Srimad Bhagavatam 11.27.27-29 - Deity Worship (download mp3)
by Nityananda Charan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
muṣalaṁ kaustubhaṁ mālāṁ
One should worship, in order, the Lord’s Sudarśana disc, His Pāñcajanya conchshell, His club, sword, bow, arrows and plow, His muṣala weapon, His Kaustubha gem, His flower garland and the Śrīvatsa curl of hair on His chest.
nandaṁ sunandaṁ garuḍaṁ
pracaṇḍaṁ caṇḍam eva ca
mahābalaṁ balaṁ caiva
One should worship the Lord’s associates Nanda and Sunanda, Garuḍa, Pracaṇḍa and Caṇḍa, Mahābala and Bala, and Kumuda and Kumudekṣaṇa.
durgāṁ vināyakaṁ vyāsaṁ
viṣvaksenaṁ gurūn surān
sve sve sthāne tv abhimukhān
With offerings such as prokṣaṇa one should worship Durgā, Vināyaka, Vyāsa, Viṣvaksena, the spiritual masters and the various demigods. All these personalities should be in their proper places facing the Deity of the Lord.
According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, the Gaṇeśa and Durgā mentioned in this verse are not the same personalities present within the material world; rather, they are eternal associates of the Lord in Vaikuṇṭha. In this world Gaṇeśa, the son of Lord Śiva, is famous for awarding financial success, and the goddess Durgā, the wife of Lord Śiva, is famous as the external, illusory potency of the Supreme Lord. The personalities mentioned here, however, are eternally liberated associates of the Lord who reside in the spiritual sky, beyond the material manifestation. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī quotes from various Vedic literatures to prove that the name Durgā may also indicate the internal potency of the Lord, who is nondifferent from Him. The external, or covering, potency of the Lord expands from this original Durgā. The Durgā of the material world, called Mahā-māyā, assumes the function of bewildering the living entities. Thus a devotee should not fear becoming polluted by worshiping the Durgā mentioned here, who has the same name as illusion, but rather the devotee must show respect to these eternal servitors of the Supreme Lord in Vaikuṇṭha.