Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Repairing Damaged Deities -
DharmaChakra - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 21:50:38 +0530
I have a set of Deities that (reportedly) come from the altar in Sri Nityananda's house in Ekachakra, made by the head pujari there. They are a really nice set of Sri Gaura-Nitai Deities that I have in storage. My problem is two-fold.
1. In coming back from India, the paint was chipped. They could really use a repainting.
2. There are some cracks in the Deities (wood/plaster) that I would really like to have repaired.
Does anyone have _any_ idea how I would go about doing so? I have no problem paying someone to do so. I just need a name & address...
I will try to post some pictures this week to give everyone an idea of the condition, etc.
Keshava - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 22:19:54 +0530
Elachakra is quite famous for these type of wooden (neem) deities.
Usually of course damaged deities are replaced. However there are some significant exceptions to this policy.
1. Deities worshiped by great personalities.
2. Deities that are self manifest.
3. Deities from ancient temples or which had some other historical significance.
|I have a set of Deities that (reportedly) come from the altar in Sri Nityananda's house in Ekachakra, made by the head pujari there.|
Sounds like they fall under the exception categories.
|They are a really nice set of Sri Gaura-Nitai Deities that I have in storage.|
Since they have previously been worshiped it is not correct to keep them in storage (ie without worship), however neither is it correct to worship them without repair. Best is if you repair them asap and then worship.
|Does anyone have _any_ idea how I would go about doing so?|
I believe that the process is the same for Jaganath in Puri. The wooden deity is sometimes covered in cloth soaked in plaster of paris. Then when dry painted. In the case of Jagannatha it is powdery water based paint. If they are purely wooden the paint seems to be more durable. My best suggestion would be to have someone from Ekachakra who was completely familiar with the process do it. If such a person is not available then enquire from someone you know to get the directions from India. When you have more exact directions or if you cannot get them then begin the work. Under these circumstances find the best craftsman you know to do it or do it yourself.
Before beginning (Jirna Pratishta) meditate on the deities and invoke their presence from the deities into two kumbhas (pots with water, mango leaves, and coconut atop), continue the worship of the pots until the deities are finished. Then re-invoke the deities b meditating on them returning to the deity forms from the pots and sprinkle some of the water on them (or completely bahte each deity with their respective pot in the case of them being painted with waterprrof paint). If water based paint is used one and even sprinkiling is prohibited perform Chaya Abhiseka by using the water to bathe the reflection of the deity in a mirror.
In any case you can begin the worship of the pots as soon as possible or you can just leave it till the deities are completely repaired and then perfrom Pratistha. If the deities were still in a temple or worship situation the worshipers usually would endeavor to continue worship without break by using this system till the repairs are made, but since regular worship has already been broken by someone else there is no need for you to begin it again until the deities are repaired. But you can if you wish start it before, even if it is simply manasic.
Good luck finding someone who can do these things in a traditional manner. If you cannot get good information on how to do it traditionally then just try your best to analyse the materials and methods used and do your best. If all attempts fail to repair the deity nicely it should probably be dicarded in a respectful manner after having a similar new set made and tranferring the Lord's presence by meditation to the new one.
DharmaChakra - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 22:24:39 +0530
Thank you for the very informed reply. Just as a point of clarification, I believe (and I can confirm this) that the Deities were not worshiped/installed on the altar, but were present. I may even be off in stating that they were 'on the altar', per se...
I will take some pictures & try to post them ASAP so people can see the level of damage/repair that they need.
And.. anyone going to Ekachakra anytime in the reasonably near future?
Madhava - Fri, 17 Sep 2004 01:06:38 +0530
|QUOTE (Keshava @ Sep 16 2004, 05:49 PM)|
| Elachakra is quite famous for these type of wooden (neem) deities. |
Would that be is, or was? A couple of years back I was told that the old, good murti-wallas had journeyed to the blissful carving grounds, and that only one or two young fellows were around to preserve the heritage. They say Bankura (did I get that right?) is the place of choice for neem-deities these days.