Can I pick up a stone from Govardhana and worship Him at home?

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Question


Can I pick up a stone from Govardhana and worship Him at home?

 

Answer
Srila Prabhupada gave permission to his disciples to worship Govardhana Sila both in temples and at home

Quote:
“When everything was complete, Krsna assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vrndavana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Krsna Himself are identical. Then Krsna began to eat all the food offered there.
The identity of Krsna and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krsna in the temples. The followers of the Krsna consciousness movement may therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship.”
– From Krishna Book, Srila Prabhupada chapter 24

In the Sastra there are many other quotes at this effect.

However:
Years ago I went to the Radharaman temple in Vrindavana and spoke with the main pujari and asked what is the difference between worship of Deities in human form and worship of the Silas.
He said that Deities in human form are not installed until we perform the necessary ceremony. Before that we do not commit serious offences. But Salagram, Govardhana or other Silas do not need installation ceremonies and therefore we have to worship Them with the proper standard from day one.

Moreove there is a letter sent to Palika Devi Dasi in which Srila Prabhupada orders the devotees to return a Govardhana Sila as soon as possible. I do not know the reason that brought Srila Prabhupada to give such a perentorious order.

I also heard (unable to quote) that Silas should be given and not picked up by themselves.
We find the story in Caitanya Caritamrita Antya-lila (6 chapter) of how Sankarananda Sarasvati brought a sila from Govardhana and gave it to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Pleased with his devotion, later He gave that stone to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

Ultimately I would say that devotees should worship Govardhana Sila only if they are very serious about devotion.

 

– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
1 jan 2020

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