With the understanding that when the nectar was generated from the churning they would share it equally, the demigods and the demons brought Vāsuki to be used as the rope for the churning rod. By the expert arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the demons held the snake near the mouth, whereas the demigods held the tail of the great snake. Then, with great endeavor, they began pulling the snake in both directions. Because the churning rod, Mandara Mountain, was very heavy and was not held by any support in the water, it sank into the ocean, and in this way the prowess of both the demons and the demigods was vanquished. The Supreme Personality of Godhead then appeared in the form of a tortoise and supported Mandara Mountain on His back. Then the churning resumed with great force. As a result of the churning, a huge amount of poison was produced. The prajāpatis, seeing no one else to save them, approached Lord Śiva and offered him prayers full of truth. Lord Śiva is called Āśutoṣa because he is very pleased if one is a devotee. Therefore he easily agreed to drink all the poison generated by the churning.
Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
Another name for Lord Siva is Asutosa
SB Canto 1
Lord Śiva is a demigod celebrated for awarding gifts to beggars. His name is therefore Āśutoṣa, or one who is pleased very easily. He is also called the Bhūtanātha, or the lord of the common folk, who are mainly attached to him because of his munificent gifts, even without consideration of the aftereffects. Rāvaṇa was very attached to Lord Śiva, and by easily pleasing him, Rāvaṇa became so powerful that he wanted to challenge the authority of Lord Rāma. Of course, Rāvaṇa was never helped by Lord Śiva when he fought with Rāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Lord of Lord Śiva. To Vṛkāsura, Lord Śiva awarded a benediction which was not only awkward, but also disturbing. Vṛkāsura became empowered, by the grace of Lord Śiva, to vanish anyone's head simply by touching it. Although this was awarded by Lord Śiva, the cunning fellow wanted to make an experiment of the power by touching the head of Lord Śiva. Thus the lord had to take shelter of Viṣṇu to save himself from trouble, and the Lord Viṣṇu, by His illusory potency, asked Vṛkāsura to make an experiment with his own head. The fellow did it and was finished himself, and so the world was saved from all sorts of trouble by such a cunning beggar of the demigods. The excellent point is that Lord Śiva never denies anyone any sort of gift. He is therefore the most generous, although sometimes some kind of a mistake is made.
SB Canto 3
The beautiful Diti said: My dear brāhmaṇa, kindly see that my embryo is not killed by Lord Śiva, the lord of all living entities, because of the great offense I have committed against him.
Diti was conscious of her offense and was anxious to be excused by Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva has two popular names, Rudra and Āśutoṣa. He is very prone to anger as well as quickly pacified. Diti knew that because of his being quickly angered he might spoil the pregnancy she had so unlawfully achieved. But because he was also Āśutoṣa, she implored her brāhmaṇa husband to help her in pacifying Lord Śiva, for her husband was a great devotee of Lord Śiva. In other words, Lord Śiva might have been angry with Diti because she obliged her husband to transgress the law, but he would not refuse her husband's prayer. Therefore the application for excuse was submitted through her husband. She prayed to Lord Śiva as follows.
Let me offer my obeisances unto the angry Lord Śiva, who is simultaneously the very ferocious great demigod and the fulfiller of all material desires. He is all-auspicious and forgiving, but his anger can immediately move him to chastise.
Diti prayed for the mercy of Lord Śiva very cleverly. She prayed: "The lord can cause me to cry, but if he likes he can also stop my crying because he is Āśutoṣa. He is so great that if he likes he can immediately destroy my pregnancy, but by his mercy he can also fulfill my desire that my pregnancy not be spoiled. Because he is all-auspicious, it is not difficult for him to excuse me from being punished, although he is now ready to punish me because I have moved his great anger. He appears like a man, but he is the lord of all men."
SB Canto 4
Śiva has spoiled the name and fame of the governors of the universe and has polluted the path of gentle manners. Because he is shameless, he does not know how to act.
Dakṣa wanted to impress upon the minds of all the great sages assembled in that meeting that Śiva, being one of the demigods, had ruined the good reputations of all the demigods by his unmannerly behavior. The words used against Lord Śiva by Dakṣa can also be understood in a different way, in a good sense. For example, he stated that Śiva is yaśo-ghna, which means "one who spoils name and fame." So this can also be interpreted to mean that he was so famous that his fame killed all other fame. Again, Dakṣa used the word nirapatrapa, which also can be used in two senses. One sense is "one who is stunted," and another sense is "one who is the maintainer of persons who have no other shelter." Generally Lord Śiva is known as the lord of the bhūtas, or lower grade of living creatures. They take shelter of Lord Śiva because he is very kind to everyone and is very quickly satisfied. Therefore he is called Āśutoṣa. To such men, who cannot approach other demigods or Viṣṇu, Lord Śiva gives shelter. Therefore the word nirapatrapa can be used in that sense.
Twice-born Dakṣa, a man like you can simply find fault in the qualities of others. Lord Śiva, however, not only finds no faults with others' qualities, but if someone has a little good quality, he magnifies it greatly. Unfortunately, you have found fault with such a great soul.
King Dakṣa is addressed here by his daughter Satī as dvija, twice-born. Twice-born refers to the higher classes of men, namely the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas. In other words, a dvija is not an ordinary man but one who has studied the Vedic literature from a spiritual master and can discriminate between good and bad. Therefore it is supposed that he understands logic and philosophy. Satī, Dakṣa's daughter, put before him sound arguments. There are some highly qualified persons who accept only the good qualities of others. Just as a bee is always interested in the honey in the flower and does not consider the thorns and colors, highly qualified persons, who are uncommon, accept only the good qualities of others, not considering their bad qualities, whereas the common man can judge what are good qualities and what are bad qualities.
Among the uncommonly good souls there are still gradations, and the best good soul is one who accepts an insignificant asset of a person and magnifies that good quality. Lord Śiva is also called Āśutoṣa, which refers to one who is satisfied very easily and who offers to any person the highest level of benediction. For example, once a devotee of Lord Śiva wanted the benediction that whenever he touched someone on the head, that person's head would at once be separated from his trunk. Lord Śiva agreed. Although the benediction asked was not very commendable because the devotee wanted to kill his enemy, Lord Śiva considered the devotee's good quality in worshiping and satisfying him and granted the benediction. Thus Lord Śiva accepted his bad qualities as magnificently good qualities. But Satī accused her father, "You are just the opposite. Although Lord Śiva has so many good qualities and no bad qualities at all, you have accepted him as bad and found fault with him. Because of your accepting his good qualities to be bad, instead of your becoming the most exalted soul you have become the most fallen. A man becomes the greatest soul by accepting the goodness of others' qualities, but by unnecessarily considering others' good qualities to be bad, you have become the lowest of the fallen souls."
You have excluded Lord Śiva from taking part in the sacrificial results, and therefore you are all offenders at his lotus feet. Still, if you go without mental reservations and surrender unto him and fall down at his lotus feet, he will be very pleased.
Lord Śiva is also called Āśutoṣa. Āśu means "very soon," and toṣa means "to become satisfied." The demigods were advised to go to Lord Śiva and beg his pardon, and because he is very easily pleased, it was certain that their purpose would be served. Lord Brahmā knew the mind of Lord Śiva very well, and he was confident that the demigods, who were offenders at his lotus feet, could mitigate their offenses by going to him and surrendering without reservation.
Lord Śiva said: My dear father, Brahmā, I do not mind the offenses created by the demigods. Because these demigods are childish and less intelligent, I do not take a serious view of their offenses, and I have punished them only in order to right them.
There are two types of punishment. One is that which a conqueror imposes on an enemy, and the other is like that a father imposes on his son. There is a gulf of difference between these two kinds of punishment. Lord Śiva is by nature a Vaiṣṇava, a great devotee, and his name in this connection is Āśutoṣa. He is always satisfied, and therefore he did not become angry as if he were an enemy. He is not inimical to any living entity; rather, he always wishes the welfare of all. Whenever he chastises a person, it is just like a father's punishment of his son. Lord Śiva is like a father because he never takes seriously any offense by any living entities, especially the demigods.
The great sage Maitreya said: My dear Vidura, all the personalities present were very much satisfied in heart and soul upon hearing the words of Lord Śiva, who is the best among the benedictors.
In this verse Lord Śiva is described as mīḍhuṣṭama, the best of the benedictors. He is also known as Āśutoṣa, which indicates that he is very quickly satisfied and very quickly angered. It is said in Bhagavad-gītā that less intelligent persons go to the demigods for material benedictions. In this connection, people generally go to Lord Śiva, and because he is always quickly satisfied and gives benedictions to his devotees without consideration, he is called mīḍhuṣṭama, or the best of the benedictors. Materialistic persons are always anxious to get material profit, but they are not serious about spiritual profit.
Sometimes, of course, it so happens that Lord Śiva becomes the best benedictor in spiritual life. It is said that once a poor brāhmaṇa worshiped Lord Śiva for a benediction, and Lord Śiva advised the devotee to go to see Sanātana Gosvāmī. The devotee went to Sanātana Gosvāmī and informed him that Lord Śiva had advised him to seek out the best benediction from him (Sanātana). Sanātana had a touchstone with him, which he kept with the garbage. On the request of the poor brāhmaṇa, Sanātana Gosvāmī gave him the touchstone, and the brāhmaṇa was very happy to have it. He now could get as much gold as he desired simply by touching the touchstone to iron. But after he left Sanātana, he thought, "If a touchstone is the best benediction, why has Sanātana Gosvāmī kept it with the garbage?" He therefore returned and asked Sanātana Gosvāmī, "Sir, if this is the best benediction, why did you keep it with the garbage?" Sanātana Gosvāmī then informed him, "Actually, this is not the best benediction. But are you prepared to take the best benediction from me?" The brāhmaṇa said, "Yes, sir. Lord Śiva has sent me to you for the best benediction." Then Sanātana Gosvāmī asked him to throw the touchstone in the water nearby and then come back. The poor brāhmaṇa did so, and when he returned, Sanātana Gosvāmī initiated him with the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Thus by the benediction of Lord Śiva the brāhmaṇa got the association of the best devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa and was thus initiated in the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
The Pracetās were fortunate to see Lord Śiva, the chief of the demigods, emerging from the water with his associates. His bodily luster was just like molten gold, his throat was bluish, and he had three eyes, which looked very mercifully upon his devotees. He was accompanied by many musicians, who were glorifying him. As soon as the Pracetās saw Lord Śiva, they immediately offered their obeisances in great amazement and fell down at the lotus feet of the lord.
The word vibudhānugaiḥ indicates that Lord Śiva is always accompanied by the denizens of the higher planets known as Gandharvas and Kinnaras. They are very expert in musical science, and Lord Śiva is worshiped by them constantly. In pictures, Lord Śiva is generally painted white, but here we find that the color of his skin is not exactly white but like molten gold, or a glowing yellowish color. Because Lord Śiva is always very, very merciful, his name is Āśutoṣa. Amongst all the demigods, Lord Śiva can be pacified even by the lowest class of men, who need only offer him obeisances and leaves of a bael tree. Thus his name is Āśutoṣa, which means that he is pleased very quickly.
Generally those who are very fond of material prosperity approach Lord Śiva for such benediction. The lord, being very merciful, quickly awards all the blessings the devotee asks of him. The demons take advantage of this leniency and sometimes take benedictions from Lord Śiva which can be very dangerous to others. For instance, Vṛkāsura took a benediction from Lord Śiva by which he could kill everyone he touched on the head. Although Lord Śiva sometimes very liberally gives such benedictions to his devotees, the difficulty is that the demons, being very cunning, sometimes want to experiment improperly with such benedictions. For instance, after receiving his benediction, Vṛkāsura tried to touch the head of Lord Śiva. Devotees of Lord Viṣṇu, however, have no desire for such benedictions, and Lord Viṣṇu does not give His devotees benedictions which would cause disturbance to the whole world.
SB Canto 8
SB Canto 9
Although mother Ganges agreed to come down to earth, she made two conditions: first, she wanted some suitable male to be able to control her waves; second, although all sinful men would be freed from sinful reactions by bathing in the Ganges, mother Ganges did not want to keep all these sinful reactions. These two conditions were subject matters for consideration. Bhagīratha replied to mother Ganges, "The Personality of Godhead Lord Śiva will be completely able to control the waves of your water, and when pure devotees bathe in your water, the sinful reactions left by sinful men will be counteracted." Bhagīratha then performed austerities to satisfy Lord Śiva, who is called Āśutoṣa because he is naturally satisfied very easily. Lord Śiva agreed to Bhagīratha's proposal to check the force of the Ganges. In this way, simply by the touch of the Ganges, Bhagīratha's forefathers were delivered and allowed to go to the heavenly planets.
After saying this, Bhagīratha satisfied Lord Śiva by performing austerities. O King Parīkṣit, Lord Śiva was very quickly satisfied with Bhagīratha.
The words āśv atuṣyata indicate that Lord Śiva was satisfied very soon. Therefore another name for Lord Śiva is Āśutoṣa. Materialistic persons become attached to Lord Śiva because Lord Śiva bestows benedictions upon anyone and everyone very quickly, not caring to know how his devotees prosper or suffer. Although materialistic persons know that material happiness is nothing but another side of suffering, they want it, and to get it very quickly they worship Lord Śiva. We find that materialists are generally devotees of many demigods, especially Lord Śiva and mother Durgā. They do not actually want spiritual happiness, for it is almost unknown to them. But if one is serious about being happy spiritually, he must take shelter of Lord Viṣṇu, as the Lord personally demands:
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
- ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
- mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear." (BG 18.66)
(In his book Caitanya-bhāgavata) Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has very vividly described the places visited by the Lord on the way to Bhuvaneśvara.
In his book Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-khaṇḍa, Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has very nicely described the Lord's journey en route to Kaṭaka (Cuttak). On that journey, the Lord visited a place known as Bālihastā, or Bālakāṭīcaṭi. He then visited the city of Bhuvaneśvara, where Lord Śiva's temple is located. The temple of Bhuvaneśvara is situated about five to six miles from Bālakāṭīcaṭi. The temple of Lord Śiva is mentioned in the Skanda Purāṇa, in the narration about the Lord's garden and the one mango tree. A king named Kāśirāja wanted to fight with Lord Kṛṣṇa, and consequently he took shelter of Lord Śiva to acquire the power to fight the Lord. Being pleased with his worship, Lord Śiva helped him fight Kṛṣṇa. Lord Śiva's name is Āśutoṣa, which indicates that he is very easily satisfied when one worships him, regardless of the purpose, and he gives his devotee whatever benediction the devotee wants. Therefore, people are generally very fond of worshiping Lord Śiva. Thus Kāśirāja was helped by Lord Śiva, but in the fight with Lord Kṛṣṇa he was not only defeated but killed. In this way the weapon known as Pāśupata-astra was baffled, and Kṛṣṇa set fire to the city of Kāśī. Later Lord Śiva became conscious of his mistake in helping Kāśirāja, and he begged Lord Kṛṣṇa's forgiveness. As a benediction from Lord Kṛṣṇa, he received a place known as Ekāmra-kānana. Later, the kings of the Keśarī dynasty established their capital there, and for many hundreds of years they reigned over the state of Orissa.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
Long ago, when Lord Śiva was dancing in his celebrated fashion, called tāṇḍava-nṛtya, for which he is known as Naṭarāja, Bāṇāsura helped Lord Śiva in his dancing by rhythmically beating drums with his one thousand hands. Lord Śiva is well known as Āśutoṣa ("very easily pleased"), and he is also very affectionate to his devotees. He is a great protector for persons who take shelter of him and is the master of all living entities in this material world. Being pleased with Bāṇāsura, he said, "Whatever you desire you can have from me, for I am very much pleased with you." Bāṇāsura replied, "My dear lord, if you please, you can remain in my city just to protect me from the hands of my enemies."
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
By worshiping different demigods, we get immediate result. We immediate. Just like the Bhaumāsura. He was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, and when he was, Lord Śiva was perfectly worshiped, he wanted to give him some benediction, and he asked Lord Śiva that "Please give me this benediction that on the head of anyone, if I place my hand, immediately his head will be gone, vanished, vanquished. So Lord Śiva is known as Āśutoṣa. Āśutoṣa, very quickly, very easily, he becomes pleased. That is Lord Śiva's great qualification. And if anyone wants anything, even it is very obnoxious, he grants, "All right, take it."
So Lord Śiva gave him the benediction, "Yes, your, I give you this benediction." So then he wanted to test it. So he said, "Sir, let me place my hand upon your head." (laughter) So Lord Śiva was in danger. You see? Then he went to Lord Viṣṇu, "Please save me. I,... This man took benediction from me, and now he wants to place his hand upon my head." So viṣṇu-māyā is very intricate. So Lord Viṣṇu saved Lord Śiva and informed the devotee, "This is not possible. Why don't you test by touching your own head?" Then as soon as he placed his hand on his own head, his head was vanished.
Indian man (5): Śrīla Prabhupāda, why do most people in this Kali-yuga worship Lord Śiva instead of worshiping Lord Kṛṣṇa? Because Kṛṣṇa known as God...
Prabhupāda: Because they can get immediate money from Śiva. That is the reason. Lord Śiva is the proprietor or the supreme person within this material world, and he is āśutoṣa, very easily pleased. Therefore materialistic person go to him for some material benefit, and he gives. That's all.
Indian man (6): But Lord Śiva is the greatest Vaiṣṇava.
Prabhupāda: Yes, everyone is Vaiṣṇava. He is the greatest Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ. Unless he is Vaiṣṇava, how he gets this power? The power comes from the original person. Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). So unless one is Vaiṣṇava, he has no power. All right.
If you want ultimate goal, ultimate goal means to get free from the conditional life, repetition of birth, death, old age—then you have to take shelter of Lord Viṣṇu. But people do not know that. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). For temporary benefit they go to worship other demigods. But that is not their ultimate goal. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām (BG 7.23). Antavat tu phalam. If you take any benediction from other demigods, that is antavat. That will be finished. That is temporary. Antavat tu phalam..., tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām. Just like Lord Śiva's name is Āśutoṣa. He's very quickly becomes pleased to offer benediction; therefore generally people go to Āśutoṣa, Lord Śiva. He does not consider. If you can please him, you can take any kind of benediction from him. He'll be ready: "All right. You take it." Because he wants to avoid botheration. So when the devotees come, bother him, so to..., just to get him out, he says: "All right, whatever you like, you take and go away." Therefore his name is Āśutoṣa. And people take the shelter of Āśutoṣa, Lord Śiva, for quick result. But Lord Viṣṇu is not like that. If you want something extraordinary from Lord Viṣṇu, it is not possible. He'll not give. Lord Brahmā also.
Sometimes devotees are so gentle. If such foolish person comes to talk, unnecessarily waste of time, "All right, you take in writing that I am not a learned. Go away." You see? This is another bhadra. Instead of wasting time with a rascal, better give him a paper: "Go away, sir." (laughter) And therefore Lord Śiva is called Āśutoṣa. So many demons go to bother him: "Give me this. Give me that." And his name is Āśutoṣa.. He gives him immediately: "All right, you take it. Go away. Don't bother." (laughter) Therefore his name is Āśutoṣa.. Very soon he becomes... Somebody prayed, "Sir, give me this benediction, that I shall... On anyone's head I shall touch, immediately head will go away." So Lord Śiva said, "All right, you go away. You take this benediction and go away." Then he wanted to touch the head of Lord Śiva, that "Let me test whether it is good or not." Then he was in danger. So sometimes Lord Śiva is put into danger because he... People, therefore, go to worship Lord Śiva to take anything he wants. Rāvaṇa also was a very great devotee of Śiva. Asuras, they are very great devotees of Lord Śiva to take material facilities. But if you... Of course, it is said, akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā (SB 2.3.10). But anyone who goes to Kṛṣṇa, he does not want anything like this, that "I shall put my hand to anyone's head, and it will go."