Conversation 059 – Worshipping “Gods” Vs Worshipping the Supreme Lord

Happy Radhashtami! Jai Shri Krishna! Jai Shrimati Radharani!

Seeker 1: I want to share an excerpt from a post I have been reading and it would be great if you could share your views on that. Please check:

I am proud of my daughter for being a true Vaishnava and I am happy to share her post –

As a true Vaishnava I do not celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi (making/eating kozhukkattais (sweets) does not count!).

Every individual following a religion subscribes to a certain philosophy; and a God and they choose to worship according to that belief. Some Hindus pray to multiple Gods, Some Iyengars practice polymorphic monotheism. We subscribe to the idea of only one supreme God, (Paramatma) and the rest (including demigods) are all either sentient (jivatma) or insentient (achit). This principle, called tatvatrayam is the basis of Visishtadvaitam, which I follow as an Iyengar.
Iyengars are called ‘Sri Vaishnavas’. The word Sri Vaishnava means “the one who belongs to Vishnu”.
Iyengars who follow this practice have been chided by those who do not believe in this philosophy. Since I follow Visishtadvaitam, my belief is that Lord Vishnu is the Paramatma.


Seeker 2: There is nothing to be proud of in this! 😦 What is there to being proud in this??? Being proud is the biggest cause of concern and all sorts of complex and complexity starts with that! 😊. What do you mean by true Vaishnava? Either you are a Vaishnava or you are not. That’s all. There’s nothing in between! And Vaishnava is developing the 26 qualities of a Vaishnava and living as a Vaishnava by being an example. A Vaishnava is a person who manifests the following 26 good qualities:

(1) Very kind.

(2) Always friendly.

(3) Truthful.

(4) Impartial.

(5) Faultless.

(6) Magnanimous.

(7) Mild.

(8) Uncontaminated.

(9) Without possessions.

(10) Works for everyone’s benefit.

(11) Very peaceful.

(12) Always surrendered to Krishna.

(13) No material desires.

(14) Gentle.

(15) Steady.

(16) Sense control.

(17) Frugal.

(18) Un-influenced by Maya.

(19) Respectful.

(20) Humility.

(21) Very grave.

(22) Merciful.

(23) Friendly.

(24) Poetic.

(25) Expert.

(26) Silent. – Srimad Bhagavatham – 5.18.12 Purport

Seeker 2: Not by eating kozhukattai or not one becomes a Vaishnava! 😊.

Seeker 2: Being a Vaishnava is a quality that doesn’t come by birth as being born as an “Iyengar” or something. It only comes by developing the qualities of a Vaishnava. So, the primary surmise by calling oneself on the caste names and associating oneself as Vaishnava only calls for sectarianism.

Seeker 2: In Kali yuga where none of the Brahminical / Vedic practices can be / are practiced properly and because everything is polluted, the occupational duties and varnashrama system is totally lost now. Everything has been compromised and if one does not accept this fact one is in the dark for sure!
Seeker 2: Praying to Lord Vishnu by acknowledging Him as the superior being is one thing and praying to Lord Shiva, Lord Vinayaka, Lord Muruga etc who are empowered incarnations/devotees could also be taken as praying to Vishnu but in an indirect way because Vishnu is there as Paramatma in everything living or non-living and everything is His manifestation. He is there even inside every atom!
Seeker 2: Majority are believing in certain beliefs just by following some instructions from someone whom they consider knowledgeable and by listening to some discourses in YouTube etc. by those who satisfy their whims. Most of them do not even enquire what they mean and how it is applicable in present life situations and are easily misled because of lack of self-enquiry, people therefore believe and do as they wish and according to their own whims change their practices according to time, place and situations.
Seeker 2: Krishna just says Maam Ekam Saranam Vraja (BG 18.66) – mentioning and explaining this in detail is more than enough instead of this twisted round about explanations. Trying to show one false superiority is the root cause of all problems. Religion is all personal and based on situation and for the individual soul to attain the supreme destination is the experience of the individual objective and that is the only objective of this human birth.. Explanation needs to be given only to the right people, not to everyone under the sun just because they ask for it because most people cannot comprehend these things because each one of us is under the three modes of material nature and therefore would only lead to unnecessary arguments and misinterpretations!
Seeker 2: Krishna also says first offer it to the demigods who is ordained their respective functions and that is as good as offering to Me because it will anyway reach Me through them.
Seeker 2: “In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief”. – Bhagavad Gita 3.12. it’s also a known fact that watering the roots nourishes the entire tree and feeding the stomach satisfies the entire body. Similarly satisfying Shri Krishna satisfies everyone and everything. But to reach that level of awareness or understanding can be attained only by unalloyed service developing the qualities of a Vaishnava. That is why Krishna Himself mentions this as the most confidential secret that is to be gradually understood and that is why that is His final instruction at the very end – Maam Ekam Saranam vraja – Bhagavad Gita 18.66. Otherwise, He could have said that at the very beginning itself and closed Bhagavad Gita at 2.11 itself and need not have started sermonising beginning with the concepts of the soul 🙂
Seeker 1: Your explanation is really good!
Seeker 2: 😀 Nothing great in this!
Seeker 2: There are certain things to be practiced regularly before one comes to talk on religious or spiritual aspects and also to gradually develop these mentioned Vaishnava qualities because this is the science of life not that of materialistic sciences like the subject matter that is taught in schools ,colleges etc.! These are some of the following that are to be cultivated:

Seeker 2: Learning to live without any expectations combined with continuous readings and listening’s of scriptures, primarily Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatham from authentic sources in line with proper disciplic succession to understand and realise the Absolute Truth.
Seeker 2: Not talking unnecessarily (Silence) and not getting involved in any topics that are useless and are not food for the soul.
Seeker 2: Being restrictive in eating habits, drinking lots of water, fasting regularly and completely avoiding rajasic and tamasic foods.

Seeker 2: Avoiding association of people who believe in only money and earning money is the only thing in life.
Seeker 2: Not getting involved in unnecessary arguments about anyone on/or anything.
Seeker 2: Knowing what is our purpose and sticking with it at all costs and circumstances, no matter what.
Seeker 2: Realising you can’t make anyone understand anything no matter how much you try since It’s only waste of time and energy. One can only be just an influencer. The change has got to begin from oneself.
Seeker 1: You are very clear and correct!
Seeker 2: Doing all the above in a gradual and phased manner and persisting with it despite the hardships that it will bring in initially by strongly believing these aspects will change one’s quality of life for better in the long run.
Seeker 1: yes, I understood.
Seeker 2: “Different people are of different mentalities. Therefore it is not my business either to praise them or to blaspheme them. I only desire their welfare, hoping that they will agree to become one with the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.Srimad Bhagavatham 7.13.42
Seeker 2: This must be the attitude to be followed as mentioned by a care free Avadhutha to Prahalada Maharaja when he enquired on his way of life.
Seeker 1: Everything runs according to the grace of God. God is great. Sarvam Krishnarpanam!
Seeker 2: Yes. 100% true!

Seeker 2: “Nārada Muni desired that Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva see Vāsudeva face to face, the Supreme Personality of Godhead wanted to fulfill the words of His very dear devotee Nārada Muni. If one seeks the favor of a devotee instead of directly asking favors from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is very easily successful.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 10.10.25 Purport.
Seeker 2: Another reference to you to enhance what we were discussing. So, whoever one may worship if the wish is not selfish one will surely reach Krishna otherwise there is no chance!
Seeker 1: Super!

Seeker 2: Lord Shri Krishna’s daily activities is mentioned like this in Srimad Bhagavatham: “Lord Krsna would  offer obeisances to the cows, brähmaëas and demigods, His elders and spiritual masters, and all living beings—all of whom are expansions of His supreme personality. Then He would touch auspicious things“. Srimad Bhagavatham 10.70.10.

Seeker 2: This is Lord Shri Krishna’s one of the final instructions to Sri Uddhava in the Bhakti yoga section of Uddhava Gita: “For him who constantly meditates upon My  presence within all persons, the bad tendencies of rivalry, envy and abusiveness, along with false ego, are very quickly destroyed. Disregarding the ridicule of one’s companions, one should give up the bodily conception and its accompanying embarrassment. One should offer obeisances before all—even the dogs, outcastes, cows and asses—falling flat upon the ground like a rod. Until one has fully developed the ability to see Me within all living beings, one must continue to worship Me by this process with the activities of his speech, mind and body.” Srimad Bhagavatham 11.29.15, 16, 17.

Seeker 2: Nothing is an authentic as this process of worship as Shri Krishna himself says it: “My dear Uddhava, because I have personally established it, this process of devotional service unto Me is transcendental and free from any material motivation. Certainly a devotee never suffers even the slightest loss by adopting this process.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 11.29.20

Thank you very much!

Related Post(s):

  1. Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatham Canto 1
  2. Life and BG 18.66

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Author: Rajini

"Knowledge is the ultimate perfection of self-realization.". (Srimad Bhagavatham 3.26.2) Trying to seek that knowledge through life experiences that leads to compassion, dispassion and ultimately satisfaction.

2 thoughts on “Conversation 059 – Worshipping “Gods” Vs Worshipping the Supreme Lord”

  1. Irony is, those who believe that all is one preferred deity/god of their choice, do not understand somehow that the other person whose belief (good or bad) is part of this person’s believed creator. So, a festival of Ganesha is subset of a Vaishnava (if these terms are used loosely and with prejudices involved). Same is case in vice versa. So I don’t see a problem unless they accept that their definition of god has no omnipresent characters and exists selectively.
    Anyways, by Math rule of A subset of B and B subset of A makes A =B 😜.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice analogy! For people doing things blindly without applying thought process and tnot rying to understand the rationale behind thiings nothing can be explained to them no matter how much one triies. So it is better to question things to get clarified and even get “ridiculed” in the process because little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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