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  1. I actually have a Ganesha murti, but only accidentally. I bought it a few years ago at some "exotic crafts" store. Can I use the statue instead of a picture? I'll admit, I am very low on money and can't really afford expensive altar things, though I would love to. I'm hoping to set up an altar this weekend since it's my last week of school. Don't a lot of Hindu altars/shrines offer incense? I have tons and tons of incense cones(regular incense is way too strong for me) that I need to get rid of, if you know what I mean. The problem is, I have 2 Doves that live in my room with me, as well as a hamster. Due to this, incense is a no-no. What can I include with my altar that will give off fresh scent that is not dangerous to animals? I was thinking fresh flowers or something like scent pouches.
  2. Once again, very informative! Thanks again Mike. There is a Gaudiya temple(the Hare Krsna one) here in Chicago, but still, that's too far of a drive for me to go to. Such a shame, because I would love to partake in the kirtans. It just seems too difficult for me to have any sort of religious life anymore due to school(and on top of that, I have to share a dorm with other people, so no privacy) and having to work. I just feel too entrapped in materialism right now. At this point, home worship is the best way to go. Which reminds me, I have no clue what to include with a shrine. I'd like to get a murti of Sri Krsna, but I suppose that's not necessary? I guess a picture will do, because that's the only image I have. Now is prasadam found in all Hindu denominations? I would think so, just because it seems to be a general food offering given to said deity. Too bad, I don't know how to cook lol.
  3. Thanks for your reply. I figured they were the "same" in some way, but in end, different personalities perhaps. I have another question, perhaps you can help answer this one as well? I have never been to a Hindu temple. There are very few around where I live, but there is one about a 45 minutes drive away from me. I am not Indian by birth(think typical American...combinations of European, Asian, and Native American), so how would I be perceived in these temples? I think I would feel odd and out-of-place, like I don't belong there. I figured I will be worshipping at home for a very long time.
  4. Thank you MikeMalaysia. Your post was by far the best. I figured "demigods" was not a correct term that was something that might have been invented by Srila Prabhupada when translating "Devas" to English. Informative indeed. Thanks. I have several Gita translations, including three from Prabhupada's. His actual translation itself might be fine, but his purports are too confusing to read and understand. I have Juan Mascaro's(spelling) translation which is easy to follow, but it's just too similar to the christian bible in KJV terms. I have a few others as well which are in poetic Victorian English(or Shakespearan English), also too confusing to read. I recently recieved the free silverback edition of Prasad's Bhagavad Gita(gita4free) and it seems simplified enough to read. Thank you for the links as well. I am definitely familiar with those. Have a nice a day. Also Kali, thank you for your answers as well.
  5. But you didn't really answer my questions. I think you're confusing me with ISKCON(?). I don't belong to ISKCON and I don't follow most of their beliefs, although I guess it has come to the fact that Gaudiya=ISKCON now. I never said that I respected OR disrespected any of the Devas; it just so happens I have chosen to only honor Sri Krsna.
  6. Hello all. I'm relatively new to Hinduism(last 6 months maybe) and I follow the Vaisnava sect(not sure if I would consider myself Gaudiya, but I prefer Sri Krsna over Sri Visnu most definitely). I apologize if this is in the wrong section, I'm not really sure where to ask these questions. Rather than post them in separate threads, I just decided to condense them into one single one. I guess these questions relate to Gaudiya Vaisnavism rather than just general Vaisnavism. 1. What is the role of the Devas(demigods) if they are not to be worshipped? From others, I hear, in this case, they are on par with the angels in Christianity: they are semi-divine(not sure if that's the right word) beings but they are not to be worshipped? 2. Despite the fact that if Krsna is the supreme godhead, is Visnu+Krsna one-in-the-same? Or is Krsna different from Visnu? Or is Visnu different than Krsna? 3. What is the best way to study the Bhagavad Gita? I'll admit I have read the Bhagavad Gita, but some of the stuff just doesn't click(meaning I can't remember anything I read). I also have a journal and was wondering what kinds of things I would put in this "Vaisnava" journal...thoughts, meditations, important verses? Sorry if these are odd questions. I ask that those reply try to give me answers that I can understand(if you give Sanskrit terms for example, tell me what they mean, because I have little knowledge of any Sanskrit) and not just some giant wall of text(in which case, I won't read it ).
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