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(C) 1995 by Richard S. Brown
All rights reserved.

The Bona Fide Acamana Philosophy And Method

By Richard Shaw Brown

Vande gurun isha bhaktan.

The reason I am writing is partly because of a BTG article, "Offering Arati" wherein is taught a totally INCORRECT process of "acamana," that completely deviates from the original Gaudiya sampradaya method which is still practiced through out all Gaudiya Math's as well as by all Brahmin Priests in India.

Bona fide Acamaniyam Philosophy:

When you offer acamana (water) to Sri Hari it becomes "prasad" (offered) and one's hand becomes "prasadi" (touched to prasad); also, when one sips the water the hand becomes "juta" (touched to mouth), so in both cases one's hand is unfit for a second acamana without washing each time.

Bona fide Acamaniyam Method:

One should take the acamana spoon in their left hand, dip purified water, and pour the purified water into the right hand, which should be formed palm up with the tip of the thumb touching the first joint of the middle finger.

Then one should recite, "Om Vishnu! Om Vishnu! Om Vishnu!" and then, "Om kesavaya namah!" followed by sipping the water from the wrist. Then again one should take more water with the left hand and wash off the right before the next acamana ("Om Vishnu! Om Vishnu! Om Vishnu! "Om Narayanaya namah!," etc.).

After each acamana the right hand should be washed off by throwing a spoon full of holy water on it and tossing the water aside; thus one's hand is no longer "juta" nor "prasadi."

Please Help Preserve the Bona fide Acamaniyam System:

At a recent Iskcon initiation ceremony being conducted in Vrindavan I could hear and see the new devotees being misinformed by the ill trained priest to pour water in their right hand, then drink half the water and throw away the rest; then take water for the next one (without washing off their "prasadi" & "juta" hand).

In the BTG article it was taught that after sipping water one should pour more water for the next sip without cleaning the hand first.

These teachings are all utter non-sense, which completely contradict the bona fide acamana philosophy and system as explained above.

I can see from this and many other examples that Iskcon leaders are stupidly and mistakenly changing the bona fide and logical system set by the previous Acaryas as handed down from Vedic times. Iskcon, from "absolute" communist party leaders down to pitiful worker ants, needs to get properly trained by the Gaudiya Matha experts before even more deviations become imbedded into the Iskcon society and future generations learn things wrongly. Otherwise, Iskcon, like the early Sikhs, will become a totally different cult in sharp contrast of the mother faith of our previous Acaryas from Srila Sarasvati Prabhupada and beyond.