visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi
aradhananam—of varieties of worship; sarvesam—all; visnoh—of Lord Visnu; aradhanam—worship; param—the most exalted; tasmat—and above such worship of Lord Visnu; parataram—of greater value; devi—O goddess; tadiyanam—of persons in relationship with Lord Visnu; samarcanam—rigid and firm worship.
"Lord Siva told the goddess Durga, 'My dear Devi, although the Vedas recommend worship of demigods, the worship of Lord Visnu is topmost. However, above the worship of Lord Visnu is the rendering of service to Vaisnavas, who are related to Lord Visnu.'
The Vedas are divided into three divisions-karma-kanda, jnana-kanda and upasana-kanda. These are activities dealing with fruitive work, empiric philosophical speculation and worship. There are recommendations in the Vedas for the worship of various demigods as well as Lord Visnu. In this quotation from the Padma Purana, Lord Siva answers a question posed to him by the goddess Durga. This verse is also included in the Laghu-bhagavatamrta (2.4), by Srila Rupa Gosvami. The words visnor aradhanam refer to the worship of Lord Visnu, or Krsna. Thus the supreme form of worship is the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna. It is further concluded that the worshiper of Lord Visnu renders better service by worshiping the devotee of Lord Krsna. There are different types of devotees-those in santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, vatsalya-rasa and madhurya-rasa. Although all the rasas are on the transcendental platform, madhurya-rasa is the supreme transcendental mellow. Consequently it is concluded that the worship of devotees engaged in the Lord's service in madhurya-rasa is the supreme spiritual activity. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers mainly worship Lord Krsna in madhurya-rasa. Other Vaisnava acaryas recommended worship up to vatsalya-rasa. Therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Vidagdha-madhava (1.2) describes Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult as supreme:
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this Age of Kali to exhibit the superexcellence of madhurya-rasa, a gift never previously bestowed by any acarya or incarnation. Consequently Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is accepted as the most magnanimous incarnation. It is He only who distributed love of Krsna while exhibiting the superexcellence of loving Krsna in the conjugal rasa.
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