(abbreviated manual on deity worship)
Nāma-saṅkīrtana gives all perfection; nonetheless, in one’s devotional life, some activities related to arcana give special benefit.
In the early morning, after taking bath, the sādhaka should sit on an āsana (seat) and face east. While touching the water in the pañca-pātra, he should summon all the tīrthas by chanting the following mantra:
gaṅge ca yamune caiva godāvari sarasvati
narmade sindho kāveri jale ’smin sannidhiṁ kuru
O Gaṅgā, O Yamunā, O Godāvarī, O Sarasvatī, O Narmadā, O Sindhu, O Kāverī, please become present in this water.
He should sprinkle the water on his head, uttering viṣṇuḥ three times, and then perform ācamana. Thereafter he should apply tilaka in twelve places with gopī-candana. The mantras for applying tilaka are as follows:
lalāṭe keśavaṁ dhyāyen nārāyaṇaṁ athodare
vakṣaḥ-sthale mādhavaṁ tu govindaṁ kaṇṭha-kūpake
viṣṇuṁ ca dakṣiṇe kukṣau bāhau ca madhusūdanam
trivikramaṁ kandhare tu vāmanaṁ vāma-pārśvake
śrīdharaṁ vāma-bāhau tu hṛṣīkeśaṁ ca kandhare
pṛṣṭhe tu padmanābhaṁ ca kaṭyāṁ dāmodaraṁ nyaset
tat prakṣālana-toyaṁ tu vāsudevāya mūrdhani
When one marks the forehead with tilaka, he must remember Keśava. When one marks the lower abdomen, he must remember Nārāyaṇa. For the chest, one should remember Mādhava, and when marking the hollow of the neck one should remember Govinda. Viṣṇu should be remembered while marking the right side of the belly, and Madhusūdana should be remembered when marking the right arm. Trivikrama should be remembered when marking the right shoulder, and Vāmana should be remembered when marking the left side of the belly. Śrīdhara should be remembered while marking the left arm, and Hṛṣīkeśa should be remembered when marking the left shoulder. Padmanābha and Dāmodara should be remembered when marking the back.
First, the sādhaka should worship his guru (guru-pūjā), and meditate on him as follows:
prātaḥ śrīman-navadvīpe dvi-netraṁ dvi-bhujaṁ gurum
varābhaya-pradaṁ śāntaṁ smaret tan-nāma-pūrvakam
In the early morning, chant śrī gurudeva’s name while remembering him as being situated in Śrī Navadvīpa or Śrī Vṛndāvanadhāma, and possessing two eyes and two arms. He is the bestower of fearlessness and the embodiment of peacefulness.
At the Yogapīṭha in Śrī Māyāpura, in transcendental Navadvīpa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is seated upon a jewelled platform. Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu is seated on His right, and Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita on His left. Śrī Advaita Ācārya stands at the front offering prayers with folded hands and Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita stands beside him holding an umbrella. The guru is seated on an altar below them. In this way one should meditate on sitting near śrī gurudeva and worship him by offering sixteen articles while chanting the appropriate mantra for each:
idam āsanam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
etat pādyam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idam arghyam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idam ācamanīyam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
eṣa madhuparkaḥ – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ punar ācamanīyam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ snānīyam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ sottarīya-vastram – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idam ābharaṇam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
eṣa gandhaḥ – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
eṣa dhūpaḥ – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
eṣa dīpaḥ – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ sacandana-puṣpam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ naivedyam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ pānīya-jalam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ punar ācamanīyam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ tāmbūlam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
idaṁ sarvam – aiṁ gurudevāya namaḥ
One should then chant the guru-gāyatrī-mantra according to one’s capacity:
aiṁ gurudevāya vidmahe kṛṣṇānandāya
dhīmahi tan no guruḥ pracodayāt
Let us now meditate upon śrī gurudeva, who is always giving pleasure to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Let us try to understand śrī guru. May he inspire and guide us from within.
After that one should offer obeisances to guru:
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble obeisances unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine knowledge, you open my eyes, which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.
Then offer obeisances to the Vaiṣṇavas:
vāñchā-kalpa-tarubhyaś ca kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
I offer obeisances unto the Vaiṣṇavas, who are just like wishfulfilling desire trees, who are an ocean of mercy and who deliver the fallen, conditioned souls.
Thereafter one should perform pūjā of Śrī Gaurāṅga, who is comprised of five principles or truths, meditating on Him as follows:
caitanyaṁ kanaka-dyutiṁ nija-janaiḥ saṁsevyamānaṁ bhaje
I worship Śrī Caitanyadeva, whose hair is intertwined with beautiful garlands of pearls, whose face is splendorous like a radiant moon, whose limbs are smeared with candana and aguru and who, adorned with wonderful clothes, garlands and transcendental, glittering ornaments, dances while absorbed in ecstasies of sweet mellows. His body of golden complexion, being adorned with the ornaments of bhāva, makes Him appear like an enchanting Cupid amidst the presence of His intimate associates.
idam āsanaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
etat pādyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idam arghyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idam ācamanīyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
eṣa madhuparkaḥ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ punar ācamanīyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idam snānīyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ sottarīya-vastraṁ klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idam ābharaṇaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
eṣa gandhaḥ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
eṣa dhūpaḥ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
eṣa dīpaḥ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ sacandana-puṣpaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ sacandana-tulasī-patraṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ naivedyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ pānīya-jalaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ punar ācamanīyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ tāmbūlaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ mālyaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
idaṁ sarvaṁ – klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya namaḥ
After completing worship of Śrī Gaura, one should chant the gaura-gāyatrī according to one’s capacity:
klīṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanyāya vidmahe viśvambharāya
dhīmahi tan no gauraḥ pracodayāt
Let us try to understand Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. Let us meditate upon Viśvambhara, who is maintaining the entire universe. May that golden-complexioned Gaura manifest within our hearts and inspire us.
Thereafter one should offer obeisances to Gaurasundara with the following mantra:
caitanya-candrāya namo namas te
I offer obeisances unto Śrī Caitanya-candra, whose form is the embodiment of blissful, transcendental pastimes, whose golden complexion is divinely beautiful, and who bestows unlimited nectar in the mellows of prema.
One should then perform arcana of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa with the consciousness that it is the mercy of śrī guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga. First, one should meditate on Śrī Vṛndāvana:
tato vṛndāvanaṁ dhyāyet paramānanda-vardhanam
nānā-puṣpa-latābaddhavṛkṣa-ṣaṇḍaiś ca maṇḍitam
koṭi-sūrya-samā bhāsaṁ vimuktaṁ ṣaṭ-taraṅgakaiḥ
tan-madhye ratna-khacitaṁ svarṇa-siṁhāsanaṁ mahat
Meditate on a great golden throne studded with jewels within the divine realm of Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma. A place of ever-increasing bliss, Vṛndāvana-dhāma is served by breezes that are cooled by the touch of the Yamunā’s waves and decorated with various types of flowers, creepers and trees. Its splendour is like that of millions of suns and it is ever free from the six waves of material nature (namely lust, anger, greed, envy, false ego and illusion).
Hereafter, one should meditate on Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, who are sitting on a golden throne inlaid with jewels:
śrī-kṛṣṇaṁ śrī-ghanaśyāmaṁ pūrṇānanda-kalevaram
dvibhujaṁ sarva-deveśaṁ rādhāliṅgita-vigraham
I meditate on Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose bluish-black colour resembles that of a fresh raincloud, whose body is full of transcendental bliss, who possesses two arms, who is the Lord of all the demigods and who is embraced by Śrīmatī Rādhikā.
Then, one should offer pūjā to Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa with sixteen articles:
idam āsanaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
etat pādyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idam arghyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idam ācamanīyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
eṣa madhuparkaḥ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ punar ācamanīyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ snānīyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ sottarīya-vastraṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idam ābharaṇaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
eṣa gandhaḥ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
eṣa dhūpaḥ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
eṣa dīpaḥ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ sacandana-puspaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ sacandana-tulasī-patraṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ naivedyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ pānīya-jalam – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ punar ācamanīyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ tāmbūlaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ mālyaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
idaṁ sarvaṁ – śrīṁ klīṁ rādhā-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ namaḥ
After the worship, one should chant this yugala-gāyatrī-mantra according to one’s capacity:
klīṁ kṛṣṇāya vidmahe dāmodarāya
dhīmahi tan no kṛṣṇaḥ pracodayāt
Let us try to know the all-attractive Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Let us meditate upon Dāmodara, who is bound by the love of His devotees. May that Kṛṣṇa manifest in our hearts and inspire us.
śrīṁ rādhikāyai vidmahe prema-rūpāyai
dhīmahi tan no rādhā pracodayāt
Let us try to understand Śrīmatī Rādhikā. We meditate upon Her, who is the embodiment of prema. May that Rādhā manifest in our hearts and inspire us.
And then offer obeisances to Śrī Kṛṣṇa:
he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopikā-kānta rādhā-kānta namo ’stu te
I offer my unlimited obeisances unto You, O Kṛṣṇa! You are the ocean of mercy, friend of the fallen, Lord of creation and master of the cowherd community. You are Gopī-kānta, beloved of the gopīs, and above all You are Rādhā-kānta, the beloved of Śrīmatī Rādhikā.
And to Śrī Rādhā:
tapta-kāñcana-gaurāṅgi rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi praṇamāmi hari-priye
O Gaurāṅgī, whose complexion is like molten gold! O Rādhā! Queen of Vṛndāvana! O daughter of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja! O Devī! O dearmost of Hari, obeisances unto You again and again!
After that, one should chant the kāma-bīja, mūla-mantra and kāma-gāyatrī according to one’s capacity. And then, in the proper order, one should recite padya-pañcaka and vijñapti-pañcaka in a mood of distress.
saṁsāra-sāgarān nātha putra-mitra-gṛhāṅganāt
goptārau me yuvām eva prapanna-bhaya-bhañjanau
O Śrī Rādha-Kṛṣṇa, You are my protectors from the ocean of material existence, which is characterised by sons, friends, household and land. Therefore You are known as the destroyers of fear for those who are surrendered unto You.
yo ’haṁ mamāsti yat kiñcid iha loke paratra ca
tat sarvaṁ bhavato ’dyaiva caraṇesu samarpitam
O Your Lordships, myself and whatever little I possess in this world and in the next – all this I now offer unto Your lotus feet.
aham apy aparādhānām ālayas tyakta-sādhanaḥ
agatiś ca tato nāthau bhavantau me parā gatiḥ
O Your Lordships, I am certainly the abode of many offences and I am completely devoid of any devotional practice. I don’t have any other shelter; therefore, I regard You as my ultimate goal.
tavāsmi rādhikā-nātha karmaṇā manasā girā
kṛṣṇa-kānte tavaivāsmi yuvām eva gatir mama
O Master of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, I am Yours by actions, mind and words. O lover of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhikā, I belong to You alone. You both are my only destination.
śaraṇaṁ vāṁ prapanno ’smi karuṇā-nikarākarau
prasādaṁ kuru dāsyaṁ bho mayi duṣṭe ’parādhini
O Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, O oceans of mercy, I am taking shelter of You. Although I am fallen and an offender, kindly be pleased with me and make me Your servant.
mat-samo nāsti pāpātmā nāparādhī ca kaścana
parihāre ’pi lajjā me kiṁ bruve puruṣottama
O Puruṣottama, there is no one as sinful and offensive as I am. How can I describe myself? I even feel ashamed to give up my sins.
yuvatīnāṁ yathā yūni yunāṁ ca yuvatau yathā
mano ’bhiramate tadvan mano me ramatāṁ tvayi
Just as the minds of young ladies take pleasure in thinking of young men, and the minds of young men take pleasure in thinking of young women, kindly let my mind take pleasure in You alone.
bhūmau skhalita-pādānāṁ bhūmir evāvalambanam
tvayi jātāparādhānāṁ tvam eva śaraṇaṁ prabho
Just as the ground is the only support for those whose feet have slipped, so also You alone are the only shelter, even for those who have offended You.
govinda-vallabhe rādhe prārthaye tvām ahaṁ sadā
tvadīyam iti jānātu govindo māṁ tvayā saha
O Śrīmatī Rādhikā, dearest of Lord Govinda, this is always my request to You: may You and Govinda consider me to be Yours.
rādhe vṛndāvanādhīśe karuṇāmṛta-vāhini
kṛpayā nija-pādābjadāsyaṁ mahyaṁ pradīyatām
O Śrīmatī Rādhikā, O queen of Vṛndāvana, You are a flowing river of nectarean compassion. Please be merciful unto me and grant me the service of Your lotus feet.
Thereafter, one should offer the remnants to śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas:
etat mahā-prasāda nirmālyaṁ – śrī-gurave namaḥ
etat pānīya-jalaṁ – śrī-gurave namaḥ
etat prasāda-tāmbūlaṁ – śrī-gurave namaḥ
etat sarvaṁ – sarva-sakhībhyo namaḥ
śrī paurṇamāsyai namaḥ
sarva vraja-vāsibhyo namaḥ
sarva vaiṣṇavebhyo namaḥ
The mantra for picking tulasī before the pūjā:
tulasy-amṛta-janmāsi sadā tvaṁ keśava-priye
keśavārthaṁ vicinomi varadā bhava śobhane
O Tulasī of effulgent beauty, you have been produced from nectar during the churning of the milk ocean. You are always dear to Lord Keśava. I pick your leaves only for the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. May you bestow upon me the benediction that my worship of Kṛṣṇa will obtain success.
idam arghyaṁ – śrī-tulasyai namaḥ
nirmitā tvaṁ purā devair arcitā tvaṁ surāsuraiḥ
tulasi hara me ’vidyāṁ pūjāṁ gṛhna namo ’stu te
You came into being long ago, and are worshipped by gods and demons alike. O Tulasī, my obeisance unto you. Kindly dispel my ignorance and accept my worship.
yā dṛṣṭā nikhilāgha-saṅgha-śamanī spṛṣtā vapuḥ pāvanī
rogānām abhivanditā nirasanī siktā ’ntaka-trāsinī
pratyāsatti-vidhāyinī bhagavataḥ kṛṣṇasya saṁropitā
nyastā tac-caraṇe subhakti-phaladā tasyai tulasyai namaḥ
O Tulasī, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Simply by seeing you all sins are destroyed. Simply by touching you one’s body is purified. By offering obeisances unto you all diseases are driven away. By offering water unto you the fear of death is dispelled. By planting you one obtains proximity to the Lord. By offering you unto the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one obtains a special type of devotion, the rare fruit of prema-bhakti.
After offering obeisances to tulasī, one should chant the prescribed number of kṛṣṇa-nāma on tulasī beads with sambandha-jñāna. While chanting the holy name, which is supremely auspicious and the eternal truth, there is no consideration of time, place, purity or impurity. Thereafter, recite the following mantra, accept śrī-kṛṣṇa-caraṇāmṛta and then touch it to the head:
aśeṣa-kleśa-niḥśeṣa kāraṇaṁ śuddha-bhakti-dam
kṛṣṇa-pādodakaṁ pītvā śirasā dhārayāmy aham
Having drunk the water from the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which bestows pure bhakti and causes the destruction of unlimited miseries and pains, I take that water on my head.
After that one should chant the following mantra and accept some mahā-prasāda:
rudanti pātakāḥ sarve niśvasanti muhur-muhuḥ
hā hā kṛtvā palāyanti jagannāthānna-bhakṣaṇāt
When one simply takes the foodstuffs offered to Jagannātha, all types of sins gasp, and crying out “Alas! Alas!” flee for their lives.
Then, one should offer full prostrated obeisances with the following mantra:
dorbhyāṁ padbhyāṁ ca jānubhyām urasā śirasā dṛśā
manasā vacasā ceti praṇāmo ’ṣṭāṅga īritaḥ
I offer obeisances with eight parts: the arms, the feet, the knees, the chest, the forehead, the mind, vision and speech.
Thus ends the morning duties.
In the evening, one should chant the kāma-bīja, mūla-mantra and kāma-gāyatrī twelve times. One should never eat or drink anything that is not in the mode of goodness and not offered to Śrī Bhagavān.
pathyaṁ pūtam anāmayantam āhāryaṁ sāttvikaṁ viduḥ
rājasam indriya-preṣṭhaṁ tāmasam ārtido ’śuciḥ
Foods in the mode of goodness are wholesome, pure and do not cause pain. Foods in the mode of passion are dear to the senses. Foods in the mode of ignorance are unclean and cause suffering.
One should observe vratas on Śrī Ekādaśī, appearance days of viṣṇu-tattva and so forth, to one’s capacity. One should never fall into bad association. Abandoning such association is the virtuous practice of a Vaiṣṇava.
Thus ends the Saṅkṣepa-arcana-paddhati.