On Chastity and Rules

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
9 October 2019, Kolkata, part 9


Somebody asked me yesterday-there are thirty days in Damodar month, how do we follow it? People follow so many instructions during this time—there are so many rules about what should be taken and what should not be taken. I told that it is not necessary. Gurudev told also that we cannot avoid everything during the Kartik month, or Damodar month, because many foreign devotees come at this time and it is hard to follow all rules of Damodar month at this time. You can observe it properly for three days at the temple, starting from the purnima. It is sufficient.

You can take khoi in the morning instead of muri. Khoi and muri are different—muri is first boiled, then puffed; and khoi is puffed dry rice. It is very difficult to take khoi for us, the same as atop chal (raw, not parboiled rice). We never take atop chal, but I have seen that most foreign countries take that atop chal (not parboiled rice). Gurudev could not digest it, neither can I. This rice is good for those who have dysentery problem.

Anyhow, at noon you can offer some subjis to the Deities, mix it then with dal and take; and chapati at night time. Foreign devotees always take chapati and one subji at night time any way. Only we do not take beans, sim beans (flat beans), lau (gourd, calabash), begun (aubergine), sak (spinach). You can make some fries, but the problem is that in some places ladies do not use oil for the whole month. I always say it is not necessary—you may not use mustard oil, but you can use coconut oil instead then. What is the problem? How can one cook without oil for one month? Also, they do not cut nails, sleep on the floor, etc. during this month—there are so many rules... It is cold in Vrindavan in Kartik month—they sleep on the floor and become sick.

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswat Thakur followed the Damodar month rules, and that is why some devotees do not come to our temple on festival days—they say that we do not follow the Damodar vrata properly, so they avoid coming to our temple. We do not follow it because Gurudev told us that we can use everything on festival days. Sometimes we also make some other things—for example, we are not supposed to use tomato during this time, so we make pine-apple chutney instead of tomato chutney. We may not use beans, sim, begun, etc., but there are many other subjis also that we can offer to the Deities.

When you do archan, puja, etc. you must follow the viddhi-marga, but the main thing is that you may be doing everything, following all these rules but at the same time you are not following the instruction of Gurudev. The difficulty is that we can be following so many rules and regulations, but we may not be following Gurudev's instruction, we may not be loyal, not chaste to our Guru...



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