Book excerpts Pinnacle of Devotion THE HIGHEST DEVOTION

THE HIGHEST DEVOTION

Fortunately for us, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has kindly come to bestow His mercy, and somehow He will make arrangements for us to increase our eagerness, our greed, for this prema. If there is greed, then gradually the path to achieve this prema will also manifest.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered Śrīla Rūpa, Śrīla Sanātana, and Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmīs to write about pure bhakti, which is only available for qualified persons. Although the neem is a very bitter tree and its small yellow fruits are also very bitter, crows fly there to relish the taste. Only the cuckoos sit on the mango tree and taste the beautiful sweetness of the mangos. Similarly, only qualified persons will read about this subject.

arasa-jña kāka cūṣe jñāna-nimba-phale
rasa-jña kokila khāya premāmra-mukule

(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaMadhya-līlā 8.258)

Those who are devoid of all mellows are like the crows that suck the juice from the bitter fruits of the nimba tree of mundane and impersonal knowledge, whereas those who enjoy mellows are like the cuckoos who eat the buds of the mango tree of love of Godhead.

I am continuing to explain the third and fourth chapters of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Hearing this subject, if one develops some taste and genuine eagerness, or greed, for what these chapters are offering, then our association will be fully successful.

Anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau. Please note in your heart that all of ourguru-paramparā ācāryas were rāgānuga Vaiṣṇavas, and they were especially rūpānuga[1] Vaiṣṇavas. None of them were practicing only vaidhī-bhakti[2]. They came to this world to give rāgānuga-bhakti, but they saw that unfortunately there was a very large jungle of Māyāvāda, karmajñānayoga, and tapasya that they would first have to cut down. In the beginning they had to cut down all these jungles, and much of their time was spent doing this. Their real aim was to give the nectar of vraja-prema to the jīvas of this world, for which we must have some eagerness. Once that greed has manifest, our path to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness will be clear.

The desire to serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the seed of bhakti, the bhakti-latā-bīja, and it is externally manifest as the first stage of bhakti, called śraddhā, or faith. The external activities of śraddhā can be seen externally, but if the internal desire to serve Kṛṣṇa is not present, then śraddhā is not actually present. When gurudeva plants this seed in the heart of the sincere Vaiṣṇava, that sincere disciple has great honor for gurudeva, for śāstra, and for Vaiṣṇavas.

When we cut the jungles of duplicity and other such worldly behavior, the bhakti seed, which is the tendency or desire to serve Kṛṣṇa, can grow. Gradually the plant of bhakti crosses the worldly jurisdiction of karmajñānayogatapasya, and all other impediments. It also crosses Brahma-loka and the desire to taste mukti, eternal salvation.

By one’s sādhu-saṅga and continual watering of the one’s bhakti-latā, the growth of one’s bhakti-latā will be unstoppable. It will grow beyond even the territory of Lord Nārāyaṇa, the husband of Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, and cross Ayodhyā, Goloka, and Dvārakā. Finally it reaches Vṛndāvana, where it takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa in the form of Vrajendra-nandana, Rādhā-kānta, Rādhānātha. Here, the creeper develops beautiful tasteful fruits. The ‘gardener’ disciple, taking shelter of the creeper of bhakti, also reaches the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, and there he tastes that sweet fruit of bhakti-rasa.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī that another gardener is gurudeva, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s representative. Mahāprabhu gives the fruits to pure Vaiṣṇavas to distribute among all the world’s devotees. Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaita Ācārya, Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāya Rāmānanda also try to distribute this fruit, but the number of fruits is endless. Instead of decreasing, the number of sweet fruits always increases.

anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 1.4)

May that Lord, who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.

The general meaning of this Sanskrit verse will give us some understanding of what Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. All His teachings are in this verse, which is the essence of all His philosophical conclusions. This verse is the most important of the maṅgalācaraṇa (auspicious invocation) verses in Caitanya-caritāmṛta; the rest of Caitanya-caritāmṛta is spoken just to explain it.

Anarpita-carīṁ cirāt. As I explained earlier, anarpita means ‘has not been given,’ and cirāt means ‘for a long time.’ I have explained that in Brahmā’s day, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu comes soon after Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s appearance in this world. This prema had been given before, trillions of years before, and since then so many Indras and Manus have come and gone.

Avatīrṇaḥ kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti. This age of Kali-yuga is glorious because Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself came in this age and gave what was not given for thousands upon thousands of yuga cycles of Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga, Kali-yuga. He came to give unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam.

What is unnatojjvala-rasa? There are five kinds of rasa, namely śāntadāsyasakhya, vātsalya, and mādhurya.

Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana, and Sanat-kumāra are devotees in śānta-rasa. They have very strong faith in Kṛṣṇa, but no actual personal relationship with Him; no ‘human-like’ relation of friendship, parenthood, etc. As liberated souls they are with Nārāyaṇa and they have transcended the suffering and sorrows of this world, but they have no sweet, human-like relation with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. They consider that because Kṛṣṇa is God, He has no appetite, no thirst, and no fatigue. From their point of view there would be no need to massage or wash His feet, and because Kṛṣṇa has no appetite, there is no need of offering Him sweet foodstuffs. They see Him as the most self-satisfied of all those who are satisfied within themselves (ātmārāmas).

Śānta-rasa devotees are satisfied in themselves, but not in Śrī Kṛṣṇa. They have the realization that they are spirit souls beyond the body. They are beyond worldly requirements, but they do not serve Kṛṣṇa or Nārāyaṇa directly. There are many śānta-rasa bhaktas, but it is rare to find a bhakta in dāsya-rasaKoṭiṣv api mahāmune.[3] Out of hundreds of millions of bhaktas, a Vaiṣṇava like Hanumān, who is in dāsya-rasa, is very rare.

In this world there are two kinds of entities: non-moving and moving. Those on the level of immovable trees do not have developed senses. They feel sorrow, happiness, and other emotions, but they cannot express themselves. Among those entities who can move here and there are insects, birds, animals, and human beings; most living beings are below human beings.

This human form is very, very rare. Even most of those who have the form of men are still like dogs, asses, and other animals, if they are not favorable to Kṛṣṇa. Those who are favorable to Śrī Kṛṣṇa are very, very rare. Among hundreds of millions of favorable persons, those with intelligence and knowledge of how to serve properly are rarer still. And, among hundreds of millions of intelligent people, those who serve Lord Nārāyaṇa are exceptionally rare.

Among those who want to be devotees, a perfect nārāyaṇa bhakta is very rare. Among them the kṛṣṇa-bhakta is rarer, and those with the vraja-bhāva of sakhyavātsalya, and mādhurya-bhāva are still rarer. Up to vātsalya-bhāva, there is no ujjvala-rasaUjjvala-rasa is present only in mādhurya-rasa.

Mādhurya-rasa is of two kinds. In the abode of Lord Nārāyaṇa in the transcendental realm of Vaikuṇṭha, there are only two rasasśānta and dāsya. In Ayodhya there are two-and-a-half rasas, namely śānta and dāsya and half of vātsalya. The vātsalya-rasa of devotees like Daśaratha Mahārāja and Kauśalyā, the parents of Lord Rāma, is ‘half,’ because their love is mixed with aiśvarya-bhāva, the mood of awe and reverence. There is a great difference between the son of Kauśalyā and Daśaratha and the son of Yaśodā-maiyā and Nanda Bābā. Sometimes Kauśalyā thought, “Oh, Rāma is God Himself,” and then she began to pray to Him, but Yaśodā-maiyā never prayed to Kṛṣṇa as God.

Once, looking inside Kṛṣṇa’s very little mouth while He was yawning, Yaśodā-maiyā saw the entire universe along with millions of Brahmās, Śaṅkaras (Śivas), and Viṣṇus. She thought, “O Supreme Lord, why am I seeing this? Kṛṣṇa is only a little boy. What I am seeing must be caused by a ghost or some magic. Am I dreaming?” She pinched herself. “No, I am not dreaming,” she concluded. “Then why am I seeing all this?”

She could not consider that Kṛṣṇa is God. She immediately ran to Nanda Bābā and asked, “Why am I seeing these scenes? Please bring Gargācārya and Śāṇḍilya Ṛṣis so that they may perform a ceremony to protect Kṛṣṇa.”

When the brāhmaṇas arrived, Nanda Bābā and Yaśodā-maiyā gave them large amounts of wealth and cows as a donation. Gargācārya and Śāṇḍilya Ṛṣi then told Nanda Bābā to bring a black cow. After mixing the urine and dung of that cow to make a paste, they took hold of its tail and used it as a brush to apply the paste on Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s body. Then they chanted, lalāṭe keśavaṁ rakṣetnārāyaṇam athodare rakṣetvakṣaḥ-sthale mādhavaṁ rakṣetgovindaṁ kaṇṭha-kūpake rakṣetviṣṇuṁ ca dakṣiṇe rakṣetbāhau ca madhusūdanam rakṣettrivikramaṁ kandhare rakṣetvāmanaṁ vāma-pārśvake rakṣetśrīdharaṁ vāma-bāhau rakṣethṛṣīkeśaṁ kandhare rakṣetpṛṣṭhe ca padmanābhaṁ rakṣetkaṭyāṁ dāmodaraṁ rakṣet.

“Now don’t fear,” they said. “Don’t fear.” They accepted Nanda Bābā’s donation in the form of cows and other valuables, and everyone became happy.

On the other hand, when Arjuna saw the Universal Form of Kṛṣṇa, he was frightened and began to pray, “I have committed so many offenses to You. I have called You ‘friend,’ I have called You ‘Kṛṣṇa,’ and I have ordered You to take my horses and become my charioteer. I have therefore dishonored You. Please excuse me. I will never offend You again. Please withdraw this Universal Form and show me Your human-like form. I want You to be my friend in my chariot.”

In Vaikuṇṭha and Ayodhyā there is śuddha-dāsya (unmixed, or pure, servitorship), but in Vraja, servitorship mixes either with the mood of a friend or the mood of a parent. There are unlimited servants of Nanda Bābā who think, “Kṛṣṇa is my child.” They kiss Him, take Him on their shoulders, and play with Him. They also rebuke Him at times, saying, “Oh, You are very dirty.” The servants of Vaikuṇṭha and Ayodhyā cannot do this.

The relationship of Kṛṣṇa and His servants in Vraja is very beautiful – but it is not called unnatojjvala-rasa. Although it is more intimate than the pure dāsya-rasa of Vaikuṇṭha and Ayodhyā, still it is called dāsya-rasa. 

Sakhya-rasa (friendship) is higher than dāsya-rasa. It is so intimate that Kṛṣṇa’s friends can wrestle with Him. Hanumān cannot wrestle with Rāma, but Śrīdāma, Subala, Madhumaṅgala, Arjuna, and all of Kṛṣṇa’s friends of Vraja can defeat Him in wrestling. Moreover, in His defeat, Kṛṣṇa’s own happiness greatly increases. He wants to always be defeated by these friends. If He is defeated His friends become happy, and seeing this, He becomes still happier. Then, when they see His happiness increase, their happiness again increases.

In comparison, Hanumān cannot be so free with Rāma. When Sītā-devī is present at night with Rāma, Hanumān has to leave. In this way, the relationship of friendship (sakhya-rasa) of Vraja is indeed very elevated and sweet – but still it is not called unnatojjvala-rasa.

Next we come to vātsalya-rasa, the mood of a parent of Kṛṣṇa, which is much more elevated than the relationship and mood of a friend. Yaśodā-maiyā can rebuke Kṛṣṇa and tie Him with ropes. She can pull His ears and say, “Oh naughty boy, You are always telling lies. Did You eat this earth?”

“Mother, I have not eaten it.”

“Oh, You have not eaten it? All the boys are saying You did.”

“They are naughty. They want to see you punish Me. That is why they told you this.”

“Oh? I want to see inside Your mouth,” she says, and she looks inside.

Now come with me to a place very far from here. We are going to beautiful Gokula Vṛndāvana, where the Yamunā is flowing. We have now reached Brahmāṇḍa-ghāṭa, where Śrī Kṛṣṇa is Nanda-nandana, Yaśodā-nandana, a boy of two and a half years old. He is not wearing any clothing except for the peacock feather Yaśodā-maiyā has placed in His hair, and a very beautiful golden belt with dangling bells that she has tied around His waist.

When Kṛṣṇa moves, the bells of His waistbelt create a very sweet tinkling sound. He is very happy to be playing with Śrīdāma, Subala, and all other boys nearby, and some servants are guarding all the boys so they do not fall into the Yamunā.

All of a sudden the boys, especially Madhumaṅgala and Śrīdāma, begin to clap very loudly. Kṛṣṇa wonders what has happened, why is everyone clapping and laughing for no apparent reason.

He asks, “Why are you clapping and laughing?”

Joking with Kṛṣṇa, they say, “You are very black. Your mother is so beautiful, with a fair complexion, and Your father is very fair. It is absurd to think that a black son like You could have come from them. You are not really the son of Nanda and Yaśodā.”

They again clapped, along with Baladeva. Kṛṣṇa was alone; the others have teamed up against Him. They are making funny faces, twisting their mouths, clapping, and irritating Kṛṣṇa by their different poses.

Kṛṣṇa becomes unhappy and begins to weep. He asks them, “Oh, I am not the son of Yaśodā? Then where have I come from?”

They say, “Perhaps some lady gave birth to You, and she could not support You, so on the day You came from her womb, she placed You in the hole of a tree. Then, either Nanda Bābā or Yaśodā-maiyā saw You and very mercifully brought You to their home from there. You have certainly not come from Yaśodā’s womb.”

Weeping very bitterly, Śrī Kṛṣṇa returns home and enters His courtyard. Unable to control His tears, He begins rolling on the earth. That day He does not run inside His house calling, “Mother! Mother!” He is simply weeping. Yaśodā-maiyā comes at once and tries to place Kṛṣṇa on her lap, but He pushes her away.

Seeing him very angry and very sad, Yaśodā-maiyā asks, “My dear boy, my dear son. What happened that You are weeping so much that You won’t sit on my lap?”

“I am not your son. Why are you calling Me your son? I am not your son.”

“Why are You speaking like this?”

“All the boys are clapping and laughing and joking and teasing Me. They say I am not your son, so I must now go away to the forest.”

“Who is telling You this?”

“All the boys are saying it, and Baladeva is also saying it. He is taking their side and clapping.”

Yaśodā-maiyā somehow manages to take weeping Kṛṣṇa on her lap and says, “I promise You on the name of Nārāyaṇa that I am not telling a lie. You are my son and You have come from my womb.” After saying this three times, He becomes somewhat consoled.

This beautiful vātsalya-rasa is not found in Vaikuṇṭha, Ayodhyā, or even in Dvārakā. It is not found even in Mathurā.

Nārada Muni once came to the courtyard of Yaśodā-maiyā and saw Śrī Kṛṣṇa rolling on the earth and weeping. “Mother! Mother! Mother!” I want to sit on your lap.”

Yaśodā-maiyā replied, “I will not take You on my lap. You are a dirty and naughty boy. You go to the neighborhood gopīs and steal their butter and yoghurt, just like a monkey. I will not pick You up.”

Nārada was struck with wonder. “Yaśodā-maiyā is so fortunate,” he pondered. “Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, and the very form of eternity, knowledge and bliss. Yet, Yaśodā is treating Him like her own son. Śrī Kṛṣṇa wants to sit on her lap, and she is saying, ‘Don’t come. Go away. I do not like naughty boys.’”

Who can speak like this? Nārada, Śaṅkara, and Brahmā cannot do so. Vasudeva and Devakī also cannot do so. Daśaratha and Kauśalyā certainly cannot do so. Only Yaśodā-maiyā can do this. Nanda Bābā can somewhat, but not exactly like Yaśodā-maiyā, so her affection is superior even to his. Still, her parental love is not called unnatojjvala-rasa.

Now come with me to Dvārakā and see one of the two kinds of mādhurya-rasa, namely svakīya-rasa, the love of Kṛṣṇa’s lawfully wedded wives. In Dvārakā, svakīya is the best rasa of all, and Kṛṣṇa’s 16,108 queens are the excellent examples. Of these queens, eight are most prominent, among them Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā are prominent, and among these two queens Satyabhāmā is the most exalted.

Rukmiṇī was very beautiful and she is a perfectly chaste wife, but she was always serving Kṛṣṇa in a submissive mood. Satyabhāmā, on the other hand, sometimes manifested intense transcendental jealous anger (māna[4]).

Kṛṣṇa was once sitting on the bed of Rukmiṇī-devī. Hundreds of thousands of maidservants were there to serve Him, but Rukmiṇī-devī asked them all to leave the room. She took a cāmara (yaktail fan) in her own hand and fanned Him with great love and affection.

On that same day, Kṛṣṇa was very, very grave. He told Rukmiṇī-devī, “I have done something wrong. I have disturbed your good fortune. All the very beautiful, well-qualified, and youthful princes of the world wanted to marry you. As far as I am concerned, I am black and not very beautiful. In fact, I have no qualification at all; I am nirguṇa (without any qualities). Because you are so qualified, the sons of the richest persons in the world wanted to marry you. You are the most beautiful lady in the world. There is no one equal to you, no comparison at all. You are the daughter of a very great king, but I am not even a prince. I am a very ordinary person.

“Only poor persons have affection for Me. Those who are neglected by everyone take shelter of Me, and I am also affectionate to them. Rich, qualified, and beautiful persons do not like Me, and I am also not disposed toward them.

“But all of them want you, so I think that it would be better for you if I take you to a person who is as beautiful, wonderful, and qualified as you. If you let Me know who that person is, I will take you to him. I do not want you to have to stay with a person as unqualified as Myself.

“You may argue that, ‘No one will marry me because I am already married,’ but I assure you that everyone is still eager to marry you. Śiśupāla wants to defeat Me in every way, so he would certainly marry you. In fact, all the princes of the world want to defeat Me. So please let Me know whom to give you to, with whom you will be very happy.”

Having heard Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s words, Rukmiṇī lost her grip on her cāmara, which fell from her hands as she fainted. Kṛṣṇa was alarmed. Trying to see whether she was still alive, He took some cotton and put it under her nose. She was breathing very slowly, as though she would die at any moment. He then placed His mouth near her ear and said, “O dearmost Rukmiṇī, you are My life and soul. I was only joking with you. If I knew that you were so soft and sensitive, I would not have said these things to you. I used to joke with the gopīs, and they would joke twice as much back. They would tell Me, ‘Get out of this kuñja. We don’t want to see the face of any black person. All black persons are like You, always cheating others. At once go from here.’

“I thought that you would be somewhat like the gopīs. I never thought that you would be so sensitive that you would almost die. In the relationship between husbands and wives, the husbands are always laboring very hard to maintain the family. In the evening they are tired and return home, for the sole purpose of seeing and hearing the sweet voices of their little children and the sweet behavior of their wives.

“When husband and wife remain for a long time at home, they become like two vessels. When two or three vessels come together they make sounds as though they are quarreling. In the same way, quarreling is a rasa in this householder life. I wanted to see your face when you are angry, to taste its sweetness. I never thought that you would become so devastated. You are My life and soul. I will never joke with you like this in the future. If you were to die, I would also die.”

Śrī Kṛṣṇa wept as He spoke, and Rukmiṇī-devī regained consciousness. When she gathered her senses, she also began to weep and said, “You are telling the truth. You are surely nirguṇa, because the worldly qualities of sattva (material goodness), raja (passion), andtama (ignorance) are not present in You. I know that You are the God of gods. The reason that only poor, neglected persons worship You and serve You is that rich persons, full with material knowledge and coming from elevated families from the worldly point of view, are always drowning in the ocean of false ego, thinking, ‘I am so learned, and I have received all the degrees of all the universities of the world. I have so many credentials, I am from a very rich family, and I am so beautiful.’

“If one is beautiful, he thinks, ‘I am the monarch of all I survey,’ and neglects his spouse and everyone else. Such materialistic persons cannot serve You nor can they chant Your holy names. I think that only persons neglected by the world, and who know this world to be full of birth, death, and other miseries, can come to You and serve You. Only those who realize their unhappiness come to serve You.

“I myself am under the modes of nature, namely sattvaraja, and tama. It is for this reason that worldly persons appreciate me, but they are unfortunate.

“I want to serve Your lotus feet as a maidservant of the maidservant of Your maidservant; washing Your pots, sweeping, and always serving in some way or other. I want to serve those same lotus feet which the gopīs have served. I do not want anything more. If You tell me to leave You, I will die at once.”

Śrī Kṛṣṇa then told Rukmiṇī-devī, “I will never speak like this again. I was only joking.”

All rasas are within Rukmiṇī-devī – but even this affection is not called unnatojjvala-rasa.

In these topics we find such elevated philosophical conclusions. Try to understand them all, because they are the conclusive truths taught by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. 

[1]Rūpānuga-bhaktas are only those who follow the same manner and mood in which Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī serves Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Although Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī serves both Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, she is more inclined towards Śrīmatī Rādhikā – happy in the happiness of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and suffering like Her when She suffers. Internally, in their constitutional forms, the rūpānuga-bhaktas serve in the same mood as Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī, and externally they practice the same devotional activities as Rūpa Gosvāmī” (Gaura-vāṇī pracāriṇe, Chapter 7).

[2] “One has to serve Kṛṣṇa according to these regulative principles, but if one develops spontaneous love for Kṛṣṇa as exhibited in the activities of those who live in Vraja-bhūmi, one attains the platform of rāgānuga-bhakti. One who has developed this spontaneous love is eligible for elevation to the platform enjoyed by the inhabitants of Vraja-bhūmi” (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta,Madhya-līlā 8.221, purport).

[3] This phrase is from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.14.5).

[4] Māna is the sentiment that prevents the lover and beloved from meeting freely, although they are together and are attracted to each other. Māna gives rise to transient emotions like transcendental anger, despondency, doubt, restlessness, pride, and jealousy.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

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We should try to mix our hearts with the heart of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Without avesa we cannot taste all these mellows. When we hear and read these verses, we should identify ourselves as followers of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and try to make our hearts one with his...

Siva-ratri

Srila Gurudeva followed Siva-ratri. There was so much fighting about this in the matha even in Mathura, where Srila Gurudeva was in charge. His Godbrothers would become upset. I would cook on Siva-ratri, but they wanted there to be rice, dal, sabji and everything. They would not accept Srila Gurudeva’s idea and they complained about his following of vrata on that day.Srila Gurudeva said to them, “Who is Siva? Do you accept Siva as separate from Visnu? That is a nama-aparadha. Sada Siva is directly Lord Visnu’s expansion. However, if you accept Siva as equal to Visnu, this is also nama-aparadha. If you accept Siva as an independent controller than this is aparadha, but at the same time, he is not separate from Visnu. In the Brahma Samhita, it is stated:ksiram yatha dadhi-vikara-visesa-yogatsanjayate na hi tatah prthag asti hetohyah sambhutam api tatha samupaiti karyadgovindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami“Here it is described that, milk turns into yogurt by a transforming agent, but yogurt cannot again become milk. In the same way, Lord Visnu manifest as Lord Siva to perform a specific function. So he is an expansion of Lord Visnu, but Siva he is not equal to Visnu and he cannot become Visnu just like milk can become yogurt but yogurt cannot become milk. It is a great offense to disrespect Lord Siva and one should certainly perform fast on his day of Siva-ratri.”Srila Gurudeva had to deal with so much disturbance amongst his Godbrothers over this matter. These Godbrothers, of course, did not include Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Trivikram Gosvami Maharaja, but a collection of people who were not so serious about performing bhajana.Srila Gurudeva later wrote a book titled Siva-tattva and he had it distributed freely to different mathas. He said, “By disrespecting the different demigods one commits nama-aparadha and invites calamity. If one makes this offence he will never attain pure bhakti. Those people who offend Lord Siva will surely suffer. Just look at what happened to Daksa-prajapati, and look at what happened to Pusa and Brghu. Pusa’s teeth were shattered and Bhrgu’s mustache was ripped off. Daksa’s head was replaced with the head of a goat!

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