Waking the Deities

The following procedure assumes the deities are in beds. If they are not sleeping in beds then skip the part of the procedure that asks you to take the Lord out of bed and while touching the deity’s lotus feet chant the prayers for waking. You may chant the prayes in English, or your own language, if you do not want to chant the Sanskrit prayers.

  • If you are worshiping Gaura-Nitai deities then first wake your spiritual master then Gaura-Nitai.
  • If you are worshiping Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra as well as Gaura-Nitai then first wake your spiritual master, then Gaura-Nitai then Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra.
  • If you are worshiping Radha-Krsna and Gaura-Nitai, first wake your spiritual master, then Gaura-Nitai then Radha-Krsna.
  • If you are worshiping all three sets of deities, first wake your spiritual master, then Gaura-Nitai, then Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, and then Radha-Krsna.

Checklist

You will need the following items:

  1. a small bell on a plate
  2. an acamana cup containing fresh water and a spoon
  3. a mat (asana) for you to sit on
  4. Before beginning perform simple acamana (see description), then
  5. Offer obeisances to your spiritual master, reciting his pranama prayer(s), and pray for his blessings to assist him in the worship of the Lord:

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate [spiritual master's name] iti namine

I offer my respectful obeisances unto [spiritual master’s name], who is very dear to Lord Krsna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

Before entering the room (or the altar area), make a sound, either ringing a bell, clapping your hands, or knocking on the door.

Open the door (or enter the area), turn on the lights, and, chant the names of the deities in a festive mood: jaya sri sri guru-gauranga,
jagannatha-baladeva-subhadra,
radha-krsna-ki jaya! (If you are worshiping other deities, then chant Their names instead of these names. If you are worshiping additional deities, chant Their names also.)

If there are ghee or oil lamps on or near the altar you may light them now.

Wash your hands with a few drops of water from the acamana cup.

Waking the Spiritual Master and the Deities

While ringing a small bell with the left hand, approach your spiritual master’s picture, gently touch his feet with the fingertips of your right hand, and request him to rise from bed by chanting:

uttisthottistha sri-guro tyaja nidram krpa-maya

O all-merciful spiritual master, please rise from bed.

Meditate that he is rising from bed.

Next approach the bed of Lord Nityananda touch His lotus feet, and request Him to rise:

uttistha jahnavesvara yoga-nidram tyaja prabho
namno hatte divya-namam su-sraddhartham vitarasi

O Nityananda, Lord of Jahnava, please arise and give up Your divine sleep. At the marketplace of the holy name You distribute the divine name, asking only for one’s faith as payment.

Then approach the bed of Lord Caitanya touch His lotus feet, and request Him to rise:

uttisthottistha gauranga jahi nidram mahaprabho
subha-drsti-pradanena trailokya-mangalam kuru

O Lord Gauranga, please rise from sleep and bless the three worlds with Your auspicious glance.

Next approach the bed of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama, and Srimati Subhadra, touch Their lotus feet, first Jagannatha, then Balarama and then Srimati Subhadra, and chant:

tyaja nidram jagan-natha sri-baladevottistha ca
jagan-matar ca subhadre uttisthottistha subha-de

O Lord Jagannatha and Lord Baladeva, please give up your sleep and arise. O Srimati Subhadra, dear mother of the universe, please arise and bestow good fortune upon us.

Then approach Radha’s and Krsna’s bed, touch Their lotus feet, first Krsna, and then Radharani, and chant:

go-gopa-gokulananda yasoda-nanda-vardhana
uttistha radhaya sardham pratar asij jagat-pate

O master of the universes, O bliss of Gokula, the cowherds, and the cows, O You who gladden the hearts of Yasoda and Nanda, please rise from bed with Sri Radhika, for morning has come.

Place any small deities that are in bed back on the altar. If there are only large deities, meditate on waking Them and leading Them from Their beds to the altar.

At this time replace any crowns, turbans, or chadars, or veils that are part of the deities’ night dress.

After removing any remaining flowers and garlands from the previous day, clean the deity room floor and then wash your hands. (Garlands offered the previous evening and Tulasi leaves offered the previous day may remain on the deities through Mangala Arati the following morning.)

Now that the deities have been awakened, offer obeisances to Them outside the altar area.