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Siva and Krishna. What's the difference?

Dear David

Hello. Hare Krishna!

Thanks for the letter. Krishna consiousness is not a "religion" as other 

sectarian religions are. It's the natural occupation of the soul. We are 

eternal spirit souls, the bodies we have now are material and temporary, we are 

not the body, we are the spirit soul, the person within the body, the 

life-force within the body:

                          dehino 'smin yatha dehe

                          kaumaram yauvanam jara

                          tatha dehantara-praptir

                          dhiras tatra na muhyati

   "As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to

youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A

sober person is not bewildered by such a change." (Bhagavad-gita 2.13)

So we are changing bodies, from a child's body to a boy's body, to a man's 

body, to an old man's body and then death is simply another change of body. At 

night we go to sleep and wake up some hours later. So death is like sleeping 

for seven months. We wake up in the womb of our next mother...

The main thing to understand from all this is life is permanent. It's not just 

for sixty or seventy years. An intelligent person will look at the long term 

benefits, not just the short term sense gratification. This Western society 

educates us to work for material things. Temporary pleasure. But the soul is 

hankering after eternal pleasure, spiritual pleasure. So the temporary 

pleasures of the material world will never satisfy us. 

Krishna consciousness is the process of reestablishing our forgotten 

relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. We have an 

eternal relationship with Krishna, it is simply covered at present. By chanting 

the Hare Krishna mantra:

     Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

         Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

we can purify our consciousness and uncover our original, eternal relationship 

with Krishna.

This material world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. The 

spiritual world is not void. Everything we see here is also there, except in 

the spiritual world the nature is different. There everything is 

sat-cit-ananda, eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. It is completely 

opposite to this material world where everything is temporary, full of anxiety 

and full of ignorance. We, the spirit soul, are also eternal, full of knowledge 

and full of bliss. It is our natural position. So we are naturally comfortable 

in the spiritual world and we are uncomfortable here... We are something like 

fish out of water... If you take a fish out of his natural environment, the 

water, then no matter what you give him to try and make him happy he will not 

be satisfied. So we can have any amount of money, any number of beautiful 

women, the most wonderful motor car, etc... But none of it will satisfy us 

because we are looking for spiritual satisfaction, spiritual bliss...

                nama cintamanih krsnas


                purnah suddho nitya-mukto

                   'bhinnatvan nama-naminoh

"The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all 

spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all 

pleasure. Krishna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental 

mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less 

powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna's name is not contaminated by the 

material qualities, and there is no question of it's being involved with maya, 

Krishna's name is always liberatied and spiritual; it is never conditioned by 

the laws of material nature. This is because Krishna's name and Krishna HImself 

are identical." (Padma-Purana)

So Krishna and Krishna's name are not different. When we chant the Hare Krishna 

mantra purely Krishna is there. The Hare Krishna mantra is Krishna's 

incarnation in sound form. Chanting the holy names of God is the recommend 

method for making spiritual advancement in this age which is called 

"Kali-yuga", the Iron Age of quarrel and industry. Generally it is a miserable 

time for spiritual life but there is one great benefit:

                          kaler dosa-nidhe rajann

                          asti hy eko mahan gunah

                           kirtanad eva krsnasya

                         mukta-sangah param vrajet

"My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one 

good quality about this age; simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, 

one can be promoted to the transcendental kingdom of God." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 


So chanting Hare Krishna is a very powerful process and it will enable us to 

come to the spiritual platform and enjoy the transcendental bliss we are 

looking for. We actually enjoy as a result of serving Krishna, not by 

satisfying our oun senses. The more we try to satisfy our own senses the more 

frustrated we become, but the more we try to satisfy Krishna's senses the more 

liberated and blissful we become. So that is really the main point of Krishna 

consciousness, to somehow always remember Krishna, to always be engaged in 

doing something for Krishna's pleasure.

So from all of this you have probably gathered that Krishna is God, the Supreme 

Personality of Godhead. He is not in the material world, although He is 

everywhere, even within the atom, by His all-pervading energies. He has his own 

spiritual planet in the spiritual sky where He is always enjoying in the 

company of His devotees. All the relationships we have here with people are 

perverted reflections of the original relationships we have with Krishna in the 

spiritual world. So everything is there, some are parents of Krishna, some are 

friends of Krishna, some worship Krishna like a King, some offer service in a 

neutral way and some are wives of Krishna also. 

As Krishna is busy enjoying in the spiritual world, He is not directly involved 

with the administration and management of the material world. Of course He is 

all-cognizant. He knows everything that is going on everywhere, and "not a 

blade of grass moves" without His sanction. But still He appoints some of His 

devotees to look after the management of the material world. There are three 

main departments: creation, maintenance and annihilation. Lord Brahma looks 

after the creation, Lord Visnu, who is an expansion of Krishna, looks after 

maintenance and Lord Siva looks after destruction.

Everything in this world goes through these three stages: creation, maintenance 

and destruction. Even the whole universe is created at some point, it is 

maintained for some time, then it is destroyed... So Brahma, Visnu and Siva are 

the heads of the three main departments, but there are so many demigods, at 

least 33,000,000. For example the oceans are controlled by Varuna, the heavenly 

planets and the rainfall is controlled by Indra, the moon is controlled by 

Soma, the sun by Surya and so on. Nothing happens automatically or by chance as 

the modern scientists have speculated. Actually there is management to ensure 

everything runs smoothly in the universe. After all it is a very big machine 

and things go wrong in big machines, they have to be adjusted, they have to be 

maintained. So why should the universe be an exception to this rule?

So the difference between Lord Siva and Lord Krishna is Krishna is the Supreme 

Personality of Godhead and Lord Siva is an agent of Krishna working in the 

material world. Siva is not an ordinary demigod, however. Most of the demigods 

are ordinary people like you or I who have become qualified for the job. So you 

or I could become Lord Brahma, in charge of creating a universe, but we can not 

become Visnu or Siva. Visnu is Krishna's expansion and Lord Siva is somewhere 

between Visnu and an ordinary person. So it is a great science. 

I don't know what you think so far, it is a little difficult to explain all 

these things, the best thing is for you to read the books of His Divine Grace 

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the "Bhagavad-gita As It Is" would be a 

good place to start. There are also lots of wonderful small books as well. I 

don't know what's available in your part of the world but try and get some 

books and read them. You might also like to try chanting the Hare Krishna 

mantra, it is a very special thing...

Thanks for writing, looking forward to hearing from you again. Chant Hare 

Krishna and be happy!

Madhudvisa dasa

>> Sorry. I don't have a Shiva picture. What are you going to do with it? What

>> do you know about Shiva and Krishna? Do you know the difference?


>> Looking forward to hearing from you. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.


>> Madhudvisa dasa

>Hello Madhudvisa dasa.


>I'm going to print the Shiva pic. out, and put it in my work about SxE

>and Krishna Consciousness. Really, I don't know much about Shiva or Krishna, i 

>heard about it

>through the Hare Krishna/Heavy Metal group 108 (they're REALLY good...),

>and through the Krishna group SHELTER.

>A guy I know from school is into almost all kinds of religion, and said

>a lot of things that I didn't know. And that's kinda all I know too...


>And, no, I don't know the differences between Shiva and Krishna (is it

>two gods ?). Please tell me ???Hope to hear from you soon.



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Chant Hare Krishna and be happy! All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!