Shiva Worship

It is well known that amongst the Pandavas, Arjuna was the closest to Krishna and that is why Gitopadesa was given by Krishna to Arjuna only. But what is bewildering me is that why did Arjuna go alongwith the other Pandavas to Kailash(Himalayas) the abode of Lord Shiva in the final destination of his life. Should not have he gone to Mathura/Dwaraka to spend his final days. Also, Lord Krishna tells his Yadu clan to pray to the demi gods just before his demise from Dwaraka. When the Lord himself has endorsed Demi god worship then why does Srila Prabhupada condemn it? I am asking these questions not with the intention of hurting anybody but with a genuine urge to understand KCON. 

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  • Volunteer
    Hare Krishna...
    your question is very good..i have understood.
    I got the answer to your question..
    The first part of the question is answered by many devotees before me.
    Only the last part i will answer.
    Pandavas went to Lord shiva to get his blessings as Lord shiva is a Topmost vaishnava and not with a desire to worship shiva as supreme personality of Godhead, that would be wrong type of worship.
    If you worship demigods knowing their relationship with the Supreme Lord Krishna, then there's no problem. For example if you worship Ganesha knowing that he is a devotee of Supreme Lord and ask his blessing for your service to Krsna, then it is right kind of worship, just like we worship Prabhupada.
    And why Lord Himself tells to worship demigods to vrajavasis? It is the mercy of the Lord and he wants to give credit to the demigods as well as he knows vrajavasis are pure devotees of the Lord. And by following the Lord vrajavasis will satisfy Krsna and also demigods will be elevated.
    this is the reason why Krsna tells Arjuna to go to Lord Shiva for asking weapon - To give credit to His devotee, Lord Shiva. Even in Ramesvaram if you notice, Lord Rama worships shiva. This is to glorify His devotee.
    Krsna could have killed the entire army in Kurukshetra but why did he let arjuna kill the kauravas? To glorify His devotee.
    In the same way Lord chaitanya could have spread Krishna consciousness throughout the world, but why he didn't? So that we could spread it and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would give glory to us, Just like how Prabhupada is glorified.
    coming to the recommendation of demigod worship, K recommended only vrajavasis for the reason i mentioned above. And if Krsna fortunately comes in front of you and asks you to worship the demigods, then you can do so..until then we have to follow in the footsteps of Mahajanas who worshipped Lord Krsna..Thank you.
  • Volunteer
    Hare Krishna dear Devotees,

    i decided that this answer for this discussion will be the final, or other wise i do not know, heart breaking event.
    1. We can not imitate great personalities.
    Lord Shiva drank the ocean of poison. Can we do so? no.
    Srila Raghunatha Goswami Maharaja used to eat once in 2 days only one cut of butter milk. Can we survive doing that? no.
    Srila Haridas Thakur used to chant 192 rounds of the Holy Names. Can we chant so much? no.
    ------we can only follow their instructions. Lord Shiva - Shankara aharya says: "oh foolish one, worship Govinda, there is no time"
    Raghunatha Goswami Maharaja says the same. Haridas Thakur also.
    2. We do not even accept what Bhakti Sidhanta Saraswati Thakur ordered. He ordered His disciples to chant 64 rounds daily, other wise you won't achieve love for Krishna. We accept the instructions of our Guru Srila Prabhupada.
    It is impossible to enter to spiritual world with our just murmuring the Holy Names. Srila Prabhupada told that He only will somehow bring us There. That He knows back door to Goloka Vrindavan.
    So Srila Prabhupada told us to worship Krishna, no time for worshiping Demigods, worship Krishna and I will take You to Goloka. So we follow Him.
    3. As Dinesh Prabhu told, we can not understand the real meaning of Shastras without the purports of Srila Prabhupada, Guru.
    Truth should be confirmed by 3 things:
    If Guru, Sadhu Shastra says to worship Lord Shiva then it would be the truth, but Arvind Prabhu, here Devotees are saying to You that it is not correct, and Guru - Srila Prabhupada says that it is not correct, but in Shastra You found that Arjuna worships Lord Shiva, then You have to reject it because that way is not for us. We can not imitate Arjuna who is a pure Devotee. At this time or forever he is with Krishna, in some of the universes endlessly listening Bhagavad Gita.
    In shastras we can find recommendations for eating meat. Do we do that, no, that part we do not follow, but that part which says to eat Prasadam we accept. Because Guru, Devotees are saying that it is for us and that is truth. and we accept that.
    Your servant in serving to Srila Prabhupada,
  • hare krsna prabhu,


     Answering to this very common confusion among st people outside the bhakti movement (am not saying only ISKCON) that why should i accept "ONE GOD" ,doesn't matter even if he declares HIMSELF to be the supreme time and again in all vedic scriptures is not at all surprising.  The idea is the will to accept the scriptures and not to question it with envy or due to some sentiments for other gods,nevertheless i must answer because may be it could be of some help to you.

    THE BOTTOM LINE OF THE VEDAS IS THAT  :"KRSNA IS THE SUPREME ABSOLUTE TRUTH".(if you have read and UNDERSTOOD THEM like a child understands the mathematical tables during his primary classes) afterwards what the lord does or why he does is beyond our intelligence because with our limited senses we are trying to measure the unlimited who is beyond the creation.

    Now, the actual question why lord Shiva/himalayas/pasupatastra etc when KRSNA was personally present there ? Krishna has delegated powers to everyone in existence, including me and you. Some of us have more power than others. In the Gita he says these are all his vibhutis (oppulences).Everyone has the power to bless people with material things, including your neighbhor. To what degree they can bless you depends on what they have.

    however,i must ask if you own a vehicle and if yes when you need gasoline (petrol) for your vehicle do you go to the refinery? No, you go to the local distributor (gas station).

    KRSNA is the culmination summum bonum  sat-cit-ananda vigraha, he derives this pure " ananda " from his pure devotees(like lord Shiva) by giving an opportunity to serve him or his devotees when needed OR by giving all credit to his devotees.Shiva is mahadeva and mahesvara. He is the creator of the universal life as Shambhu.In Kshira Sagara even Brahma cannot see Narayana. They only approach him and offer prayers without being able to see Him. They do not do this every time there is a minor need, but only when dharma needs to be it is not at all surprising that arjun or the gopis approach shiva or if KRSNA is asking them to approach shiva because thats how shiva could render his service to the supreme lord and from that he derives ananda.

    so it doesn't matter if arjun goes to himalayas worships shiva or the gopis worship demigods or KRSNA recommends them to worship shiva or whatsoever but their love for KRSNA remains unchanged because they were not ordinary souls , but as soon as we start worshiping demigods (as you think prabhupada  said not to do so though he never condemned ) our consciousness immediately gets materially contaminated hence the desired results are not achieved because we are not arjun or the gopis. 

    its amazing to me how can people get confused when the lord  declares his opulence but by simply at times  asking to approach his devotee(in this case rudra) for something and they come to the conclusion that there is some contradiction. everything is so crystal clear but one has to smear his eyes with the ointment of love or pure unflinching thats where the guru plays the cannot understand the pastimes of the supreme without the empowerment from the guru. i recommend you to approach a bonafied guru  very soon.


  • Hare Krsna Bhakthin Maral, I am not questioning your or any devotee's unalloyed worship of Lord Krishna. What I am more concerned is whether any devotee who prays/worships Lord Shiva with the realisation that Shiva is the foremost devotee of Krishna, will such a devotee stand disqualified from the principles of KCON? If the answer is YES, then I would like to dispute the same, by posing the example of Arjuna who prayed to Shiva not only for pasupatastra but also during the final phase of his life by taking sojourn to Himalayas(Abode of Shiva). I would also pose the instance where Lord Krishna himself declared to the inhabitants of Dwarka before its destruction, to worship the demi gods during the final phase of their lives(refer Bhagavadam).
    Therefore, the issue here is not personal about you or me but in an abstract sense about the underlying principles of KCON.
  • Volunteer
    Hare Krishna Aravind Prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
    ok, if You have some material desires worship Lord Shiva He will give You anything You want by the mercy of Krishna.
    but i have only One Master and i do not want to be unchaste to Him-Krishna.
    For what You need Pashupa astra these days? we can worship Lord Shiva only for taking that astra.
    In previous ages people did yagyas and offered food to Demigods and Forfathers and They used to appear in the yagya arena along with Lord Vishnu.
    If You have such opulence to worship Them, and have purity to call Them then why not?
    Gopis also worship Lord Shiva and They are pure Devotees and They are in Goloka, but when They worship They ask only Krishna not pashupa.
    Your servant in serving to Srila Prabhupada,
  • Pranaams Bhaktin Maral, My question is this: Did Arjuna go to the planet of Krishna or the Planet of Demi Gods, since he (i) worshipped Shiva for a material gain and (ii) went to Himalayas(abode of Shiva) during the last phase of his life? If your answer is that he went to Lord Krishna's planet then this only shows that there is no blasphemy if true devotees of Krishna worhip Shiva for a material gain as they do it with the knowledge that Krishna is the underlying Force behind Shiva. On the other hand, if your answer is that Arjuna did not go to Krishna's Planet then it only shows that Arjuna is not a true devotee of Lord Krishna.
    I once again humbly say that these questions/doubts of mine are not intended to hurt anybody's beliefs but is an attempt to reconcile apparent inconsistencies.
  • Volunteer
    Bhagavad Gita - As It Is
    chapter 7, text 19

    After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
    text 20
    Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.
    text 21
    I am in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship the demigods, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to some particular deity.
    text 22
    Endowed with such a faith, he seeks favors of a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone.
    text 23
    Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.
    text 30
    Those who know Me as the Supreme Lord, as the governing principle of the material manifestation, who know Me as the one underlying all the demigods and as the one sustaining all sacrifices, can, with steadfast mind, understand and know Me, even at the time of death.
  • As many of us dont have the opportunity of interacting with a real Guru in this Kaliyug, such questions are bound to arise in the minds of true seekers. It is very difficult for ordinary persons to surrender themselves completely as they have been conditioned thro' the Ages. However the aim of this discussion is not to drive away such "true seekers" from the path of KCON but rather to integrate with it in a gradual but definitive manner notwithstanding the nescience of Life. My humble pranaams to all of you and senior devotees also who have been indulgent towards me.
  • Volunteer
    Dear R Arvind Hare Krsna, we are grateful that you have such nice discusions with us about Krsna and His devotional service.
    This type of peaceful and respectful debate getting deeper into the truth of the subject is rare in this age of quarel and hypocrasy.
    Such discusions are only possible amongst devotees who are seriously endeavoring for advancing in KC.
    Just see this reply from Ram Kumar.
    He is having a good understanding of the conclusions regarding this demigod worship comming in this line of Gaudia vaisnavism.
    This human birth in kali yuga is an opertunity for us to go back home back to Godhead in this one life and we are encoraged to take advantage of this gift.
    Srimad Bagavatom 12 3.51 states
    My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mahä-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom. Hare Krsna.
  • Hari Bol Ram Prabhuji, You have so beautifully put my very thoughts on paper. I think even Arjuna had to evolve himself as a true devotee to Krishna and in that evolutionary process, Shiva worship(for whatever reason) was recommended for a temporary phase. Therefore, all that I am saying is that maybe for some of us in order to evolve as true devotees, Shiva worship is unavoidable.
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