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It is said, "Only a person who is initiated as a Vaisnava and is executing devotional service in Krsna consciousness has the right to touch the body of the Deity"

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Expressions researched:
"Only a person who is initiated as a Vaiṣṇava and is executing devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has the right to touch the body of the Deity"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

In the Viṣṇu-dharmottara there is a statement about touching the lotus feet of the Lord. It is said: "Only a person who is initiated as a Vaiṣṇava and is executing devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has the right to touch the body of the Deity." In India there was agitation during Gandhi's political movement because the lowborn classes of men like street-sweepers and caṇḍālas are prohibited, according to the Vedic system, from entering the temple.

It is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: "One who has not washed off all reactions of sinful activities cannot be a pure devotee. A pure devotee has no more doubts about the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead, and thus he engages himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service." A similar statement is in the Agastya-saṁhitā: Just to purify the impurities of our nostrils, we should try to smell the remnants of flowers offered to Kṛṣṇa in the temple.

Touching the Deity

In the Viṣṇu-dharmottara there is a statement about touching the lotus feet of the Lord. It is said: "Only a person who is initiated as a Vaiṣṇava and is executing devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has the right to touch the body of the Deity." In India there was agitation during Gandhi's political movement because the lowborn classes of men like street-sweepers and caṇḍālas are prohibited, according to the Vedic system, from entering the temple. Due to their unclean habits they are prohibited, but at the same time they are given other facilities so they may be elevated to the highest grade of devotional service by association with pure devotees. A man born in any family is not barred, but he must be cleansed. That cleansing process must be adopted. Gandhi wanted to make them clean simply by stamping them with a fictitious name, Hari-jana (children of God), and so there was a great tug of war between the temple owners and Gandhi's followers.

But anyway, the present law is the law of all scripture—that if anyone is purified he can enter into the temple. Actually, that is the position. Only one who is properly initiated, who is properly following the rules and regulations, can enter and touch the Deity—not all. And one who touches the body of the Deity, following such regulative principles, is immediately delivered from the contamination of material sins, and all of his desires become fulfilled without delay.

In the Varāha Purāṇa, also, there is a statement praising the touching of the Deity of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the temple. A devotee says there: "My dear Vasundharā, any person who goes to Vṛndāvana and sees the Deity of Govindadeva is free from the courthouse of Yamarāj and is allowed to enter into the highest planetary system, in which reside the demigods." This means that even an ordinary person who goes to Vṛndāvana out of inquisitiveness and by chance sees the temple, especially that of Govindadeva, even if he is not elevated to the spiritual kingdom, is still assured promotion to the higher planetary systems. This means that simply by visiting the Deity of Govinda in Vṛndāvana one becomes highly elevated in pious life.