The body of the pure devotee after death

 

Question
I would like to ask you certain things if it is not too much trouble.

Since I was born I have always been taught that we are not the body through Hare Krishna consciousness, which I accept and follow with great honor and love !!!

Why after the material death of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada the devotees continued to worship his body, when our movement always maintains that we are not the body?

Y….

I understood that the devotees want their bodies to be cremated choose believe us so that our remains do not remain in the earth but the ashes should be out in holy places like the Ganges river in India. Then why our maximum representative not cremated? And why was he buried in that posture?

 

Answer

Dear Bhakta Krishna Kirtana,
Please receive my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The body of the pure devotee is different from his svarupa, or his eternal spiritual body. What we see is his material body.
“The Vedic mantra confirm it by the sound vibration that this spirit soul is always nonattached with the material body. Therefore, we do not see the actual spiritual body of a pure devotee; but what we see, that is matter.”
Srila Prabhupada, letter to Hamsaduta — Los Angeles 23 January, 1970

However the body of a pure devotee is considered spiritual, or to be more precise spiritualized matter. Just like the Deities. They are made of metal or stone but becomes spiritualized because the Lord enters into them. Or a temple, which is just a building made of concrete and bricks but becomes spiritualized because of the use we make of it.

Any material thing, when purified by suddha-bhakti, becomes object of worship.
And so is the body of the pure devotee. That body is not material anymore and therefore we worship it just like as we do with Deities or holy places like Vrindavana or Mayapura.

Srila Rupa Gosvami provides us with a pramana (an evidence):
dṛṣṭaiḥ svabhāva-janitair vapuṣaś ca doṣair
na prākṛtatvam iha bhakta-janasya paśyet
gaṅgāmbhasāṁ na khalu budbuda-phena-paṅkair
brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nīra-dharmaiḥ
“Being situated in his original Kṛṣṇa conscious position, a pure devotee does not identify with the body. Such a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view. Indeed, one should overlook a devotee’s having a body born in a low family, a body with a bad complexion, a deformed body, or a diseased or infirm body. According to ordinary vision, such imperfections may seem prominent in the body of a pure devotee, but despite such seeming defects, the body of a pure devotee cannot be polluted. It is exactly like the waters of the Ganges, which sometimes during the rainy season are full of bubbles, foam and mud. The Ganges waters do not become polluted. Those who are advanced in spiritual understanding will bathe in the Ganges without considering the condition of the water.”
Upadesamrita #6.

About being buried or cremated, the bewildered jiva soul remains attached to the material body even after abandoning it and wants to remain close to it until the body is completely destroyed. Therefore we cremate it so that the jiva is free to go to his next destination without wasting any more time.
But the pure devotee has no attraction to his body. He sees it only as an instrument he had for some time to serve the Lord, therefore there is no need for cremation and is useful for the devotee’s worship.

The body of the Guru should be buried seated like during his life has been seated on the vyasasana.

 

I never liked those videos and for several reasons I always refused to see them entirely. I think Srila Prabhupada’s holy body should have been handled differently.

 

Your well-wisher
Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)

PS
Bookstore and Blog: www.isvara.org

 

 

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