TEXT 16
kim va sivakhyam asivam na vidus tvad anye
brahmadayas tam avakirya jatah smasane
tan-malya-bhasma-nrkapaly avasat pisacair
ye murdhabhir dadhati tac-caranavasrstam
SYNONYMS
kim va—whether; siva-akhyam—named Siva; asivam—inauspicious; na viduh—do not know; tvat anye—other than you; brahma-adayahBrahma and others; tam—him (Lord Siva); avakirya—scattered; jatah—having twisted hair; smasane—in the crematorium; tat-malya-bhasma-nr-kapali—who is garlanded with human skulls and smeared with ashes; avasat—associated; pisacaih—with demons; ye—who; murdhabhih—with the head; dadhati—place; tat-carana-avasrstam—fallen from his lotus feet.
TRANSLATION
Do you think that greater, more respectable personalities than you, such as Lord Brahma, do not know this inauspicious person who goes under the name Lord Siva? He associates with the demons in the crematorium, his locks of hair are scattered all over his body, he is garlanded with human skulls and smeared with ashes from the crematorium, but in spite of all these inauspicious qualities, great personalities like Brahma honor him by accepting the flowers offered to his lotus feet and placing them with great respect on their heads.
PURPORT
It is useless to condemn a great personality like Lord Siva, and this is being stated by his wife, Sati, to establish the supremacy of her husband. First she said, “You call Lord Siva inauspicious because he associates with demons in crematoriums, covers his body with the ashes of the dead, and garlands himself with the skulls of human beings. You have shown so many defects, but you do not know that his position is always transcendental. Although he appears inauspicious, why do personalities like Brahma respect the dust of his lotus feet and place on their heads with great respect those very garlands which are condemned by you?” Since Sati was a chaste woman and the wife of Lord Siva, it was her duty to establish the elevated position of Lord Siva, not only by sentiment but by facts. Lord Siva is not an ordinary living entity. This is the conclusion of Vedic scripture. He is neither on the level of the Supreme Personality of Godhead nor on the level of the ordinary living entities. Brahma is in almost all cases an ordinary living entity. Sometimes, when there is no ordinary living entity available, the post of Brahma is occupied by an expansion of Lord Visnu, but generally this post is occupied by a greatly pious living entity within this universe. Thus Lord Siva’s position is constitutionally higher than that of Lord Brahma, although Lord Siva appeared as the son of Brahma. Here it is mentioned that even personalities like Brahma accept the so-called inauspicious flowers and the dust of the lotus feet of Lord Siva. Great sages like Marici, Atri, Bhrgu and the others among the nine great sages who are descendants of Brahma also respect Lord Siva in such a way because they all know that Lord Siva is not an ordinary living entity.
In many Puranas it is sometimes asserted that a demigod is elevated to such a high position that he is almost on an equal level with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the conclusion that Lord Visnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead is confirmed in every scripture. Lord Siva is described in the Brahma-samhita to be like curd or yogurt. Curd is not different from milk. Since milk is transformed into curd, in one sense curd is also milk. Similarly, Lord Siva is in one sense the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but in another sense he is not, just as curd is milk although we have to distinguish between the two. These descriptions are in the Vedic literature. Whenever we find that a demigod occupies a position apparently more elevated than that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is just to draw the devotee’s attention to that particular demigod. It is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita (9.25) that if one wants to worship a particular demigod, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is sitting in everyone’s heart, gives one greater and greater attachment for that demigod so that one may be elevated to the demigod’s abode. Yanti deva-vrata devan. By worshiping demigods one can elevate himself to the abodes of the demigods; similarly, by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead one can be elevated to the spiritual kingdom. This is stated in different places in Vedic literature. Here Lord Siva is praised by Sati, partially due to her personal respect for Lord Siva, since he is her husband, and partially due to his exalted position, which exceeds that of ordinary living entities, even Lord Brahma.
The position of Lord Siva is accepted by Lord Brahma, so Daksa, Sati’s father, should also recognize him. That was the point of Sati’s statement. She did not actually come to her father’s house to participate in the function, although before coming she pleaded with her husband that she wanted to see her sisters and her mother. That was a plea only, for actually at heart she maintained the idea that she would convince her father, Daksa, that it was useless to continue being envious of Lord Siva. That was her main purpose. When she was unable to convince her father, she gave up the body he had given her, as will be seen in the following verses.

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