Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.1-4

Los Angeles, May 24, 1972
Prabhupada: In this space there should be one paint (?) for Radharani. (pause) Hmm. You can...
Pradyumna: (leads chanting)
annadya-kamas tv aditim
svarga-kamo 'diteh sutan
visvan devan rajya-kamah
sadhyan samsadhako visam
[SB 2.3.2-7]
Prabhupada: Translation?
Pradyumna: Translation: "One who wants a large stock of grains should worship Aditi. One who desires a worldly kingdom should worship Visvadeva, and one who wants to be popular with the general mass of population should worship the Sadhya demigod."
Prabhupada: So these are the problems. We have to cease (?). Exactly like that. Just like government departments. If you want to have this, you have to go to a particular department-building department, water department, so many... electric department... many departments. Tax department, income tax department, support tax department.
vyavasayatmika buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca
buddhayo 'vyavasayinam
[Bg. 2.41]
So there are many statements in the Bhagavad-gita that... In Indian villages still, there are different wells. One well is meant for washing dishes. Another well is meant for taking bath. Another well is meant for washing cloth. Another well is meant for drinking water. So Krsna says, "There are different wells for different purposes, but when you go to the river, all the purposes will be served." You can wash your dishes, you can wash your cloth, you can take bath, and then you take drinking water. Similarly, all these desires... Of course, a devotee has no material desire. Unless one is free from all these material desires... These are all material desires. Somebody wants to be powerful, somebody wants wealth, somebody wants to have beautiful wife, somebody wants to possess grains and worldly kingdom... There is no limit of our desires. And there are different departments also. You can fulfill your desires. Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25].
So this is kindness, mercy of Krsna, that He has given you facility if you want to fulfill your desire. But all of them are kama. In each and every line, the word is used, kama. We have marked it. Here, just like annadya-kamas tv aditim. Annadya. Anna means grains. There are different types of grains. That is all wanted. Annadya-kamas tu. Kama. But you won't find here a meat-eater. No, that is not at all... That is aboriginal. That is not for a human being. Anna. You can desire anna, grains. You can desire to become king. You can desire to have nice wife. These are natural. But there is not a single sentence here you will find they are desiring to eat meat, egg, flesh. No. That is beyond human jurisdiction. They are not meant for human being. So these are the different departments if you want to take facility of quickly getting some benefit... Yajanta iha devatah. Kanksantah karmanam siddhim yajanta iha devatah. For particular type of fulfillment of your desire, you can worship the particular type of demigods.
This is recommended in the sastra for the less intelligent class of men. Still, it may be questioned that "Why Vedas have—if the ultimate goal is to reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead—why the Vedas have prescribed different demigod worship?" Yes, that is replied in the Bhagavad-gita, tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam. Those who are less intelligent, for them, not for the first-class intelligent. Those who are Krsna conscious, they are first-class intelligent. They don't want anything beyond Krsna. That's all. They don't want to know anything except Krsna. The advantage is that if you can know Krsna, then you know everything. And if you get Krsna, you get everything. Therefore this conclusion cannot be perceived by less intelligent class of men. Exactly like that. If one is intelligent, he goes to the river from the village, and he takes there bath. River water is never contaminated because constantly the wave is flowing. Suppose you contaminate a certain portion, but it does not stand, it flows down immediately.
Immediately, moment after moment, you are getting pure water. Especially in India. In India there are so many nice rivers, Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Kaveri, Krsna, Sindh. There are many rivers, all very nice water. In the Western countries I have seen only one river very nice, in Montreal. What is that river? St. Lawrence, yes. All other rivers I have seen, they are very unclean, especially in Moscow, Hamburg. Oh, it is so dirty. So in India the rivers are very clean, and people take pleasure in taking bath in rivers. If there is river, nobody will take bath at home. They will go all to the river. And it is very refreshing. That you know. So this example is very nice, that if you go to the river, then your all purposes are served. But in the village, they are restricted that "This well is for this purpose, this well is this purpose." It may be crowded. You have to wait for the opportunity. But the river is open. You can go there and have your business done very nicely.
That will be summarized in the last verse:
That is the conclusion. Here Srimad-Bhagavatam is recommending different demigods for different purposes because there are all classes of men. So to take immediate effect, they worship demigods. Ksipram, very soon. Generally, people do not go to worship Krsna and Visnu, because you cannot ask from Krsna anything which is not good for you. Suppose you pray to Krsna on the seaside, "Krsna, give me a good fish. I want to catch." Krsna will never fulfill your desire. That is Krsna's mercy. Because Krsna will not give you facility for possessing anything which will ultimately cause your falldown. Krsna knows that "If he catches a fish, then he will have to become a fish again to be caught by the same fish. So why shall I give the facility?" So therefore our policy is not to ask anything from Krsna. He knows what is good for me; simply I have to surrender unto Him. That's all. Why shall I bother Him, "Give me this, give me that, give me that"? Na dhanam na janam.
Here, stri-kama, beautiful wife, kama, one who wants, devim, he should worship goddess Durga. This is recommended here. But it is kama. But those who are devotees, they have no kama. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Anya. Anya means other than Krsna's service. They have made all, everything zero. We don't want all these things. We simply want to serve Krsna. Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Jnana means knowledge. Karma means fruitive activities. Uncovered by or untouched by fruitive activities and jnana. Just like in Vrndavana. All the inhabitants of Vrndavana, they never tried to know Krsna, whether He is God. That was not their business. Jnanam, the jnanis, they want to know. Just like Brahma wanted to test whether Krsna is God or not. Indra wanted to test whether... The inhabitants of Vrndavana, they never did it. They think, "Krsna is our very intimate friend, my beloved son, my lover, my master." Everyone's concentrated love for Krsna in different mellows.
That's all. Even when Krsna played wonderful thing, so they simply thought, "Oh, He might be a demigod." You see. So they never tried to analyze Krsna, but their love for Krsna, there is no comparison. So that is wanted. Jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. "Whether Krsna is God or not, let me test." You can test, but pure love means whatever Krsna may be, He is my lovable object: mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah. We have no other business than to love Krsna, whatever He may be. He may be God or He may be whatever He may be. That is called anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Then what is the business? If everything is sunyam... Sunyam means zero. No, we are not zero. We are positive. What is that? Anukulyena krsnanusilanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Simply cultivate Krsna consciousness favorably: "How I can become a lover of Krsna?" That is wanted. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama. This is first-class devotion service. Of course, we should know Krsna; otherwise, it may be we may neglect Him.
Just like we are trying to explain what is Deity. But if one has got unflinching love for the Deity, he doesn't require to understand the Deity through the sastra. Spontaneous love. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed, as soon as He entered the Deity room, fainted, "Here is My Lord." That is first-class position of devotee... Without any other consideration. Enhance your love for Krsna without any condition. That is required. So these worship of different demigods are recommended in the scripture, not to mislead him, but to lead him gradually to the higher stage, to lead him to the higher stage. Because the demigods are considered different limbs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
ye 'py anya-devata-bhakta
yajante sraddhayanvitah
te 'pi mam eva kaunteya
yajanty avidhi-purvakam
Just like if you want to serve me... There is a routine work how to serve superior. Now, if you touch my hair, you are touching me, but that is not the service. You see. Service means there is routine work. You should touch my feet. Similarly, anywhere you go, it is Krsna, because without Krsna there is no other existence. So to worship the demigod, indirectly worshiping Krsna, but avidhi-purvakam, without regulative principles. Yajanty avidhi-purvakam. The same example: if you want to touch me, so the regulative principle is that you have to touch the lotus feet of your spiritual master, not that you touch his head and do like that. You can say, "I am touching you." Oh, that's not the way. You have to touch according to the regulative principles. Similarly, those who are nonsense: "All right, you touch the hair of your spiritual master. If you cannot touch the lotus feet, then you touch..." Giving a chance to come in touch. So this demigod worship, it is an example given.
Demigod worship is recommended in the Vedas. At least, they should gradually understand "Who is this demigod? Why we are worshiping him? Wherefrom he has got this power?" Then, when one can understand that this Indra, Candra, and Surya, and Diti, Aditi, and fire, Lord Siva, they are all different departmental heads of Krsna's government... The real king is Krsna. To understand that. Not that... Then one could derive all the benefits from one department. No. The different departments are recommended: "If you want this, you have to... If you want this, you have to..." In the conclusion it will be said that "Whatever you want, you go to Krsna." Your all desires will be fulfilled. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. Akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udara-dhih [SB 2.3.10]. (pause) What is the time now?
Devotee: 8:30
Prabhupada: So next, another verse you can read.
Pradyumna: Ayus-kamo 'svinau devau ... (devotees repeat) pusti-kama ilam yajet... One who desires to be absorbed in the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence should worship the master of the Vedas [Lord Brahma or Brhaspati, the learned priest], one who desires powerful sex should worship the heavenly King, Indra, and one who desires good progeny should worship the great progenitors called the Prajapatis. One who desires good fortune should worship Durgadevi, the superintendent of the material world. One desiring to be very powerful should worship fire, and one who aspires only after money should worship the Vasus. One should worship the Rudra incarnations of Lord Siva if he wants to be a great hero. One who wants a large stock of grains should worship Aditi. One who desires to attain the heavenly planets should worship the sons of Aditi. One who desires a worldly kingdom should worship Visvadeva, and one who wants to be popular with the general mass of population should worship the Sadhya demigod. One who desires a long span of life should worship the demigods known as the Asvini-kumaras, and a person desiring a strongly built body should worship the earth. One who desires stability in his post should worship the horizon and the earth combined. One who desires to be beautiful should worship the beautiful residents of the Gandharva planet, and one who desires a good wife should worship the Apsaras and the Urvasi society girls of the heavenly kingdom. One who desires domination over others should worship Lord Brahma, the head of the universe. One who desires tangible fame should worship the Personality of Godhead, and one who desires a good bank balance should worship the demigod Varuna. If one desires to be a greatly learned man he should worship Lord Siva, and if one desires a good marital relation he should worship the chaste goddess Uma, the wife of Lord Siva.
Purport: There are different modes of worship for different persons desiring success in particular subjects. The conditioned soul living within the purview of the material world cannot be an expert in every type of materially enjoyable asset, but one can have considerable influence over a particular matter by worshiping a particular demigod, as mentioned above. Ravana was made a very powerful man by worshiping Lord Siva, and he used to offer severed heads to please Lord Siva. He became so powerful by the grace of Lord Siva that all the demigods were afraid of him, until he at last challenged the Personality of Godhead Sri Ramacandra and thus ruined himself. In other words, all such persons who aspire after gaining some or all of the material objects of enjoyment, or the gross materialistic persons, are on the whole less intelligent, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.20). It is said there that those who are bereft of all good sense, or those whose intelligence is withdrawn by the deluding energy of maya, aspire to achieve all sorts of material enjoyment in life by pleasing the various demigods, or by advancing in material civilization under the heading of scientific progress. The real problem of life in the material world is to solve the question of birth, death, old age and disease. No one wants to change his birthright, no one wants to meet death, no one wants to be old or invalid, and no one wants diseases. But these problems are solved neither by the grace of any demigod nor by the so-called advancement of material science. In the Bhagavad-gita, as well as in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, such less intelligent persons have been described as devoid of all good sense. Sukadeva Gosvami said that out of the 8,400,000 species of living entities, the human form of life is rare and valuable, and out of those rare human beings those who are conscious of the material problems are rarer still, and the still more rare persons are those who are conscious of the value of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which contains the messages of the Lord and His pure devotees. Death is inevitable for everyone, intelligent or foolish. But Pariksit Maharaja has been addressed by the Gosvami as the manisi, or the man of highly developed mind, because at the time of death he left all material enjoyment and completely surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord by hearing His messages from the right person, Sukadeva Gosvami. But aspirations for material enjoyment by endeavoring persons are condemned. Such aspirations are something like the intoxication of the degraded human society. Intelligent persons should try to avoid these aspirations and seek instead the permanent life by returning home, back to Godhead.
Prabhupada: You can read the sloka number 8 also. Dharmartha uttama-slokam tantuh tanvan pitrn yajet. (Pradyumna leads chanting of text 8.)
Devotee: Jaya Sri Guru.
Prabhupada: Have kirtana.
Devotees: All glories to Srila Prabhupada. (devotees offer obeisances)
Prabhupada: Vibration of this mantra will purify. Even if we do not understand the meaning, try to vibrate the mantra.

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