(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 October 2013, Melbourne, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.2-7)
Even though we do not look for austerity, we do not spend the whole day trying to avoid austerity. We must take some austerity – that is bhakti yoga and we use our time, as much as possible, in devotional service. Therefore this chapter that we are reading from, continues quickly. We do all these verses (about demigods) today, in one shot and then tomorrow, we can go to the next verse which is about devotional service, which is the topic of this chapter. That is what we want to talk about and not about demigod worship – it is a waste of time.
We may get so many questions, “But my great-grandfather was worshipping such-and-such a deity. It’s in my family. It’s our tradition and what is the problem if we do a little puja on the side!?”
The point is that we divide our faith; that is the issue! Wherever you worship, you begin to put some faith there. We should reserve our faith only for Krsna, therefore we are worshipping only Krsna and not the demigods.
Like I said yesterday, we sometimes think that we will worship some demigod for small things because we don’t want to bother Krsna for these things. No, the truth is that we are then putting our faith partially in Krsna and partially in the demigods. That is how it happened in the past. Many Vishu temples have turned into demigod temples. So, it is not wise. Why would we divide our faith!? It is difficult enough for us; we are by nature already weak in this age therefore it is not wise to divide our faith.
“But how can we give this up? Is it not an offense?”
No, because Srimad Bhagavatam says: devarsi-bhutapta-nrnam pitrnam, na kinkaro nayam rni ca rajan, sravatmana yah saranam saranyam, gato mukundam parihrtya kartam (SB 11.5.41). It says that one is relieved from all duties to the devas (demigods), rsi (sages), parents and forefathers if one takes up the service of Mukunda. All these other duties are automatically fulfilled. By serving Krsna, the demigods are more satisfied than by any other offering. It is the most satisfying offering to them because they are devotees of Krsna.
This idea that we are afraid, if we don’t worship the demigods then we don’t know what will happen – the demigods will get angry! No, then we are in ignorance; we do not understand. Bhagavatam has already stated to us. I can give a crude example.
Someone was serving me by bringing breakfast everyday. Then they stopped that and started to go out everyday, to distribute books, which is what Srila Prabhupada wanted. You think I’ll be upset! No! What will I say, “Go all, go everybody and distribute books. I’ll get my own breakfast!” It is more pleasing if you serve Prabhupada than if you serve me! It is a crude example but that is the mood of the demigods.
Thank you! 🙂