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The ISKCON Deity Worship Journal
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Selected GBC resolutions related to Deity Worship

We are here publishing certain GBC resolutions related to Deity worship either as a reminder, a prompting for discussion, or to inform, and as general reference for pujaris and managers.-Ed.


Deity Protection

25.2.1 All temples must make arrangements for the protection of installed Deities immediately. This is to include adequate protection during darana times when the curtain and doors are open. Locking iron gates are recommended. All GBC men must include details on how the Deities in each temple in their zone are being protected in their Annual Report.

Guru Pictures

25.2.2 The pictures of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivednta Svm Prabhupda, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupda, rla Gaura Kiora Dsa Babaji, rla Bhaktivinode hkura, and preferably Jaganntha Dsa Babaji should always remain on all ISKCON temple altars.

25.2.3 25.2.3 A pjr who is not initiated by rla Prabhupda shall keep the picture of his guru on the altar while offering rat. The picture must be substantially smaller than those of the predecessor cryas in disciplic succession, or, if not substantially smaller, be placed on a lower level. After the rat, the picture should be removed from the altar. (87)

Deity Installation

Temple buildings and Property

25.3 No property in which the Deity of the Lord is installed may be sold without the approval of the GBC body.( '82)

25.3.1 Once Deities are installed in a temple, that temple shall never be closed.( '75)

25.3.2 A temple must exist at least one year as a viable preaching center before Deities are installed.( '76)


25.3.3 Installed Deities shall not be moved without permission of the GBC, at the annual r Mypura meeting.( '78)


25.3.4 Marble Rdh-Ka Deities shall only be installed in property owned by ISKCON. Exceptions may be made with the permission of the GBC at the annual r Mypura meeting.( 78)


If nitya ll praviha is chanted in the beginning of the Jayadhvni prayers, the words paramahasa and parivrajakcrya should not be used. If nitya ll praviha is not chanted, the words paramahasa and parivrajakcrya are appropriate.

Prohibited activities

25.6.3 The following activities are not allowed as part of ISKCON functions, whether conducted on ISKCON property or elsewhere:

A. Satya Nryana Kath;. (This is a concocted form of worship).

B. Garbha dance, when it is conducted in association with the worship of Durga. (Garbha dance is usually performed as part of nava-ratri, a Durga festival. However, there are also garbha dances in glorification of Ka. Temple authorities permitting a garbha dance must be confident that the performance is entirely Ka centered.)

C. The reading of Tulsidsas Rma-carita-manasa. (Rmyana readings should be from Valmikis Rmyana, as Tulsidsas work is tinged with impersonalism.)

D. Lectures advocating Mayavda or other offensive philosophies.

E. The singing of the Hindi rat song om jaya jagadia hari. (This is a prayer for material benedictions).

Demigod Worship

A. Worship of demigods as independent gods is not permitted in Ka consciousness. However, the Nectar of Devotion says that demigods should be respected. Worshipping demigods as vaiavas is authorized. For preaching, in order to teach people the right position of the demigods as great vaiavas, ISKCON temples may hold on special occasions ceremonies or pujas respecting and worshipping demigods as great vaiavas, provided:

i) The worship is only as a vaiava (This means that the deva/devi shall be offered: the prasdam arotika items immediately after they are offered to Lord Ka, Ka prasdam flower garlands, and Ka prasdam foodstuffs. No independent worship is offered. Only the chanting of Hare Ka and Vius names is done, as Lord Caitanya did in South India.)

ii) Their status as servants of Ka is made as clear as possible through signs, symbols, and iconography, and

iii) Offerings are of Ka prasdam.

B. Deities of demigods (incl. Lakshm where no Viu is established), shall not be established without permission of the GBC. Where they are permitted or where ISKCON acquires a temple with already established mrtis of demigods, they may remain, provided they are worshipped as vaiavas, as provided above.


It is permitted for other groups, at the discretion of the local ISKCON authorities, to rent space in ISKCON premises, outside the temple room, for their own ceremonies and functions, even for functions listed above (A-B), provided that the public understand clearly that the function is not being sponsored or conducted by ISKCON. However, no function on ISKCON property shall include any activity contrary to the four regulative principles. The GBC recommends that temples provide outside groups rental contracts clearly stipulating the above restrictions. ('96)

Marriage Ceremonies

25.6.4 Only initiated devotees of Ka who are strictly maintaining their vows of initiation may be married before the Deities in a vaiava ceremony. An ISKCON devotee priest may perform a ceremony for uninitiated devotees, including the lighting of the sacred fire, but not before Deities, if he is reasonably certain that the devotees to be married are not engaged in regular and/or serious deviation from the four regulative principles. It is preferred that this ceremony not be held in the temple room if other facilities are available. An ISKCON devotee who is qualified under local law to perform religious ceremonies may marry other uninitiated devotees at his own risk. ('93)