matters. On a personal note: how our spiritual names can give us a potential to strive for. And, about your good wife's beautiful name in relation to the Deity worship. (I can certainly see the signifigance of that!). Well, for years no one could ever figure out what my name means, or how it was spelled. For years various devotees who were knowledgabe in Sanskrit, etc... tried to tell me it was not in fact Navasi, but Nivasi. Then some even more advanced scholarly devotees told me more possible variations on the possible spelling and therefore meaning of my name. However, because I was given my name personally by Srila Prabhupad Himself, I remembered how it sounded as He pronounced it as he handed me my beads. This memory stayed with me through all the years and attempts by my kind Godbrothers to help me figure out WHAT my name was , and what it's meaning was. I felt confused and concerned to say the least, but I'm a very stubborn person, so I refused to let go of my "belief" that "I knew" what Srila Prabhupad had named me. Of course I was also confirmed in my belief because directly after the initiation ceremony, Sruti Kirti, who was Srila Prabhupads secretary at that time, told each of us EXACTLY what the spelling of our names were, and I thought I had paid attention when he told me. Also, back to my irrelevant "feelings", I just "felt" that was what my name was! So, I continued to use Navasi. I even had other devotees calling me Nivasi! This upset me a great deal! Letters were adressed to me as Nivasi! This upset me even further. But, one day, Srila Prabhupad in is infinite mercy came to me in a dream and told me CLEARLY that my name was N A V A S I. He even told me what it meant, but that is just my personal dream, so I'm not going to share that here. So, that was enough to convice me once and for all. However, I can tell you that it was beyond thrilling when I found this wonderful website: Krishna.com and noticed that all of Srila Prabhupad's disciples are listed in the records. So, I looked up Navasi, and sure enough!!! There I was... spelled as I had thought: N a v a s i. !!! I was so happy on that day!
However, since I cannot claim that Srila Prabhupad personally told me what my name means since it was my own dream, I still cannot say what MY name means. And also, because what He told me in this dream was not "in-line" with any Sanskrit or Bengali, or other "proper" translation of that name... So, I guess that would leave me aspiring to meaninglessness. (not that it has anything at all to do with my not always using my spiritual name). But, I think that's okay because I am a very meaningless person.
Thank you in advance for tolerating my mundane issues, and offenses. (also thanks for the refresher course, I've decided to update one of my comments also as result of your kind mercy to me).
Your humble servant,
Navasi devi dasi

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Wed, 09/19/2007 - 05:44 — Karnamrita.das

Great background

Your name has carried you far.

No devotee is a meaningless person.

Offensives are only made to other devotees if you have malicious intent.

I am a big fan of paragraphs as they make it easier to read. I suggest that after your flow of writing that you go back and make some paragraphs which will make your writing more accessible. 'Tis a nice meditation actually!

Thanks for your continual feedback which is nice for the bloggers to know someone is reading. Certainly I can---and try--to do this for service to Shri Guru and Gaura-Nitai, yet I always appreciate comments.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita

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Thu, 09/20/2007 - 08:26 — Navasi

Meditation

You are right, Prabhu, meditation is prudent.
Thank you.