TEXT 24
etasyāṁ sādhvi sandhyāyāṁ
bhagavān bhūta-bhāvanaḥ
parīto bhūta-parṣadbhir
vṛṣeṇāṭati bhūtarāṭ
SYNONYMS
etasyām—in this period; sādhvi—O chaste one; sandhyāyām—at the junction of day and night (evening); bhagavān—the Personality of God; bhūta-bhāvanaḥ—the well-wisher of the ghostly characters; parītaḥ—surrounded by; bhūta-parṣadbhiḥ—by ghostly companions; vṛṣeṇa—on the back of the bull carrier; aṭati—travels; bhūta-rāṭ—the king of the ghosts.
TRANSLATION
Lord Śiva, the king of the ghosts, sitting on the back of his bull carrier, travels at this time, accompanied by ghosts who follow him for their welfare.
PURPORT
Lord Śiva, or Rudra, is the king of the ghosts. Ghostly characters worship Lord Śiva to be gradually guided toward a path of self-realization. Māyāvādī philosophers are mostly worshipers of Lord Śiva, and Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Śiva for preaching godlessness to the Māyāvādī philosophers. Ghosts are bereft of a physical body because of their grievously sinful acts, such as suicide. The last resort of the ghostly characters in human society is to take shelter of suicide, either material or spiritual. Material suicide causes loss of the physical body, and spiritual suicide causes loss of the individual identity. Māyāvādī philosophers desire to lose their individuality and merge into the impersonal spiritual brahmajyoti existence. Lord Śiva, being very kind to the ghosts, sees that although they are condemned, they get physical bodies. He places them into the wombs of women who indulge in sexual intercourse regardless of the restrictions on time and circumstance. Kaśyapa wanted to impress this fact upon Diti so that she might wait for a while.

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