The Right Mood of Worship
If you want to make someone happy, the first rule is to serve that person according to how they want to be served. When we want to make Krishn happy, the same rule applies to us too. We need to do what he likes and this is known as tat-sukh-sukhitva: "I will be happy if you are happy.”
We often see people serving Shri Krishn according to their own feelings, but this is not the right mood of worship, because we need to establish our relationship with him first. For example, in recent years, many devotees have started carrying Laddu Gopal or Shri Radha Krishn deities in baskets without observing any standards of cleanliness.
They may wipe the sweat from their face and then touch Krishn, or even feed him with dirty hands while they themselves are eating. Ask yourselves this: have I seen any authentic saints, sages or gurus carry their Thakurjis in a basket? We have to remember that Krishn does not belong to us yet. You may call him “Radharaman” or “Radhavallabh”, but do you know the meaning of these Names? It means he is Radha's Beloved.
Thus in the romantic mood, Krishn’s worship should be done the way Radha wants. Similarly, if you are caring for Laddu Gopal, you must always remember that he is Yashoda’s son. Your own personal preferences and standards have no place here. Instead, Krishn should be served the way Yashoda wants. When Yashoda Maiya is satisfied that you can really take care of Krishn, then by her grace, you will attain an authentic divine mood and begin to experience a direct relationship with him. Once your relationship is truly established, Krishn may tell you himself how he wants to be served. He may even come to receive your offerings in person, the way Jagannath Dev accepted Karmabai’s khichdi, or how Shrinathji went all the way to Agra to enjoy Krishn Das’s jalebis.
If we want to please Krishn and attain a relationship with him, we must approach a guru from a Vaishnav Sampradaya who has the divine mood we wish to attain, and who can teach us the proper method and mood of worship. Thus the Shrimad Bhagwatam says:
लबानुगह आचायारत्तेन सनिशर तागमः ।
महा पुरषमभचेन्मूतारिभमतातनः ॥
labdhvānugraha ācāryāt tena sandarśitāgamaḥ ।
mahā puruṣam-abhyarcen mūrtyābhimatyātmanaḥ ॥
“After receiving the guru’s mercy and learning the rules of worship from him, you should worship your beloved Krishn in the form of the deity.” (11.3.48)