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Question: Why do we worship the deities multiple times in a day and Tulasi arati twice a day? Why cannot we have it just one time?

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Jayapataka Swami: Well, if we want to worship the deity once in a day and you have installed deity or practice deity, that may be alright. But generally, the devotees like to worship Krsna throughout the day and night, according to His lila. So, begin at Brahma muhurta, then after the arati, He takes His bath, He changes clothes. The pujari bathes the Lord, changes His clothes and then at 7 a.m., there is the Shringar arati, where we see the Lord freshly dressed in new clothes. Then at 8.15 a.m. or so, He takes His breakfast. That is called the (_________ balya) bhoga. Then after breakfast is over, He wakes up and He gives darshan to His devotees. In Mayapur at 11.45 a.m. He takes His lunch and then after lunch He is offered the Raja bhoga arati and different devotees do the pushpanjali and the darshan closes at 1 p.m. when He rests. Then He wakes up at 4 p.m. and then He takes a little fruit snack. We offer dhoop arati and when He takes His evening dinner, then the temple is closed. Then they do the Tulasi puja. See Tulasi is not generally worshiped when the Lord is open. So after mangala arati when the Lord’s doors are closed, He takes a bath, and has new clothes put on, then we do the Tulasi puja and the Tulasi parikrama. And then similarly in the evening before the arati, when the Lord is taking His dinner, we do another quick Tulasi puja and parikrama. Then we have the Sandhya arati at around 6 p.m. or 6.30 p.m.. Then we offer the Sandhya arati, kiba jaya jaya Gauracander, we offer the arati. The main aratis in the day are Mangala arati, Raja bhoga arati at 12 noon and the Sandhya arati. The other aratis are more compact. So after the Sandhya arati there is usually a parikrama, a Bhagavad Gita class, the doors close and then He wears His night dress and some evening snacks. Then He is open, in Mayapur, at say, 8 p.m., I think 8.30 p.m. or 8.45 p.m. and then He is kept open for 15 minutes and then He closes. Then He rests for the night. Sometimes a devotee plays the sitar and sings lullabies for the Lord to take rest, then He takes in His room, He is in His bed, till the next morning, He wakes up before 4.30 a.m. and starts the day again! So basically, we do the whole daily routine of the Lord. We don’t think of the deity as some statue or something. We think of the Deity as Arca Avatar and worship of the Deity is Arcana. And that is one of the nine processes of bhakti yoga. So the devotee likes to do all the daily worship for the Lord, to become very close to the Lord and to develop the spontaneous devotion and love. So I told the daily schedule. On special holy days there are special programs. Like on Janamastami, we have a two-hour abhishek. So the devotees may like to do that worship because it is very enjoyable to serve the Lord. It is not a burden. The way you have asked the question, it seems like you think it is a burden! Why do we have to worship the Lord so many times? A neophyte thinks it is a burden, but the advanced devotee he is very pleased to worship the Lord. He thinks he is blessed by the opportunity to offer some personal service to the Lord! Haribol!