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. The goddess Durgā, Bhavānī, the wife of Lord Śiva, was not at all disturbed when Lord Śiva agreed to drink the poison, for she knew Lord Śiva's prowess. Indeed, she expressed her pleasure at this agreement. Then Lord Śiva gathered the devastating poison, which was everywhere. He took it in his hand and drank it. After he drank the poison, his neck became bluish. A small quantity of the poison dropped from his hands to the ground, and it is because of this poison that there are poisonous snakes, scorpions, toxic plants and other poisonous things in this world.
Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
SB Canto 1
Therefore the example of both grandfathers for maintaining equanimity of mind is quite fitting.
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.
SB Canto 3
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SB Canto 8
SB Canto 9
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.
The son of Bhagīratha was Śruta, the son of Śruta was Nābha, and Nābha's son was Sindhudvīpa. The son of Sindhudvīpa was Ayutāyu, and the son of Ayutāyu was Ṛtūparṇa, who was a friend of Nala. Ṛtūparṇa gave Nala the art of gambling and learned from him the art of aśva-vidyā. The son of Ṛtūparṇa was known as Sarvakāma, the son of Sarvakāma was Sudāsa, and his son was Saudāsa.
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:
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."
Once upon a time, Bāṇāsura came to offer his respects to Lord Śiva. By touching the lotus feet of Lord Śiva with his helmet, which was shining like the sun globe, he offered his obeisances unto him.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
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?"
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.
Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya. Not pavargyasya. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya na arthāya upakalpate. We go to temple or church or mosque to get some material benefit: "O God, give us our daily bread." The Christians pray like that. And the Hindus, they also pray, go to some demigod, or Kṛṣṇa. Mostly they go to demigod, especially to Lord Śiva, because Lord Śiva's name is Āśutoṣa. If you please Lord Śiva, it is very easy. He's very easily satisfied. And whatever you want, he gives you: "All right, take it." Therefore, generally people become devotee of Lord Śiva, because easily pliable. Viṣṇu is not so easily pliable. Devī is easily pliable. Say, for a meat-eater, goes to Devī: "My dear goddess, I want to eat meat." Devī will allow: "All right. Bring a goat and sacrifice it before me, and you eat." But if you go to Viṣṇu, "Sir, I want to eat meat," He'll not allow. Therefore they are very much devotees of Goddess Kālī. Purpose is to eat meat. He's not a devotee.
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.
So 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.