What is the Position of Lord Shiva?

Lord Shiva

What is the Position of Lord Shiva?
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(excerpted from Bhagavad-gita class, Dec. 11, 1967)

Madhudvisa: Prabhupāda? What is the position of Lord Shiva?

Prabhupāda: Lord Shiva is a demigod, but he is higher than all other demigods. He’s higher than Lord Brahmā also. But he’s not the Supreme Lord. Just like there are different gradations. That is not difficult to understand. In society also, there are different gradations. Similarly, the living entities, there are different gradations. Some of the living entities are situated in higher planets, some of them are situated in lower planets and some of them are situated in high-grade life and some in low-grade life. So the demigods are also living entities, but they are enjoying better standard of life due to their acts of piety. But Lord Shiva is not amongst the living entities. He’s above the living entities but he is counted as one of the demigods. But his position is better than Lord Brahmā even. Brahmā is said to be the highest living entity within the universe, and Lord Shiva’s position is higher than that of Lord Brahmā.

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Goddess Worship

Sarasvati the Goddess of Learning

Sarasvatī, the Goddess of Learning

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The other day I was doing some service at the Hare Krishna Temple here in New Vrindavan, West Virginia, and I ran into some Indian guests. After we greeted each other one of them asked me “when did you become a Hindu?” “I never became a Hindu” I replied, “I am a Hare Krishna devotee, a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I am not a Hindu. I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

So just to make things a little clearer…both to myself and others, I did some research from Srila Prabhupada’s books to find the proper understanding of Goddess Worship, or worship of the demigods.

…Worship of demigods is discouraged herein because even the greatest demigods like Brahmā and Śiva only represent part of the opulence of the Supreme Lord. (Bg 10.42)

…The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, and all-powerful demigods like Brahmā and Śiva are engaged in the worship of Viṣṇu or Lord Kṛṣṇa; therefore who can be more powerful than Mukunda (Lord Kṛṣṇa) to be factually called the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmījī, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are not independently powerful; they are powerful as expansions of the Supreme Lord, and all of them are engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and so also are the living entities. (from purport SB 1.18.21)

…Both the living entity and the demigods are subordinate to the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead…not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Generally, persons who are distressed in the material world go to the demigods, as they are advised in the Vedic literature. A person wanting some particular thing may worship such and such a demigod. For example, a diseased person is recommended to worship the sun-god; a person wanting education may worship the goddess of learning, Sarasvatī; and a person wanting a beautiful wife may worship the goddess Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva. In this way there are recommendations in the śāstras (Vedic scriptures) for different modes of worship of different demigods. And because a particular living entity wants to enjoy a particular material facility, the Lord inspires him with a strong desire to achieve that benediction from that particular demigod, and so he successfully receives the benediction. The particular mode of the devotional attitude of the living entity toward a particular type of demigod is also arranged by the Supreme Lord. The demigods cannot infuse the living entities with such an affinity, but because He is the Supreme Lord or the Supersoul who is present in the heart of all living entities, Kṛṣṇa gives impetus to man to worship certain demigods. (from purport Bg 7.21)

…Everyone thinks that his intelligence is perfect. Sometimes one employs his intelligence in the worship of Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva, in order to obtain a beautiful wife. Sometimes, when one wants to become as learned as Lord Brahmā, he employs his intelligence in the worship of the goddess of learning, Sarasvatī. Sometimes, when one wishes to become as opulent as Lord Viṣṇu, he worships the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī.

Intelligence should be employed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as one uses his intelligence in this way, the goddess of fortune automatically becomes favorable to him. The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, never remains without her husband, Lord Viṣṇu. Consequently, when one worships Lord Viṣṇu he automatically obtains the favor of the goddess of fortune. (from purport SB 4.25.28)

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Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb

Prayers by the Demigods1

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This morning I was reading Chapter Two in the Krsna Book, the chapter entitled “Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb” and I was reminded of this above image from the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, that I like very much. So I thought I would share this image with you, along with the brief chapter description. Hare Krishna!

…when the Supreme Personality of Godhead entered the womb of Devakī to kill Kaṁsa, all the demigods understood that the Lord was living within Devakī’s womb, and therefore in veneration they offered Him the Garbha-stuti prayers. (from chapter description SB 10.2)

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The Goddess Durga

Durga1

This morning, the above picture of the Goddess Durga crossed my desk, so I thought I would do a short post on Her. After some research in Srila Prabhupada’s books it is described: “Following the orders of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the goddess Durgā creates, maintains and annihilates…Because the goddess Durgā satisfies Kṛṣṇa, we should therefore offer respects to goddess Durgā.” As devotees there is no need to worship the demigods, but because the demigods are also servants of Lord Krishna, we offer them our respect.

…Durgā—the goddess Pārvatī, the wife of Lord Śiva—is extremely powerful. She can create, maintain and annihilate any number of universes by her sweet will, but she acts under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, not independently. Kṛṣṇa is impartial, but because this is the material world of duality, such relative terms as happiness and distress, curses and favors, are created by the will of the Supreme. Those who are not nārāyaṇa-para, pure devotees, must be disturbed by this duality of the material world, whereas devotees who are simply attached to the service of the Lord are not at all disturbed by it. For example, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was beaten with cane in twenty-two bazaars, but he was never disturbed; instead, he smilingly tolerated the beating. Despite the disturbing dualities of the material world, devotees are not disturbed at all. Because they fix their minds on the lotus feet of the Lord and concentrate on the holy name of the Lord, they do not feel the so-called pains and pleasures caused by the dualities of this material world. (from purport SB 6.17.29)

This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again. (Bg 9.10)

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Demigod Worship

1Ganesh

On Demigod Worship

“Concerning Ganesa worship, it is not actually necessary for us. But, if someone has a sentiment for getting the blessings of Ganesa in order to get large amounts of money for Krishna’s service, then it is alright, but anyone who takes up this kind of worship must send me at least 100,000 dollars monthly—not less. If he cannot send this amount, then he cannot do Ganesa worship.” (Srila Prabhupada letter to Bhakta das, February 1, 1975) This is an example of Srila Prabhupada’s extraordinary sense of humor…

…There is no need to worship demigods of whatsoever category if one is serious about going back to Godhead. In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20,23) it is clearly said that those who are mad after material enjoyment approach the different demigods for temporary benefits, which are meant for men with a poor fund of knowledge. We should never desire to increase the depth of material enjoyment. Material enjoyment should be accepted only up to the point of the bare necessities of life and not more or less than that. To accept more material enjoyment means to bind oneself more and more to the miseries of material existence. (from purport to SB 1.2.27)

…The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vṛndāvana, which are full of happiness. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was in Vṛndāvana, His activities with His cowherd boy friends, with His damsel friends, with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vṛndāvana knew nothing but Kṛṣṇa. But Lord Kṛṣṇa even discouraged His father Nanda Mahārāja from worshiping the demigod Indra because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod. They need only worship the Supreme Lord because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode. (from Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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