Demigod Worship demigods

Published on December 17th, 2014 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image


Worshiping the Demigods

We are living in the material world and every aspect of this world is being managed and maintained by intelligent persons. That is our experience here. If you go into some large department store it is not that everything is going on automatically. No. There is a managing director, and he has many department managers and all the department managers have a group of workers they supervise and in this way all the activities of the big department store are going on.

Krishna manages this universe in a similar way. Krishna appoints a managing director [Lord Brahma] and Brahma has many departmental managers who are responsible for the many different departments of the material world. These managers of the material world are called ‘demigods.’

Many materialistic persons become attached to worshiping these demigods to get some temporary, materialistic benefits. Krishna discusses this demigod worship in Bhagavad-gita:

“Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.” (Bhagavad-gita 7.20)

Less intelligent people who have lost their spiritual sense take shelter of demigods for immediate fulfillment of material desires. Generally, such people do not go to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because they are in ignorance and passion and therefore worship various demigods. Worshipers of demigods are motivated by small desires and do not know how to reach the supreme goal.

In Vedic literature there are recommendations for worshiping different gods for different purposes (e.g., a diseased man is recommended to worship the sun), those who are not devotees of the Lord think that for certain purposes demigods are better than the Supreme Lord. But a pure devotee knows that the Supreme Lord Krishna is the master of all. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is master and all others are servants. Therefore a pure devotee never goes to demigods for satisfaction of his material needs. He depends on the Supreme Lord. And the pure devotee is satisfied with whatever He gives.

I am in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship the demigods, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to some particular deity. (Bhagavad-gita 7.21)

God has given independence to everyone; therefore, if a person desires to have material enjoyment and wants very sincerely to have such facilities from the material demigods, the Supreme Lord, as Supersoul in everyone’s heart, understands and gives facilities to such persons. As the supreme father of all living entities, He does not interfere with their independence, but gives all facilities so that they can fulfill their material desires.

Some may ask why the all-powerful God gives facilities to the living entities for enjoying this material world and so lets them fall into the trap of the illusory energy. The answer is that if the Supreme Lord as Supersoul does not give such facilities, then there is no meaning to independence. Therefore He gives everyone full independence–whatever one likes–but His ultimate instruction we find in the Bhagavad-gita: man should give up all other engagements and fully surrender unto Him. That will make man happy.

Both the living entity and the demigods are subordinate to the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore the living entity cannot worship the demigod by his own desire, nor can the demigod bestow any benediction without the supreme will. As it is said, not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Generally, persons who are distressed in the material world go to the demigods, as they are advised in the Vedic literature. A person wanting some particular thing may worship such and such a demigod. For example, a diseased person is recommended to worship the sun-god; a person wanting education may worship the goddess of learning, Sarasvati; and a person wanting a beautiful wife may worship the goddess Uma, the wife of Lord Siva. In this way there are recommendations in the sastras (Vedic scriptures) for different modes of worship of different demigods. And because a particular living entity wants to enjoy a particular material facility, the Lord inspires him with a strong desire to achieve that benediction from that particular demigod, and so he successfully receives the benediction.

The particular mode of the devotional attitude of the living entity toward a particular type of demigod is also arranged by the Supreme Lord. The demigods cannot infuse the living entities with such an affinity, but because He is the Supreme Lord or the Supersoul who is present in the heart of all living entities, Krishna gives impetus to man to worship certain demigods.

The demigods are actually different parts of the universal body of the Supreme Lord; therefore they have no independence. In the Vedic literature it is stated: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead as Supersoul is also present within the heart of the demigod; therefore He arranges through the demigod to fulfill the desire of the living entity. But both the demigod and the living entity are dependent on the supreme will. They are not independent.”

Endowed with such a faith, he seeks favors of a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone. (Bhagavad-gita 7.22)

The demigods cannot award benedictions to the devotees without the permission of the Supreme Lord. The living entity may forget that everything is the property of the Supreme Lord, but the demigods do not forget. So the worship of demigods and achievement of desired results are not due to the demigods but to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by arrangement. The less intelligent living entity does not know this, and therefore he foolishly goes to the demigods for some benefit. But the pure devotee, when in need of something, prays only to the Supreme Lord. Asking for material benefit, however, is not a sign of a pure devotee.

A living entity goes to the demigods usually because he is mad to fulfill his lust. This happens when something undue is desired by the living entity, and the Lord Himself does not fulfill the desire. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that one who worships the Supreme Lord and at the same time desires material enjoyment is contradictory in his desires. Devotional service of the Supreme Lord and the worship of a demigod cannot be on the same platform because worship of a demigod is material and devotional service to the Supreme Lord is completely spiritual.

For the living entity who desires to return to Godhead, material desires are impediments. A pure devotee of the Lord is therefore not awarded the material benefits desired by less intelligent living entities who prefer to worship demigods of the material world rather than engage in devotional service of the Supreme Lord.

Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet. (Bhagavad-gita 7.23)

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

If one knows that both the demigods and himself are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, his knowledge is perfect. But if he does not understand this, he achieves different planets where the demigods reside. This is not the same destination the devotee reaches.

The results achieved by the demigods’ benedictions are perishable because within this material world the planets, the demigods and their worshipers are all perishable. Therefore it is clearly stated in this verse that all results achieved by worshiping demigods are perishable, and therefore such worship is performed by the less intelligent living entity.

Because the pure devotee engaged in Krishna consciousness in devotional service of the Supreme Lord achieves eternal blissful existence that is full of knowledge, his achievements and those of the common worshiper of the demigods are different. The Supreme Lord is unlimited; His favor is unlimited; His mercy is unlimited. Therefore the mercy of the Supreme Lord upon His pure devotees is unlimited.

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34 Responses to Worshiping the Demigods

  1. jatin says:

    Can I be devoted to RAM and krishan same time?

  2. Sudakshnasharma says:

    Hare Krishna prabhu , pranam. Wonderful article . Very nicely explained. . Almost all my doubts are cleared when I read answers . So thank you very much from the core of my heart . I have no words to express my gratitude . Warm regards . Humbly: sudakshnasharma

  3. sasmita says:

    It is really heart touching to know about the truth behind worshiping Lord Krishna and other demigods.
    Thanks a lot for your spiritual food.

  4. Seema says:

    Hare Krishna!
    I have a query regarding the chanting of Mahamantra on Tulsi beads. What is the benefits of chanting on Tulsi beads, what if we go on chanting mentally without it. Please explain me, even if I’m asking some thing wrong than, please correct me.

    • Hare Krishna Seema

      You can not chant mentally. Chanting means you have to vibrate your tongue and hear that vibration with your ears. That is the point. You have to chant Hare Krishna loudly and hear it with your ears. That is chanting. Canting can not be done mentally.

      As far as the beads it is for counting the number of rounds. So we take a vow to chant at least 16 rounds, so we need to chant on the beads to count how many times we have chanted.

      So you should not ask all these questions. The point is Srila Prabhupada orders us to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on beads. So just do it!

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Komal says:

    I m not receiving ur mails since 20 days. Pls do keep sending.

  6. Bela desai says:

    I am not receiving newsletter from you since a week

    • I am very busy and do not have the time to write them.

      The idea was just to encourage you to read Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      All I have done is pick a few things from Prabhupada’s books and put them in the newsletters.

      You can find much more, so many better things, in Prabhupada’s books.

      Please read Prabhupada’s books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  7. avinash verma says:

    I am not receiving any newsletter from last 20 days. I didn’t unsubscribe from it. Please send me the news letters.

    • Hare Krishna Avinash

      I am very sorry Prabhu. Right now I am too busy with so much service I do not have the time to write the newsletters. But the idea of the newsletters is to encourage you to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. They are millions of times better than my newsletters. So please start a regular program of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  8. jayesh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    I have been not receiving any mail for quite long time. Have you stopped Bhagavad Gita & other news letters? Do you send Srila Prabhupda’s other books new letter like Nectar of Devotion & Chaitanya charitraname or Planning to do?

    • Hare Krishna Jayesh

      I am very sorry but right now I am too busy to write the emails. I suggest you READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS. There is an ocean of nectar waiting for you there. I will restart the emails again when I have the time to write them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  9. Kaustubh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    I have not been receiving newsletters for a while now. Would you please tell me whether they have not been sent ? If they have, it will probably be a problem on my side.
    Thank you.

    • Hare Krishna Kaustubh

      I am sorry Prabhu. These days I am extremely busy and do not have time to write many newsletters. I apologize for this and strongly recommend you make a very regular program of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. Everything is there in Srila Prabhupada’s books. You will find so much treasure if you just regularly, every day, read Srila Prabhupada’s books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  10. nageswari says:

    Hi Hare Krishna ..
    I am a devetoo of lord Krishna and according to me everything is decided by him .

    Today morning in my house my Krishna photo fell down and glass broken in to pieces . I am very much sad about this . Is Krishna trying to tell me some thing or any bad effects for me . Please help .

    • Hare Krishna Nageswari

      I do not know. It is always good for us to feel humble and feel that we are not surrendered to Krishna and we are not serving Krishna properly and always be trying to surrender and serve Krishna fully and completely. The idea is that we should always remember Krishna and never forget Krishna. That is the most important regulative principle.

      So we should always take these opportunities to become more serious about our Krishna consciousness. But the main thing is you just fix the frame or get another frame and make it right and make sure it will not fall down again. That is all we can do. Just fix the things up and continue with our service and worship of Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  11. vaisanavadas says:

    Krishna could have controlled the whole system himself.Why did he create the demigods?

    • He doesn’t want to bother with the details of managing the material world. He is busy dancing with the gopis and playing with the cowherd boys in Vrindavan.

      • saroj says:

        sir is it that lor dosent want to luk into the material world at all and that is why he created the demigods? then why does he take incarnations to this material world then?

        thanks hare krsna.

        • Hare Krishna

          We can not presume to know why Krishna does things or does not do things. We know that Krishna has set up this system for management in the material world using the demigods. We can not say “Why has Krishna done this…” He has done it and that is all there is to it.

          Why He has done it, that is up to Him.

          We can say that is what He has done and you should be happy to simply accept that fact.

          If you want to know why Krishna reincarnates in the material world time and time again then why don’t you just read Bhagavad-gita. Why ask questions without even reading the Bhagavad-gita. If you would just read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books all your questions will be automatically and perfectly answered…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  12. Geeta says:

    My Dandavat Pranam,

    I am very much grateful for your guidance to enable me to achieve the devotional service of the vaishnavas . Main objective my life is to create krishna rajya in my family and all around the environment, where I myself alongwith vaishnavas would be able to do devotional service.

    Krishna Dasi

  13. Arsha says:

    Hare Krishna!
    Namaskar ji,

    I strongly believe my Krishna is always my guide and best friend…I share everything with my Krishna first and then only I decide what to do.I had many experiences of his presence in my life(Hare Krishna!I don’t want to lose it)….But I am so sad these days because of my peers.They are continuously advising me to quit my devotion.They are saying to me :’Are you going to become another Mirabai?First of all the idea of loving God itself is a foolish thing -something that occur in an Utopia like India!And you are one such fool’

    I loved Krishna from time immemorial….It’s not a kind of love that world understand…Even I can’t resist myself from it.No one is as reliable as a friend as Krishna…One of my grandmothers is insisting me to worship demigods so that I can make my peers happy!I respect every Gods but worshipping them for forgetting Krishna is painful

  14. amit says:

    Prabhuji if Krishna is there than why so serious murder,rape,news like father rape her daughter,politician earn black money & a innocent is paying why this happens

    • Hare Krishna Amit

      Krishna is there but Krishna gives us a little independence. Krishna is not controlling what we do. He has given us a little independence. So when we misuse this independence it is us that creates all these terrible things. It is nothing to do with Krishna. It is the result of us misusing our little independence.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  15. Nalini says:

    Thank you very much for the wonderful post…

  16. Hare Krsna Prabhu Ji!
    I have a question for you, i have been chanting the mahamantra for a moment but due to some lackness in me i stopped chanting since a few days and i don\’t know why this happen to me everytime like this i keepchanting for a moment and then i stopped it seems like something prevent me from chanting and even if i do not want to stop my japa i did it however and this make me very upset and i don\’t know what to do i live very far from Krsna\’s temple and i do not have any association of devotees and i have just you to whom i can talk, The only association is that i listen to Prabhupada\’s lecture on itunes and read the books of Prabhupada and other powerful devotees who are very advanced in Bhakti. But even though i do not chant my japa regularly i always think of Krsna everyday without fail He is always on my mind whatever i do. So please help me prabhuji to come out of this problem because this situation make me very sad always because i always want to chant the holy name of Krsna.
    Thanks a lot for your kind help prabhu ji.


    ( And thanks also for sending me the informations about Krsna because i always read your post)

    • Hare Krishna Danesram

      I am not aware of any great devotees who are very advanced in Bhakti like Srila Prabhupada. So I suggest you concentrate on reading Srila Prabhupada’s books only. This may be part of your problem. Reading bogus books. These days, in Kali-yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, we have to recognize that in reality almost everyone who is presenting themselves as a religious leader or guru is actually a demon who is really in the guru business for some personal benefit. So we know Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna, and we know that pure devotees of Krishna are very, very rare. And Srila Prabhupada has given us so many books and audio and video recordings. Enough so that we can remain absorbed in Krishna consciousness for our entire lives and still not finish what Prabhupada has given us. So do not worry about reading any books except Srila Prabhupada’s books. And become determined to read ALL of Srila Prabhupada’s books. That in itself will solve 99% of your problems. Read only Prabhupada’s books and read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      And as far as chanting japa you simply have to become determined to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and DO IT. Do not expect that it will be easy. There will be so many distractions and your mind will always be giving you reasons not to chant Hare Krishna and to stop chanting Hare Krishna when you have started. That is maya. So we have to be determined and keep on chanting Hare Krishna in spite of all the obstacles put in our path by maya.

      It is up to you. You just have to be determined to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and do it. It is not difficult. It simply requires determination and you just have to do it.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Danesram SOMAROO says:

        Hare Krsna Prabhuji!

        Jay Prabhupada!

        Thanks a lot for your good and kind advises i will surely do as you have said. And i read always Prabhupada’s books i do not have any taste for any other books which do not have any connection with Krsna. I always bought only Krsna’s book since my very young age and i never bought a book which have only material histories, because its never attracted me.

        Jay Prabhupada

        D. SOMAROO

  17. jayesh says:

    Dear Madhudvisaji,

    All Glories to srila Prabhupada.

    I have been visiting your site for last five months and I started following all the regulative four rules & 16 rounds of beads daily for last 15 days. I given up onion,garlic & tea completely and visits Iskon temple on sunday if possible.I have to travel few days in amonth where I have to eat sometimes onion & garlic. I offer food to Krishna at home but what to do when I am travelling?
    I have been offering Milk to Lord shiva event today and following Krishna conscioussness. I dont’ want material benefit from shiva. Because I have been offering to shiva for last few years so my mind is not ready to accept to stop visiting Shiva’s temple. What should i do?

    • Hare Krishna Jayesh

      When traveling you can make some arrangement for cooking some rice or simple thing. Or if it is for short time you can take some prasadam from home with you. You just have to make the arrangement so you only ever eat Krishna prasadam. Nothing else. The real point is not garlic, etc. The real point is that we can only accept Krishna prasadam. Of course garlic, onions, meat, fish, etc, they can not be offered to Krishna, so if we only accept Krishna prasadam we will automatically never accept these things.

      As far as offing milk to Lord Shiva, worshiping Lord Shiva is not necessary but if you worship Lord Shiva as the greatest Vaisnava, as a great devotee of Lord Krishna, then that is the correct understanding. It is not that Lord Shiva is on an equal level with Lord Krishna. No. Lord Shiva is a devotee of Lord Krishna. So if you worship in this mood it is OK. There is one prayer to Lord Shiva in Brahma-samhita. You could offer this prayer to Lord Shiva.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  18. Gopika Mahesh says:

    yes. I agree krishna is the supreme.. but I also feel sometimes. .that he does not bless anyone with material benefits…and that is sad…I also don\’t like asking krishna for material benefits.. but sometimes I do..and also feel he never gives!!… but why not? But I also see him like my father..and feel whats wrong in asking your father for something you desire..ya..A pure devotee would not ask for such mundane benefits.. but when krishna has assigned say for example shiva for getting a good husband..why can we not pray to shiva for that particular thing? After all krishna has assigned him for that duty!… Asking for a good husband or wife is not wrong.. Infact people spend majority of their lives with their spouses and hence it\’s important to have a good partner.. so that things remain peaceful and we can direct our energies to krishna…
    I don\’t know .. I have this doubt.. Please clarify it for me…

    • Only men with no intelligence will go to the demigods to ask for materialistic things. You can read the Bhagavad-gita and see all of Lord Krishna’s instructions in this regard. Devotees do not ask Lord Krishna for any materialistic things. They do not care about materialistic things for their own benefit.

      Anyhow what can I say. You have to become a devotee and understand the feelings of a devotee yourself. Otherwise how will you understand the feelings of a devotee?

About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna."I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can.That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental!That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

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