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Q&A: Should Matajis Offer Full Flat Obeisances in Krishna Temple?

Bliss facebook subscribers don't just get the Matchless Gift magazine for free every month - they also get access to monthly Q&A sessions with Bliss founder, His Grace Purujit Dasa! Here Bliss subscriber Maren asks His Grace Purujit Prabhu a question about mataji (women) etiquette in Krishna temples...

Q&A: Should Matajis Offer Dandavat Pranam in Krishna Temple?

Hare Krsna dear Prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances and all glories to Srila Prabhupada. I hope it is alright to ask you a question. What is the right way for matajis to offer dandvat pranam in front of the deities? Also lying on the floor or just bowing down? I've seen the matajis in your temple lying down when entering the room. Thank you for clarifying. A few devotees and I are running a house program and the question was raised after I was lying down as the altar was opened and a more advanced Godbrother told me that matajis wouldn't do it that way. Hare Krsna!

His Grace Purujit Prabhu is the founder of Bliss temples around Europe and in Canada. He shares the teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada to his students worldwidde, at the Bliss London temple, and online to his many facebook followers
His Grace Purujit Prabhu is the founder of Bliss temples around Europe and in Canada. He shares the teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada to his students worldwide, at the Bliss London temple, and online to his many facebook followers


Hare Krishna, Maren. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you for your message and inquiry. With any such controversy, difference of some particular formality, we have to always come to Srila Prabhupada for guidance. So unless there is any such quote that Matajis cannot offer full flat dandavats why should we accept it? So far I have studied Srila Prabhupada's vani I have not come acrosss such an instruction, but maybe there is and in that case your advanced Godbrother can be a very helpful to our spiritual advancement by supplying such a quote.

Here I supply photograph from BTG magazine printed in Srila Prabhupada's time. Also there is a shot of Mataji paying full dandavats in one Hare Krishna movie shot in Srila Prabhupada's times so I do not think this is a crime. After all, somehow or other the Matajis are paying dandavats to the Lord. That should be glorified, not criticized. Your servant, Purujit dasa.

Mataji pays full dandavats in front of Hare Krishna deity

Here is the part of the movie where Mataji is paying full flat dandavats:

Srila Prabhupada saw this movie and liked it.

Here the Hare Krishna People film by Yadubara is very much appreciated. Just encourage Yadubara to make more films. He can do nicely. > Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Ramesvara: -- Ahmedabad 29 September, 1975

Lord Krishna black deity
Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He is known only by executing pure devotional service

In 1973 Visakha and I flew to New York to start work on "The Hare Krishna People." We heard we would need six or seven people to make the film, but we ended up doing everything ourselves. I bought a manual of movie-making, and Visakha and I planned out our work. With her doing the sound and me doing the photography, the documentary took ten months. We spent five months shooting in Europe, Mexico, and the United States. Then we settled in New York for five more months to edit. Srila Prabhupada likes "The Hare Krishna People" very much. He's seen it at least a dozen times and has urged me, "Make more films about Krsna consciousness." Yadubara Prabhu

This is a portion of a book by Mahamaya Devi Dasi where she described how the matajis were paying dandavats in 1971:

Ananga Manjari dasi, who was "Elaine prabhu" at that time, a seventeen-year-old from the Boston area who had been there a few months, took charge of me. She bubbled over with so much enthusiasm that she bounced around the temple. She called me "Emily prabhu," explaining, "We call each other ‘prabhu,' or master, because we are all servants of the servants of Krishna." She asked Carol, the nine-year-old daughter of a devotee, to take me into the second-floor temple room for the first time. I thought I might do something wrong. "Just do whatever I do," Carol advised. She offered her dandavats, falling face down on the floor in full obeisances, and I followed her example. SPIC: Chapter 3 - Boston -- January, 1971

I would particular like to point your attention to this particular passage in Mahamaya Mataji's book:

In the early days in ISKCON we ladies didn't especially think "I am a woman." The men and women stood wherever they liked in the temple room during arati and japa. Both men and women led the kirtans and gave the classes. We didn't mingle freely or talk with each other unless it was related to devotional service, but neither did we dwell on our bodily designations. That wasn't emphasized. However, when our leaders changed policies -- women standing in the back of the temple room out of sight and not offering full dandavats -- thinking the women in ISKCON should behave more like their conception of chaste ladies in India, one unfortunate result was that we all became more bodily conscious instead of more Krishna conscious.

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