In material existence, four things are very valuable: to be born in a decent family, to be very rich, to be very learned and to be very beautiful. These are considered to be material assets. Unfortunately, without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, these material assets sometimes become sources of sin and degradation. Despite Vidyādhara’s being a demigod and having a beautiful body, he was condemned to the body of a snake due to pride. Therefore from this incident we can learn that those who are too proud of their material assets or who are inimical toward others are degraded to the bodies of snakes. A snake is considered to be the most cruel and envious living entity, but those who are human beings and are envious of others are considered to be even more vicious than snakes. The snake can be charmed or controlled by mantras and herbs, but a person who is envious cannot be controlled by anyone.
“My dear Lord,” Vidyādhara continued, “now, since I think I have become freed from all kinds of sinful activities, I am asking Your permission to return to my abode, the heavenly planets.” This request indicates that persons who are attached to fruitive activities, desiring promotion to the comforts of higher planetary systems, cannot achieve their ultimate goal of life without the sanction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that the less intelligent want to achieve material benefits and therefore worship different kinds of demigods, but they actually get the benedictions from the demigods through the permission of Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. Demigods have no power to bestow material profit. Even if one is attached to material benedictions, he should worship Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and ask Him. Kṛṣṇa is completely able to give even material benedictions. There is a difference, however, between asking material benedictions from the demigods and asking them from Kṛṣṇa. Dhruva Mahārāja worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead for a material benediction, but when he actually achieved the favor of the Supreme Lord and saw Him, he was so satisfied that he refused to accept any material benediction. The intelligent person does not worship the demigods or ask favors from them; he directly becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, and if he has any desire for material benefit, he asks Kṛṣṇa, not the demigods.
Vidyādhara, awaiting Kṛṣṇa’s permission to return to the heavenly planets, said, “Now, because I have been touched by Your lotus feet, I am relieved of all kinds of material pangs. You are the most powerful of all mystics. You are the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are the master of all devotees. You are the proprietor of all planetary systems, and therefore I am asking Your permission. You may accept me as fully surrendered unto You. I know very well that persons who are constantly engaged in chanting Your holy name attain release from all sinful reactions, and certainly persons who are fortunate enough to be personally touched by Your lotus feet are freed. Therefore I am sure that I am now relieved of the curse of the brāhmaṇa simply by seeing You and being touched by Your lotus feet.”
In this way, Vidyādhara got permission from Lord Kṛṣṇa to return to his home in the higher planetary system. After receiving this permission, he circumambulated the Lord and offered his respectful obeisances unto Him, and then he returned to his heavenly planet. Thus Nanda Mahārāja was relieved of the imminent danger of being devoured by the snake.
The cowherd men, who had come to execute the ritualistic function of worshiping Lord Śiva and Ambikā, finished their business and prepared to return to Vṛndāvana. While returning, they recalled the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa. By relating the incident of Vidyādhara’s deliverance, they became more attached to Kṛṣṇa. They had come to worship Lord Śiva and Ambikā, but the result was that they became more and more attached to Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, the gopīs worshiped goddess Kātyāyanī to become more and more attached to Kṛṣṇa. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that persons who are attached to worshiping demigods like Lord Brahmā, Śiva, Indra and Candra for some personal benefit are less intelligent and have forgotten the real purpose of life. But the cowherd men, inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, were no ordinary men. Whatever they did, they did for Kṛṣṇa. If one worships demigods like Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā to become more attached to Kṛṣṇa, that is approved. But if one goes to the demigods for some personal benefit, that is condemned.