vidya-tapo-vrata-dharan mukhatah sma vipran
brahmatma-tattvam avitum prathamam tvam asrak
tad brahmanan parama sarva-vipatsu pasi
palah pasun iva vibho pragrhita-dandah
vidya—learning; tapah—austerities; vrata—vows; dharan—the followers; mukhatah—from the mouth; sma—was; vipran—the brahmanas; brahma—Lord Brahma; atma-tattvam—self-realization; avitum—to disseminate; prathamam—first; tvam—you; asrak—created; tat—therefore; brahmanan—the brahmanas; parama—O great one; sarva—all; vipatsu—in dangers; pasi—you protect; palah—like the protector; pasun—the animals; iva—like; vibho—O great one; pragrhita—taking in hand; dandah—a stick.
My dear great and powerful Lord Siva, you were created first from the mouth of Lord Brahma in order to protect the brahmanas in pursuing education, austerities, vows and self-realization. As protector of the brahmanas, you always protect the regulative principles they follow, just as a cowherd boy keeps a stick in his hand to give protection to the cows.
The specific function of a human being in society, irrespective of his social status, is to practice control of the mind and senses by observing the regulative principles enjoined in the Vedic sastras. Lord Siva is called pasupati because he protects the living entities in their developed consciousness so that they may follow the Vedic system of varna and asrama. The word pasu refers to the animal as well as to the human entity. It is stated here that Lord Siva is always interested in protecting the animals and the animalistic living entities, who are not very advanced in the spiritual sense. It is also stated that the brahmanas are produced from the mouth of the Supreme Lord. We should always remember that Lord Siva is being addressed as the representative of the Supreme Lord, Visnu. ln the Vedic literature it is described that the brahmanas are born from the mouth of the universal form of Visnu, the ksatriyas are born from His arms, the vaisyas from His abdomen or waist, and the sudras from His legs. In the formation of a body, the head is the principal factor. The brahmanas are born from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in order to accept charity for worship of Visnu and to spread Vedic knowledge. Lord Siva is known as pasupati, the protector of the brahmanas and other living entities. He protects them from the attacks of non-brahmanas, or uncultured persons who are against the self-realization process.
Another feature of this word is that persons who are simply attached to the ritualistic portion of the Vedas and do not understand the situation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are not any more advanced than animals. In the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is confirmed that even though one performs the rituals of the Vedas, if he does not develop a sense of Krsna consciousness, then all his labor in performing Vedic rituals is considered to be simply a waste of time. Lord Siva’s aim in destroying the Daksa yajna was to punish Daksa because by neglecting him (Lord Siva), Daksa was committing a great offense. Lord Siva’s punishment was just like that of a cowherd boy, who keeps a stick to frighten his animals. It is commonly said that to give protection to animals, a stick is needed because animals cannot reason and argue. Their reasoning and argument is argumentum ad baculum; unless there is a rod, they do not obey. Force is required for the animalistic class of men, whereas those who are advanced are convinced by reasons, arguments and scriptural authority. Persons who are simply attached to Vedic rituals, without further advancement of devotional service, or Krsna consciousness, are almost like animals, and Lord Siva is in charge of giving them protection and sometimes punishing them, as he punished Daksa.

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