Today is the auspicious Maha Sivaratri , a day to honor and pray to lord Siva. Lord Siva is known as Ashutosh, one who is pleased very easily, so somehow if we can please him on this Maha Sivaratri then we can make rapid progress in Krishna consciousness
Who is lord Siva?
He is the greatest of all devotees. Vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh: Sambhu, or Lord Siva, is the ideal
Vaisnava. He constantly meditates upon Lord Rama and chants Hare Rama, Hare
Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Lord Siva has a Visnu-Svami-sampradaya, which is
called the Visnu Svami-sampradaya.
All devotees are dear to lord Siva
Lord Siva continued: Any person who is surrendered to the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Krishna, the controller of everything — material nature
as well as the living entity — is actually very dear to me.
You are all devotees of the Lord, and as such I appreciate that you are
as respectable as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. I know in this
way that the devotees also respect me and that I am dear to them. Thus no one
can be as dear to the devotees as I am.
It is said, vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh: Lord Siva is the best of all devotees. Therefore all devotees of Lord Krsna are also devotees of Lord Siva. In Vrndavana there is Lord Siva’s temple called Gopisvara. The gopis used to worship not only Lord Siva but Katyayani, or Durga, as well, but their aim was to attain the favor of Lord Krishna. A devotee of Lord Krsna does not disrespect Lord Siva, but worships Lord Siva as the most exalted devotee of Lord Krsna. Consequently whenever a devotee worships Lord Siva, he prays to Lord Siva to achieve the favor of Krishna, and he does not request material profit.
Because Lord Siva is a great devotee of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, he loves all the devotees of the Supreme Lord. Lord
Siva told the Pracetas that because they were devotees of the Lord, he loved
them very much. Lord Siva was not kind and merciful only to the Pracetas; anyone who is a devotee of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead is very dear to Lord Siva. Not only are the devotees
dear to Lord Siva, but he respects them as much as he respects the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. Similarly, devotees of the Supreme Lord also worship
Lord Siva as the most dear devotee of Lord Krsna. They do not worship him as a
separate Personality of Godhead. It is stated in the list of nama-aparadhas
that it is an offense to think that the chanting of the name of Hari and the
chanting of Hara, or Siva, are the same. The devotees must always know that
Lord Visnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that Lord Siva is His
A devotee should be offered respect on the level of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, and sometimes even more respect. Indeed, Lord
Rama, the Personality of Godhead Himself, sometimes worshiped Lord Siva. If a
devotee is worshiped by the Lord, why should a devotee not be worshiped by
other devotees on the same level with the Lord? This is the conclusion. From
this verse it appears that Lord Siva blesses the asuras simply for the sake of
formality. Actually he loves one who is
devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Siva + ratri, ratri means night, so Sivaratri means the night
of lord Siva.
Maha Sivaratri comes in the month of Phalgun (February-March).
This ceremony is observed in the honor of lord Siva, who was married to mother
Parvati ( or Durga) on this day, it culminates in the night.
Vaishnavas pray lord
Shiva on this day in order to receive his blessings to become attached to Lord
Lord Siva tells mother Parvati as below in Padma Purana-
ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmāt parataraṁ devi tadīyānāṁ samarcanam
“O Devī, the most exalted system of worship is the
worship of Lord Viṣṇu. Greater than that is the worship of tadīya, or anything
belonging to Viṣṇu.” Śrī Viṣṇu is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1].
Similarly, the most confidential servant of Kṛṣṇa, the spiritual master, and
all devotees of Viṣṇu are tadīya. The sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha, guru, Vaiṣṇavas
and things used by them must be considered tadīya and without a doubt
worshipable by all living beings.
(CC Madhya 12.38p)
How can we please lord
Siva on Maha Sivaratri?
By serving Krishna and His devotees, and by chanting extra
rounds of Hare Krishna mahā-mantra on Maha Sivaratri.
But another very beautiful way to please lord Siva on Maha
Sivaratri is by reciting the prayers lord Siva himself sings in glorification
of Krishna in Srimad Bhagavatam, also known as Rudra Gita (song of lord Siva). As
per lord Siva this is the best prayer
for anyone aspiring for the lotus feet of Krishna.
Now I shall chant one mantra which is not only transcendental, pure and
auspicious, but is the best prayer for anyone who is aspiring to attain the
ultimate goal of life. When I chant this mantra, please hear it carefully and
There are great benedictions given for those fortunate devotees who will faithfully recite these very sweet verses by lord Siva.
A devotee of Lord Krishna whose mind is always absorbed in Him, who with great attention and reverence chants this stotra [prayer], will achieve the greatest perfection of life without delay.
Although rendering devotional
service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and worshiping Him are very
difficult, if one vibrates or simply reads this stotra [prayer] composed and
sung by me, he will very easily be able to invoke the mercy of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is
the dearmost objective of all auspicious benedictions. A human being who sings
this song sung by me can please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a
devotee, being fixed in the Lord’s devotional service, can acquire whatever he
wants from the Supreme Lord.
By investing few thoughtful and attentive moments to recite these verse we can easily please lord Siva on maha Sivaratri and get his blessings. Below is the link from where we can read these prayers, they are from verses 33 to verse 68. ( SB 4.24.33-68)
I continue to hear the most amazing seminar given by HG Srimati Mataji on ‘demons in Krishna’s pastimes and the anarthas they represent’. four days back I heard a beautiful interactive discussion during the seminar with Srimati Mataji, HG Madhavananda Prabhuji and other very realised, and fortunate, devotees.
This particular discussion was part of ‘Krishna kills Kamsa’. The reference of pastime of Dakṣa and lord Siva came to discuss the anartha of pride, coming from karma and jnana.
Here is the relevant section from Srimad Bhagavatam to refresh that incident which led to Daksa cursing lord Siva.
When Daksa, the leader of the Prajäpatis, entered that assembly, his personal bodily luster as bright as the effulgence of the sun, the entire assembly was illuminated, and all the assembled personalities became insignificant in his presence. Influenced by his personal bodily luster, all the fire-gods and other participants in that great assembly, with the exceptions of Lord Brahmä and Lord Siva, gave up their own sitting places and stood in respect for Daksa.
Daksa was adequately welcomed by the president of the great assembly, Lord Brahmä. After offering Lord Brahmä respect, Daksa, by the order of Brahmä, properly took his seat.
Before taking his seat, however, Daksa was very much offended to see Lord Siva sitting and not showing him any respect. At that time, Daksa became greatly angry, and, his eyes glowing, he began to speak very strongly against Lord Siva. All sages, brahmanas and fire-gods present, please hear me with attention, for I speak about the manners of gentle persons. I do not speak out of ignorance or envy. Siva has spoiled the name and fame of the governors of the universe and has polluted the path of gentle manners. Because he is shameless, he does not know how to act. He has already accepted himself as my subordinate by marrying my daughter in the presence of fire and brahmanas. He has married my daughter, who is equal to Gäyatri, and has pretended to be just like an honest person. He has eyes like a monkey’s, yet he has married my daughter, whose eyes are just like those of a deer cub. Nevertheless he did not stand up to receive me, nor did he think it fit to welcome me with sweet words. I had no desire to give my daughter to this person, who has broken all rules of civility. Because of not observing the required rules and regulations, he is impure, but I was obliged to hand over my daughter to him just as one teaches the messages of the Vedas to a Sudra. He lives in filthy places like crematoriums, and his companions are the ghosts and demons. Naked like a madman, sometimes laughing and sometimes crying, he smears crematorium ashes all over his body. He does not bathe regularly, and he ornaments his body with a garland of skulls and bones. Therefore only in name is he Siva, or auspicious; actually, he is the most mad and inauspicious creature. Thus he is very dear to crazy beings in the gross mode of ignorance, and he is their leader. (SB 4.2.5-15)
“Daksa then cursed Lord Siva. Unable to tolerate this, Nandishvara, one of Lord Siva’s principal associate cursed Daksa and all the brahmanas present. Then, as a reaction the sage Bhrgu cursed the followers of Lord Siva.”
The sage Maitreya said: When such cursing and counter cursing was going on between Lord Śiva’s followers and the parties of Dakṣa and Bhṛgu, Lord Śiva became very morose. Not saying anything, he left the arena of the sacrifice, followed by his disciples. (SB 4.2.33)
Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport for the above verse : Here Lord Śiva’s excellent character is described. In spite of the cursing and counter cursing between the parties of Dakṣa and Śiva, because he is the greatest Vaiṣṇava he was so sober that he did not say anything. A Vaiṣṇava is always tolerant, and Lord Śiva is considered the topmost Vaiṣṇava, so his character, as shown in this scene, is excellent. He became morose because he knew that these people, both his men and Dakṣa’s, were unnecessarily cursing and counter cursing one another, without any interest in spiritual life. From his point of view, he did not see anyone as lower or higher, because he is a Vaiṣṇava. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (5.18), paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ: one who is perfectly learned does not see anyone as lesser or greater, because he sees everyone from the spiritual platform. Thus the only alternative left to Lord Śiva was to leave in order to stop his follower, Nandīśvara, as well as Bhṛgu Muni, from cursing and counter cursing in that way.
People’s association with karma and jnana is the result of attachment born from the prejudices of one’s nature that are produced from past karma and jnana…Karmis and jnanis disrespect Vaishnavas only due to this attachment for prejudices…Offenses at the feet of sadhus is due to being proud of one’s karma and jnana…(Such) worldly attachment is contrary to acceptance of Krishna’s undisputed supremacy, and it therefore does not allow the unfortunate living entity to fully surrender to the Lord. (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Sri Bhaktyaloka, “Sanga-tyaga”)
Srimati Mataji then asked the devotees to share there realisation or understanding from the above hearing.
Devotee 1: She shared how when she read the same pastime in Harivamsa Purana there was no mention of how Sati gave up her body and how Siva was offended and how it is given in complete detail in Srimad Bhagavatam. And without these details one could miss the whole point from this pastime. So we are very fortunate to have Srimad Bhagavatam and Prabhupada commentaries.
Srimati Mataji then recounted the same day’s morning lecture which a Sanyasi, I couldn’t get the name, gave at the temple. Maharaj compared Srimad Bhagavatam to the other puranas. Maharaj stated that a major difference between other puranas and Bhagavata Purana is that the Bhagvata purana is concerned only with glorification of Krishna and His devotees. This is a very common thing which is happening throughout the Bhagavatam. Where as there are different emphasis in other puranas, they basically talk about God, they are not talking about Krishna and His associates. In Bhagavatam we get the essence of all things.
The devotee then shared how so many people who have read shastra they keep on arguing about what they read, how their own understanding is right, I know this and I have read that…. but it is only after reading Bhagavatam does one get complete understanding and knowledge.
Srimati mataji added that in the teachings of Lord Kapila Deva in SB 3.29, Lord Kapila states that devotional service is never contaminated but the people who perform are! And they can actually perform it in eighty one different ways, eighty one different modes. (SB 3.29.10). Mataji said this is where the quality of humility comes in.
Srimati Mataji said that these days humility is going out of the window, and we can see how it is going out. Mataji asked ‘Why in the Vedic times, in the gurukul, students would clean everything, they will clean the toilets, they will clean their ashram, wash their own clothes – didn’t send them to a Dhobi. Why ? Because if we want the knowledge to manifest in our heart in a pure and simple way then there has to be humility. And by doing those menial services we imbibe that mood.That we are not someone special. Not like everyone else can clean the ashram and I can read a book! not like that. Mataji said that’s how we see that the real sadhus in Vrindavan they don’t have cleaners. They do everything themselves, they wash their own clothes, they don’t have cooks. I am Thakurji’s servant… I am living here as a servant….servant does these things…servant cleans the house…servant cooks for Thakurji, this is the mood.
Devotee 2: She stated that her understanding from the above is that its Pride which leads one to his downfall. Daksa is expecting respect from Siva, similarly if we have this kind of expectation that people should respect me then it is a sure sign that we will fall down.
Srimati mataji : I really like the input given by Bhaktivinoda Thakura about this attachment to karma and jnana. Daksha was really like a karmi, a first class karmi! So his whole analysis of Siva is through those lenses, Siva doesn’t follow rules and regulations, doesn’t take his bath, and all this stuff. He is looking at him through karma yoga.
Devotee 1 : And Daksa may be he thinking that Siva is making his daughter fall down by not following all the rules, he is not taking bath and all, whereas Daksha had trained his daughter with such high standards!
Devotee 3: This devotee shared that she liked the first devotee’s point of Bhagavatam being so nice and we being so fortunate. She shared how in her initial days in ISKCON she had no ‘ruchi’ (taste) for reading Bhagavatam. Then one prabhuji told her that for increasing attachment, reading Bhagavatam, if we offer one Tulasi to Bhagavatam then Krishna becomes pleased because He is non different from Bhagavatam! And if you offer Tulasi every day then ‘ruchi’ will come. The devotee shared how she started doing it and she started getting taste. Within a short time she not only developed a ‘ruchi’ for bhagavatam but was also received association so many devotees who were all Bhagavatam lovers. Hari Bol !
Madhavanada Prabhuji : Srila Prabhupada writes that both his men and Dakṣa’s, were unnecessarily cursing and counter cursing one another, without any interest in spiritual life. Prabhuji quoted Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who stated that, when people cultivate ‘information-collection’, they cultivate ‘jnana’, they cultivate ‘karma’, some behavioral patterns, without cultivating service to the Vaishnavas, then what happens is that they think that’s spiritual life. And they think that they have become a judge of other people. Rather than they are trying to serve guru, it doesn’t mean that we should not read Bhagavatam- Prabhupada wanted every devotee to read it. But it is one thing to read Bhagavatam as a service to Prabhupada but many other people in the west, we used try to kind of ‘master’ a book. Prabhuji stressed that we can’t ‘master’ Bhagavatam, we can serve the Bhagavatam by serving ‘bhakt’ (devotee) Bhagavat, by preaching, by reading something and trying to help devotees with it.
Prabhuji cautioned that if we just read Bhagavatam only to gather some information, and not doing service, then the result is that we have something but what it turns into is pride! Prabhuji said that’s what it seemed to have happened here, Daksa was seeing that Siva is not auspicious, he wears skulls , doesn’t take bath and this and that. By some point of view of Shastra we can say that, the skulls are very inauspicious, not taking bath is very inauspicious and they have all this information. But because they are not doing service to the Vaishanavas they can’t understand it and they get involve in unnecessary quarrel!
Prabhuji said without service one may think that I am doing the same thing as this senior devotee. I am reading , he is reading, I am chanting, he is chanting but there is a difference in their mood. That devotees is doing it as a service to his guru. And if I am not doing it as a service then the result is I get very proud and then I start seeing faults in others, and feel that I have to correct others.
Devotee 4: This devotee said her that she felt inspired from the line ‘lord Siva felt morose and left the arena without saying any word to others or his disciples’. She shared that she thought that if we really know where we are, where do we want to go and what we want to cultivate then we should not get involve in such things. People can curse and counter curse and if they don’t have faith in you, obviously Daksa had no faith in lord Siva, then just don’t say anything, let them think what they wish to think and just leave.
Madhavanada Prabhuji shared how one acharya has explained that Krishna told the Vrajavasis to close their eyes in both the pastimes of forest fires. But the in the second forest time the next verse stated that the heat was very intense. Prabhuji shared that he thought it was very interesting that though Krishna told them to close their eyes they could still experience the pain and the fire. Prabhuji stated that in a Similar way we may close our eyes to all these arguments we are told to but sometime we still feel the ‘burning sensation’ but like Lord Siva we should just walk away. The ‘burning sensation’ may be there but we should just leave.
Prabhuji shared another gem that Fakir Mohan Prabhuji shared with him that `amanina manadena’ (one should offer all respects to others and expect nothing in return) this is the secret Mahāprabhu has given for our bhajan. Prabhuji said if we just tolerate when other people offend us and we offer them respect then they will leave us alone and ignore us. They won’t take us very seriously. Then we can chant peacefully. Others may think that O! he is not such a maha pandit we thought so, actually I am the maha Pandita. We don’t need a big titles or others to say that he is very knowledgeable to grow in bhakti.
Devotee 1: She shared how she heard in a lecture by HH Radha Govinda Maharaj that his (Siva’s) part (or share) in the sacrificial fire, lord Siva (in the above pastime), he really didn’t want it. Similarly at the time at the time of ‘churning of the milk ocean’ lord Siva didn’t come for drinking the Nectar. He is not interested.
Madhavanada Prabhuji added that when demigods first went to Krishna, how we are going to solve this problem- poison came out. Then Krishna said ‘go and ask lord Siva’. They approached lord Siva. Lord Siva told them why are you asking me ? You should ask Krishna. When demigods told him that Krishna told them to see him then lord Siva said Oh! I have service! He went with demigods and drank the poison instead of the nectar.
The devotee recounted how in the class HH Radha Govind maharaj exclaimed ‘What a nice person!’. He just drank poison for the benefit of everyone but for the nectar he didn’t come. He doesn’t need anything he has got the Amrit (holy name).
This whole discussion felt so nectarean to my ears that I heard it repeatedly. Every time I will hear it, I would catch something new. Then I felt inspired to share it with everyone. I am sorry that this blog went too long, I hope, somehow, I am able to funnel this nectar into my childish words and serve you all in a small way.
I had written in an earlier blog about a wonderful purport that I heard in Vrindavan and that I would write about it separately, the verse is SB5.18.22
tapyanta ugraṁ tapa aindriye dhiyaḥ
ṛte bhavat-pāda-parāyaṇān na māṁ
vindanty ahaṁ tvad-dhṛdayā yato ‘jita
O supreme unconquerable Lord, when they become absorbed in thoughts of material enjoyment, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, as well as other demigods and demons, undergo severe penances and austerities to receive my benedictions. But I do not favor anyone, however great he may be; unless he is always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet. Because I always keep You within my heart, I cannot favor anyone but a devotee.
This verse is being spoken by Laxmi ji. It is fairly simple verse yet a little puzzling as we hear so many times that Laxmi Devi doesn’t bestows her mercy on a materialistic person, or she goes where Lord Narayana is worshiped, yet today we see so many impious, forget even materialistic, people enjoying great material wealth. This bewilders me sometimes and I would reconcile myself with the thought that they are reaping piety from their past birth, until this purport. This purport was a eye opener for me. Srila Prabhupada writes :
In this verse the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmīdevī, clearly states that she does not bestow her favor on any materialistic person. Although sometimes a materialist becomes very opulent in the eyes of another materialist, such opulence is bestowed upon him by the goddess Durgādevī, a material expansion of the goddess of fortune, not by Lakṣmīdevī herself. Those who desire material wealth worship Durgādevī with the following mantra: dhanaḿ dehi rūpaḿ dehi rūpa-pati-bhājaḿ dehi. “O worshipable mother Durgādevī, please give me wealth, strength, fame, a good wife and so on.” By pleasing goddess Durgā one can obtain such benefits, but since they are temporary, they result only in māyā-sukha (illusory happiness). As stated by Prahlāda Mahārāja, māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān: [SB 7.9.43] those who work very hard for material benefits are vimūḍhas, foolish rascals, because such happiness will not endure. On the other hand, devotees like Prahlāda and Dhruva Mahārāja achieved extraordinary material opulences, but such opulences were not māyā-sukha. When a devotee acquires unparalleled opulences, they are the direct gifts of the goddess of fortune, who resides in the heart of Nārāyaṇa.
The material opulences a person obtains by offering prayers to the goddess Durgā are temporary. As described in Bhagavad-gītā (7.23), antavat tu phalaḿ teṣāḿ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām: men of meager intelligence desire temporary happiness. We have actually seen that one of the disciples of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura wanted to enjoy the property of his spiritual master, and the spiritual master, being merciful toward him, gave him the temporary property, but not the power to preach the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu all over the world. That special mercy of the power to preach is given to a devotee who does not want anything material from his spiritual master but wants only to serve him. The story of the demon Rāvaṇa illustrates this point. Although Rāvaṇa tried to abduct the goddess of fortune Sītādevī from the custody of Lord Rāmacandra, he could not possibly do so. The Sītādevī he forcibly took with him was not the original Sītādevī, but an expansion of māyā, or Durgādevī. As a result, instead of winning the favor of the real goddess of fortune, Rāvaṇa and his whole family were vanquished by the power of Durgādevī (sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā [Bs. 5.44]).
This clears so much air and confusion in my head. It is so true that we see so many people becoming Godless and earning so much money yet we see them without any happiness or contentment, because such wealth is not bestowed by Laxmi Devi. Hence people are suffering despite having so much wealth at their disposal. We can also see the example of Ravana and what happened to him in the end where all the opulence he had was destroyed.
I searched and found some more verses where scriptures elaborates this point further
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport of CC Madhya 21.53 that `Because he wants to enjoy the material energy, the conditioned soul is allowed to reside in Devī-dhāma, the external energy, where goddess Durgā carries out the orders of the Supreme Lord as His maidservant. The material energy is called jagal-lakṣmī because she protects the bewildered conditioned souls.. For material facilities, the conditioned soul tries to please goddess Durgā, and mother Durgā supplies all kinds of material facilities. Because of this, the conditioned souls are allured and do not wish to leave the external energy.’
Lord Śiva, the most powerful demigod, second only to Lord Viṣṇu, is self-sufficient. Although he has nothing to aspire for in the material world, for the benefit of those in the material world he is always busily engaged everywhere and is accompanied by his dangerous energies like the goddess Kālī and the goddess Durgā. ( SB 4.24.18)
This verse was spoken by Vidura while he was asking Maitreya Rishi about `Pracetas’ and how they met Lord Shiva. Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to the above verse that ‘Asuras try to pacify the goddess Kālī, or Durgā, by worshiping her in material opulence, but when the asuras become too intolerable, the goddess Kālī does not discriminate in killing them wholesale. Asuras do not know the secret of the energy of Lord Śiva, and they prefer to worship the goddess Kālī or Durgā or Lord Śiva for material benefit……Lord Śiva’s duty is very dangerous because he has to employ the energy of the goddess Kālī, or Durgā. In another popular picture the goddess Kālī is sometimes seen standing on the prostrate body of Lord Śiva, which indicates that sometimes Lord Śiva has to fall down flat in order to stop the goddess Kālī from killing the asuras. Since Lord Śiva controls the great material energy (the goddess Durgā), worshipers of Lord Śiva attain very opulent positions within this material world. Under Lord Śiva’s direction, a worshiper of Lord Śiva gets all kinds of material facilities.’
My lord, surely I have been solidly cheated by the insurmountable illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for in spite of having obtained your association, which gives liberation from material bondage, I did not seek such liberation. (SB 3.23.57)
This verse was spoken by Devahuti to her husband Kardama Muni, feeling unsatisfied and distressed in her heart, despite all the opulence her husband had recently showered upon her. Srila Prabhupada warns in his purport that ‘People do not know what they are doing when they worship the material energy in the form of goddess Kālī or Durgā for material boons. They ask, “Mother, give me great riches, give me a good wife, give me fame, give me victory.” But such devotees of the goddess Māyā, or Durgā, do not know that they are being cheated by that goddess. Material achievement is actually no achievement because as soon as one is illusioned by the material gifts, he becomes more and more entangled, and there is no question of liberation. One should be intelligent enough to know how to utilize material assets for the purpose of spiritual realization. That is called karma-yoga or jñāna-yoga. Whatever we have we should use as service to the Supreme Person.’
So we learn that most of the material wealth people acquire is mostly bestowed by Durga devi and not by Laxmi devi. What is bestowed by Laxmi devi is permanent and auspicious, brings relief from the bondage of birth and death, examples are Prahlada, Dhruva Maharaj, etc.) where as what is bestowed by Durga devi is just the opposite and is called māyā-sukha (illusory happiness), prime example is Ravana. That is how today we see many people who have attained so much wealth but they have no happiness or even peace in their lives.
We also notice that whenever devotees are bestowed with wealth they generally do not get bewildered by it and use it in the service of Lord and His devotees. Our handling of wealth should not be that of an enjoyer of wealth rather than that of a caretaker who has been chosen by Lord to use it in the service of His devotees. We have examples of so many flourishing businessmen, HG Radheshyam Prabhu, from Gurgaon, comes immediately to my mind , whom we see that they are completely detached from money and they are using whatever wealth they have in the service of Lord. And we see Laxmiji bestowing more wealth on such devotees, as they utilise it for the right purpose.
On the other hand we see so many impious people hoarding money and trying to enjoy it. We increasingly hear how the richest comedian in USA commits suicide or a rich businessmen family is fighting over his vast wealth in India, or rich person’s son `plotting’ against his own father and so on. We also read how the number of bankruptcies have risen exponentially in last few decades, that too mostly in the rich countries. Similarly the less said about the money in shares/ESOPs the better, material energy continues to punish all such people. Whatever they have is temporary, even by the fickle standards of this material world. Forget liberation from the cycle of birth and death, even attainment of peace is very far for such people, inner happiness is further distant.
Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 4.24.18 that : In contrast, a Vaiṣṇava, or worshiper of Lord Viṣṇu, gradually becomes poorer in material possessions because Lord Viṣṇu does not trick His devotees into becoming materially entangled by possessions. Lord Viṣṇu gives His devotees intelligence from within, as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (10.10):
“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”
Thus Lord Viṣṇu gives intelligence to His devotee so that the devotee can make progress on the path back home, back to Godhead. Since a devotee has nothing to do with any kind of material possession, he does not come under the control of the goddess Kālī, or the goddess Durgā.
All glories to the transcendental purports by Srila Prabhupada.
“There are three things that are inconceivable: the position of Lord Siva, hladini sakti, and, yes, guru-tattva.” (BR Sridhara Swami)
Among all the spiritual personalities the position of Lord Siva is unique. In one of my previous blog I shared how I used to worship lord Shiva. After coming into Krishna consciousness I still retain a special corner in my heart for lord Shiva and now when I read and hear more lectures from senior devotees about him, the fog of ignorance over his exact position unfolds layer by layer, year by year.
Since last one month I am hearing a most wonderful seminar by HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj on Sri Brahma Samhita, it’s a series of 20 lectures spoken by Maharaj at Mayapur, each lecture is between 1 hour- 1.5 hours long. I never got a better clarity on subjects like prakriti, maya, yogamaya and Lord Shiva. It is pure nectar and I am now hearing the whole series again, hoping that my dumb brain may retain some portions.
Most of us have heard the example of `milk being transformed into curd and similarly Krishna transforms into Shiva’. Maharaj said this particular verse tell us what actually happens. Who actually is Shambhu ? Maharaj said that we often hear that Siva is God but not God, we hear that he is sort of in between position and in this particular purport there is a very nice description given on how he is constituted, what makes Shiva both God and not God.
Let us read BS 5.45 verse
kṣīraṁ yathā dadhi vikāra-viśeṣa-yogāt sañjāyate na hi tataḥ pṛthag asti hetoḥ
yaḥ śambhutām api tathā samupaiti kāryād govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Translation: Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Śambhu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction.
Maharaj first read the first part of the purport which says ” God becomes a distinct personality by the addition of a particular element of adulteration. Maharaj questioned `So what is this adulteration principle by which Krishna turns into to Shiva ?’
Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakura writes in his purport `The nondistinction is established by the fact that just as milk treated with acid turns into curd so Godhead becomes a subservient when He Himself attains a distinct personality by the addition of a particular element of adulteration. This personality has no independent initiative. The said adulterating principle is constituted of a combination of the stupefying quality of the deluding energy, the quality of nonplenitude of the marginal potency and a slight degree of the ecstatic-cum-cognitive principle of the plenary spiritual potency…..He is the lord of jīva but yet partakes of the nature of a separated portion of Govinda.’
Maharaj patiently unveiled its meaning in a manner we can all understand. Maharaj earlier said that he spent close to 1000 hours researching on the purports of Sri Brahma Samhita!
So coming back to our analogy, what is this adulteration which after being added turns milk into curd ? Here it is :
1. Lord Shiva has some part of that stupefying or bewildering quality of Maya. Maya stupefies people, she makes people bewilder, so some part of that bewildering quality is present in lord Shiva. This is one part of the constituent which makes Shiva no longer Krishna. Krishna has none of it but Shiva has some part of it.
2. The quality of nonplenitude of the marginal potency. Marginal potency means jivas and nonplenitude means limited, the jivas are limited. Maharaj explained that we say nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam… God is the supreme eternal but he is unlimited, we are also eternal but we are limited. We are limited and He is unlimited. Similarly, Lord Siva is not unlimited.
Apart from the above two qualities lord Shiva also takes two more qualities from Ramadevi (spiritual potency), these are
3. A slight degree of `anand’ or bliss.
4. A little bit of the `cit’ or congnitive principle of the plenary spiritual potency.
So lord Shiva has some portions of `cit and `anand’ (sat-cit-anand) too but not in full.
What does Krishna has ? Full portion!
So now we have this amazing detailed explanation of how `milk turns into curd’. We can not only understand our own self but now also easily explain to others as to what is this difference in detail.
If we read the purport we can see how these four points are clearly mentioned still it takes a pure devotee to unveil to us.
So this is the difference between Krishna and Shiva. The last line of the purport says `He is the lord of jīva but yet partakes of the nature of a separated portion of Govinda’. It means that although Shiva is the Lord of the jivas yet he partakes the nature of jivas (because of the various qualities he takes on).
When I had read this book earlier, I had somehow managed to read it but without any great realisations (other than the first verse). I had hurriedly gone over most of the purports. For a dimwit like me, even with a dictionary in hand, everything was way over my head! At that time just finishing this booked seemed like a great achievement! In my heart I thought `hopefully I will not have to read it again’! And I love it now. It is only due to insistence of Guru Maharaj, via his lectures, that devotees must carefully read and study Sri Brahma Samhita that I somehow gathered courage to hunt for some lectures on it and found this gem. HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj made the whole book, and its challenging purports, seem not unlike a coconut- extremely tough from outside and difficult to break, but once broken inside is pure nectar ! I request all the readers to listen to the seminar by clicking HERE.
All glories to lord Shiva.
All glories to Sri Brahma Samhita.
All glories to HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.