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Demigod Worship Not Recommended

Sometimes there is a misconception about the worship of demigods. The following quotes from Srila Prabhupada shed light on this topic.

visaya-trso nara-pasavo ya upasate vibhutir na param tvam tesam asisa isa tad anu vinasyanti yatha raja-kulam


O Lord, O Supreme, unintelligent persons who thirst for sense enjoyment and who worship various demigods are no better than animals in the human form of life. Because of their animalistic propensities, they fail to worship Your Lordship, and instead they worship the insignificant demigods, who are but small sparks of Your glory. With the destruction of the entire universe, including the demigods, the benedictions received from the demigods also vanish, just like the nobility when a king is no longer in power.

The Bhagavad-gita (7.20) says, kamais tais tair hrta jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah: "Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto the demigods." Similarly, this verse condemns worship of the demigods. We may show our respect to the demigods, but the demigods are not worshipable. The intelligence of those who worship the demigods is lost (hrta jnanah) because these worshipers do not know that when the entire material cosmic manifestation is annihilated, the demigods, who are the departmental heads of that manifestation, will be vanquished. When the demigods are vanquished, the benedictions given by the demigods to unintelligent men will also be vanquished. Therefore a devotee should not hanker to obtain material opulence by worshiping the demigods, but should engage in the service of the Lord, who will satisfy all his desires.

akamah sarva-kamo va

moksa-kama udara-dhih

tivrena bhakti-yogena

yajeta purusam param

"Whether full of all material desires, free from material desires or desiring liberation, a person who has broader intelligence must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead." (SB 2.3.10) This is the duty of a perfect human being. One who has the shape of a human being but whose actions are nothing but those of an animal is called nara-pasu or dvipada-pasu, a two-legged animal. A human being who is not interested in Krsna consciousness is condemned herewith as a nara-pasu.

SB 6.16.38 purport

“That is another feature of Lord Caitanya. He taught in that instruction that there is no need of worshiping demigods. The incident is that in India the unmarried girls, they are encouraged to worship Lord Siva especially in the month of Vaisakha, March-April. And they will go to the Ganges side and prepare Sivalinga, and they’ll… That means Siva will be pleased upon them to offer a husband like Lord Siva. Siva is very peaceful and very great devotee and most powerful at the same time. So that is the ideal husband. So they brought worshipable paraphernalia for worshiping Siva on the bank of the Ganges, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as naughty boy, approached them. “Oh, my dear sister, what you are doing? Oh, you have brought so many nice things. Give it to Me, and Lord Siva will be very much pleased. Oh, you are worshiping Durga? She is My maidservant and Lord Siva is a great devotee of Me. So you please offer Me all these things; they will be satisfied. You don’t require to offer separately.” By this, He wanted to instruct that worshiping the Supreme Lord is the appeasement of other demigods. You don’t require[…]“

(Lord Caitanya Play Told to Tamala Krsna – August 4, 1969, Los Angeles)

“Jayapataka: Why did Krsna have all the demigod worship put in the Vedas?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Jayapataka: They put… Vyasadeva put all the demigod worship in the Vedas.

Prabhupada: For the karmis. Ksipra bhavati… What is that? Kam kanta…

Jayapataka: Karmanam siddhi.

Prabhupada: Karmanam siddhi yajanti iha devata. Who is interested to take bhakti immediately? Nobody is interested.

Jayapataka: They can get their material facilities from Krsna also.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is recommended. First of all sastra recommends that if you want this thing you worship this deity, this deity. In this way, at last it is said that you can get anything if you worship Krsna. That is said. Akamah sarvo kama v moksa kama udara dhi tivrena bhakti-yogena. That is for the purpose that if he wants to take advantage, material benefit from Krsna, then Krsna bhajana will be there, gradually they will forget this material benefit. They will become pure devotee. Just like Dhruva Maharaja became. Svamin krtartho ‘smi vara na yace.“

Morning Walk – November 21, 1975, Bombay

“You may know also that Ramakrishna’s worship of Kali makes him a third class man. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that one who worships the demigods just like Brahma, Siva, Indra, Candra or demigoddesses like Kali, Durga, Sarasvati, etc., are described as persons who have lost their intelligence.”

(Letter to Satsvarupa — Los Angeles 25 February, 1968)

“You know that we have refused even the Hindu people to hold demigod worship in our temple […]

As a matter of fact, we should not allow anyone to hold any function in our temple, otherwise than Vaisnava principle”

(Letter to Hamsaduta , 10th October 1968)

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