Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada, Srila Guru Maharaj and Srimati Guru Mataji.

All glories to Sri Sri Nitai Gauracandra

Hare Krishna

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

We hear this before every Srimad Bhagavatam lecture. What is the benefit of chanting this mantra instead of Hari Naam (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare)? Shouldn't we simply abandon Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya because it is not for this Yuga and simply chant Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita Gadadhara Srivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda and then Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare before starting any lecture?

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya is only to Lord Krishna in His form in Dwarka (Son of Vasudeva), but Hare Krishna is to Srimati Radhika of Vrindavana and Krishna of Vrindavana. 

Please forgive me if I have made offense in asking this question.

Your servant

Bhakta David

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  • Volunteer
    No, do not even think about not worshipping Lord Shiva, that is by far one of the deadliest mistakes a devotee can do,

    In the Krsna book, Prabhupada does mention that the inhabitants of Vrindavan, out of curiosity went to see the Shiva Ratri festival.

    “Between the Dolāyātrā ceremony and the rāsa-līlā ceremony there is an important ceremony called Śiva-rātri, which is especially observed by the Śaivites, or devotees of Lord Śiva. Sometimes the Vaiṣṇavas also observe this ceremony because they accept Lord Śiva as the foremost Vaiṣṇava. But the function of Śiva-rātri is not observed very regularly by the bhaktas, or devotees of Kṛṣṇa.”

    Excerpt From: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.

    If you wish to worship Lord Shiva, you may do so but worship him as a guru or the greatest devotee of Krsna. If you worship Lord Shiva for material things, then you will go to Lord Shiva, but if worship him for Krsna Bhakti, then that is ok. As long as you realize Krsna is Supreme Personality of Godhead... I have read many posts by devotees saying that ISKCON has gone bad because some temples observe Shiva Ratri, these people are those who are very unfortunate because they wish to worship Krsna but they disregard Lord Shiva. Note that Prabhupada said Bhaktas do not REGULARLY celebrate Shiva Ratri, which means that it is okay to celebrate Shiva Ratri, as long as you keep the absolute truth in mind. If people begin to worship Lord Shiva in hopes that they will go to Goloka, that will not happen as quickly (Lord Shiva will bestow his mercy and in your next birth you will be born in a family of Vaishnavas)... In this sinful age of Kali, our goal is to either stay back and help liberate as many people or to go home to Krsna.

    Also, as far as I remember, there is no sloka like that, here is the one I think you refer to


    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.

    Some commentators on the Bhagavad-gītā say that one who worships a demigod can reach the Supreme Lord, but here it is clearly stated that the worshipers of demigods go to the different planetary systems where various demigods are situated, just as a worshiper of the sun achieves the sun or a worshiper of the demigod of the moon achieves the moon. Similarly, if anyone wants to worship a demigod like Indra, he can attain that particular god's planet. It is not that everyone, regardless of whatever demigod is worshiped, will reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is denied here, for it is clearly stated that the worshipers of demigods go to different planets in the material world but the devotee of the Supreme Lord goes directly to the supreme planet of the Personality of Godhead.


    to go back and connect these verses, Krsna confirms that one worships demigods for mundane things - wealth, women, material intelligence, grades, etc. but to get to Krsna, we worship Krsna. What is worship? Well it's much beyond just aarti and puja. It's a relationship - more specifically a devotee / God relationship or a servant / master relationship. This is the beginning of KC. Slowly one either continues to higher levels of Prema and relations such as friend or the highest level - Lover... But it's important to understand that worship exists through all these various stages, and they are all sort of combined,in the sense that a servant is also the Lords friend.

    Take Hanumanji for example- in the Hanuman Chalisa
    11. Laaya sajeevana Lakhana jiyaaye
    Shree Raghubeera harashi ura laaye

    Bringing the magic herb you revived Lakshman
    And Ram embraced you with delight.

    12. Raghupati keenhee bahuta baraaee
    Tuma mama priya Bharatahi sama bhaaee

    The Lord of the Raghus praised you greatly:
    "Brother, you are dear to me as Bharat!"

    13. Sahasa badana tumharo jasa gaawai
    Asa kahi Shreepati kanta lagaawai

    "May the thousand-mouthed serpent sing your fame!"
    So saying, Lakshmi's Lord drew you to Himself.


    Let me explain what I mean. Krsna Consciousness can occur on many different levels because we are all unique and we all have unique ways of worshipping Krsna (this is noted by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati why he says that everyone is a spiritual master). Thus, a friend of The Lord can be much more than a friend, because the relationships with Krsna are unique.
    take Arjuna - he is Krsna's cousin, friend, brother in law, and during the Mahabharata War Krsna became his driver. This relationship you have with Krsna cannot be had with any other demigod. We would like to think like that, but there is no one more kinder than Krsna.
    The classic example is between Lord Krsna, god at home, and Lord Vishnu, god at work. Who would dare walk up to Lord Vishnu (who is very kind and merciful) and give a high five saying "Lord Vishnu, my man, yesterday was the bomb. You were a beast, you were on fire,!!" or whatever ... You can't do that because that itself sounds very terrifying. But with Krsna, you can most definitely say that because Krsna is also like that. He is 16 years old and he is at home, no need to be professional at home. --the example is of poor taste, I admit that, but there was a point. If you feel offended, please forgive me--

    The only people to go to Lord Vishnu are devotees and wives. lord Vishnu does not have girlfriends, he is married! Same with Lord Shiva! Lord Shiva is Lord Krsna at work under a different mood.

    As the Brahma Samhita states


    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 Sambhu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction


    (The real nature of Sambhu, the presiding deity of Mahesa-dhama, is described.) Sambhu is not a second Godhead other than Krishna. Those, who entertain such discriminating sentiment, commit a great offense against the Supreme Lord. The supremacy of Sambhu is subservient to that of Govinda; hence they are not really different from each other. 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. This specifically adulterated reflection of the principle of the subjective portion of the Divinity is Sadasiva, in the form of the effulgent masculine-symbol-god Sambhu from whom Rudradeva is manifested. In the work of mundane creation as the material cause, in the work of preservation by the destruction of sundry asuras and in the work of destruction to conduct the whole operation, Govinda manifests Himself as guna-avatara in the form of Sambhu who is the separated portion of Govinda imbued with the principle of His subjective plenary portion. The personality of the destructive principle in the form of time has been identified with that of Sambhu by scriptural evidences that have been adduced in the commentary. The purport of the Bhagavata slokas, viz., vaishnavanam yatha sambhuh, etc., is that Sambhu, in pursuance of the will of Govinda, works in union with his consort Durgadevi by his own time energy. He teaches pious duties (dharma) as stepping-stones to the attainment of spiritual service in the various tantra-sastras, etc., suitable for jivas in different grades of the conditional existence. In obedience to the will of Govinda, Sambhu maintains and fosters the religion of pure devotion by preaching the cult of illusionism (Mayavada) and the speculative agama-sastras. The fifty attributes of individual souls are manifest in a far vaster measure in Sambhu and five additional attributes not attainable by jivas are also partly found in him. So Sambhu cannot be called a jiva. He is the lord of jiva but yet partakes of the nature of a separated portion of Govinda.


    Krsna is very hard to please because he loves testing us. So we go different routes that are led by dear devotees of Krsna. We can go through Srimati Radharani or Baladevaji, we can go through Lords Chaitanya and Nityananda, but we can also go to Krsna through Lord Shiva since he is the foremost of devotees.

    ALSO Hanuman is Rudra avatari which means that he is a form of Rudra, thus we can learn about how to serve The Lord through Lord Shiva / Hanuman. Similarly we have Srimati Radharani and the Gopis to teach us how to be lovers, Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda to teach us about becoming devotees, etc.

    The point is if you worship Lord Shiva for material desires, STOP! This just becomes an obstacle in the path to Krsna because you are thinking materially. But if you worship Lord Shiva as a guide to Krsna, while also worshipping Krsna, and serving the devotees, etc. then that is fine.

    I do have the tendency to go beyond and off tangents very frequently, so please let me know if I am unclear at one point.Everything makes sense in my mind, but it doesn't come out the way I intend it to. Lol
    • Volunteer

      just to add something extra:
      i mentioned that if you worship Lord Shiva for material things you will go to Kailash, the same applies if you worship Lord Shiva as God. But this does not apply when you worship Lord Shiva as a guru. 

      Srila Prabhupada once said (and I remember this quite vaguely so take it with a grain of salt) that it is ok to worship the guru like you are worshiping God, but once the guru begins to think that he is god, then he is not god but a dog (or something along those lines).

      This is also seen by Lord Shiva's mercy. People who worship Lord Shiva thinking he is God may get liberated and go to Kailash (which is above the material realm and below the Vaikuntha planets)

      one of my all time favorite verses from the Brahma Samhita (5.43)

      goloka-namni nija-dhamni tale ca tasya

      devi mahesa-hari-dhamasu teshu teshu

      te te prabhava-nicaya vihitas ca yena

      govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami


      Lowest of all is located Devi-dhama [mundane world], next above it is Mahesa-dhama [abode of Mahesa]; above Mahesa-dhama is placed Hari-dhama [abode of Hari] and above them all is located Krishna's own realm named Goloka. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who has allotted their respective authorities to the rulers of those graded realms.


      It clearly states that Lord Shiva has a planet of his own. 

      Continuing with the purport by Bhaktisiddhanta:

      The potency of Devi-dhama, in the form of the extension of Maya, and that of Sivaloka, consisting of time, space and matter, are the potency of the separated particles pervaded by the penumbral reflection of the subjective portion of the Divinity. But Hari-dhama is ever resplendent with transcendental majesty and the great splendor of all-sweetness predominates over all other majesties in Goloka


      In other words, Shivadhama is also incomplete. It's like the material world in a sense- its a reflection, but at the same time it's a more advanced reflection. There are two parts to Shivadhama- one predominated by Mahakala, which is all dark, and inside this darkness (at least in my limited understanding) there is a place known as Sadashivaloka which is full of great light (same purport). So in ShivaDhama there is both light and darkness. So we get the understanding that it's higher than DeviDhama but not as high as Vaikuntha dhama which is filled with effulgence of Krsna (all light). And we can clearly see this transition from darkness to light. 

      So what this means is that worshiping Lord Shiva is beneficial in the sense that you do progress in spiritual life. Why, because Lord Shiva is also a guru, he guides people to Krsna. But we don't just worship the guru alone, we also worship God or Krsna. That's an ideal combination because we are worshiping God and his devotee (something the Lord cherishes very much, compared to just serving him alone).

      The question then rises, can we worship just the guru alone? This is seen in Christianity- where Christians "worship" Jesus Christ. He is not God, but his representative. So they worship only the Guru. They progress somewhat spiritually, but they don't have that intimate connection between oneself and God. The Guru instructs them repeatedly about loving God, but they don't listen and they only want to worship the Guru. So they, by serving the Guru, progress spiritually and by the grace of the Guru they will hopefully get a better birth in their next life. 

      There is a nice verse in the 4th canto:



      A person who executes his occupational duty properly for one hundred births becomes qualified to occupy the post of Brahma, and if he becomes more qualified, he can approach Lord Siva. A person who is directly surrendered to Lord Krsna, or Visnu, in unalloyed devotional service is immediately promoted to the spiritual planets. Lord Siva and other demigods attain these planets after the destruction of this material world.


      To tie everything together now- Lord Shiva is known as Bolenath, he is easily pleased, and he can also be considered a guru because he is constantly described as the foremost of Vaishnavas, and honestly Lord Krsna/Lord Vishnu loves him (as we can see in the pastimes done in this material world. Lord Krsna / Lord Rama / Lord Parashurama all worship Lord Shiva.) So we can go that route too. However, we must remain strong in focusing on Krsna. Since there are so many mayavadi philosophy, we can easily confuse ourselves from our goal. That is why we worship Krsna primarily and Lord Shiva as the greatest devotee. That way we ensure that our goal is only Krsna. 

      I partake in Shiva Ratri myself since my family has a small Shiva Linga in our temple room. And each year I do the fasting and all I ask for only one thing from Lord Shiva- to just bless me with Krsna Prema and to help serve devotees and preach KC, because that is what I desire. It all depends on your goal. 

      Think about it this way- we are in the material world, but by chanting Hare Krsna or reading Krsna's pastimes we immediately elevate to the spiritual world, while in the material world (if this makes sense). It's like a force field, while we engage ourselves spiritually, this shield appears around us and overcomes the material energy. Since Krsna is all spiritual, all divine, etc. and since there is no difference between Krsna, his name, his body, his energy, his pastimes, etc. he doesn't get contaminated with "materialness"... So by asking for Krsna Bhakti, it negates all that material stuff. If we consider worshiping Lord Shiva to be material generally, then worshiping Lord Shiva to ask for Krsna bhakti is spiritual because our goal is spiritual. That's the entire point of life- we ask everyone to bless us with Love for Krsna because that's the goal and that's the way to keep ourselves free from material attachment, by getting attached to Krsna. 

      I said this before and I will say it again- worshiping Lord Shiva alone as Guru will help us progress slightly and since you have a desire to worship Lord Shiva, you can worship him as a Guru while worshiping Krsna as God. This way you connect everything to Krsna, fulfill your desire of worshiping Lord Shiva, who will, since he is easily pleased, tell Krsna about you. In my other post, I mentioned that there are different routes to Krsna. They all lead to Krsna, it's just about the easiness of the path; that's why many devotees I know prefer serving Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, since they are the easiest to please. There is no "right" answer to serving Krsna. We all have our unique ways, and that's the beauty of it :)

      I apologize Prabhu for the intensely long answer, please forgive me if I said anything inappropriate about Lord Shiva, it was clearly not my intention. I wish you the very best in your journey to Krsna. 

      Gaura Prema Anande Haribol!

      **Note: the "END" i keep mentioning is to signal that the purport or translation has ended and I am adding my own thoughts to the post.

  • Volunteer

    my humble obeisances Siddhartha Prabhuji, 

    Krishna gives exam according to our own capacity. As it says blessing to do comes along with the instructions of a Guru. 

    And please, let's not be considered much on how fallen we are but of how much big is the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. 

    Example, does any of husbands here like their wife to go for another man and ask for help? Suppose if her own husband is not helping her for time being maybe he knows better what time to help and when to act, but she does not agree with him and goes to another person??? Is it good?

    So by trying to go for Demigods we are being like that unchaste woman only. Nothing more.

    No matter what difficulty will come on our path it is only for our own benefit. Only going through those exams we become strong. 

    It is true if one is sick the one should everything possible in order to be cured. To go to the hospital, use medicine and pray to Krishna to be always remembering Him. No matter what.

    No need to go to magicians or Demigods. As in Bhagavad Gita Krishna says that unintelligent ones go to the Sun God for getting cured from sickness not knowing that I can help them Myself.

    So if we trust to Krishna He will He will He will run to help to His Devotee as He did it with Draupadi and with many other Devotees.

    Just lack of faith makes Krishna little "angry".

    Yes, it is true we are fallen, not as great as HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami Maharaj but the process is powerful but the Holy Names are powerful. But the mercy is unconditional. 

    Your servant, 

    • Volunteer
      Slight OT, but your thrice repeated phrase "he will" reminded me of what my friend was telling me today. It is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam that whenever a word or phrase is repeated.thrice it means it must be done. Amazing subtle mention mataji :)
      Do you happen to know the general area of that verse?
      • Volunteer

        today afternoon read one thing how Krishna is pleased and want to share it now. Of course it is not a news but spiritual things are always ever fresh.

        Krishna fulfills our desires but how?

        We may ask hundred times "please give! please do! please!...." But He remains silent.

        Maybe sometimes gives....but when He is pleased He gives immediately so we have to know the way of pleasing Him.

        The secret is: we have to please His Devotees and when sincere Devotees pray for that person's welfare Krishna will surely hear their request and won't be able to refuse.

        So please whoever wants to fulfill his desires according to religious life please find sincere Devotees and try to serve to them! 

        Devotees won't accept service for themselves, they do not need it, they do not want it, they will send it to Krishna or true they will engage us in Krishna's service...

        Your servant,  

  • Volunteer

    His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja had severe cancer all around his body. And that cancer was so much painful. He could not move out of that condition he continued to chant the Holy Names. He never desired to worship any Demigods because he was intelligent "if we please Krishna, everyone will be pleased for the fullest extent." 

    Only intelligent people know that truth. That if we please Krishna everyone will be pleased.

    If Krishna is not giving me something it means i as a soul do not need that at all. He knows what is better for me than myself. Because He knows future and the past and also a present.

    So why not to surrender to such like ideal Personality?

    Others have the beginning and the end so why should i loose my time for watering each leaf?

    Your servant,  

  • Volunteer

    just a simple addition to these already given amazing replies:

    What Demigods give us is temporary. Problem is in that Siddhartha Prabhuji.

    Krishna never says that we have to worship Demigods but He says if one worships this goes to him, this to this and if one worships Me comes to Me.

    A simple example, few months before 6-7 Devotees left their bodies in air plain crash. There were 8 years old girl with her mother and 16 years old boy with his both parents. Their story of coming to this world is like next:

    First boys parents had two daughters but they wanted so much to have a son. So they tried everything. Then they went to somewhere in order to get Lord Shiva's blessings. And after some time they begot a son. Hearing that news after few years another Devotee couple who were not even able to have any child desired to do the same. So they went to that place and got the blessings of Lord SHiva and begot a daughter. 

    ...but it so happened that son and both parents left their bodies leaving to elder daughters behind, and 8 years old daughter along with her mother left this world....:(

    so in this way Krishna knows what to give and what not to give.

    We have to accept whatever is coming easily and reject what is not coming so easily.

    It is like milking a cow even if she does not have milk to give and in order to produce milk artificially to give a cow chemicals :( how sad

    Your servant,  


  • Volunteer

    it's like om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, except for lord shiva:

    I bow to Lord Shiva

  • Volunteer

    if so then let's abandon all talks like:

    "Good morning!" ...please help...what is Your name....are You it costs...come to ...go to....we talk sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    much so why not abandon everything and JUST chant Maha Mantra???

    "hunger" is not the name of Krishna even. From Dwaraka or form Vrindavan. ...

    :D isn't it?!

    Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya means i offer my respectful obeisances to the Lord to the son of Vasudeva as was told above by Radhe Prabhuji. And Hare Krishna Maha Mantra means "oh Mother! oh Father! please, please engage me in Your service!"

    "Oh Mother, oh Father! i do not have any shelter, i am so fallen, please accept me as Your servant!"

    It is a cry of a child - soul. If in the first Mantra he is just offering obeisances and respects in the second he cries and begs to accept him under Their lotus feet no matter who is he fallen, degraded, fool, ....

    So it is a prayer for those who are toooooo much fallen. Toooooo much diseased. We do not have strength to fast for 6 months as like Dhruva Maharaja did, we can not stop drinking and breathing, we can not go to the forest when we are 5 much fallen. Hopeless!

    So for such like people like us we need something very special. Which is Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.


    Concerning Mantra before Srimad Bhagavatam then why not to say that? Why not to offer our respects to the Son of Vasudeva - Krishna? And after Srimad Bhagavatam beg Him to accept us by chanting Hare Krishna?

     Your servant, 

    • Mother


      such a nice reply!!

      when we will think like you?

      Hare Krishna!!

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