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Ganesha Puja in ISKCON

Nischintya Dasa: There's only one question you should ask the spiritual master, and that's "How may I serve you?" I thought I already knew how I was supposed to serve Prabhupada- by distributing his books, taking care of the temple, cleaning, cooking. But when I saw Ganesh worship on Gurukripa Swami's party in Chicago, I wanted to do Ganesh worship too. I told the sankirtan devotees in Hawaii, "They're collecting so much money there by doing Ganesh puja." The sankirtan devotees got into it but when the temple president found out, he told us to stop. We didn't listen. Then the GBC got involved. We said, "Oh, who's the GBC? He doesn't know anything. The Swami is doing it." So, the first question I asked Srila Prabhupada was if I could do Ganesh puja. I didn't say anything about money. I said that The Nectar of Devotion mentions Ganesh worship. All the sankirtan devotees signed the letter and Prahhupada wrote back, "My dear sons, please accept my blessings." When we were sitting around reading it, we thought, "That's it. Our lives are perfect. Prabhupada has given us his blessings." Then Prabhupada wrote, "Krishna says just to worship Him, and you're proposing to worship a demigod. Why is this? Krishna says you're less intelligent if you do this." We wouldn't have taken that from anyone, but we were in ecstasy when Prabhupada told us that. Prabhupada went on to say, "But still if you are attached to worshipping Ganesh for huge amounts of laxmi". . . and then penciled in --"to serve Krishna--then you please send me one hundred thousand dollars a month and not a single farthing less." That was a very nice instruction. We stopped our Ganesh puja and went on sankirtan. Nobody else could have told us that, but when Prabhupada told us we were in ecstasy.


Reference: Memories Anecdotes of a Modern Day Saint - Volume 3 by Siddhanta Dasa