Back to Godhead September/October 2013
WELCOME Worship of Lord Krishna in His deity form is an essential spiritual practice of the Hare Krishna movement and the ancient tradition to which it belongs. The Vedic scriptures teach that God, being absolute, is fully present as the deity to receive the worship of His devotees.
When Srila Prabhupada launched the Hare Krishna movement in the West, he didn't introduce deity worship right away. First he focused on Lord Krishna's teachings in the Bhagavad-gita and the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Then Krishna came on His own, first in San Francisco in His form as Jagannatha, and then in New York City in His original form as the all-attractive flute-playing cowherd boy. Satyaraja Dasa relates the story of that deity, now worshiped outside Washington, D.C.
Besides New York and Washington, this issue takes us to a few other major cities. At Wits University in Johannesburg, Jayadvaita Swami lectures on education. In Budapest, we get introduced to Bhaktivedanta College, where Hare Krishna devotees have won EU-accreditation to grant degrees in yoga and Vaishnava theology. And in Hong Kong, a newcomer to Krishna consciousness gets a request he'll fulfill decades later—in the pages of this magazine.
Hare Krishna.—Nagaraja Dasa, Editor