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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The Choice; Krishna or Maya?

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…So Krsna and maya are side by side. As soon as you forget Krsna, or as soon as you want to utilize Krsna for your sense gratification, it is immediately maya, darkness. And as soon as you want to serve Krsna, immediately it is light. So if we keep ourself on this side, light side, always serving Krsna, then there is no possibility of our being in contact with maya.

“The Choice; Krishna Or Maya”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.18
August 21, 1972, Los Angeles

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

nasta-prayesv abhadresu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
[SB 1.2.18]

Translation: “By regularly hearing the Bhagavatam and rendering service unto the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is practically destroyed, and loving service unto the glorious Lord, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.”

Prabhupada: So here it is said bhagavata-sevaya, not bhagavan-sevaya. Bhagavan is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and bhagavata means in relation with Bhagavan, who has got relationship with Bhagavan. So here it is recommended bhagavata-sevaya, not bhagavan-sevaya. The idea is that you cannot approach Bhagavan, God, directly. That is not possible. First of all, you have to serve bhagavata, the devotee bhagavata.

There are two kinds of bhagavata: book bhagavata and devotee bhagavata. So in the Siva Purana, there was a question by Parvati to Lord Siva. Lord Siva and Parvati, husband and wife. Parvati means the material nature. Srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga [Bs. 5.44]. Durga-devi. Durga-devi is in charge of this material world. It is called durga, durga, just like fort. And the superintendent of this fort is Durga. You cannot go out of this fort; you are imprisoned. So such Durga-devi, who is so powerful energy — she can create, annihilate, maintain, srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana — she is always sitting by the side of her husband, Lord Siva, and questioning about spiritual enquiries. Just see. Such powerful deity is also ignorant about spiritual life. So the husband, Lord Siva, is Vaisnava, and she’s always asking, and sitting down underneath a bael tree. She can create so many universes, but for her, no building; only underneath a tree.

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Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada


Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Thinking back to the late sixties and early seventies, I fondly remember how the Hare Krsna mantra had already infiltrated contemporary culture due to Srila Prabhupada’s extraordinary efforts to spread the holy names throughout the world. A number of famous musicians and artists had begun to discover the chanting and were promoting it in their records and books.

For example, the Broadway musical “Hair” was a big hit and the accompanying record — which included the chanting of Hare Krsna — became a popular staple on the radio. George Harrison recorded the song “My Sweet Lord” with the melodious chanting of Krsna’s names in the background, and prior to that, the words “Hare Krsna” could be found on one of the Beatles’ albums. Poet Allen Ginsberg, a self-styled leader of the new counterculture, had visited India and picked up the mantra there. He subsequently wrote about the chanting in at least one or more of his poetry books. After meeting Prabhupada at 26 Second Avenue in the Lower East Side of New York, Ginsberg increased his dedication to the holy names and often chanted them during “be-ins” and poetry readings. When John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their famous “bed-in” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal in 1969, the devotees were there singing Hare Krsna during the recording of “Give Peace a Chance.” The “Radha Krsna Temple” album produced by George Harrison in 1970 in co-operation with the London devotees could be found in record stores throughout Europe and North America. Such was the widespread influence of Srila Prabhupada’s dynamic preaching efforts even though he had only been in the western world for a short period of time. Srila Prabhupada was already expertly fulfilling the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj.

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Lord Shiva; Greatest Devotee of Krsna

Lord Shiva; Greatest Devotee of Krsna
by krishnasmercy.org

Shivaratri is the celebration festival for Lord Shiva, one of the three presiding deities of the material world. To manage the material world, Lord Krishna incarnates as three guna avatars, Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, and Lord Shiva. Guna means qualities, and each of the deities preside over a specific quality of material nature. Lord Vishnu represents the mode of goodness, Lord Brahma the mode of passion, and Lord Shiva the mode of ignorance or darkness.

Lord Shiva is known as Mahadeva, or the great god or demigod. He is known as the highest demigod because he is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu or Krishna. Lord Shiva is always seen seated in a yoga posture and meditating, for his mind is in deep concentration on the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. Like other demigods, he has been deputed by Lord Krishna to provide material benedictions to those who worship him. Lord Shiva is generally the demigod to go to for people in the mode of ignorance. People in the mode of ignorance usually crave material benedictions and they know that Lord Shiva is very easily pleased, so they go to him to fulfill their desires.

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