Svaroop Seva

Old or New?

 

In our culture, when we decide to start a new seva, we always acquire a new svaroop.  Sometimes the svaroop is purchased, gifted or commissioned for the new seva.  New svaroop represents a new beginning and new relationship between the deity and the worshipper.  Svaroop should be checked to make sure there are no flaws or disfigurement before beginning its worship.

Svaroops to be worshipped can be made from stone, metal, ivory, wood or drawn on paper.   

In Hinduism, and Pushti Marg, we do not usually worship a svaroop that has been worshiped by others.  Unless we know the history of the svaroop and know the person who worshiped it before us, it is considered inappropriate to worship svaroops worshiped by anyone else before us. 

Mantra, sadhana, seva and bhava that are repeated on a daily basis, concentrates the energy of such sadhana in the mantra, yantra, murti or chitraji that is worshiped with these mantra, sadhana, seva and bhava .  If this is done over sufficiently long period of time, spiritual energy of the worship becomes rather potent.  Unless you know how to harness such energy, it can impact your own sadhana and it take you in a direction you did not intend to go in.  

Each person has their own bhava, their own reasons for doing sadhana / seva  and their own way of actually doing the seva / sadhana.  Thakorji obviously gets used to a particular sevak and their way of doing seva.  So change of sevak changes everything for Thakorji.  It is best to have any such changes in sadhana clearly communicated to the worshiper and the worshipped, thus avoiding confusion and helping sadhak achieve their spiritual goal. 

For this reason, people should think very hard before taking over someone else’s seva.  It is a great privilege and a very serious responsibility.  Unless the transfer of spiritual energy is smoothed over, it can impact your own sadhana in ways neither of you intended.  Spiritually advanced guru would make sure the svaroop that is transferred to a new sadhak is done so in the correct manner, matching the energy of the spiritual sadhana of the old and new sadhak. 

For this reason, in Pushti Marg, the usual procedure for transferring Thakorjis is to have the Thakorji bathed in panchamrit and the guru offers a new dedication from the new sevak to the Thakorji, stating exactly what the new seva procedure will be.  Ideally, it would be best to have such transfer of seva guided by a guru who understands the underlying bhav of both old and new sevaks.  

Because of the inherent spiritual complexities of a mismatch between old and new sevaks and their sadhanas, in most cases, once a person passes away the svaroop they worshiped is either returned to the guru who gave it to them or placed in a sacred river.  Returning it to the Guru / ashram / temple allows the energy of the Thakorji to return to its origin and merge with the energy of the sacred institution where it came from.  Alternatively, the Thakorji is submerged in a sacred river or a holy pond.  Water is one of the best ways to dissipate the spiritual energy of the sadhak for the benefit of everyone.  By submerging the Thakorji in a sacred water source, energy of the svaroop is merged with the energy of the sacred waters - tirtha.      

 

Radha Raman of Vrindavan (antique svaroop, made from Shaligram stone)

BBBhagwat Shah © 

 

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