Hare Krishna Vaishnavas,
Please accept my humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
In their recently posted wonderful mail to Granthraj titled "Prime Duty of Life", H G Gopal Krishna prabhu and H G Prasannalakshmi mataji refered to the example of the saintly king Khatvanga who dutifully served the demigods till the end of his life.
One interesting point to note in this example is that eventhough Khatvanga Maharaja served the demigods for so many years selflessly, the demigods in return could only offer the benediction of knowing how many more moments he has left before his life ends. Though Khatvanga Maharaja was a devotee and hence did not ask them for deathlessness, still the demigods do not have the power to grant immortality. This we know from several examples in the shastras.
Our wife, husband, children, relatives, friends, car, house, land, power, wealth etc are all temporary and the demigods have the power to give us only these things which may be with us for a few years or at the most for a life time. Krishna rightly says in the Gita 7.23,
antavat tu phalam teshaam / tad bhavati alpa medhasaam
devaan deva yajo yaanti / mad bhaktaa yaanti maam api
"Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet."
Actually worshiping demigods is not condemned but worshiping them on an equal level with the Supreme Lord or worshiping them for attaining temporary benedictions is condemned. Infact worshiping them as great devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, pleases them very much and they will give us the benediction of bhakti with full satisfaction. Infact they like the devotees of Krishna more than their own devotees as confirmed by the greatest of all demigods Lord Siva to the Pracetas in SB 4.24.30,
atha bhaagavataa yuyam / priyaah stha bhagavaan yathaa
na mad bhaagavataanaam ca / preyaan anyo 'sti karhicit
"You are all devotees of the Lord, and as such I appreciate that you are as respectable as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. I know in this way that the devotees also respect me and that I am dear to them. Thus no one can be as dear to the devotees as I am."
As Lord Siva says in this verse, he respects the devotees as much as the Supreme Lord. Such is the glorification and greatness of devotees of Krishna. But many times even when we are in the process of devotional service, we still do not have an one-pointed focus (vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhih) on serving Krishna. We still fear that something will happen if we do not worship so and so demigods and continue with our multi-demigod worship. This definitely takes our focus away from our Supreme shelter and genuine bhakti does not come to us even after many years.
Let us pray to Lord Siva to grant us pure bhakti unto the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and dedicate our lives to the most merciful Lord at least a 1% of his dedication.
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krsna das
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