pretair bhūta-gaṇair vṛtaḥ
aṭaty unmattavan nagno
vyupta-keśo hasan rudan
śivāpadeśo hy aśivo
preta-āvāseṣu—at the burning places of dead bodies; ghoreṣu—horrible; pretaiḥ—by the Pretas; bhūta-gaṇaiḥ—by the Bhūtas; vṛtaḥ—accompanied by; aṭati—he wanders; unmatta-vat—like a madman; nagnaḥ—naked; vyupta-keśaḥ—having scattered hair; hasan—laughing; rudan—crying; citā—of the funeral pyre; bhasma—with the ashes; kṛta-snānaḥ—taking bath; preta—of the skulls of dead bodies; srak—having a garland; nṛ-asthi-bhūṣaṇaḥ—ornamented with dead men’s bones; śiva-apadeśaḥ—who is śiva, or auspicious, only in name; hi—for; aśivaḥ—inauspicious; mattaḥ—crazy; matta-jana-priyaḥ—very dear to the crazy beings; patiḥ—the leader; pramatha-nāthānām—of the lords of the Pramathas; tamaḥ-mātra-ātmaka-ātmanām—of those grossly in the mode of ignorance.
He lives in filthy places like crematoriums, and his companions are the ghosts and demons. Naked like a madman, sometimes laughing and sometimes crying, he smears crematorium ashes all over his body. He does not bathe regularly, and he ornaments his body with a garland of skulls and bones. Therefore only in name is he Śiva, or auspicious; actually, he is the most mad and inauspicious creature. Thus he is very dear to crazy beings in the gross mode of ignorance, and he is their leader.
Those who do not regularly bathe are supposed to be in association with ghosts and crazy creatures. Lord Śiva appeared to be like that, but his name, Śiva, is actually fitting, for he is very kind to persons who are in the darkness of the mode of ignorance, such as unclean drunkards who do not regularly bathe. Lord Śiva is so kind that he gives shelter to such creatures and gradually elevates them to spiritual consciousness. Although it is very difficult to raise such creatures to spiritual understanding, Lord Śiva takes charge of them, and therefore, as stated in the Vedas, Lord Śiva is all-auspicious. Thus by his association even such fallen souls can be elevated. Sometimes it is seen that great personalities meet with fallen souls, not for any personal interest but for the benefit of those souls. In the creation of the Lord there are different kinds of living creatures. Some of them are in the mode of goodness, some are in the mode of passion, and some are in the mode of ignorance. Lord Viṣṇu takes charge of persons who are advanced Kṛṣṇa conscious Vaiṣṇavas, and Lord Brahmā takes charge of persons who are very much attached to material activities, but Lord Śiva is so kind that he takes charge of persons who are in gross ignorance and whose behavior is lower that that of the animals. Therefore Lord Śiva is especially called auspicious.
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