SHOULD A KRISHNA DEVOTEE WORSHIP OTHER GODS (DEMIGODS) AND CHANT ALL THEIR MANTHRAS?
Actual Questions from three devotees:
(1) A girl devotee (Name hidden):
“Hare Krishna prabhu. Sometimes it’s really very sad when our relatives demotivating our devotional service. They are accusing us because not performing prayers for demigod, but going to mayapur and vrindavan etc. We always do all the prayers. But when one of the prayers is pending, they started to critize such a way. How to face this type people especially parents?”
(2) Another devotee (Name hidden):
“Hare Krishna prabhuji. I follow ur posts regularly. I am to increase my chanting from. 1 to 5. My question is – we are brought up worshipping gods- shiva, hanuman, mata, krishna, rama, balaji. always Ganesha to be worshipped first always in all poojas. Now After going to Bgt classes, i know that all gods are part of Vishnu, bit i am a bit confused that if I don’t do Puja like before then it is a sin. Please reply how to understand this better. Thank you. I meant to say, I have already increased to 5 rounds”
(3) Another male devotee:
“Hi, i always read your status and your posts touc h my heart. I want to ask you one question which always burns my mind. Every morning I pray to god ‘devi’ and pray “krishna” at evening. There are lots of god in our hindu but which god we need to pray. I pray of Vishnu god becoz Ram,Krishna is also his awatar na, everyday i confused how to pray, which mantra we have to read in pray if you give me best suggestion i will be thankfull.”
These questions show how severely the devotees of Krishna are threatened by other devotees and parents.
Yes, we need not worship any demigods if we worship Krishna. Because, in our life time, we can’t satisfy all of them since there are plenty of demigods. So, better we stop with Krishna.
When a new seeker of spirituality likes to choose which God to worship, I strongly recommend him to know the positions of every demigod and also that of the topmost authority, Krishna.
As written by me here already, there are so many concepts about spirituality in our country that are confusing every spiritual seeker. Read that paragraph again here below:
“One concept says that Krishna and Siva are equal;
One concept says that Lord Shiva is greater than Krishna;
One says that Kali Devi is the highest authority;
One says that only the navagrahas (9 planets) are the deciding authorities;
One says that all gods are equal and there is no stages of demigods, gods, etc.
One says that only the ‘nature’ like sun, moon, rivers, etc., are god.
One says that our parents only are gods. No other gods.
One says that even the humans (we) are equal to god.
Another says that we can merge with God after this birth;
One says that smoking & drinking is not a barrier for spiritual growth (because that speaker may also smoke and drink).
One says that you can earn by even wrong means, but give some percentage to God and escape from punishments;
One says that he (guru) is Krishna himself and hence dancing with him is like dancing with Krishna. He is Krishna and the assembled women are gopis.
One says that you can see god at the peak of sexual exchanges.
One says that if you worship him, you can become rich or conquer enemies or enjoy in life.
Another says that you do any offence on all the six days, but, come and ask excuse to god on sundays that will nullify all your sins of the past six days.”
Thus, you will become mad if you give ears to all the concepts. So, keep the following tips in mind:
WHOM TO WORSHIP SINCE THERE ARE 100s OF BELIEFS IN INDIA?
GOD means Krishna. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, ie, Paramathma. KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS is the TOPMOST form of devotional practice.
Krishna is the ultimate source to whom all our offerings go. Though you offer prayers or things to any other deity, it finally goes to Krishna only. This is told by Krishna Himself in Bhagavad Gita.
So, worship Krishna who is the main root. All other deities are like branch roots. If you pour water to main root, it will automatically reach branch roots also.
Srila Prabhupada’s discussion on September 18, 1973, Bombay:
Guest (2): No, No. But then what is the connection then between Krishna and Shiva?
Prabhupäda: Krishna and Shiva, just like ‘dahi’ and ‘dudha’. Dahi is nothing but dudha, but still it is not dudha.
Guest (2): It’s a a different form.
Prabhupada: Not different form, different action also. If you want milk, if I give you dahi, and if I say, “Oh dahi and dudha, the same thing. Why you are not accepting this dahi?”, will you accept?
Guest (2): Correct.
Prabhupäda: Although the same thing, but action is different. If you become devotee of Lord Shiva, you’ll get opportunity of material opulences. Because Lord Shiva is the husband of Durga, and Durga is the superintendent of this material world. So Durga is under control. If one becomes a devotee of Lord Shiva, then Durga gives him, eh? Dhanam dehi rupam dehi rupavati-bharyam dehi yaço dehi. So you’ll get all this, nice position, nice wife, nice power, famous… All this material, not spiritual. So to worship any other demigod than Krishna is materialism. That is not spiritualism.
Guest (1): Worshiping Vishnu is also material?
Prabhupäda: No. Vishnu is not. Vishnu is Krishna, Vishnu the same, expansion. That you have to understand.
WHICH MANTHRA TO RECITE?
There are 1000s of manthras. 100s of manthras to get child; 100s to become rich; 100s for disease cure. Thus, if you start reciting all the 1000s of manthras daily, 24 hrs will not be sufficient and you will become confused.
So, make it a practice of chanting Hare Krishna Maha Manthra as many times as possible every day. This will gradually purify you and situate you in transcendental platform. Because, Krishna lives in His Name in this kaliyuga, and Chanting the holy nakme is the recommended dharma for kaliyuga.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
and Be happy and blissful.
After getting Gayathri manthra from a guru, you may add Gayathri Manthra also to chant following the Brahmana life style.
Since Gayathri Manthra should not be published but should be given on ears only by a guru, I have not printed it.
IS THIS NOT AVOIDING DEMIGODS THAT WILL MAKE THEM ANGRY?
ONLY BECAUSE SOME DEVOTEES SPEAK ILL ABOUT DEMIGODS, THEIR PARENTS GET PAINED AND CRITICIZE THEIR CHILDREN.
The actual mindset for a devotee should be moderate and honouring of all the servants of Krishna.
Therefore, We should never disrespect any demigod or devotee just because we are worshiping Krishna. Respect all the demigods and celestials. Respecting all others is a Vaishnava quality. Nothing wrong if you go and offer respects when you are passing by any demigod temple. But, always keep in mind that Krishna alone is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and do not equate any demigod with Krishna. But, give due respects to them as they are also devotees of Krishna and are serving in different positions as assigned to them.
The best prayer to any demigod should be: “Please bless and help me to come up in Krishna Consciousness”.
IS IT SINFUL TO OFFER PUJAS (WORSHIP) TO OTHER GODS?
Not a sin. Sin is a very big word here. Sin means spoiling the life of others. By offering respects to Shiva, Ganapathi, etc, whose life will be spoiled? Therefore, no point of sin in devotional practices. The question is just whether it is required or not.
We need not offer any worship to other deities if we worship Krishna because of the following reasons:
(1) Krishna is the Supersoul, ie, Supreme Personality of Godhead who is like the main root of a plant. If you worship Krishna (without disrespecting demigods), it automatically satisfies all demigods. So, better offer water to the main root.
(2) Krishna Himself says in Bhagavad Gita that any offering given to other deities come to Him only; And all the benefits given by other deities come from Him only.
(3) There are 1000s of celestials and demigods. We can’t satisfy everyone individually as our life time is short. So, better worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna and offer due respects to others.
Just because you love your father, will you hate and refuse to offer respect to your brother? No. Similarly, a vaishnava will see Krishna in everyone and every god. So, he should not speak ill about other deities as they are also devotees of Krishna. If we disrespect them, it is like disrespecting Krishna.
How can one disrespect Ganapathi who helped Vyasa deva to write Mahabharatha?
Then, why acharyas advise us to concentrate only on Krishna?
(1) They want you to show your full dedication in a single form of worship to avoid distractions and waste of time and energy.
(2) Let that worship be that of Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.
How to deal with other deities?
You can worship Ganapathi or any other deities as if you are worshiping the devotees of Lord. But, you should keep in mind that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Say, you are working under the president of a country. If the finance minister of that country comes in front of you, won’t you give your pranams to him? Will you fear that the president will take it wrong? No. You will show your respect to the finance minister also.
So, worshiping other deities is not a sin. But, considering all the deities as equal to Krishna is not right. We have to admit that the president of a country has topmost powers and his decision is final. Though the finance minister is also powerful to some extent, both a finance minister and president are in different platforms. President is president; Finance minister is the finance minister.
Therefore, my advice to you is: Give respects to all the deities, keeping Krishna in mind as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
I am in the devotional practices since my early twenties. I love Krishna and I am convinced and I have total confidence in the fact that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
However, I can’t hate Lord Shiva, or Ganapathy, Durga, etc. Whenever I see a temple of Shiva, I do not hesitate to visit that temple and offer respects to Shiva. I will enter the temple with chanting bag and chant Hare Krishna in front of Lord Shiva as it will make Shiva happy.
I never feared whether other Krishna devotees will find me offering respects to Lord Shiva. Why should I refuse to honour a Shiva temple on the way just because I am a devotee of Krishna? Srila Prabhupada says in Bhagavatham that Lord Shiva is ALMOST equal to Krishna. Shiva is not an ordinary person. Krishna says in Gita: “Among rudras, I am Shiva”. Then, why should I skip giving honours to Lord Shiva?
So, I respect all the deities keeping in mind Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is very comfortable for me. Because, I do not disrespect any deities.
So, you can offer respects on important occasions to other deities, but, without expecting anything. Concentrate Only in Krishna conscious practices. Then, you will not have time to think of any other deities.
Let me write again:
A VAISHNAVA WILL NOT HATE ANY CREATION AND ARRANGEMENT OF KRISHNA!