THE IMPORTANCE OF LORD SHIVA in Vaishnava Sampradaya !!!!!

18th Feb 2015 is Shiva Ratri the appearance of Lord Shiva!. Lord Shiv is very important part of bhakti as without his mercy and permission we cannot enter any dham or pastime of Lord Radha Krsna

For example

In Vrindavan there is Gopeshwar Shiv was became in the form of gopi to enter krsna lila

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur offered these prayers wriiten for Gopishwara Mahadev when he visited the Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneshwar on June 22nd, 1922:

Vrindavanvani-pate jaya soma soma

maule sanandana-sanatana-naradeya

gopishvara vraja-vilasi-yuganghri-padme

prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te

"O Shiva, O gatekeeper of Vrindavan! O you who are accompanied by Uma (Parvati)! O you who carry the moon in your hair! O lord worshiped by Sananda-kumar, Sanat-Kumar and Narada Muni! O Gopishwar, the worshipable deity of the gopis! Desiring that you bestow upon me love for the divine couple, Sri Sri Radha Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja, I offer my obeisances unto you again and again." (Srila Vishwanatha Chakravarti's Sri Sankalpa-kalpadrum, cited in vol. 7 of Sri Krishna Kathamritam)

In MAYAPUR, Kolkata West Bengal there are 2 Shiv one at Yogapitha and Hari Hari ksetra

In the Yogapitha, Ksetrapala Siva, the protector of the dhama, is eternally worshipped. He is also known as Sri Gopisvara, and he bestows service to the dhama. Pure devotees who perform worship in accordance with the followers of Srila Rupa (sri-rupanugas) honour Ksetrapala Siva as Gosvami (the Gopisvara Siva, and pray to him for eternal service to Sri Gaurasundara that is devoid of material attributes. Sri Gaura is the rasaraja - embodiment of rasaraja-mahabhava, the combined form mahabhava of Radha and Krishna.

Sri Sri Harihara-ksetra in Godruma dvipa in Navadvipa

Harihara-ksetra is also called Maha-Varanasi. It is situated on the bank of the Gandaki River on the eastern side of the river Alakananda. Here in an ancient temple, Sri Hari and Sri Hara (Visnu and Siva) are manifest in one and the same deity. The best of the Vaisnavas, Sri Sambhu (Siva), and vaisnavi-sakti Sri Gauri eternally reside here chanting the name of Gaura. Residence in this place is superior to residence in Kasi and Kailasa. When a living entity dies here Sambhu chants Sri Gaura's name in his ear and thus delivers him from this material world.

There is a Deity here who is half Vishnu (Lord Hari) and half Siva (Lord Hara). The Lord manifested Himself in this form to show how dear Lord Siva is to Him. Lord Siva is the best of the Vaishnavas. There is a temple here with the Deity of Hari-Hara, Laksmi, Burha Shiva, Maha Vishnu, Sitala Devi and the footprints of Gadadhara.

The glories of this place are millions of time better than that of Kasi (Varanasi) and Kailash combined. If one leaves his body at this place Lord Siva comes personally and chants the name of Gauranga in the dying person's ear at the time of death and thus transports them to the spiritual world.

Maha Varanasi

This place is also called Maha Kasi. Kasi is another name for the city of Varanasi. The Kasi in Navadvipa is superior to the other Kasi. At this place Lord Siva is always dancing and chanting the names of Gaura and requesting his followers to also do so. This place is called Maha Kasi because at this place there is no fear.

Sri Mahadeva, or Sri Sambhu, is actually Sada-Siva. This visnu-tattva, a primary expansion of the Supreme means he is Lord. There is no difference between Sada-Siva and Visnu. Accepting a portion of the mode of ignorance, Sada-Siva destroys this material world and fulfils the desires of the jivas. He bewilders those who are unfavourable to Krsna, and hegrants devotion to Krsna and protects those who are favourable. He worships Krsna in his abode of Kasi or Kailasa. As the foremost of Vaisnavas he is very dear to Sri Hari and is non-different from Him.

Persons like Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Meghanada, Kamsa, Jarasandha and Bhaumasura, are envious of Sri Hari and only worship Sankara. They are called demons and Sri Hari kills them. Srimad-Bhagavatam describes how Pundarika Vasudeva and his friend, the king of Kasi, opposed Sri Krsna. Krsna killed the coward Pundarika Vasudeva and chopped off the king's head, throwing it at the gate of Kasi. At this, his son prepared to attack Sri Krsna, but before he could do so Krsna burned the entire city of Kasi to ashes with the heat coming from His Sudarsana cakra. Sankara left Kasi with his associates and took shelter of Harihara-ksetra.

The real nature of Lord Siva is very mysterious. When SriRamacandra established Ramesvara, a deity of Siva, everyone present acknowledged Ramesvara to mean ramasya isvaram, or "Siva is the lord (isvara) of Rama." The demigods opposed this and through the compound ramasca asau isvaram they derived another meaning: "Rama and Sankara are both the Lord (isvara)." These explanations distressed Sankara, who personally spoke from the siva-linga: "Neither explanation is correct. Through the grammatical compound ramam yasya isvaram sa ramesvaram the meaning of Ramesvara becomes: 'Ramesvara is he whose Lord is Rama.'" Thus, Sri Krsna is established as the sole Lord of all lords, and Sankara as His precious servant.

In the narration of Usa's marriage in Srimad-Bhagavatam a fight is described between Banasura and Sri Krsna. Sankara sided with Banasura, who was defeated by Krsna. Sankara prayed to Krsna to spare Banasura's life, and as a result Krsna cut off all but four of Banasura's thousand arms, and made him an associate of Sankara.

Vaisnavas acknowledge Lord Sankara as dear to the Supreme Lord and the spiritual master of the Vaisnavas, and therefore they respect and honour him. Sankara is ksetrapala, the protector of all of Bhagavan's holy abodes.

In Vrndavana, where he accepts the mood of a is gopi, he is famous as Sri Gopisvara. He bestows krsna-prema upon qualified living entities, and thus gives them entrance into Vrndavana. Srimad-Bhagavatam also accepts Sankara as the best of Vaisnavas, vaisnavanam yatha sambhum. Even if the Lord gives him unpleasant instructions, Sankara is forever attentive to carry them out. When the ocean of milk had been churned, Sankara, understanding Visnu's desire, drank the poison the churning had produced and thus protected the universe. Sankara also understood the desire of his Lord and Master, Sri Krsna, that he come as Sri Sankaracarya to propagate impersonalism, which is opposed to the principles of the Vedas. By doing this he obscured pure devotion and knowledge of the essential reality of the Supreme Personality, subdued the atheistic Buddhists, and destroyed the karma-kanda [the division of the Vedas that deals impersonal with fruitive activities]. By always observing Bhagavan's desire, Sankara serves the Lord's innermost desire.

"Sri Sanatana Gosvami has written that some Vaisnavas don't observe Siva Caturdasi, the appearance day of Lord Siva or Sankara. In Hari Bhakti Vilasa he has written that Vaisnavas should honor Sankara, and they may observe that date. I observe that date. I know Sankara, because in his form of Bankandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana he was the friend of Sanatana Gosvami. He became Bankandi Mahadeva from Gopisvara. Do you know this history?

When Sri Sanatana Gosvami became old, Sankara told him, "Now you are old. You should not come daily to see me, because you are coming from so very far away. Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I should come. I cannot change this habit." Then Gopisvara Mahadeva said, "Then I'm going to come very near to you - as Bankandi Mahadeva." He thus became Bankandi Mahadeva and resided very near the Madana Mohana Temple. Srila Sanatana Gosvami is also the very dear friend of Cakralesvara Mahadeva in Govardhana. He also used to be with Sankara in Kamyavan, where he is known as Kamesvara. He cannot be without Sankara.

As Nandisvara, Sankara has become the mountain of Nandagaon. He wanted that all Krsna's pastimes be performed on his back. Regarding Brahma, he has become Brahma-parvata in Varsana. Because he is so near to Radhika, he is therefore our Gurudeva.

These are the tattvas. We should try to honor Sankara as a great Vaisnava and as Guru. Don't dishonor him. We don't worship him separately, but we can observe Siva Caturdasi and glorify him in relation to his relationship with Sri Krsna. We should offer pranama to him with prayers.

Sankara is telling Sri Narada that Prahlada Maharaja is superior to him. Why? Because he is "tricky". He does this only to give some encouragement to worldly persons. Actually, Prahlada cannot go to Vrndavana, but Sankara, as Gopisvara, resides there. As Hanuman, Sankara is always with Rama. As Bhima, he is with Krsna. When Hanuman and Bhima combine together in Kali-yuga, they become Madvacarya, our Sampradaya-guru.

Thus, Lord Sankara serves in so many ways, and we should always honor him as our Guru. He is hundreds of thousands of times superior to Prahlada because he knows and meditates on asta-kaliya-lila. Parvati also meditates on asta-kaliya-lila. This is very secret, yet they both do it. Although Sankara is so much superior and more worshipful than Prahlada, still he says that Prahlada is superior. Why? Thats is the quality of Vaishanava he considers himself to be inferior than other vaishanvas.

"Sankara had performed a number of activities that were apparently opposed to Krsna, such as giving a benediction to Ravana, as well as other activities opposed to krsna-bhakti. He told Narada, "You know, my boy, what no one in this world can do, Krsna tells me to do." When the demigods were churning the ocean, first came poison - maha-poison. It was very dangerous and the entire world was burning by it." The demigods had approached Krsna, who told them to worship Sankara and request him to swallow that poison. So they worshipped Sankara and told him, "O Sankara, save us! No one else can save us." Sankara at once took that poison and drank it. He took it in his mouth, but he didn't want to take it in his stomach. This was because he considered, "Oh, Krsna is in my heart, and the poison will affect Him". He therefore took it only in his throat. His throat was burned and it thus turned blue.

There was a very big demon named Tripurasura, who performed severe austerities to please Sankara. When Sankara came, Tripurasura told him, "I want a benediction that I can make three airplanes. They should be managed only by mind, so that when I order them to go to heaven, they will go there. They should not be like present-day machines. They should do as I wish. In summer they should be air-conditioned. If two men are seated, then there should be only two seats. And if I want to travel on the airplanes with hundreds of thousands of persons, then that many seats should be arranged. They should never fall down due to mechanical difficulty. Never. They should be made of gold, copper, and silver, and they should be equipped with all kinds of weapons.

After attaining his benediction, Tripurasura began to fight with Lord Sankara himself. Sankara fled and took shelter of Krsna. Tripurasura also had a khupa, a well, and that well was full of nectar. If anyone would try to kill him, he could at once take that nectar and then he would not die. Sankara was very worried. Because so much warfare was going on between them, he took shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. In order to save him, Krsna, as Visnu, then took the form of a cow. That cow drank all the nectar from the well, after which Sankara was able to kill Tripurasura and the other demons. We can see here that Sankara even gives benedictions to his own enemies, knowing that Krsna will save him.

Sankara is always serving Krsna. Narada knows this fact, but he wanted to glorify Sankara so that everyone will know that he is very near and dear - and non-different from Krsna. How? "Saksad haritvena samasta sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam". Here saksad haritvena means priyatvena haritvena. He is very near and dear. "Vaisnavanam yata sambhu - he is the greatest Vaisnava".

Sankara-tattva is extremely complex. Brahma-tattva is not so complicated; he is always jiva-tattva. And sometimes, when there is no qualified jiva, Lord Visnu himself comes as Brahma. But Sankara is not like this. He is not jiva-tattva. Where does he live? Beyond Brahmaloka. After passing through the eight kinds of material coverings, after crossing the Viraja, Muktidhama, Mahakalapuram, and then Brahmaloka, there is the planet of Sankara. There he is known as Sadasiva, and he is Visnu-tattva.

For any reason, if something sour is put into milk, it becomes yogurt. Yogurt is nothing but milk. It has all the potencies that are in milk, like ghee and so forth, but it is not milk. Milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. Sankara is like that. He is not an ordinary jiva. Sometimes, but very rarely, there may be a reason that Sadasiva cannot come to this world - if he is engaged in his destruction of the universe, or anything like that. In that case a qualified jiva can work as Siva; temporarily, but not permanently. So you should always try to honor Lord Sankara."

In Jagannath Puri Sri Lokanath Temple

It is believed that the visit to Puri is incomplete unless one takes permission of Sri Lokanath,Shiv One of the oldest temples of Puri, the Sri Lokanath Temple located some 2½ kms to the west of Jagannath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.  Before Puri became an important Vaishanava site, it was the seat of Saiva worship and as per the legends, the 'Linga' of the Lokanath Temple was installed here by Sri Ramachandra during the Treteya Yug. The 'Linga' is an interesting feature of the Sri Lokanath Temple, which remains submerged under water. It is visible only on the night of 'Pankadhar Ekadasi' few days before Sivaratri, when all the water is bailed out to enable thousands of the devotees to see and worship the Lord. It is said that the decomposed water has miraculous properties and can cure several diseases.

Sri Loknath Temple, Puri

The Sri Lokanath Temple currently buried under the sand is built in sandstones locally called Sanla Pathara. The main temple is about 30 feet from the ground level and consists of the Vimana (Main Temple), Jagamohana (Entrance Hall), Natamandapa (Dancing Hall) and Bhogamndapa (Offering Hall). The image of Shiva-Parvati is carved on the northern side wall; that of Lord Kartikeya on the eastern side and of Lord Ganesha  on the southern side wall. There are also a few temples located inside the Sri Loknatha temple premises notable among which are the Surya-Narayana Chandra-Narayana and the Satya-Narayan. One can also find an image of Lord Hanuman located on right side of the entrance to the inner courtyard. Near the temple is a pond known as Parvati Sagara where devotees are required to wash their hands and feet before entering into the temple.

An image of Lord Lokanath ('Bije Pratima') known as Bhandar Lokanath is kept in the Sri Jagannath Temple. He is considered as the guardian deity of the Ratnabhandara (treasure house) of Sri Jagannatha Temple and is also associated with Lord Jagannath in several festivals like Sivaratri, Chandan Yatra and Sital Sasthi.

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