ISKCON New Goloka

Hare Krishna Bhakti Yoga Center

Founder Acharya His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Deity Seva

Deity Worship

This is very important business, Deity worship. The more the Deity is decorated, the more your heart will be decorated with Krishna consciousness.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 7, 1974)

“The Lord is transcendental to our mundane senses. He cannot be seen with our present eyes, nor can He be heard with our present ears. To the degree that we have entered into the service of the Lord or to the proportion to which our lives are freed from sins, we can perceive the Lord. But even though we are not free from sins, the Lord is kind enough to allow us the facility of seeing Him in His arca-murtis in the temple. The Lord is all-powerful, and therefore He is able to accept our service by presentation of His arca form. No one, therefore, should foolishly think the arca in the temple to be an idol. Such an arca-murti is not an idol but the Lord Himself, and to the proportion to which one is freed from sins, he is able to know the significance of the arca-murti. The guidance of a pure devotee is therefore always required.”(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.1.17, Purport)

We have to worship the deity according to the authorized system. In our Gaudiya-sampradaya there is an authorized system given by the Gosvamis, and that is presented in a book called Hari-bhakti-vilasa. Everything is stated there, especially how a Vaishnava family should perform its religious functions. The book is in the category called Vaishnava smriti. We follow shruti and smriti. Sruti is the Vedas, and smriti means derived from the Vedas. Srila Rupa Gosvami says in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.101),

pañcaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
“Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanishads, Puranas, and Narada-pañcaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.” 

The transcendental form of the Lord installed in a temple is not different from the Lord personally. Such a form of the Lord is called arca incarnation, and is expanded by the Lord by His internal potency just to facilitate the devotional service of His innumerable devotees who are in the material world.

-Srila Prabhupada

“The Lord in the temple in the worshipable form is never to be considered to be made of stone or wood, for the Lord in His arca incarnation as the Deity in the temple shows immense favor to the fallen souls by His auspicious presence.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.21, Purport)

Sri Sri Radha Golokananda Worship

At ISKCON New Goloka, we maintain a high standard of worship of Sri Radha Golokananda with five aratiks (worship services) starting at 4:30am & five opulent bhoga (food) offerings every day based on authorized scriptures like the Narada Pancharatrika. A high standard is maintained in the worship and the food preparation offerings. Below is the schedule for the aratika and darshan times:


4:30 AM – 5:00 AM

7:15 AM – 1:00 PM

(On weekdays darshan closed between 1pm and 4pm, on weekends darshan open entire day)

4:15 PM -5:45 PM

7:00 PM- 8:00 PM


4:30 am Mangala Arati

5:00 am Japa Period

 6:00 am Guru Puja

6:15 am Tulsi Puja

6:30 am Srimad Bhagavatam Class

7:15 am Shringara Aratika Greetings the Deities (7:30 am Breakfast prasadam served)

12:30 PM Raj Bhoga Arati (1:20pm Lunch Prasadam served)

4:15 PM Uttapana Arati

7:00 PM Sandhya Arati 

8:00 PM Darshan/temple closes.

If you would like to serve Their Lordships you can sponsor:

  • the full day seva ($301)
  • Raj Bhoga Aratika and prasadam ($201)
  • Aratika for the day ($108)

Home Worship

“A householder should lead such a life that he gets full opportunity to hear and chant. He should worship the Deity at home, observe festivals, invite friends in and give them prasada. A householder should earn money for this purpose, not for sense gratification.”
-Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada expressed his desire that his householder devotees seriously take up the process of Deity worship in their houses as a practical process of advancing in Krishna consciousness, while simultaneously performing one’s householder duties:

  1. Whoever cares for the Krishna consciousness movement can install Deities at home and, under superior guidance, worship the Deity regularly, chanting the maha-mantra and discussing the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. We are actually teaching in our classes how to go about this… Anyone can do this at home without difficulty, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu requested all the devotees present there to do so.
  2. The worship of the Lord which is performed by householders within their homes is one variety, and that found in the temples of formally installed Deities of the Lord is the second. The first kind is performed with ingredients according to the means of the householder, and is therefore reduced or shortened service. The second type is the worship of the Supreme Lord as a king, in awe and reverence. In such kingly service, regular worship is a necessity; if it is otherwise, sinful reaction is incurred…. Householders, and those who have given up their homes but are carrying on simple Deity worship, are able to offer foodstuffs to the Lord more or less according to the needs of their own families, of associate Vaishnavas, or of guests who come to them. But in kingly service of the Deity everything must be regulated.

Setting Up Your Altar

You’ll likely find that japa and kirtana are more effective when done before an altar. Lord Krishna and His pure devotees are so kind that they allow us to worship them even through their pictures. It’s something like mailing a letter: You can’t mail a letter by placing it in just any box; you must use the mailbox authorized by the government. Similarly, we cannot imagine a picture of God and worship that, but we can worship the authorized picture of God, and Krishna accepts our worship through that picture.

Setting up an altar at home means receiving the Lord and His pure devotees as your most honored guests. Where should you set up the altar? Well, how would you seat a guest? An ideal place would be clean, well lit, and free from drafts and household disturbances. Your guest, of course, would need a comfortable chair, but for the picture of Krishna’s form a wall shelf, a mantelpiece, a corner table, or the top shelf of a bookcase will do. You wouldn’t seat a guest in your home and then ignore him; you’d provide a place for yourself to sit, too, where you could comfortably face him and enjoy his company. So don’t make your altar inaccessible.

What do you need to set up your altar? Here are the essentials:

A picture of Srila Prabhupada. 
A picture of Lord Chaitanya and His associates. (Pancha-Tattva)
A picture of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. 
In addition, you may want:

an altar cloth, 
water cups (one for each picture), 
candles with holders, 
a special plate for offering food, 
a small bell, incense, 
an incense holder, 
and fresh flowers, which you may offer in vases or simply place before each picture. 

The first person we worship on the altar is the spiritual master. The spiritual master is not God. Only God is God. But because the spiritual master is His dearmost servant, God has empowered him, and therefore he deserves the same respect as that given to God. He links the disciple with God and teaches him the process of bhakti yoga. He is God’s ambassador to the material world. When a president sends an ambassador to a foreign country, the ambassador receives the same respect as that accorded the president, and the ambassador’s words are as authoritative as the president’s. Similarly, we should respect the spiritual master as we would God, and revere his words as we would His.

Everyone who takes up the process of bhakti-yoga as a result of coming in contact with the Hare Krishna movement owes an immense debt of gratitude to Srila Prabhupada. Before Srila Prabhupada left India in 1965 to spread Krishna consciousness abroad, almost no one outside India knew anything about the practice of pure devotional service to Lord Krishna. Therefore, everyone who has learned of the process through his books, his Back to Godhead magazine, his tapes, or contact with his followers should offer respect to Srila Prabhupada. As the founder and spiritual guide of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, he is the instructing guru of us all. By reading his books, following the regulative principles, chanting the prescribed number of rounds, and following his instructions we can be a loyal disciple.

The second picture on your altar should be one of the Pancha-Tattva (Lord Caitanya and His four leading associates). Lord Caitanya is the incarnation of God for this age. He is Krishna Himself, descended in the form of His own devotee to teach us how to surrender to Him, specifically by chanting His holy names and performing other activities of bhakti-yoga. Lord Caitanya is the most merciful incarnation, for He makes it easy for anyone to attain love of God through the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra.

And of course your altar should have a picture of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna with His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani. Srimati Radharani is Krishna’s internal potency. She is devotional service personified, and devotees always take shelter of Her to learn how to serve Krishna.

You can arrange the pictures in a triangle, with the picture of Srila Prabhupada on the left, the picture of Lord Chaitanya and His associates on the right, and the picture of Radha and Krishna (slightly larger than the others, if possible) on a small raised platform behind and in the center. Or you can hang the picture of Radha and Krishna on the wall above the altar.

Carefully clean the altar each morning. Cleanliness is essential in Deity worship. Remember, you wouldn’t neglect to clean the room of an important guest, and when you establish an altar you invite Krishna and His pure devotees to reside as the most exalted guests in your home. If you have water cups, rinse them out and fill them with fresh water daily. Then place them conveniently close to the pictures. You should remove flowers in vases as soon as they’re slightly wilted, or daily if you’ve offered them at the base of the pictures. You should offer fresh incense at least once a day, and, if possible, light candles and place them near the pictures when you’re chanting before the altar.

Please try the things we’ve suggested so far. It’s very simple, really: If you try to love God, you’ll gradually realize how much He loves you. That’s the essence of bhakti-yoga.

Offering food to Krishna

Preparing and offering food to the Lord shows Him our devotion and gratitude. Krishna doesn’t need to eat, of course, but He accepts the love with which we offer food to Him. 

As far as possible, use fresh, natural ingredients for cooking. Krishna accepts only vegetarian food, and packaged, store-bought products may contain meat, fish, or eggs. So read labels carefully. 

Cleanliness is important in cooking for Krishna. Wash your hands before you begin. And don’t taste the food while cooking; the meal is for Krishna’s pleasure, so He should taste it first.

It’s best to have a new set of dinnerware used only for Krishna’s offerings and not used by anyone else. 

Place the plate in front of Krishna and ask Him to accept the offering. Then, in a mood of assisting the pure devotees, offer the preparations to Krishna while reciting the following prayers:

Prayers for Offering Food to Krishna

nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale

srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine


I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Chaitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

namo maha-vadanyaya

krishna-prema-pradaya te

krishnaya krishna-chaitanya-

namne gaura-tvishe namah

O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.

namo brahmanya-devaya

go-brahmana-hitaya ca

jagad-dhitaya krishnaya

govindaya namo namah

My Lord, You are the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas,and You are the well-wisher of the entire human society and world.

You can also chant the Pancha Tattva and Hare Krsna mantras three times:

sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu-nityananda

sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda

“I offer my obeisances to Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa and all others in the line of devotion”

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Leave the plate there for a few minutes, just as you would if a loved one was eating.

Remove the plate, transfer the food to a serving plate, and wash Krishna’s dinnerware. The food is now prasadam, or “mercy” from Krishna. 

While you eat, consider the spiritual value of the food; because Krishna has accepted it, it is spiritually identical to Him. Therefore by eating prasadam you become purified. 

Everything you offer Krishna becomes spiritualized prasadam—flowers, incense, water, food. All prasadam should be respected and shared with others. Spread the mercy around.