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Chanting Siva mantras

Sunday, 15 June 2008 / Published in Articles, Danavir Goswami / 11,612 views

By Danavir Goswami

Generally worshipers of Siva are Mayavadis or impersonalists who desire to become one with the Supreme. Brghu Muni pointed out that Siva followers become atheists and thus condemn themselves:

bhava-vrata-dhara ye ca
ye ca tan samanuvratah
pasandinas te bhavantu
sac-chastra-paripanthinah

One who takes a vow to satisfy Lord Siva or who follows such principles will certainly become an atheist and be diverted from transcendental scriptural injunctions.

nasta-sauca mudha-dhiyo
jata-bhasmasthi-dharinah
visantu siva-diksayam
yatra daivam surasavam

Those who vow to worship Lord Siva are so foolish that they imitate him by keeping long hair on their heads. When initiated into worship of Lord Siva, they prefer to live on wine, flesh and other such things. (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.2.28-29)

There are some immature devotees of Krishna who chant prayers to the demigod Siva on the basis that worship of Krishna’s devotee is superior to worship of Krishna Himself. Although it is true that Lord Siva is the greatest Vaisnava, nevertheless, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the yuga avatara for this age, has clearly stipulated that the only process for self-realization is chanting the names of Hari.

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha

“‘In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.’ (Brhan-naradiya Purana 38.126)

Hari means Visnu and His expansions. Of course one meditating on Lord Siva may become eligible to attain the abode of Lord Siva called Mahesa-dhama, however pure devotees of Krishna prefer to attain Goloka Vrndavana. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada initiated his disciples into the chanting of the maha mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare—he never encouraged disciples to chant Siva mantras. Siva and other demigods can not equal Lord Visnu and chanting their names does not give the same result as chanting the names of Visnu. By equating the names of Siva with those of Lord Krishna one becomes implicated in committing the second offense to the holy name:

sivasya sri-visnor ya iha guna-namadi-sakalam
dhiya bhinnam pasyet sa khalu hari-namahita-karah

In this material world, the holy name of Visnu is all-auspicious. Visnu’s name, form, qualities and pastimes are all transcendental, absolute knowledge. Therefore, if one tries to separate the Absolute Personality of Godhead from His holy name or His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, thinking them to be material, that is offensive. Similarly, to think that the names of demigods such as Lord Siva are as good as the name of Lord Visnu-or, in other words, to think that Lord Siva and the other demigods are other forms of God and are therefore equal to Visnu-is also blasphemous. (Sri Padma Purana)

As mentioned in our previous posts Yoga Mart and Zombie Jamboree, catering to the whimsical public taste can compromise our faithfulness to the parampara. It is very risky to adopt a process of chanting that was not handed down through the disciplic succession of Vaisnavas (sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah). Those who are attracted to Lord Siva would do well to follow his own example by exclusively worshiping and glorifying Lord Krishna. Hare Krishna.

20 comments

  1. 0
    chaturatma dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    With due respect to HH Danavir Swami, perhaps he is unfamiliar with the vast selection of prayers and glorification that Bhaktivinode Thakur offers to Lord Shiva, who is known as one who removes impediments on the path of bhakti. Srila Locana dasa Thakur similarly opens his Chaitanya Mangala with prayers to Lord Shiva with great respects. Sanatana Goswami also spends an entire chapter glorifying Lord Shiva in his Brihat Bhagavatamrta. While it would certainly be wrong to replace chanting of Hare Krishna with such prayers, how can there be harm in selecting suitable prayers to an advanced vaisnava for advancing in the path of bhakti.

    While not everyone may choose to pursue this option, it is nonetheless certainly a bonafide and viable option for offering prayers to assist in our advancement in devotional service.

  2. 0
    Divyambara Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you very much for this thoughtful warning, Maharaja.

    It is an important injunction that krsna-bhaktas concentrate on chanting the Hare Krishna mantra—chanting Siva mantras it’s not part of our sadhana.

    The verses you quoted from SB 4.2.28-29 are spoken by Bhrgu Muni in great anger—he is counter-cursing Lord Siva in a pastime, which ultimately glorifies Lord Siva.

    Lord Siva is the original spiritual master of the Rudra-Vaisnava Sampradaya, and his followers are not all degraded living beings. For example, later in the Fourth Canto, we find Lord Siva’s beautiful prayers to Lord Visnu. Here he acts as the spiritual master of the Pracetas, who are “pious” and “gentle”:
    “Lord Siva became very pleased with the Pracetas because generally Lord Siva is the protector of pious persons and persons of gentle behavior.” SB 4.24.26

    “Sometimes Lord Siva has to deal with persons who are in the modes of passion and ignorance. Such persons are not always very much religious and pious in their activities, but since they worship Lord Siva for some material profit, they sometimes obey the religious principles. As soon as Lord Siva sees that his devotees are following religious principles, he blesses them. The Pracetas, sons of Pracinabarhi, were naturally very pious and gentle, and consequently Lord Siva was immediately pleased with them.” SB 4.24.26 purp

    My point is that those who approach Lord Siva as the greatest Vaisnava (vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh, SB 12.13.16) please him and receive his blessings to become better Vaisnavas.

    Nowadays chanting om namah sivaya has become a fashion. Once I happened to be among a few hatha yoga practitioners. They wanted to have kirtan and proposed to start with om namah sivaya. “Do you know who Lord Siva is–his position and personality?” I asked. They had no clue. I explained to them who he was in relation to Lord Visnu, what benedictions we could ask from him, etc. The whole group chanted om namah sivaya with great respect, and must have gotten Lord Siva’s blessings, because when we moved to om namo bhagavate vasudevaya and Hare Krishna, the kirtan became ecstatic.

    I know a number of devotees who came to Srila Prabhupada by the mercy of Lord Siva, having chanted siva mantras for some time.

    I just wanted to offer another angle of vision, in support to Danavir Maharaja’s main point, that there is no need for devotees of Krishna to chant Siva mantras. The Hare Krishna mantra is all inclusive and all-perfect. — ys Divyambara dd

  3. 0
    Divyambara Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, in Winnipeg there is one very pious east Indian man who for many years has been worshiping somewhat, worshiping Lord Siva. And his wife is also a very quite chaste woman and sincere follower — and so were her parents — of Lord Siva. And he is reading your Bhagavad-gita.[..] And he has read in one of your purports that Krsna is more pleased when you worship His devotee than when you worship Him directly. And Lord Siva is a very great devotee of Krsna. So he has now interpreted that to mean that if he worships Lord Siva so nicely, then actually he is pleasing Krsna more. So he is experiencing some difficulty because of this and I’m not quite sure how to instruct him that actually…

    Prabhupada: Difficulty?

    Brahmananda: That… Our Godbrother has difficulty in replying to this interpretation that Krsna says, “You can please Me by worshiping My devotee,” and Lord Siva is the devotee of Krsna. So therefore this man says, “Then I shall worship Lord Siva. In that way I shall please Krsna.”
    Prabhupada: But if he accepts Lord Siva is devotee of Krsna, then by worshiping Lord Siva he will be benefited. If he thinks Lord Siva is independent, then he will not be benefited.
    Devotee (3): I’ve got him to accept that Lord Siva is devotee of Krsna, but there’s no practical instruction in his worldly activities coming.
    Prabhupada: No, vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh: “Amongst the Vaisnavas, Sambhu, Lord Siva, is the greatest Vaisnava.” So we worship Lord Siva as Vaisnava. We gives respect to Vaisnavas. So why not Lord Siva? Lord Siva is a big Vaisnava. But generally, the devotees of Lord Siva, they take Lord Siva is independent God. That is offensive. If you know that Lord Siva is also a devotee, you can give more respect to Lord Siva. Krsna will be pleased.
    Devotee (3): Srila Prabhupada, he does not chant Hare Krsna, he chants om sivaya namah.
    Prabhupada: That’s all right.
    Devotee (3): It’s all right?
    Prabhupada: He will gradually become devotee. When God, Lord Siva, will be pleased upon him, he will advise to worship.
    Devotee (3): He is already trying to tell him to follow in your footsteps surely, so just before I left he said he will try once again to chant sixteen rounds of japa, Hare Krsna. He has tried already. He has a taste for…
    Prabhupada: If he simply understands that Lord Siva is a Vaisnava and if he worships Lord Siva, then he will get the benefit.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation after Press Conference — July 9, 1975, Chicago

  4. 0
    omdas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Please accept my humble obeisances,

    All glories to shrila prabhupada,

    Please forgive me if I by any chance offend any one.

    I just want to say that even Gopis and Bhaktisiddhanta have worshipped Lord Siva and there is no harm in respecting this great Vaishnava Acharya (Rudra Sampradaya) for any reason. Yes as the Padma Puran shloka says that we should not worship him considering him as equal to Krishna but yes offering him respects by singing his glories.

    Gopisvara pranama-mantra (from Siva’s Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Sri Saìkalpa-kalpa-thakura’s , text 103) is:

    vrindavanavani-pate! jaya soma! soma-maule!
    sanaka-sanandana-sanatana-naradedya
    gopisvara! vraja-vilasi-yuganghri-padme
    prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te

    O gatekeeper of Vrindavana! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipful for the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Sri Radha-Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dhama, I offer obeisances unto you time and again.

    ____________________________________

    Hari Hari

  5. 0
    ccd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    One have to see difference between prayer to Shiva a vaishnava and a guru, with prayers that are offered to him by Shiva bhaktas, who consider him to be the origin and source of all including Vishnus. While we pray to Shiva and do worship him, we do not subscribe to opinions of Shaiva puranas and do not use any mantras that address his as supreme, rather an intricate detail, but to be seen as a rather long controversy in Indic traditions.

    Interestingly we do not worship Balarama alone too, while Duryodhana would… so yes Shiva as a Vaishnava is the object of worship. Shiva as the supreme deity, is not (as only that will constitute nama-aparadha).

    One should be careful to examine mantras that are used: Shri Rudram Chamakam, is not used as far as I know. No we do not practice Kapalikas vratas. And yes, you can go and see Bhaktivinde’s house and see the Shiva lingam he worshiped and still worshiped, you will see Gipishvara Mahadev worshiped by all Vrindavana Vaishnavas, but the mood is the essence, not the form.. (I hope you read my comment in a good mood)

    I would respect also if someone will never enter any other temple, besides Krishna’s, that is also a nice attitude, so there is a pluralistic option to this issue. If one does not see Shiva as the servant of Radha Krishna and the guardian of the dham and liberator of sadhaka, for him its better to avoid the whole issue, as the case may be with Maharaja, and it should be respected as a form of atmanivedanam, while more inclusive atmanivedanam is better (but maybe not in the West, as it may confuse non-hindus, and Prabhupada did not introduce it in the West). ys ccd

  6. 0
    Sikhi Mahiti das acbsp ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The most important aspect of spiritual advancement is to follow the previous acharya. The vedas are full of so many instructions and the previous acharyas have set examples and teachings according to their time and circumstancenses.

    Srila Prabhupad has fined tuned the devotional practices for our generation. He is the current acharya. He never instructed any disciple to worship Lord Siva. Also, he never said that we shouldn’t. So, what should we do? Follow the program he established “As It Is”.

    That fact that previous acharyas worshiped Lord Siva is not for us to follow. The previous acharyas didn’t have a daily guru puja either. Someone could argue that we don’t have to continue that practice established by His Divine Grace.

    Here is an example:

    In The Nectar of Devotion Srila Prabhupada writes:

    “One should begin the worship of the demigod Ganapati, who drives away all impediments in the execution of devotional service. In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that Ganapati worships the lotus feet of Lord Nrsimhadeva and in that way has become auspicious for the devotees in clearing out all impediments. Therefore, all devotees should worship Ganapati.”

    We can take this as clear and authoritative proof that Srila Prabhupada wanted all the devotees in his society to worship Ganesa.

    But balance that passage against this letter to Sivananda das (August 25, 1971):

    “So far worshiping Ganesa is concerned, that is not necessary. Not that it should be done on a regular basis. If you like you can pray to Ganapati for removing all impediments on the path of Krishna Consciousness. That you can do if you like.”

    And finally, consider this letter, sent to “My dear Sons” in Evanston, Illinois, on December 28, 1974.

    “I do not encourage you to worship this demigod, Ganesa. It is not required, it is not necessary. Simply worship Krsna. Perform nice devotional service to Krsna. Then your lives will certainly become perfect. Of course if one has got some sentiment for achieving the blessings of Ganesa for accumulating large sums of money to serve Krsna, then he may perform this Ganesa worship, privately, not making a public show. But first of all he must give me $100,000 per month. Not a single farthing less. If he can supply this amount, $100,000 per month, then he will be allowed to do this Ganesa Puja. Otherwise he should not do it. It will not be good. That is my order.”

  7. 0
    Namacarya das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna,
    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    In the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase there are mentioned Levels of Authority between books, lectures, letters…

    As I understand there it is stated that books are the highest level of authority.

    In the comment number 6, Sikhi Mahiti Prabhu says we should follow what letters say, not the book.

    Question: how to know which source of instructions (books, lectures, letters…) to follow?

    Thank you.

  8. 0
    keyur ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krsna Maharaja,

    Dandabats! AGTSP!

    After reading your article and other comments on your article, i would like to make a small point, yes its true that Chaitanya mahaprabhu instructed us to chant Hare Krsna mantra and that is what the yuga dharma is, however in murari gupta’s dairy we also find a nice prayer that was composed by Mahaprabhu in glorification of Shiva, its known as Shiva Astakam. I do understand that we should not worship Shiva as the Supreme personality of god head,, however there might or should not be any harm if a devotee seeks help from Shiva so as to strengthen his own spiritual life, isnt is similar to praying to the six goswami’s or other acharaya’s for help. Shiva is a the greatest of devotees and how can we minimize his glories by just quoting or miss quoting verses from SB, coz some of these verses depend of what situation where they spoken on..

    Here is a small story how the famous Bankandi Mahadeva appeared in Vrindavana…

    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.

    These are just my thoughts on your article…

    much respects,
    Keyur.

  9. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It appears that Danavir Maharaja is objecting to some concocted worship or chanting being done by ISKCON devotees to appeal to a popular mentality.

    I have not personally encountered that going on, but it must be happening somewhere or Maharaja would not be raising this issue.

    The second offense is to consider the names of demigods like Siva or Brahma to be equal to or independent of Lord Vishnu.

    As so many devotees have already commented, it is not offensive to revere Lord Siva and Lord Brahma (or Durga, Ganesa, Surya, Yamaraja, etc.) in accordance with the authorized statements of the Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Samhita and Caitanya Caritamrta. But Mayavadis are offensive because they use their reverence for different demigods as an opportunity to minimize the primary importance of Krishna.

    If we think of Siva and Brahma as always meditating on Krishna, that is proper: om tad vishnu paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah

    We chant daily the panca tattva maha-mantra and worship Lord Advaita who is described in Caitanya Caritamrta as Sadasiva. Obviously Danavir Maharaja is not complaining about that.

    Perhaps Maharaja could give more concrete examples of how some of us might be “catering to whimsical public taste” with regard to chanting about or worshiping Lord Shiva.

    One thing is, if the public is found to be interested in Siva, we can try to use that interest to sell them Prabhupada’s books. For instance, we can show them pictures of Lord Siva in the Krishna book and explain that these are authentic pastimes recounted in Srimad Bhagavatam about Lord Siva. If we are selling Bhagavatam sets we can be prepared to show many pastimes about the great qualities of Lord Siva. That kind of “catering to public taste” will be good and beneficial, if we can encourage people to read about Lord Siva in Prabhupada’s books.

  10. 0
    scooty.ram says:

    I am sure everyone is clear abt the offence wrt equating Lord shiva and Vishnu.
    Krishna is supreme and this is the tattva.!

    However It is natural to praise and glorify any good qualities that one comes across.

    If Lord Shiva is accepted as a personality and an embodiment of Good qualities , we are bound to respect him , worship him and glorify him.
    If we did not , it might be an artificial imposition on the mind.

    Hari bhakti vilas mentions that a devotee neednt do any prescried duties since the rishis do it for them. Thus it is clear that an embodied soul is indeed dependent and duty bound to air , water and what to speak of Shiva who is called Iswaran.

    we have specific way to deal with diffferent objects or people or Gods.

    We deal with demi gods thro the mode of worship.We dont ignore them nor try to engage them in ‘our’ devotional service
    Ignoring them or denying their existance is articificial.

    Rather than being doubtful or scared of worshipping them,we are more fortunate to have knowledge about them since they are in direct service to Krishna.

    I am sure i would be more benefitted by reading and glorifying Shiva than glorifying how beatles helped Krishna conscious movement.Shiva is helping this krishna conscious movement in a large scale through out the galaxies.

    It is only our ignorance and illusion that makes us be unaware of the auspicious qualities of Lord shiva who is auspicious personified.

    Dasan

  11. 0
    Tungavidya dd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Devotees,

    Pamho.AgtSP.
    I would like to give my humble comment on some of the comments posted here. We,
    devotees in ISKCON (who follow SP), are trained in a way to offer our humble obeisances and respects to other Vaisnavas, including Lord Siva. Devotees may feel a special affection towards some of them. By offering regular prayers to demigods, the person will naturally develop more affection and attachment for the demigod that they worship. As Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita that to those who worship a demigod He gives the faith in that demigod. In other words, the devotee may end his worship of Krsna due to more attachment for somebody else instead of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.
    Second, if an ISKCON devotee becomes more attracted into worshiping of demigods instead of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, and Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, then it comes to a question if they really follow in the footsteps of our guru parampara, and our acarya SP. If we want to please our parampara , then we should not imitate Bhaktivinoda Thakura, six Goswamis, or Srila Prabhupada. It is much safer that we try our best to follow and fulfill their teachings and instructions. Following is more important (and much safer) then imitating nitya siddhas. If we will be able to attract and get their mercy, then we may compose prayers for Sri Krsna’s great devotees and demigods, and offer prayers by which great Vaisnavas may strengthen our love for Sri Krsna. Otherwise, until we develop some basic attachment for worship of Krsna, I am afraid that we may end up in worshiping demigods, and not Sri Krsna. I am fond of Lord Siva, but we should keep in mind Who is our main object of worship. In our society we probably have all variety of devotees on various levels of KC, so some may do that, but for my own sake I would rather take shelter in instruction, then my feeling. Until I am accepted by Sri Krsna. Then I can pray to demigods to preserve my love for Sri Krsna. We should be afraid of maya. Maya has very powerful and has convincing ways how to keep us in her kingdom. If we forget Krsna, there is no way out of this material world. I heard that we can worship Lord Siva so that we get blessing to worship Krsna. Sometimes it is used just as an excuse to continue demigod worship.
    There is no question of harm in worshiping great Vaisnavas, but we should remember that our main duty is to follow faithfully our acarya SP, and his instructions prescribed specifically for us and in this age.yhs

  12. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I guess the basic point is that we chant and distribute the mantras we have received in disciplic succession from Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada.

    We can recognize that other groups or practitioners are chanting mantras that may be bona fide Vedic mantras, but we do not chant them or encourage others to do so. We have something very special. We want to go to Krishnaloka and not to some other place that some other mantra may bring us to.

    One instructive episode from ISKCON history: In the early days Srila Prabhupada used to teach us the Panca Tattva mantra as: (bhaja) sri krishna caitanya prabhu nityananda sri advaita gadadhara srivasadi gaura bhakta vrnda. There are many, many recorded kirtans where Srila Prabhupada is chanting “Bhaja Sri Krishna Caitanya”, and it was written in Prabhupada’s books that way.

    Some time in, I believe it was 1977, Srila Prabhupada instructed us to chant “jaya” instead of “bhaja”, thus: jaya sri krishna caitanya prabhu nityananda jayadvaita gadadhara srivasadi gaura bhakta vrnda.

    The reason for the change was explained to me as follows: there is a group who follows one popular sadhu of olden times (I believe they are caretakers of Haridas Thakur’s samadhi in Jagannatha Puri), who invented a different mantra. They chant something like, “(bhaja) nitai-gaura radhe syama (japa) hare krishna hare rama.”

    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur criticized this concocted mantra on different grounds. I do not know exactly all the criticisms.

    Srila Prabhupada changed the way we say chant the Panca Tattva Maha Mantra (taking out the “bhaja”) at least in part to prevent us at some point in the future from concocting something along the lines of that other group.

    [There may be more details as to why Srila Prabhupada nipped the "bhaja", and certainly there are details as to what is wrong with the "bhaja nitai-gaura radhe syama" mantra, which I don't know and am eager to hear about]

    The moral of the above story is that even a seemingly innocuous little word like “(bhaja) sri krishna caitanya” was of concern to Srila Prabhupada. He did not want us to deviate from strict parampara, and was afraid we might concoct something.

    The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is our mantra, and it is both for japa and kirtan. We are the Hare Krishna movement and we chant and distribute the Hare Krishna mantra.

    We can respect those who chant other things, but we have received something very wonderful. Hare Krishna.

  13. 0
    VrindavanChandra Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna.

    I agree with Maharaj’s points to some degree.

    When talking about personalities like Lord Shiva we should be extremely careful.

    We all know that we shouldn’t blaspheme any Vaishnava, and off all Vaishnava’s Lord Shiva is the top most, as confirmed by the Srimad Bhagvatam and Srila Prabhupada himself on many occasions.

    I would always urge devotees be very very careful when talking about Lord Shiva in any negative way for the above mentioned reason.

    Like Akruranath prabhu mentioned, it would be great if maharaj could mention specific examples of times in ISKCON such mantras are chanted specifically for Lord Shiva. I know from my personal experience, if Lord Shiva IS worshipped or spoken about (like on Shiva-ratri etc) then the true position of Lord Shiva is always highlighted and explained i.e. – He is the topmost Vaishnava, and his status with regards to his ‘supremacy’ is given according to the Vaishnava view point quoting examples from the Bramha Samhita wherein it mentions the wonderful analogy of milk and yogurt.

    Just as Srila Prabhupada said that if one worships Lord Shiva in the mood of worshiping the greatest devotee and begging for his mercy that Lord Shiva be merciful enough to bestow his mercy upon us so that he can give us some bhakti.

    Srila Prabhupada again explained that we actually had no qualification, and that he ‘made’ us qualified to receive the Mahamantra, Krishna, Prashad, deity worship etc. This is the mercy of the great Vaishnavas. We should always approach Vaishnavas with a humble state of mind begging for their mercy. If Lord Shiva IS the GREATEST Vaishnava – then what’s the problem in approaching him?

    Personally I’d rather approach the top-most devotees like Srila Prabhupada, the Acharyas and Lord Shiva then approach other conditional souls to advance in spiritual life!

    Is Krishna gets unhappy when His devotees are blasphemed, then imagine how He feels when His topmost devotee is blasphemed?

    So I would say – be careful what one says about Vaishnavas – let alone the greatest of them all.

  14. 0
    Deenabandhu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As someone mentioned earlier, that in Mururi Gupta’s Kadaca there is a Sivastakam composed by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself upon entering Lord Purari (Siva) in the place known as Ekamraka in South India. In fact it contains my favorite verses to chant for Lord Siva, the param Vaisnava.

    sri rama govinda mukunda sauri
    sri krishna narayana vasudeva
    ityadi namamrita panamatam
    bhringadi payakhila duhkahantrye

    Lord Siva who takes away the sorrow of the world is always absorbed like the king of the bumble bees in the nectar of these names of Krishna: Sri Rama, Govinda, Mukunda, Sauri, Sri Krishna, Narayana, Vasudeva, and more.

    sri gauri netrotsava mangalaya
    tat prananathaya rasa pradaya
    sada samutkantha govinda lila
    gana pravinaya namo’stubhyam

    He’s the auspicious festival for the eyes of Gauri and the Lord of her life. He’s the giver of rasa as He’s always engaged with great enthusiasm in expertly chanting Govinda Lila. Unto that Lord Siva I offer my obeisances.

    You can get the whole thing from Nectar books in Atlanta from Dasaratha Suta Prabhu.

    All glories to Sambu the parama vaisnava!

    Deena Bandhu dasa

  15. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    With respect to Namacarya’s post #7, this might be an instance where the formal hierarchy of authority between books, lectures and letters mentioned in VedaBase does not apply.

    In Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada is apparently translating some instruction by Sri Rupa Goswami from Bhaktirasamrta Sindhu regarding worship of Ganesh.

    However, this may be a detail that Srila Prabhupada did not intend his disciples to follow. If you look further into VedaBase you may find other instructions addressed to this specific Ganesh issue.

    I remember hearing once (I do not know if this can be substantiated in VedaBase), that the Goswamis prescribed worship of Ganesha to clear the obstacles from one’s devotional service. However, in our time, we pray to the Six Goswamis to remove the obstacles from devotional service. Therefore, worship of Ganesh has not been prescribed for us.

    So, I agree with Sikhi mahiti that Srila Prabhupada fine-tuned some things and one of them was that he did not encourage worship of demigods, including Lord Shiva, at least for the general mass of devotees.

    I also agree with CCD that this may have in part been due to the need to keep things simple for beginners. For example, as others have pointed out, there are bona fide hymns composed for worship of Lord Siva by our acaryas, and deities of Lord Siva in our places of pilgrimage that we do visit and pray to, under the guidance of our ISKCON leaders.

    In the Bhaktivinode Thakur song “Narada Muni Bhajai Vina”, there are descriptions of Lord Siva’s ecstatic chanting of Krishna’s names. Acyutananda famously chanted “Mahadeva panca mukhe Rama Rama Hare Hare”. We are not discouraged from reciting such prayers.

    But chanting Siva mantras is not part of our regular sadhana and I think we all know that. Don’t we? Where in ISKCON are devotees chanting Siva mantras? Or is there some preaching strategy?

    Divyambari recounts chanting Om Namo Sivaya with some hatha yogi people and then leading to Hare Krishna. That sounds very nice. Very effective. It is not the way we generally chant in our temples, but for preaching when the situation truly called for it, it was successful.

    On the other hand, popular nondevotees who chant Hare Krishna along with various demigod mantras and who make no distinction (because they are mayavadis), we do not approve. We can be polite or tactful acout it, but we do not mix with such pasandis. Milk touched by lips of serpents . . .

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    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regarding mixing with mayavadis (to follow up), there may well be devotee preachers who can successfully go to meetings where innocent people who like chanting Hare Krishna can be encouraged in the right way to become devotees.

    Prabhupada also chanted and preached among the Dr. Mishra group and was well-respected.

    On the other hand, we should remember how Lord Caitanya was very strict about not letting His followers mix with Mayavadis, and Srila Prabhupada also often indicated that we have “nothing to do” with such nondevotees.

    Like most issues, this may be one that requires intelligence and discrimination. We do not want to create a bad impression on innocent, potential devotees by being unnecessarily confrontational and rude to people they respect. They are likely to misunderstand and get the wrong idea about Krishna consciousness.

    On the other hand, we cannot sit around and tolerate actual offensive teachings. It is better to try to avoid such scenes and just promote the true Vaisnava teachings and practices.

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    radharaani ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dandavat Pranaam to all the Vaishnavas,
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

    I had been pondering over this question, why should we not worship the demigods, when they all worship the ultimate God Krishna.
    Lord Shiva,
    Lord Ganesa,
    Sri Hanuman,
    Lord Surya
    When I came to know they all worship Krishna,
    though I am told not to chant anything else with the Maha mantra and I am following that.
    But as soon as I see their idols I offer my dandavats to them as Krishna’s devottee. Though before ISKCON, I beleived all god are one. But my view has changed automatically.
    This was the inner voice, the Parmatma, I feel blessed, as every day I feel he is with me and helping me to reach him asap.
    I feel each individual souls spiritual advancement are at differnet levels and new devottes are bound to get confused if not focused on Krishna.

    Hare Krishna!

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    scooty.ram says:

    “It is very risky to adopt a process of chanting that was not handed down through the disciplic succession of Vaisnavas”

    However from post 1 and post 3 , i dont see any hint of risk involved.
    I kindly request members to highlight the risk involved in respecting or worshipping Lord Shiva.

    Infact prabupada seems to have no problem in chanting Om Namah Shivaya as in post 3.

    Dasan

  19. 0
    Abhay Caran Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Maharaja, Dear Devotees,

    The principals of Lord Siva is extremely complex, he has many apparently contradictory qualities. He is the destroyer and simultaneously the ingredient cause of creation, he is the predominant deity of the mode of ignorance and simultaneously the reservoir of absolute knowledge, he is the clever cheater and at the same time the giver of mercy. He is not a finite soul as is Lord Brahma, unless Lord Vishnu fills this postof Lord Brahma if no qualified jiva is available. Lord Sivas associates are ghosts, hobgoblins, and witches, and at the same time he associates with most exalted demigods and sages, and even god himself. The topic is so vast I can only glorify a few qualities. In our Gurudeva Krpa-Bindu Diya, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura writes in the 2nd verse “Give me the power to honor all living entities according to what they are due, and all vaisnavas as befitting their platform, then I will be able to chant the holy names blissfully, and all my offenses will be vanquished!”

    Once Narada Muni traveled to the abode of Lord Shiva and began to glorify him, saying ” you are very near and dear to the supreme Lord Krsna, not only that you are Krsna’s manifestiation; you are non different from him. You can give liberation and also krsna-prema. the rare jewel of transcendental love for krsna” and we see Lord Siva expressed to Narada Muni regret over having given benedictions to Lord Krsna’s enemies, to fulfill Lord Krsna’s desires, he had given benedictions to demons like Ravana, Vrkasura, Salva and Jayadratha, and thus he had perfromed many activities that were seemingly opposed to Krsna and krsna-bhakti.

    If one is fortunate to study our 6 goswamis and their writings, under proper gaidance, such as Srila Rupas Vraja-vilasa stava, revealed there-in is a beautiful prayer to Lord Siva, Srila Sanatana near the old Sri Madana-Mohana temple would go daily to see Sri Gopisvara Mahadeva at this tmeple in his old age, Keyur has outlined some history for us in his repsonse above. In his Hari-bhakti-vilasa he writes that all vaisnavas should observe Siva-caturdasa(Siva-ratri). In The Sankaalpa-kalpadruma 103 we offer obeisances to Lord Siva with prayers, O Gate keeper of Vrndavan, O soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon and who is worshipale by the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada, O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava.

  20. 0
    Abhay Caran Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Cont’d
    ..who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dhama, I offer obeisances unto you time and again.

    Distinction of the position of Lord Siva is clear as is Sri Sri Radha Krsna’s from 3 considerations ( vicaras) from which to understand the relationship between Lord Krsna and Lord Siva

    One is called tattva-gata-vicara, the relationship by established philosophical truth
    Another is the aisvary-gata-vicara, the relationship of Lords Krsnas pastimes of Majesty and another is the naravat-gata-vicara which is the consideration of their relationship in the Supreme Lords sweet-human-like pasttimes .

    Narada Muni and Lord Siva have many dialogs, one in particular Lord Siva compares himself to Srila Prahlada Maharaja, he told Narada Muni that Prahlada is superior to me, and it is he who is the dear devotee of the Lord, Even though Lord Siva is superior to Prahalad, he said this to encourage people to follow Prahlada Maharja’s Ideal character and teachings. the distinction is however Prahlada cannot enter the transcedental abode of Sri Krsna, Vrndavana, wheres as Lord Siva resides there eternally as Gopisvara, Siva Serves Sri Krsna personally in numerous ways, he and his wife Parvati-devi meditate on the asta-kaliya lila, Lord Krsna’s confidential eight fold daily pasttimes

    We can reconcile the position of Lord Siva and Prahlada, In our line there are countless expressions that Prahlada is greater and in another sense he is not.

    We can see Siva from the point of view of his post, and from the point of view his personality. Seporate from his post he appears as an associate of the supreme Lord, such as Gopisvara eternally in Vrndavana, as Hanuman he resides with Lord Ramachandra and as Bhima he always serves Lord Krsna and when Hanuman and Bhima combine together in our present age of Kali they become Madhavacarya, our Sampradaya-guru.

    Our great saint Tulasi dasa in his Sri Rama-carita-manasa writes that we should accept Sri-Siva Parvati as Guru in the matter of devotion to the Supreme couple.

    There is so much detail we can discover in this truth, I love one of Srila Prabhupadas lila in particular, though I cannot remeber exactly, a shivite perhaps a vaisnava now, either way he came and the devotess expressed concern that he would chant only om sivaya namah, prabhupada stated to let him chant, eventually Lord Siva will tell him to chant Hare Krishna, if anyone knows this lila please reply, I couldnt find the lila as it happened

    Jai Radha Raman, jai Prabhupada

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