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Footsteps of Lord Siva
SB Canto 8
Conversations and Morning Walks
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prof. Hopkins: What about those who would worship Śiva?
Prabhupāda: Śiva is just like milk and yogurt. The yogurt is milk but it is not milk.
Prof. Hopkins: In another form then. So, ah...
Prabhupāda: You will not derive the benefit of milk from yogurt.
Prof. Hopkins: But do you get benefits?
Prabhupāda: Benefit there must.
Prof. Hopkins: Benefits there are but not the same.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Lord Śiva means you get material opulence but not salvation.
Prof. Hopkins: So you would see Śiva as more related to material.
Prof. Hopkins: There is a passage in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, I forget where, where Viṣṇu is asked "Why is it that the followers of the ascetic Śiva are all wealthy and prosperous people and the followers of You who are the Lord of the universe are all poor?" Is that the way you would see it then, that those that follow Śiva are after more material gain?
Prabhupāda: More material gain means you become more implicated.
Prof. Hopkins: More what?
Prabhupāda: Implicated. Our problem is birth and death, old age and disease. [break] ...this birth, death, old age and disease. For them, liberation, the ultimate liberation is to transfer oneself to the spiritual world.
Prof. Hopkins: So you see... You see a clear difference there between those who follow the Vaiṣṇava tradition, which is less worldly, more spiritual...Prabhupāda: That is the ultimate goal of life. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: na te viduḥ svārtha gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. People do not know what is his self-interest. The self-interest is to approach Viṣṇu.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Indian man: Muktananda. And he has got his retreat, and some of our people go there, and I heard from them that he is teaching... He is quoting Gītā, but if you go to his room, oṁ namaḥ śivāya. I said, "This is contradiction." I said, "If he is a Śiva follower, he should teach Śiva Purāṇa and not Gītā." I said...
Prabhupāda: But they are actually impersonalists. They neither follow Śiva nor Kṛṣṇa. They are impersonalists. Their idea is the Absolute Truth is imperson. You can worship Him either as Śiva or as Kṛṣṇa, as you like. That is their philosophy. Yes.
Indian man: Yes. But this is the height of hypocrisy, to teach Gītā and to chant oṁ namaḥ śivāya.Prabhupāda: No, because they say, "Either way, you become impersonal at the end. You Brahma-liṅga;(?) you become one with Brahma. But before you become Brahma-liṅga, you can imagine some form, either Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu or Śiva or Durgā, the same thing."