God is supreme. Nobody can God. Nobody can be equal with God. God is called in the Vedic literature, asamaurdhva. Asama means nobody's equal to Him. And nobody is higher than Him. Ūrdhva means higher. Nobody can be higher than God, and nobody can be equal to God. Everyone is lower than God, however great he may be. And there is a nice verse, śiva-viriñci-nutam (SB 11.5.33). Śiva-viriñci. Śiva means the Lord Śiva, and viriñci means Lord Brahmā. They are considered to be the topmost demigods in this material world. So they also offer their respectful obeisances to Viṣṇu, or God.
Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
SB Canto 3
Just as drops of perspiration which fell from the toe of the Lord became the sacred Ganges, so teardrops from the transcendental eyes of the Lord became Bindu-sarovara. Both are transcendental entities and are worshiped by great sages and scholars. The water of Bindu-sarovara is described here as śivāmṛta jala. Śiva means "curing." Anyone who drinks the water of Bindu-sarovara is cured of all material diseases; similarly, anyone who takes his bath in the Ganges also is relieved of all material diseases. These claims are accepted by great scholars and authorities and are still being acted upon even in this fallen age of Kali.
SB Canto 4
In the Second Chapter of the Fourth Canto, the cause of the dissension between Lord Śiva and Dakṣa, which was due to a great sacrifice arranged by Dakṣa for the pacification of the entire universe, is explained. Lord Śiva is described here as the best of the gentle because he is not envious of anyone, he is equal to all living entities, and all other good qualities are present in his personality. The word śiva means "all auspicious." No one can be an enemy of Lord Śiva's, for he is so peaceful and renounced that he does not even construct a house for his residence, but lives underneath a tree, always detached from all worldly things. The personality of Lord Śiva symbolizes the best of gentleness. Why, then, was Dakṣa, who offered his beloved daughter to such a gentle personality, inimical towards Lord Śiva so intensely that Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa and wife of Lord Śiva, gave up her body?
Since Lord Śiva is the greatest soul among the living entities within this material world, his name, Śiva, is very auspicious for persons who identify the body with the soul. If such persons take shelter of Lord Śiva, gradually they will understand that they are not the material body but are spirit soul. Śiva means maṅgala, or auspicious. Within the body the soul is auspicious. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am Brahman." This realization is auspicious. As long as one does not realize his identity as the soul, whatever he does is inauspicious. Śiva means "auspicious," and devotees of Lord Śiva gradually come to the platform of spiritual identification, but that is not all. Auspicious life begins from the point of spiritual identification.
In this verse the word śiva-śakti is significant. Śiva means "auspicious," and śakti means "energy." There are many types of energies of the Supreme Lord, and all of them are auspicious. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara are called guṇa-avatāras, or incarnations of material qualities. In the material world we compare these different incarnations from different angles of vision, but since all of them are expansions of the supreme auspicious, all of them are auspicious, although sometimes we consider one quality of nature to be higher or lower than another. The mode of ignorance, or tamo-guṇa, is considered very much lower than the others, but in the higher sense it is also auspicious. The example may be given herein that the government has both an educational department and criminal department. An outsider may consider the criminal department inauspicious, but from the government's point of view it is as important as the education department, and therefore the government finances both departments equally, without discrimination.
Perfection means becoming a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. As stated in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.28): vāsudeva-parā vedā vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ. The ultimate goal of life is Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa. Any devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa can attain all perfection, material gains and liberation simply by offering prayers to Him. There are many varieties of prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa chanted by great sages and great personalities such as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa is known as śiva-viriñcinutam (SB 11.5.33). Śiva means Lord Śiva, and viriñci means Lord Brahmā. Both of these demigods are engaged in offering prayers to Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. If we follow in the footsteps of such great personalities and become devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa, our lives will become successful. Unfortunately people do not know this secret. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum: "They do not know that the real interest and the highest perfection of life is to worship Lord Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa)." (SB 7.5.31) It is impossible to become satisfied by trying to adjust the external energy.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So therefore it was enquired by Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja... There is a verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that... This question was raised by Parīkṣit Mahārāja to Śukadeva Gosvāmī. So "Your Honor, we see just the opposite thing, that one who is devotee of Lord Viṣṇu, the wife, the husband of the goddess of fortune, they become gradually poorer." Because a Vaiṣṇava, generally, they remain humble and poor, brāhmaṇa also. "Whereas the worshiper of Lord Śiva..." Lord Śiva means..., at least, he voluntarily accepts all poverty. His wife is Durgā devī, so powerful. Sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā (Bs. 5.44).
Those who are engaged twenty-four hours with love and faith in devotional service. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ tam. The buddhi-yogam. He directs, "Do like this, do like that." Then... What for buddhi? Yena mām upayānti te. Then, gradually, you come to Kṛṣṇa, back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore it is recommended here, na yujyamānayā bhaktyā bhagavaty akhilātmani, sadṛśo 'sti śivaḥ panthā. Śiva means auspicious.
Śiva means auspiciousness. So if you actually interested for self-realization, if you want to become perfect in this life, śivaḥ panthā, the most auspicious, most perfect panthā is... What is that? Now, bhaktyā bhagavati. You just become a devotee and engage yourself in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not the so-called rascal Bhagavān, but bhagavaty akhilātman. One, the..., that Bhagavān who is present everywhere. That Bhagavān. Not this false bhagavān. Akhilātmani. These are the shastric injunction. So that Bhagavān... "I don't find that Bhagavān." No. That Bhagavān is within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 18.61). That is real Bhagavān. So as soon... Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye. That Bhagavān is always acting. He instructed Brahmā. Brahmā, the lord of the universe, he got instruction from Kṛṣṇa, and he created the whole universe, and what to speak of you?
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
Worshiping Lord Śiva means to gain some material profit. And in the worshiping Viṣṇu there is material profit. That is given by Viṣṇu. That is not karma. But Vaiṣṇava, they are not aspiring after any material profit. The material profit automatically comes. But they, they do not desire. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). Material profit is not their aim of life. Their aim of life—how to satisfy Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu. That is Vaiṣṇava. Viṣṇur asya devataḥ. Na te... And the demons, they do not know that to become Vaiṣṇava, that is the highest perfection of life. They do not know it.
So anyway, our request is that you all young men who have taken to this path of Vaiṣṇavism, and there is very good chance to preach this cult in your country, so even if you are not very much successful in other countries, in your country you'll be very successful. There is good potency. And try to make them stronger to fight with the demonic principles.
Thank you very much.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: How, one after another, how one is born out of the... That is... How the brāhmaṇas were there, kṣatriyas were there—everything in Vedic... These Vedic mantra means the history of human society. And the origin is God, Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa. There are other mantras wherein it is stated, eko nārāyaṇa āsīt. "Only Nārāyaṇa was there." Neither Lord Śiva nor Brahmā. Later on, they came. When he first cites the mantra, vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam, śiva-viriñci-nutam (SB 11.5.33). Śiva means Lord Śiva, and viriñci means Brahmā. All of them offer respect to Nārāyaṇa. Indian astrology was taken by the Arabians first. The one, two, three, four, five, six, these figures were taken from India, up to nine, then zero. Then you make all mathematical, arithmetical calculation.
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.
1947 to 1965 Correspondence
Now this Mantra is practically indicating the holy name of Lord Siva. Na means negation and Ma means false ego or Ahamkara. Therefore Namah means surrendering to the name Siva. In other words to accept the supremacy of Lord Siva means Namah Sivaya. Therefore the conclusion is that in Mantra the name of the deity is unavoidably amalgamated. And in the Mantra the spiritual power, by the Rsis like Narada etc. is surcharged like the copper is electrified by magnetic force. The etymological alphabets are so surcharged with spiritual potency and as such all Mantra indicating the transcendental holy name of God or Godhead is to be understood in that way. When we chant the Mantra as were presented by the authorities—the process helps communication with the personality of Godhead by the sound waves as we have now experienced in the material world of physical waves vibrations. The powerful Mantras have such potency if they are sounded in the right direction.