Srimad Bhagavatam 11.27.35 - The Impact of Sincere Deity Worship (download mp3)
by Sridama Sakha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
parvaṇi syur utānv-aham
On special occasions, and daily if possible, the Deity should be massaged with ointment, shown a mirror, offered a eucalyptus stick for brushing His teeth, bathed with the five kinds of nectar, offered all kinds of opulent foods, and entertained with singing and dancing.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura describes the process of Deity worship as follows: “First the Deity’s teeth should be cleaned and His body massaged with fragrant oil and rubbed with vermilion, camphor powder and so forth. Then He should be bathed with fragrant water and the five kinds of nectar. Next one should offer valuable silk garments and jeweled ornaments to the Deity, smear His body with sandalwood paste, and offer Him garlands and other gifts. After this, one should hold a mirror in front of the Deity and then offer fragrant oil, flowers, incense, lamps and scented water for refreshing the mouth. One should offer all types of palatable foods, fragrant water, betel nuts, garlands, ārati lamps, a bed to rest on, and so on. One should also fan the Deity and perform instrumental music, singing and dancing. This Deity worship must be performed on special occasions like religious holidays or else, if one can afford it, daily.” According to Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, Ekādaśī is an appropriate day for performing special Deity worship.