~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

— Chapter Five —

Considering the Demigods
Independent of Krsna

All glories to Lord Sri Gauranga, the life of Sri Gadadhara Pandit; all glories to Lord Nityananda, the heart of Srimati Jahnavadevi; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya, the Lord of Mother Sita; all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

The principle of the Supreme Godhead Visnu

SRILA HARIDASA THAKURA continued speaking with folded hands: "O Lord of the Universe, now I pray that You may listen to my explanation of the second offense against the holy name.

"Lord Visnu is the supreme, non-different from the Absolute Truth. He is the lord of the universe, and the possessor of a transcendental body that is always situated in pure goodness. Lord Krsna, the master of Goloka, is the essence and source of Lord Visnu. Krsna is embellished with sixty-four extraordinary excellences; He is the repository of all transcendental mellows. Lord Narayana possesses sixty of those qualities, and to a lesser degree of fullness than Him, so do Lord Visnu and the purusa-avataras.

"Lord Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha, is Lord Krsna's vilasa-vigraha or partial expansion. In Vaikuntha, Sankarsana expands as Maha-Visnu, who lies in the Causal Ocean. This is the first purusa expansion. The next purusa expansion is Garbhodakasayi Visnu, the source of Lord Brahma. He enters every universe as the purusa-avaiara. He further expands as Ksirodakasayi Visnu, the Supersoul within every living entity. These three Visnus are the purusa expansions. Ksirodakasayi Visnu is the source of the incarnations like the Fish (Matsya), Tortoise (Kurma) etc. All these incarnations are forms of the Visnu principle of the Supreme Godhead, and are ornamented with sixty transcendental characteristics. The saktyavesa-avataras are,jiva-tattva in whom the potency of the Lord descends. They are the Lord's separated expansions or vibhinnamsa, and are exemplified as Parasurama, Buddha, Prthu, and so on.

"The Supreme Lord's separated parts or vibhinnamsa are of two categories. Ordinary jivas possess only the first fifty of the Lord's sixty-four transcendental characteristics, and these in miniscule quantity. But in the second category of jivas, including demigods like Lord Siva and others, the same fifty characteristics are found in full potency; additionally, the next five qualities are partially evident. However, these five qualities are exhibited in full potency only by the Visnu category. *

"Thus only the visnu-tattvas are adorned to the fullest degree with the first fifty-five qualities of the Lord. They furthermore display a degree of the next five qualities, for a total of sixty; these five qualities are visible in absolute fullness in Lord Narayana alone. Thus Lord Siva and all the demigods are the Supreme Lord Visnu's servitors. Though the demigods are superior jivas, the Supreme Lord Visnu is the master and controller of the jivas and demigods alike.

Equating the Lord with demigods is ignorance

"People who are ignorant of the visnu-tattva principle of the Supreme Godhead try to equate the Supreme Lord with the demigods. Lord Siva and all the other demigods are the order-carriers of the Supreme Lord Visnu. Mayavadis say that impersonal Brahman is formless, whereas Siva, Brahma and Visnu, the three predominating deities of the three material modes (ignorance, passion and goodness, respectively) have forms. The scriptures unequivocally declare that Lord Brahma creates the material world and Lord Siva destroys it; but Lord Narayana or Visnu, the maintainer is the eternal worshipable Lord. Whoever worships other demigods and disregards Vasudeva, the Supreme Lord Narayana, rots eternally in the hell of material existence.

"Some persons argue that, since Lord Visnu is accepted as the all-pervading Absolute Truth in the Vedas, the Lord is present in all the demigods; therefore the worship of the demigods is equivalent to the worship of Lord Visnu. This argument is fallacious.

The scriptures do not support the notion that the worship of the demigods is the same as the worship of Lord Visnu. In truth, Lord Visnu's worship accomplishes the worship of all the demigods. Hence, separate worship of demigods is not required.

* See-Chapter Two for the list of the sixty-four transcendental qualities of the Lord. For a detailed discussion of the subject, please see The Nectar of Devotion, Chan. 21-24. — Ed.