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Glories of Shiva-ratri
YANI KANY ATRA LINGANI STHAVARANI CARANI CA
TESU SANKRAMATE DEVAS TASYAM RATRAU YATO HARAH
SIVARATRIS TATAH PROKTA TENA SA HARI VALLABHAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 14/200 from SKANDA PURANA, NAGARA KHANDA)
Whatever genital deities of Lord Siva that can be found on this earthly planet, on the night of this fourteenth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna, Lord Siva, who is a leading demigod, enters into them. For this reason, this day is called Siva Ratri. For this reason, this day is very dear to Lord Shri Hari.
SIVA RATRI VRTAM KRSNA CATUR-DASYANTU PHALGUNE
VAISNAVER API TAT KARYAM SRI KRSNA PRITAYE SADA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 14/187 from GAUTAMIYA TANTRA)
On the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna (February-March), for the pleasure of Lord Shri Krishna, a Vaishnava should always take a vow to fast. (It is called Siva Ratri, or the night of Lord Siva.)
PARAT PARATARAM YANTI NARAYANA PARAYANAH
NATE TATRA GAMISYANTI YE DVISANTI MAHESVARAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 14/189 from KURMA PURANA the Supreme Lord speaks to Bhrgu Muni)
One who avoids fasting on Siva Ratri or the "night of Lord Siva", he becomes very offensive. Whatever offenses one accumulates by not fasting on Siva Ratri day is explained here. The destination of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana, is certainly in the spiritual world. But if one is envious of Lord Shri Siva, he does not attain the spiritual world.
SRI KRSNE VAISNAVANANTU PREMA BHAKTI VIVARDHATE
KRSNA BHAKTI RASA SARA VARSI RUDRA ANUKAMPAYA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 14/221 from SKANDA PURANA)
Being a Vaishnava, if somebody fasts on Lord Siva's night (Siva Ratri day), by the mercy of him (Lord Siva) who is diving in the ocean of the mellow of devotion to Krishna, one's devotion to Krishna increases rapidly.
Lord Shiva's Prasadam
Lord Shiva's Prasadam should be honored if Shiva is worshiped as a great Vaishnava devotee and guna-avatara of Lord Gauranga-Krishna but should be rejected when Shiva is worshiped as a demigod or separate from Lord Vishnu or in the mode of ignorance or by a non-Vaishnava.
Shri Chaitanya Charita Mahakavya of Shrila Murari Gupta
Lord Gauranga Hari Honors the Food Remnants of Shri Siva
snatva sa bindu-sarasi / dtva shri-bhuvanesvaram
sukham asino bhagavan / premananda-pariplutah 1
snatva - after bathing; sa - He; bindu-sarasi - in the lake of drops; dtva - and seeing; bhuvana-isvaram - the Lord of the worlds; sukham - happily; asina - seated; bhagavan - the all-opulent Lord; prema-ananda - in the bliss of Krishna-love; pariplutah - totally immersed. After bathing in Bindu-Sarovara and taking darsana of Shri Bhuvanesvara, the all-opulent Lord Shri Kna Chaitanya sat contentedly, wholly immersed in the bliss of prema.
tato bhuktva varanna sa / bhaktaih sankalpita prabhuh
susvapa tatra sahto / dhyayan kna-padambujam 2
tata - then; bhuktva - eating; vara-annam - fine foods; sa - He; bhaktaih - by the devotees; sankalpitam - prepared; prabhuh - the Master; susvapa - nicely rested; tatra - there; sahta - fully contented; dhyayan - contemplating; kna-pada-ambujam - Krishna's lotus feet.
Mahaprabhu then ate choice foods prepared by the bhaktas, and afterwards as He rested contentedly, He contemplated the lotus feet of Shri Krishna.
cintayam asa bhagavan / deva-devasya sulinah
maha-prasado labhyeta / tada bhujyamahe vayam 3
cintayam asa - He thought; bhagavan - the all-opulent; deva-devasya - of the god of gods; sulinah - who carries a trident; maha-prasada - great mercy (foods tasted by the Lord) labhyeta - it may be obtained; tada - then; bhujyamahe - we could enjoy; vayam - we.
The illustrious Lord thought, "If somehow the maha-prasada of the trident-wielding god of gods could be obtained, then we could truly take pleasure."
iti cintayatas tasya / mahadeva-prasadakam
panibhya brahmanah kascid / adaya sammukhe sthitah 4
iti - thus; cintayata - thinking; tasya - His; mahadeva-prasadakam - a small portion of the foods eaten by Siva; panibhyam - with his hands; brahmanah - one who knows what is spirit; kascit - a certain; adaya - presenting; sammukhe - in front; sthitah - standing.
As He was reflecting thus, a certain brahmana came before Him, bearing in his hands a small portion of Mahadeva's prasada.
uvaca ca mahadeva-prasada ghyatam iti
tat srutva sahasotthaya / ghitva sirasa namah 5
uvaca - he said; ca - and; mahadeva-prasadam - the mercy of the great Lord; ghyatam - take; iti - thus; tat - that; srutva - hearing; sahasa - at once; utthaya - rising; ghitva - took; sirasa - with the head; namah – bowing.
He said, "Please accept this prasada of Mahadeva." Hearing this, Lord Gaura at once stood up and accepted the prasada with bowed head.
maha-prasada sanghya / papau bhtyaih sudham iva
siva-priyo hi shri-kna / iti sandarsayan harih 6
maha-prasadam - great mercy; sanghya - taking; papau - He honored; bhtyaih - with His servants; sudham - nectar; iva - like; siva-priya - He who holds dear Lord Siva; hi - indeed; shri-kna - the all-attractive; iti - thus; sandarsayan - clearly demonstrated; harih - Gaura Hari.
They all gathered together around the maha-prasada, and the Lord honored it with His servants as though it were immortal nectar. Thus Gaura Hari showed how dear Siva is to Shri Krishna.
sukhaya punar evasau / pratar utthaya sa-tvarah
snatva vai bindu-sarasi / siva natva yayau harih 7
sukhaya - happily; puna - again; eva - indeed; asau - He; prata - early; utthaya - rising; sa-tvarah - quickly; snatva - bathing; vai - indeed; bindu-sarasi - in the lake of drops; sivam - Siva; natva - bowing to; yayau - He went; harih - the remover of sin.
Again Gaura Hari arose very early in grat happiness, and after bathing quickly in Bindu-Sarovara, He bowed before Shri Siva and then left on His way.
etan nisamya devasya / siva-nirmmalya-bhakanam
pratyuvaca maha-tejah / shri-damodara-panditah 8
etat - this; nisamya - hearing; devasya - of the Lord; siva-nirmalya - the remnants of Siva's food; bhakanam - eating; pratyuvaca - he responded; maha-tejah - very powerful; shri-damodara-panditah - the devoted scholar.
When the powerful brahmana Shri Damodara Panita heard that the Lord had eaten the remnants of Siva's food, He said:
nasnati siva-devasya / nirmmalya bhgu-sapatah
katha jnatva sa bhagavan / bubhuje tan narottamah 9
na - not; asnati - he eats; siva-devasya - of Lord Siva; nirmalyam - food remnants; bhgu-sapatah - because of the curse of Bhrigu Muni; katham - how; jnatva - knowing; sa - He; bhagavan - the illustrious Lord; bubhuje - He ate; tat - that; nara-uttamah - the transcendental person.
"One should not eat the remnants of Lord Siva because Bhrigu Muni has placed a curse on those who worship him. Why then did the all-opulent transcendental Lord, knowing this, eat that food?"
tat srutva praha viprendra / murarih sruyatam iti
katha shri-siva-devasya / nirmmalyamta-bhakane 10
tat - that; srutva - hearing; praha - he said; vipra-indram - exalted brahmana; murarih - Murari Gupta; sruyatam - please hear; iti - thus; katham - the explanation; shri-siva-devasya - of Lord Siva; nirmalya - food-remnants; amta-bhakane - in eating the nectar.
Hearing this, Murari replied to the noble vipra, "Hear from me the reason for which the Lord ate those nectarean remnants of Shri Siva-deva."
vastutas tu mahadevah / shri-knasya subhagame
atithya vidadhe harat / tena kinca para snu 11
vastuta - factually; tu - indeed; mahadevah - the great lord; shri-knasya - of Shri Krishna; subha-agame - at the auspicious coming; atithyam - guesthood; vidadhe - he accepted; harat - out of joy; tena - of that; kinca - somewhat; param - further; snu - please hear.
When Shri Krishna Chaitanya made His auspicious arrival, Mahadeva joyously accepted Him as an honored guest. Please hear somewhat further.
vainava-sretha-buddhya ye / pujayanti mahesvaram
tair ddatta ghnate so 'pi / tad anna pavana mahat 12
vainava-sretha - the best devotee of Vishnu; buddhya - with the consciousness; ye - they; pujayanti - they worship; maha-isvaram - the great controller; tai - by them; dattam - given; ghnate - he takes; sa api - that very person; tat annam - that food; pavanam - purifing; mahat - great.
When bhaktas worship Mahadeva thinking of him as the best among vaishnavas, Mahsvara accepts that offering from them, and that food should be considered great and pure prasada.
shri-kna-kna-bhaktana / bheda-buddhya patanty adhah
durvvairan sikayas tas ca / bhakta-rupah svaya harih 13
shri-kna-kna-bhaktanam - of Krishna and Krishna's devotees; bheda - of differentiation; buddhya - with a mentality; patanti - they fall; adhah - down; durvairan - inimical persons; sikayan - teaching; tan - them; ca - and; bhakta-rupah - in the form of a devotee; svayam - in person; harih - the remover of sin.
Those who in a sectarian spirit differentiate between Shri Krishna and his bhaktas indeed fall down. Shri Hari personally advented in the form of a bhakta as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in order to instruct such inimical persons.
acaryyaty api deveso / hita-kt sarvva-dehinam
nirmmalyam adarenaiva / ghitva jagad-isvarah 14
acaryati - He behaves; api - indeed; deva-isa - the Lord of godly beings; hita-kt - enacting welfare; sarva-dehinam - for all embodied beings; nirmalyam - food-remnants; adarena - with reverence; eva - verily; ghitva - taking; jagat-isvarah - the Lord of the cosmos.
The Lord of all gods, who is the supreme controller of the cosmic manifestation, certainly seeks to benefit all embodied beings. Thus, by His reverential acceptance of Shri Siva's food-remnants, He teaches them by His example.
janaih sasthapite linge / bheda-buddhya ca pujite
tatraiva sapo viprasya / nahi syad aikyatah kvacit 15
janaih - by the people; sasthapite - established; linge - the sacred phallus; bheda-buddhya - with a mentality of differentiation; ca - and; pujite - worshipped; tatra - then; eva - certainly; sapa - the curse; viprasya - of the learned brahmana; nahi - certainly not; syat - it can be; aikyatah - in oneness; kvacit - sometimes.
Wherever the lingam is established and worshipped with a conception that Shri Siva and Shri Hari have separate parties, there Bhgu's curse will act, because of this offense of a dualistic concept.
hari-sankarayor aikya / svayambhu-linga-sannidhau
abheda-buddhya pujaya / nahi sapo bhavet kvacit 16
hari-sankarayo - of Hari and Sankara; aikyam - oneness; svayambhu - self-born; linga - form; sannidhau - in the place; abheda - of not differentiating; buddhya - because of the mentality; pujayam - in the worship; nahi - there is not; sapa - the curse; bhavet - can be; kvacit - at all.
Hari and Sankara have one interest. If in the presence of a Siva lingam someone worships Them without a dualistic concept, the curse will not have effect.
tena tatradhika pritir / hari-sankarayor bhavet
abhede 'tra svayambhau ca / puja sarvvatisayini 17
tena - for that reason; tatra - there; adhika - more; priti - love; hari-sankarayo - of Hari and Sankara; bhavet - it may be; abhede - in non-differentiation; atra - here; svayambhau - for Lord Siva; ca - and; puja - worship; sarva - all; atisayini - increasing.
By people understand Their unity of interest, love will increase for both Hari and Sankara, and worship for Them both will increase.
maha-prasada tatraiva / bhuktva mokam avapnuyat
maha-rogat pramucyeta / sthira-sampattim apnuyat 18
maha-prasadam - great mercy; tatra - there; eva - certainly; bhuktva - having enjoyed; mokam - liberation; avapnuyat - one may attain; maha-rogat - from great disease; pramucyeta - one is liberated; sthira-sampattim - undisturbed prosperity; apnuyat - one can get.
By tasting such maha-prasada one can attain liberation, be cured from terrible diseases, and obtain undisturbed prosperity.
ye mohat tan na khadanti / te bhavanty aparadhinah
harau sive ca nihshrika / roginas ca bhavanti te 19
ye - they; mohat - out of delusion; tat - that; na - not; khadanti - they eat; te - they; bhavanti - become; aparadhinah - offenders; harau - to Hari; sive - to Siva; ca - and; nihshrika - devoid of opulence; rogina - diseased; ca - and; bhavanti - they become; te - they.
Those who out of delusion do not eat such maha-prasada become offenders to both Hari and Siva. They become diseased and bereft of opulence.
vainavaih pujito yatra / shri-sivah paramadarat
anadi-lingam asadya / shri-kna-priti-hetave 20
tatraiva sasayo nasti / nirmmalya-grahane kvacit
bhaktir eva sada vipra / subha-da sarvva-dehinam 21
vainavaih - by vaishnavas; pujita - worshipped; yatra - where; shri-sivah - of the auspicious lord; parama-adarat - with great reverence; anadi-lingam - the beginningless form; asadya - to be attained; shri-kna-priti - love for Shri Krishna; hetave - in order; tatra - in this matter; eva - surely; sasaya - doubt; na asti - there is not; nirmalya-grahane - in accepting the remnants of Siva; kvacit - at any time; bhakti - devotion; eva - indeed; sada - always; vipra - O learned brahmana; subha-da - giving auspiciousness; sarva-dehinam - for all embodied beings.
Wherever the beginningless lingam of Shri Siva is worshipped with great respect by vaishnavas in order to develop love for Shri Krishna, there will be no doubt about accepting the remnants of Shri Siva's food. O vipra, such devotional service is verily auspicious for all embodied beings.
Thus ends the Ninth Sarga entitled "Lord Gauranga Hari Honors the Food Remnants of Shri Siva," in the Third Prakrama of the great poem Shri Chaitanya Carita.
Lord Gauranga dances in the mood of Shri Shiva
CC Text 95
No one can understand these inconceivable ecstatic moods of Loed Gauranga Maharpabhu. Everything that He revealed was wonderful and unprecedented.
One day a singer of Lord Siva's glories came. Playing a dambura drum, he sang about Lord Siva.
Arriving at the Lord's house to beg alms, he sang about Lord Siva and danced.
Hearing about Lord Siva's glories, Lord Gauranga at once manifested the form of Lord Siva, a form with splendid matted hair.
With one jump he came on the singer's shoulders. He screamed, "I am Siva!"
The people watched as matted-hair Lord Gauranga played the drum and horn and said again and again, "Sing! Sing!"
That day the great-soul attained the full benefit of singing Lord Siva's glories.
Because he sang without offense, Lord Gauranga climbed on his shoulders.
Returning to external consciousness, Lord Gauranga climbed down from the singer's shoulders. In the singer's cloth bag the Lord placed some alms.
His life now a perfect success, the singer departed. The auspicious sound of "Hari!" then rose from everyone.
During the samudra manthan by the Gods and demons, haalaa-hala, a poison came out of the ocean.It was so toxic, that its effect would have wiped out the entire creation. At this juncture, as per the advice of Vishnu, the gods approached Mahadev and prayed to him to protect their lives by consuming this poison. Pleased with their prayers, out of compassion for living beings, Lord Shiva drank this poison and held it in his throat by binding it with a snake. The throat became blue due to the poison (Thus Lord Shiva is also known as Neelakantha) and Shiva remained unharmed. This shows that shiva is also the protector. In another story, it is said that the whole world was once facing destruction and the Goddess Parvati worshiped her husband Shiva to save it. She prayed for the Jivas (living souls) remaining in space like particles of gold dust in a lump of wax during that long period of pralaya (deluge) night, should, upon becoming active again and in the enjoyment of their short day and night, have his blessings, but only if they worshiped him just as she did then. Her prayer was accordingly granted. Parvati named the night for the worship of Iswara by mortals Maha-Sivaratri, or the great night of Siva, since pralaya is brought about by him. This period is really his night from the great night or pralaya which was the cause for the origin of this Sivaratri
After creation was complete, Parvati asked Shiva of which rituals pleased him the most. The Lord replied that the 14th night of the new moon, during the month of Maagha, is my most favourite day. It is known as Shivaratri. Parvati repeated these words to her friends, from whom the word spread over all creation.
Once upon a time, a hunter worshiped Lord Shiva unknowingly on Shivaratri. He did this by dropping bael leaves on a shiva linga at the base of a bael tree from its branches where he was hiding and fasting all night. For this he was forgiven of all his sins. This forms the basis behind the offerings of bael to the Lord on Shivaratri.
The Story Of King Chitrabhanu
In the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata, Bhishma, whilst resting on the bed of arrows and discoursing on Dharma, refers to the observance of Maha Shivaratri by King Chitrabhanu. The story goes as follows -
Once upon a time King Chitrabhanu of the Ikshvaku dynasty, who ruled over the whole of Jambudvipa, was observing a fast with his wife, it being the day of Maha Shivaratri. The sage Ashtavakra came on a visit to the court of the king.
The sage asked the king the purpose of his observing the fast. King Chitrabhanu explained that he had a gift of remembering the incidents of his previous birth.
The king said to the sage that in his previous he was a hunter in Varanasi and his name was Suswara. His only livelihood was to kill and sell birds and animals. One day while roaming through forests in search of animals he was overtaken by the darkness of night. Unable to return home, he climbed a tree for shelter. It happened to be a Bael tree. He had seen a deer that day but let it live, after seeing the deer's sad family. As hunger and thirst tormented him, he was kept awake throughout the night. His canteen leaked water as he thought of his poor wife and children who were starving and anxiously waiting for his return. To pass away the time that night he engaged himself in plucking the Bael leaves and dropping them down onto the ground.
The next day he returned home and bought some food for himself and his family. The moment he was about to break his fast a stranger came to him, begging for food. He served the food first to stranger and then had his own.
At the time of his death, he saw two messengers of Lord Shiva. They were sent down to conduct his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. He learnt then for the first time of the great merit he had earned by the unconscious worship of Lord Shiva during the night of Shivaratri. The messengers told him that there was a Lingam at the bottom of the tree. The leaves he dropped fell on the Lingam. His canteen, which leaked water, washed the Lingam and he had fasted all day and all night. Thus, he unconsciously worshiped the Lord.
As the conclusion of the tale the King said that he lived in the abode of the Lord and enjoyed divine bliss for long ages and now he has reborn as Chitrabhanu.
Shiva (Lord Shiva) and ratri (night),
so Shivaratri means the night of Lord Shiva. Every lunar month on the 13th or 14th day of the dark half of the moon phase there is a Shivaratri but in the Vedic month of Phalgun (February-March) there is a Maha Shivaratri. This
year it falls on the 16th or 17th February depending where you are on the planet. The ceremony takes place mainly at night. This festival observed in the honour of Lord Shiva, who was married to Parvati (Mother Durga/Mother
Gauri) on this day. Some dvevotees observe a strict fast on this day. Some really strict devotees perform a nirjal fast i.e. they do not even have a sip of water. They keep virgil the entire night. The Shiva lingam is worshipped throughout the night by washing it every three hours with milk, yogurt, ghee, honey and so forth, whilst chanting of the mantra "Om namah shivaya", continues.
Offering of bael leaves are made to the Lingam. Bael leaves are very sacred (as Tulsi to Lord Vishnu and dhar to Mother Durga are very pleasing to Them) and Lord Shiva becomes pleased with that offering. Many different hymns glorifying Lord Shiva are sung with intense fervour and devotion. Aspirants perform japa of the Panchakshara mantra " Om namah Shivaya" (At the end of this article there is a very detail explanation of each syllable of this
mantra.) He who utters the names of Lord Shiva during Shivaratri with perfect devotion and concentration is freed from all sins that he/she have committed. He/she reaches the abode of Lord Shiva and resides very happily there.
NOTE: the Vaishnava/ aspiring Vaishnava however, worships Lord Shiva on this day in order to receive His blessings to become a better devotee of Lord Krishna (Vishnu) and not to attain residence in the abode of Shiva.
Vaishnavanams yatha Shambu -
Lord Shiva is the greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Krishna (Vishnu) is in this analogy considered to be likened to Milk. Milk is the origin of so many dairy products - Krishna tu bhagavan swayam, and so Krishna or Vishnu is the origin of everything. When Krishna wants activity overseen of the modes of Tamo guna He expands Himself transforming His supreme powers to act in that way, as no-one else could, and in that state He is Shambu - Shiva. So it may be seen that milk that is transformed becomes yogurt, but that yogurt can never again beome milk, this is presented in Brahma samhita 5:45.
chapter 5 TEXT 45
ksiram yatha dadhi vikara-visesa-yogat
sanjayate na hi tatah prthag asti hetoh
yah sambhutam api tatha samupaiti karyad
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
ksiram--milk; yatha--as; dadhi--yogurt; vikara-visesa--of a special
transformation; yogat--by the application; sanjayate--is transformed into;
na--not; hi--indeed; tatah--from the milk; prthak--separated; asti--is;
hetoh--which is the cause; yah--who; sambhutam--the nature of Lord Siva;
api--also; tatha--thus; samupaiti--accepts; karyat--for the matter of some
particular business; govindam--Govinda; adi-purusam--the original person;
tam--Him; aham--I; bhajami--worship.
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 Krsna. 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., vaisnavanam 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. (Sri Brahma Samhita, translation by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad.)
LORD SHIVA'S POSITION
In the Bhagavatam (4.3.23), Lord Shiva himself tells his wife, Sati, he is always engaged in worshiping the Supreme Personality known as Lord Vasudeva, Krishna, who is revealed in pure consciousness, by offering obeisances.
Herein, we can see that in actuality Lord Shiva is subordinate to Lord Vishnu, Krishna, in that he is also a part of Lord Krishna's universal form, as described in the Bhagavad-gita (11.15). Therein we find: "Arjuna said: My dear Lord Krishna, I see assembled together in Your [universal] body all the demigods and various other living entities. I see Brahma sitting on the lotus flower as well as Lord Shiva and many sages and divine serpents."
In the pastimes of Lord Krishna in Vrindavana, we find that Lord Shiva had also tried to enter the rasa-lila dance between Krishna and the gopis, the cowherd damsels. The Mahadeva Gopisvara temple in Vrindavana is said to mark where Lord Shiva desired to become a gopi in order to enter the dance with Lord Krishna. So Lord Shiva was trying to enter into the most confidential pastimes and devotion of Sri Krishna.
In another light, Lord Shiva is Lord Krishna's brother-in-law. At the time of Krishna's birth pastime in Vrindavana, Yasoda bore a daughter, Katyayani or Durga, and Mother Devaki bore a son, Lord Krishna. To save Him from the nefarious King Kamsa, Krishna's father, Vasudeva, brought Krishna from Mathura to Gokul and exchanged Him with the daughter of Mother Yasoda, taking the daughter back with him. When King Kamsa came to get the new born from Mother Devaki, the child rose into the air and exhibited her form as the eight-armed Durga and chastised Kamsa. Durga is Lord Shiva's wife, and in this pastime Lord Krishna's sister, so it can also be said that Shiva is the brother-in-law of Lord Krishna.
In another place in the Bhagavatam (8.12.10), when Lord Shiva was bewildered by the Supreme Lord's form as a beautiful woman, Mohini-Murti, Lord Shiva admits his weakness in being unable to fully understand the illusory nature of this material creation. "O My Lord, I, who am considered to be the best of the demigods, and Lord Brahma and the great rishis, headed by Marichi, are born of the mode of goodness. Nonetheless, we are bewildered by Your illusory energy and cannot understand what this creation is. Aside from us, what is to be said of others, like the demons and human beings, who are in the base modes of material nature [rajo-guna and tamo-guna]? How will they know You?"
Later, Lord Shiva, who is often pictured in meditation, explains to his wife who it is that he meditates on while in trance. He says, "O Goddess, You have now seen the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the unborn master of everyone. Although I am one of the principal expansions of His Lordship, even I was illusioned by His energy. What then is to be said of others, who are fully dependent on maya? When I finished performing mystic yoga for one thousand years, you asked me upon whom was I meditating. Now, here is the Supreme Person to whom time has no entrance and who the Vedas cannot understand."5
Another time when Lord Shiva described his subservient position was when Lord Krishna was battling with Banasura, who was a devotee of Lord Shiva, and was cutting off his hundreds of arms. When it looked like Banasura was about to lose his life, Lord Shiva, who had also been a part of the battle scene, approached Lord Krishna to pacify Him and spare Banasura's life. Therein (Bhagavatam 10.63.34-45) it is related, "Sri Rudra said: You alone are the absolute Truth, the supreme light, the mystery hidden within the verbal manifestation of the Absolute. Those whose hearts are spotless can see You, for You are uncontaminated, like the sky." In the ten verses that follow, Lord Shiva also addresses Lord Krishna in other ways: "Your current descent into the material realm, O Lord of unrestricted power, is meant for upholding the principles of justice and benefitting the entire universe. We demigods, each depending on Your grace and authority, develop the seven planetary systems. You are the original person, one without a second, transcendental and self-manifesting. Uncaused, you are the cause of all, and You are the ultimate controller."
When Uddhava was praying to Lord Krishna, he said, "Even Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva act only as Your instruments in cosmic creation and annihilation, which are ultimately done by You, The Supreme Lord, in Your invisible aspect of time."6
One of the major differences between Shiva and Krishna is described as follows: "Sri Shukadeva Gosvami said: Lord Shiva is always united with his personal energy, the material nature. Manifesting himself in three features in response to the entreaties of nature's three modes, he thus embodies the threefold principle of material ego in goodness, passion and ignorance. The sixteen elements have evolved as transformations of that false ego. When a devotee of Lord Shiva worships his manifestation in any one of these elements, the devotee obtains all sorts of corresponding enjoyable opulences. Lord Hari, however, has no connection with the material modes. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the all-seeing eternal witness, who is transcendental to material nature. One who worships Him becomes similarly free from the material modes."7 Thus a worshiper of Lord Shiva gets the results that are conditional to the affects of material nature, while a worshiper of Lord Krishna gets released from the material nature rather than receiving material opulences.
So in this regard, Sri Shukadeva Gosvami said, "Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and others are able to curse or bless one. Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma are very quick to curse or bestow benedictions, my dear King, but the infallible Supreme Lord is not."8
Another aspect of understanding Shiva's position has to do with his purpose, which is connected with how he appeared. This is clearly explained in the ancient text of the Brahma-samhita (verse 15). Therein we find it said "The same Maha-Vishnu created [His next expansion of] Vishnu [Garbhodakashayi Vishnu] from His left limb, Brahma, the first progenitor of beings, from His right limb and, from the space between His two eyebrows, Shambhu, the divine masculine manifested halo."
In an explanation of this, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta elaborates that when the mundane creation of the universe is manifested, then the principle of Shambhu in the form of Rudra is born from the space between the two eyebrows of Vishnu. Shambhu enshrines the principle of materialistic ego. This principle makes the living being identify with the material body, subject to the desires for material and bodily happiness. (Brahma-samhita, verse 16, purport)
So the power of Lord Shiva comes from the potency of Lord Vishnu. This is described as follows in verse 10 of the Brahma-samhita: "The person embodying the material causal principle, viz., the great lord of this mundane world [Maheshvara] Shambhu, in the form of the male generating organ, is joined to his female consort, the limited energy [Maya] as the efficient causal principle. The Lord of the world Maha-Vishnu is manifest in him by His subjective portion in the form of His glance."
In this way, during the process of the material creation, and when Maha-Vishnu casts His glance onto the shadowy potency of Maya, Shambhu, lord of the pradhana (the unmanifest material ingredients), who is the same as Rudra, consummates his intercourse with Maya, the efficient principle of the cause of mundane energy. But Shambhu can do nothing independent of the energy of Maha-Vishnu, who represents the direct spiritual power of Krishna. In this way, the principle of the material creation is produced only when Maha-Vishnu, the plenary portion of Lord Krishna, is propitious towards the active endeavors of Maya, Shiva's consort, and the principle of mundane causality. (Brahma-samhita, verse 10, purport)
So the difference between Maha-Vishnu and Shiva as Shambhu is more clearly described in the Brahma-samhita (verse 45) as follows: "Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither the same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Shambhu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction."
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta goes on to explain in the purport to this verse that Shiva is not a second Godhead other than Krishna. In fact, those who entertain such a discriminating sentiment commit a great offense to the Supreme Lord. The position of Shambhu is subservient to that of Govinda, Krishna. Hence they are not really different from each other, as the above verse indicates. But as yogurt comes from its initial cause, so Shiva is manifest according to his initial cause, which is from Krishna through Maha-Vishnu. So God takes a subservient position to His direct forms when He attains a distinct personality by the addition of a particular element of adulteration, which is the form of Lord Shiva or Shambhu, through which the Lord comes in contact with the material energy, since Maha-Vishnu never does touch the mundane energy. However, Shiva has no independent initiative or ability.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta further describes that in this way, Govinda manifests Himself as a plenary portion which, in this case, is a guna-avatara in the form of Shambhu, lord of tamo-guna or the mode of darkness... Thus, Shambhu, in pursuance of the will of Govinda, works in union with his consort, Durga-devi, by his own time energy.
Therefore, the real difference between Govinda and Shiva or Brahma is that all the majestic attributes of God are fully present in the form of Govinda, Krishna. Shiva and Brahma are entities adulterated with mundane qualities, however slight they may be. Though Vishnu is also a divine appearance in the mode of goodness, still He is not adulterated. The appearance of Narayana as Maha-Vishnu, or as Garbhodakashayi Vishnu (Vishnu's expansion in each universe) and Kshirodakashayi Vishnu (Vishnu's expansion as the Supersoul), are examples of the ubiquitous function of the Supreme Divinity. Lord Vishnu is Godhead Himself, and the two other guna-avataras and all the other gods are entities possessing authority in subordination to Him. The different incarnations of the Supreme Being, Govinda, are the same as the same light appearing in different candles, all shining by the spiritual potency of Govinda, Krishna. (Brahma-samhita, verse forty-six, purport)
This makes it clear that the forms and positions of Shiva and Brahma are eternal, but only in the context of the endurance of the material creation. Lord Shiva is the lord of tamo-guna and material nature, but not of the spiritual world. It is Lord Krishna who is described as the Supreme Being and controller of both the spiritual and material energies.
It is explained further by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta that Lord Krishna has sixty divine qualities in their fullest measure. While 50 of the divine qualities of the jiva souls are present along with five additional qualities in Lord Brahma, yet in Shiva these fifty-five qualities are also present but in greater degrees than in Lord Brahma. (Brahma-samhita, verse 49, purport)
Thus, the position of Lord Shiva has been described relative to his purpose and function within the material creation, and his form as an expansion of Lord Krishna.
HOW SHIVA AND DURGA ARE CONSIDERED THE MOTHER AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSE
Since it is the glance of the Supreme Being over the energy of Durga, maya, which sets in motion the creation of the universes, Durga is therefore known as the universal mother.14 This is why when people speak of the material nature, it is always referred to as a female, as "she," Mother Nature, and as the goddess. And the essence of Mother Nature is represented as Durga. She is united with her husband, known as Lord Shiva, who is then considered the father of the universe.
It is explained in the Vayu Purana that Shiva is an expansion of Sadashiva, who is a direct expansion of Lord Krishna. Sadashiva appears in order to perform various pastimes. Sadashiva is a resident of one of the Vaikuntha planets of the spiritual world. His consort there is Ramadevi, a form of Lakshmi. She expands into mahamaya in the material worlds, where she is then known as Durga. Thus, the spiritual Sadashiva and Ramadevi again become related as Shiva and Durga, who are the origin of material nature.
The part that is played by Lord Shiva during the creation is more fully explained in the Brahma-samhita (5.6-8). Therein it states that Lord Krishna, the Lord of Gokula, the topmost planet in the spiritual sky, is the Supreme Godhead, the very Self of eternal ecstasies. He is busily engaged in the enjoyments of the transcendental realm and has no association with the mundane, illusory material energy. He does not stop His spiritual engagements. When He intends to create the material manifestation, He merely sends His glance over the deluding energy in the form of His time potency. Krishna's expansion in the form of Maha-Vishnu in the Causal Ocean carries this glance to the material energy. This glance from Maha-Vishnu is the efficient cause of the creation. The dim halo of this glance, the reflected effulgence, is Shiva in his form as Shambhu, who is the symbol of masculine mundane procreation. It is through this form of Shiva that the Supreme Lord associates with the material energy. In his role as Shambhu, he is the principle by which Maha-Vishnu impregnates the material nature with the seeds of the innumerable living entities. Otherwise, the Supreme Being has no association with the material energy.
The Brahma-samhita (5.10) goes on to explain that it is Shambhu, Maheshvara, who is the dim reflection of the Lord's glance, and lord of the pradhana who embodies the seed of all living beings. The pradhana is the unmanifest material ingredients that later form the cosmic manifestation. It is Shambhu who comes forth from the glance of the Lord. Shambhu is created from the space in between the two eyebrows of Maha-Vishnu. Furthermore, Shambhu then joins with maya in the form of the male organ or power of regeneration. But he can do nothing independent of the power of Maha-Vishnu, who represents the direct spiritual power of Krishna. Therefore, the necessary changes in the material energy cannot happen unless facilitated by the will of the Supreme Lord, Krishna. (Bs.5.15)
As further described (Brahma-samhita 5.16), the function of Shambhu in relation to the conditioned souls is that the mundane egoistic principle has originated from Shambhu. What this means, without trying to get complicated about it, is that the tendency for the individual living being to forget his spiritual identity comes from Shambhu. This forgetfulness makes the individual in this material world want to be an enjoyer of the material experience. This is because he thinks he is the material body. This false identity makes all conditioned souls want to continue with their existence in the temporary, mundane world. This is the function of Shambhu, Shiva, in relation with the Supreme Lord Krishna's creative process. This forgetfulness is then carried further by mahamaya, Durga, as previously explained.
However, to make it more clearly understood, Shiva is an expansion of the Supreme Lord, Krishna, as described above. He is not a second god that acts in place of Krishna. Those who think he is make an offense against the Supreme Being. Neither is he a jiva, a marginal spirit soul. As clearly explained in the Brahma-samhita (5.45), just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, it is nonetheless neither the same as nor completely different from its cause, namely milk. So I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Shambhu is a transformation for the work of destruction.
In other words, Lord Krishna manifests His energy through Maha-Vishnu into the form of Shambhu, Shiva, in order to perform various tasks without having to give up His completely spiritual activities. It is through Shiva that the Supreme Being associates with His material energy in the form of maya. He does not do so directly. Thus, Shiva is not really different from Krishna, yet remains subservient to Him. The difference is like that of yogurt and milk. Yogurt is simply a changed form of milk, different in function simply by adding a certain acid. Similarly, the Supreme Being expands and changes into the distinct personality of Shambhu by the addition of a certain adulterated element to perform a particular function. It is also this form of Shambhu from whom Rudra, another form of Shiva, is created from Lord Brahma later on in the creative process. [This is more thoroughly discussed in my book How the Universe was Created and Our Purpose In It.]
So here we have learned another aspect of how the spiritual energy expands to create the material energy. Thus, ultimately everything comes from Lord Krishna. It is He who expands into the forms of Maha-Vishnu and then Shiva and Durga, who are considered the indirect mother and father of the universe, and are themselves expansions of Sadashiva and Ramadevi from the Vaikuntha realm.
HOW LORD SHIVA APPEARED IN THIS WORLD
The previous paragraphs point out how Lord Shiva participated in the creation process as Shambhu, and it is also related how Lord Shiva appeared in this world in a personal form from Lord Brahma. It is explained in the Bhagavatam (3.12.4), that in the beginning of the creation process, Lord Brahma manifested four great sages named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara. Brahma expected them to assist in filling the universe with varieties of living beings. However, they were unwilling to adopt materialistic activities because they were highly elevated beings. Brahma requested that they begin to produce progeny, but they refused because they were already attached to Lord Vasudeva, the Supreme Lord, and were focused on achieving liberation. So they expressed their unwillingness, which made Lord Brahma extremely angry.
The anger generated in the mind of Lord Brahma, though he tried to control it, came out from between his eyebrows. Immediately there was produced a child of mixed red and blue color. This child immediately began to cry and requested to Lord Brahma, "O destiny maker, teacher of the universe, kindly designate my name and place." Lord Brahma then pacified the boy and said, "O chief of the demigods, you shall be called Rudra because you have cried so anxiously." Then Brahma gave Rudra the following places for his residence: the heart, the senses, the life-air of the body, the sky, the air, the fire, water, earth, sun, the moon and austerity. He then told Rudra that he would be known by eleven other names: Manyu, Manu, Mahan, Shiva, Ritadhvaja, Ugrareta, Bhava, Kala, Vamadeva and Dhritavrata. These names represent the other aspects of Lord Shiva, each having different appearances and activities. Rudra is often shown as tall, well built, with long hair, wielding the thunderbolt, bow and arrow. He is viewed as the protector of humanity against its enemies. He is also known as an excellent physician and has numerous medicines which can cure diseases. Brahma also told Rudra that he would have eleven wives, namely Dhi, Dhriti, Rasala, Uma, Niyut, Sarpi, Ila, Ambika, Iravati, Svadha and Diksha.
Brahma then told Rudra to accept these names and wives, and that since he was one of the masters of the living beings, he should now increase the population on a large scale. Rudra then created many offspring that resembled him in color, strength, and furious nature. They were unlimited in number, and when they gathered together, they attempted to devour the universe. Brahma, becoming alarmed at the situation, then requested Rudra not to generate living beings of this nature. It would be better if Rudra engaged himself in penance, or meditation, which is auspicious for all. Through penance he could create the universe as it was before. By penance only can one approach the Supreme Lord, who is within the heart of every living being and at the same time beyond the reach of the senses. Thus Rudra accepted the advice of his father, Brahma, and went to the forest to perform austere penances. This is why we so often see Shiva pictured in the mountain forests engaged in meditation.
Some of Shiva's other names include Dakshinamurti, meaning a universal teacher. Then there is Trilochana (Three-eyed), Nila-kantha (Blue-throated), Pancha-anana (Five-faced), Chandrashekhara (Moon-crested), Gangadhara (Bearer of the Ganga), Girisha (Mountain Lord), Jatadhara (Wearer of matted hair), Sthanu (Immutable), Visvanatha (Lord of the Universe), Bhairava (the Terrible, destructive aspect of Shiva), Bhutesha or Bhuteshvara (Lord of ghosts or elements), Hara (remover of death), Shambhu (abode of joy), Shankara (giver of joy), Bhava (existence), Mahadeva (great God), Ashani (thunderbolt), Isha or Ishana (the ruler), Pashupati (the herdsman or friend of animals), Mritunjaya (conqueror of death), Aghora (non-fearful), Ugra (the fearful), Bhima (the tremendous), Rudra (Lord of tears), Shuli, Maheshvara, Ishvara, Sharva, Khandaparashu, Mrida, Krittivasas, Pinaki, Pramathadhipa, Kapardi, Shrikantha, Shitikantha, Kapalabhrit, Vamadeva, Mahadeva, Virupaksha, Krishanuretas, Sarvajna, Dhurjati, Nilalohita, Smarahara, Bharga, Tryambaka, Tripurantaka, Antakaripu, Kratudhvamsi, Vrishadhvaja, Vyomakesha, Umapati, Ahirbudhnya, Ashtamurti, Gajari, Mahanata, and others. The 1000 names of Shiva can be found in Chapter 17 of the Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata, as well as the Linga Purana (1.65-98).
HOW LORD SHIVA ASSISTS IN THE UNIVERSAL DESTRUCTION
Another point, as previously mentioned, is that within the glance of Maha-Vishnu over maya is the element of time, which starts the agitation within the energy of maya, or the pradhana. This is what starts the process of creating and separating the various material elements. This element of time has been identified as Shambhu, the personality of the destructive principle. It is also this Shambu in the form of Rudra who later appears at the end of time to bring about the destruction of the universe.
So, Shiva is considered to be an expansion of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, Krishna, and is called Hara as such, and is transcendental to the material qualities. However, in his activities of destroying the world at the end of time, he is in touch with the mode of ignorance, or tamo-guna, and then he is considered as one of the living entities, called Rudra.
It is further explained that Lord Krishna expands a portion of His plenary portion, Lord Vishnu, who assumes the form of Rudra when it is time to dissolve the cosmic manifestation. Lord Vishnu does this for accepting the association of the material mode of ignorance. Thus, Rudra is but another expansion of the energy of Lord Krishna, although not a personal expansion. Rudra, Lord Shiva, has various forms, which are transformations brought about by the different degrees of association with maya. Although Rudra is on a higher level than the jiva-tattvas, the individual living beings, he still cannot be considered a personal expansion of Krishna. Thus he is considered like a jiva.15
Although many people worship Lord Shiva, Shiva worships Lord Krishna. The Shiva Purana states that Shiva is the Supreme, however, this is in regard to his power over the material world. After all, it is he who assists in the annihilation of the material creation, so he has power over the universe. But no scripture ever says that Shiva is the Supreme Lord of any of the Vaikuntha planets or of Goloka Vrinadavana, or any part of the spiritual domain. Such precincts belong only to Lord Krishna and His personal expansions. That is why Lord Shiva is always pictured absorbed in meditation. He is meditating on Lord Sankarshana, who is represented by the snakes on Shiva's body. Since Shiva is the origin of the mundane egoistic principle, one who is a worshiper of Lord Shiva as a devotee of Sankarshana can be freed from the false, material ego.16
Shiva is often pictured doing his Tandava dance of destruction. He is seen with four hands and one leg up, as an expert dancer, and one leg dancing on a small person called the Apasmara-purusha. In two of his hands he holds the damaru drum and fire. The drum represents sound which is supported by ether. This is a sign of further creation after the annihilation or destruction. Fire represents the Pralayagni, or the fire of universal destruction. Thus, Shiva holds the symbols of cyclical universal creation and annihilation. The other two hands represent protection and blessing for those who take refuge of him or of his spiritual knowledge. The Apasamara upon whom Shiva stands symbolizes the ignorance which make us lose our clarity and consciousness of our real identity. This also signifies our succumbing to the process of death without spiritual preparation. Shiva is shown dancing on this ignorance for the good of the devotees who take refuge.
How Shiva assists in the cosmic annihilation is described in the Puranas. This process of cyclical destruction at the end of each day of Brahma is explained in the Vishnu Purana (Book Six, Chapters Three & Four). It states that at the end of 1,000 cycles of the four yugas the earth is almost exhausted. A great scarcity of food ensues, which lasts 100 years. Because of the lack of food, all beings become weak and slow, and finally perish entirely. Lord Vishnu then assumes the character of Rudra (a form of Lord Shiva), the destroyer, and descends to reunite all of His creatures within Himself. He enters into the seven rays of the sun, causing all moisture in the oceans, rivers, soil, and living bodies to evaporate. The whole earth is dried up. Thus fed with abundant moisture, the seven rays dilate into seven suns, whose radiance glows everywhere and sets the three planetary systems and the lower system of Patala on fire. The three planetary systems become rugged and deformed throughout their mountains, rivers, and seas as they are consumed by these suns. The earth alone remains, destitute of moisture, resembling the back of a turtle.
Then Lord Hari, in the form of Rudra, who is the fire of time, destroyer of all things, becomes the scorching breath of Ananta Sesha, Sankarshana, and reduces the lower planetary system of Patala to ashes. The great roaring fire makes its way up through the universe to earth and destroys it. A vast whirlpool of flame then spreads to the higher region of the demigods and puts them all to ruin. The three planetary systems appear like a frying pan surrounded by flames that consume all things. The inhabitants of the upper planetary systems then move higher to Maharloka, and when that becomes too hot, those who desire final liberation depart for the higher regions of Janaloka.
Elsewhere in the Bhagavatam (5.25.3), it states that Lord Shiva plays a significant role in the final and ultimate annihilation of the universe, which takes place at the end of Brahma's life. "At the time of devastation, when Lord Anantadeva [Ananta Sesha, Sankarshana] desires to destroy the entire creation, He becomes slightly angry. Then from between His two eyebrows appears three-eyed Rudra, carrying a trident. This Rudra, who is known as Sankarshana, is the embodiment of the eleven Rudras, or incarnations of Lord Shiva. He appears in order to devastate the entire creation."
The Brahma Purana (124.16) explains that it is the imperishable Lord Krishna who assumes the form of Rudra to bring all the elements and living beings back into Himself in the process of annihilation.
After Shiva appears in this way, he begins to do his dance of dissolution, dancing wildly to the beat of his drum. "At the time of dissolution, Lord Shiva's hair is scattered, and he pierces the rulers of the different directions with his trident. He laughs and dances proudly, scattering their hands like flags, as thunder scattered the clouds all over the world."17 Lord Shiva's dancing causes such a commotion that it brings in the clouds that cause the universe to become inundated with water, which is what happens next as the process of annihilation continues (which I have fully described in my book The Vedic Prophecies).
LORD SHIVA'S ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL ADVICE
In the Sri Sanatkumara-samhita, from the ancient Skanda Purana, we find a conversation between the great sage Sri Narada and Lord Sadashiva, the master of the demigods. Starting at text number 26 to text 30, Narada Muni asks Lord Sadashiva, "O master please tell what method the people of Kali-yuga may adopt to easily attain the transcendental abode of Lord Hari [Krishna]. O Lord, what mantra will carry the people from this world of birth and death? So everyone may benefit, please tell it to me. O Lord, of all mantras what mantra needs no purashcharana, no nyasa, no yoga, no samskara, and no other thing? A single utterance of the Lord's holy name gives the highest result. O master of the demigods, if I am competent to hear it, please kindly tell me the Lord's holy name."
In texts 31-35 , Lord Sadashiva gives his answer: Lord Sadashiva said: "O fortunate one, your question is excellent. O you who wish for the welfare of all, I will tell you the secret chintamani [wish-fulfilling] jewel of all mantras. I will tell you the secret of secrets, the most confidential of all confidential things. I will tell you what I have not told either the goddess or your elder brothers. I will tell you two peerless Krishna mantras that are the crest-jewels of all mantras. One is:
"'Gopijana-vallabha-charanau sharanam prapadye.' (I take shelter of the feet of He who is the gopi's beloved.) This mantra has three compound words, five individual words and sixteen syllables.
"The second mantra is: 'Namo gopijana-vallabhabhyam.' (Obeisances to the divine couple, who are dear to the gopis) This mantra has two words and ten syllables.
In texts 36-41, Lord Sadashiva continues: "One who either with faith or without faith once chants this five-word mantra resides among Lord Krishna's gopi-beloveds. Of this there is no doubt. In chanting these mantras there is no need of purshcharana, nyasa, ari-shuddhi, mitra-shuddhi, or other kinds of purification. In chanting these mantras there is no restriction of time or place. All, from the lowest outcaste to the greatest sage, are eligible to chant this mantra. Women, shudras, and all others are eligible. The paralyzed, mute, blind, and lame are eligible. The Andhras, Hunas, Kiratas, Pulindas, Pukkashas, Abhiras, Yavanas, Kankas, Khashas, and all others even if born from sinful wombs are also eligible. They who are overcome with pride and ego, who are intent on committing sins, who are killers of cows and brahmanas, and who are the greatest of sinners, are also eligible. They who have neither knowledge nor renunciation, they who have never studied the shruti-shastra and other scriptures, and all others, whoever they may be, are also eligible to chant these mantras."
Then in texts 42-48 Lord Sadashiva explains who is not eligible and who should not be told these sacred mantras or the purpose of them: "Anyone who has devotion to Lord Krishna, the master of all masters, is eligible to chant these mantras, but they who have no devotion, even they may be the greatest of sages, are not eligible. They who have performed many yajnas (rituals), given charity, visited all holy places, been devoted to speaking the truth, accepted the renounced order, traveled to the farther shore of the Vedas and Vedangas, devotedly served the brahmanas, taken birth in good families, and performed austerities and vows, but are not devoted to Lord Krishna, are not eligible to chant these mantras. Therefore these mantras should not be spoken to one who is not devoted to Lord Hari, nor to one who is ungrateful, proud, or faithless, nor to an atheist or a blasphemer. One should not speak these mantras to one who does not wish to hear them, nor to one who has not stayed for one year in the speaker's ashrama. One should carefully give these mantras to one who is free from hypocrisy, greed, lust, anger, and other vices, and who is sincerely devoted to Lord Krishna. The sage of this mantra is Lord Sadashiva. The meter is Gayatri. The Deity is Lord Krishna, the beloved of the gopis. The purpose is to attain service to dear Lord Hari."
In text 53 Lord Sadashiva says: "By once chanting this mantra one attains success. Of this there is no doubt. Still, for the purpose of chanting japa one should chant this mantra ten times daily."
In texts 54-77 of the Sri Sanatkumara-samhita, Lord Sadashiva describes the most nectarean meditation of the mantras, after which he continues with many additional topics in regard to the pastimes of Radha and Krishna and the importance of the land of Vrindavana:
"O best of brahmanas, now I will tell you the meditation of this mantra. I meditate on two-armed Lord Krishna, who is dark like a monsoon cloud, dressed in yellow garments, garlanded with forest flowers... crowned with a peacock feather, and garlanded with lotus whorls, whose face is splendid like ten million moons, whose eyes move restlessly... whose forehead is marked with the tilaka of sandal paste and musk... who is splendid with earrings like two rising suns, whose perspiration-anointed cheeks are like two glistening mirrors... who with raised eyebrows playfully glances at His beloved's face, the tip of whose graceful raised nose is decorated with a glistening pearl... whose bimba-fruit lips are splendid in the moonlight of His teeth, whose hands are splendid with bracelets, armlets, and jewel rings... who holds a flute in His left lotus hand, whose waist is splendid with a graceful belt, whose feet are splendid with graceful anklets... whose eyes are restless with the nectar of amorous pastimes, who jokes with His beloved, making Her laugh again and again... and who stays with Her on a jewel throne under a kalpa-vriksha [wish-fulfilling] tree in Vrindavana forest. In this way one should meditate on Lord Krishna and His beloved."
"On the Lord's left side one should meditate on Sri Radha, who is dressed in blue garments, who is splendid like molten gold... who with the edge of Her garment covers Her graceful lotus smile, whose restless chakori-bird eyes dance on Her beloved's face... who with Her forefinger and thumb places betel nuts and crushed betel leaves in Her beloved's lotus mouth... whose full, raised breasts are decorated with a glistening pearl-necklace, whose waist is slender, whose broad hips are decorated with tinkling ornaments... who is decorated with jewel earrings, finger rings, toe rings, bracelets, armlets, and tinkling golden anklets... whose limbs are graceful with the best of beauty, who is always in the prime of youth, and who is always plunged in the nectar of bliss. O king of brahmanas, Her friends, whose age and qualities are like Hers, devotedly serve Her with chamaras, fans, and other articles."
"Please hear, O Narada, and I will tell you the meaning of these mantras. The material world is manifested by the Lord's maya potency and other external potencies. The spiritual world is manifested by the Lord's chit potency and other internal and everlasting spiritual potencies. The protector of these potencies is said to be the gop Sri Radha, who is Lord Krishna's beloved. The transcendental goddess Sri Radha is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She is the pleasure potency of Lord Krishna. The wise say that She is the pleasure potency of Lord Krishna. Durga and the other goddesses in the world of the three modes are a million-millionth part of one of Her expansions. She is directly Goddess Maha-Lakshmi and Lord Krishna is Lord Narayana. O best of sages, there is not the slightest difference between Them. O best of sages, what more can I say? Nothing can exist without them. This universe made of spirit and matter together is Their potency. She is Durga and Lord Hari is Shiva. Lord Krishna is Indra and She is Shachi. She is Savitri and Lord Hari is Brahma. She is Dhumorna and Lord Hari is Yama. O Narada, please know that everything is Their potency. Even if I had many hundreds of years, I could not describe all Their glories."