Especially in every brāhmaṇa’s house there must be a śālagrāma-śilā to be worshiped by the brāhmaṇa family. This system is still current. People who are brāhmaṇas by caste, who are born in a brāhmaṇa family, must worship the śālagrāma-śilā. Unfortunately, with the progress of Kali-yuga, the so-called brāhmaṇas, although very proud of taking birth in brāhmaṇa families, no longer worship the śālagrāma-śilā. But actually it has been a custom since time immemorial that a person born in a brāhmaṇa family must worship the śālagrāma-śilā in all circumstances. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness society, some of the members are very anxious to introduce worship of the śālagrāma-śilā, but we have purposely refrained from introducing it because most of the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement do not originally come from families of the brāhmaṇa caste. After some time, when we find that they are actually situated strictly in the line of brahminical behavior, śālagrāma-śilā worship will be introduced.
In this age, the worship of the śālagrāma-śilā is not as important as the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. That is the injunction of the śāstra: harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalaṁ/ kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā (CC Adi 17.21). Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s opinion is that by chanting the holy name offenselessly one becomes completely perfect. Nevertheless, just to purify the situation of the mind, worship of the Deity in the temple is also necessary. Therefore when one is advanced in spiritual consciousness or is perfectly situated on a spiritual platform, he may take to the worship of the śālagrāma-śilā.
The transference of the Lord from the heart of Jagannātha Miśra to the heart of Śacīmātā is explained by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura as follows: “It is to be concluded that Jagannātha Miśra and Śacīmātā are nitya-siddhas, ever-pure associates of the Lord. Their hearts are always uncontaminated, and therefore they never forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A common man in this material world has a contaminated heart. He must therefore first purify his heart to come to the transcendental position. But Jagannātha Miśra and Śacīmātā were not a common man and woman with contaminated hearts. When the heart is uncontaminated, it is said to be in the existential position of Vasudeva. Vasudeva can beget Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa, who is transcendentally situated.” It is to be understood that Śacīdevī did not become pregnant as an ordinary woman becomes pregnant because of sense indulgence. One should not think the pregnancy of Śacīmātā to be that of an ordinary woman, because that is an offense. One can understand the pregnancy of Śacīmātā when one is actually advanced in spiritual consciousness and fully engaged in the devotional service of the Lord.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.2.16) it is stated:
- bhagavān api viśvātmā bhaktānām abhayaṅ-karaḥ
- āviveśāṁśa-bhāgena mana ānakadundubheḥ
This is a statement regarding the birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The incarnation of the Lord entered the mind of Vasudeva and was then transferred to the mind of Devakī. Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī gives the following annotation in this connection: ‘mana āviveśa’ manasy āvirbabhūva; jīvānām iva na dhātu-sambandha ity arthaḥ. There was no question of the seminal discharge necessary for the birth of an ordinary human being. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also comments in this connection that Lord Kṛṣṇa first appeared in the mind of Ānakadundubhi, Vasudeva, and was then transferred to the mind of Devakī-devī. Thus the spiritual bliss in the mind of Devakī-devī gradually increased, just as the moon increases every night until it becomes a full moon. At the time of His appearance, Lord Kṛṣṇa came out of the mind of Devakī and appeared within the prison house of Kaṁsa, by the side of Devakī’s bed. At that time, by the spell of yogamāyā, Devakī thought that her child had now been born. In this connection, even the demigods from the celestial kingdom were also bewildered. As it is stated, muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ (SB 1.1.1). They came to offer their prayers to Devakī, thinking that the Supreme Lord was within her womb. The demigods came to Mathurā from their celestial kingdom. This indicates that Mathurā is still more important than the celestial kingdom of the upper planetary system.
Lord Kṛṣṇa, as the eternal son of Yaśodāmayī, is always present in Vṛndāvana. The pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa are continuously going on within both this material world and the spiritual world. In such pastimes, the Lord always thinks Himself the eternal son of mother Yaśodā and father Nanda Mahārāja. In the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Chapter Six, verse 43, it is stated, “When magnanimous, broad-hearted Nanda Mahārāja came back from a tour, he immediately took his son Kṛṣṇa on his lap and experienced transcendental bliss by smelling His head.” Similarly, in the Tenth Canto, Ninth Chapter, verse 21, it is said, “This Personality of Godhead, appearing as the son of a cowherd damsel, is easily available and understandable to devotees, whereas those who are under the concept of bodily life, even though they are very much advanced in austerity and penance, or even though they are great philosophers, are unable to understand Him.” Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura next quotes Śrīpāda Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, who refers to the prayers offered by the demigods to Lord Kṛṣṇa in the womb of Devakī and summarizes the birth of Kṛṣṇa as follows: “As the rising moon manifests light in the east, so Devakī, who was always situated on the transcendental platform, having been initiated in the Kṛṣṇa mantra by Vasudeva, the son of Śūrasena, kept Kṛṣṇa within her heart.” From this statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.2.18) it is understood that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, having been transferred from the heart of Ānakadundubhi, or Vasudeva, manifested Himself in the heart of Devakī. According to Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, “the heart of Devakī” means the womb of Devakī because in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.2.41 the demigods say, diṣṭyāmba te kukṣi-gataḥ paraḥ pumān: “Mother Devakī, the Lord is already within your womb.” Therefore, that the Lord was transferred from the heart of Vasudeva to the heart of Devakī means that He was transferred to the womb of Devakī.
Similarly, in regard to the appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu as described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, the words viśeṣe sevana kare govinda-caraṇa, “they specifically began to worship the lotus feet of Govinda,” indicate that exactly as Kṛṣṇa appeared in the heart of Devakī through the heart of Vasudeva, so Lord Caitanya appeared in the heart of Śacīdevī through the heart of Jagannātha Miśra. This is the mystery of the appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Consequently, one should not think of Lord Caitanya’s appearance as that of a common man or living entity. This subject matter is a little difficult to understand, but for devotees of the Lord it will not at all be difficult to realize the statements given by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī.