There are two processes. One is called the ‘Pancharatrik Vidhi’ and the other is called the ‘Bhagavat Vidhi’. Bhagavat Vidhi means daily chanting the holy name of the Lord and hearing the Bhagavatam. Pancharatrik Vidhi means, mangalartis, pujas, things like that, doing all the worship, formal worship.
So one has to do one or the other or both. It is recommended both is best. To do basic Pancharatrik and basic Bhagavat viddhi. But if you don’t do either, then where is the spiritual life, you see? Has to have at least one or another, if not both.
So Pancharatrik viddhi, on itself, is not strong enough in this age, to purify anyone completely. It can help something, but just to do the worship without chanting Hare Krishna and hearing the Bhagavatam, will be very slow because of these offenses.This chanting can get rid of all the other offenses very easily. And we are bound to make offenses in worship.
Some say, ‘Why not just do chanting and Bhagavatam? Why do any worship?”. The thing is that by nature we are ‘impersonalists’, in many ways, and we are materialists. So to train us, as I said in the end here, to get rid of our false egoism, that ‘I am this body’, that ‘I am the owner of everything’, that ‘I am the proprietor’, it is very beneficial for us to bow down before the deity of Krishna, to witness the arati of Krishna, to worship Krishna in a formal way, this helps to train our mind, to have at a particular time everyday a type of deity worship. Because our mind’s nature is to always, gradually, get a little more and more independence and drag us into sense gratification.
So if we are already on the level that we have the taste of chanting and hearing the Bhagavatam, and so by simply hearing the Bhagavatam and chanting, our mind is completely absorbed in spiritual Krishna consciousness, if that’s enough, then even without the formal worship we can go on. But in the beginning stages, when we don’t have the spontaneous attraction for hearing and chanting to that full extent, so the formal worship is also beneficial.
And even advanced devotees, to show example, they also perform this formal worship and they also…it’s not that there is no transcendental benefit or relishment there, there is also transcendental benefit there. But an advanced devotee not only experiences it in the worship but in all his service to the spiritual master.
So it’s important that we have regular programs of deity worship, chanting Hare Krishna, and simply deity without the chanting won’t be successful.
HH Jayapataka Swami
Lecture: Caitanya Bhagavat
24th February, 1989