Three Ways Demigod Worship Can Harm You

[Govardhana Puja]“When Krishna stopped the villagers of Braja (Vrindavana) from worshiping Indra, Indra became angry and therefore inundated Vrindavana with continuous rain. Krishna, however, protected all of the citizens and animals of Vrindavana by lifting Govardhan Hill, which served as an umbrella.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 21)

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You realize that not everything is in your control. As much as you have tried in the past, outside factors certainly played a role. That one stock you purchased on a tip from a friend – who knew that the company would lose a court case the next day, causing the price to plummet? That time you overslept and decided to skip work – who knew that such rain would pour down that the parking lot would flood in the morning, where so many parked cars were ruined?

This next time around, you are going to approach higher authorities. They manage one of the sources of miseries of life. Natural disasters, heat and cold, the weather – these are adhidaivika miseries. Daivika refers to the devas, who are the demigods, celestials, or whatever the preferred term is for beings residing in the higher planetary system.

The demigods live in heaven, and they are authorized to distribute different kinds of rewards. They are benefactors to those who worship properly. Whether one is a believer or not is of no value, as there is sufficient evidence from recorded history to prove the value of the practice. At the same time, there is some danger involved. Things might not end up how you planned.

1. You don’t get what you want

Maybe you didn’t worship properly. Perhaps time ran out. Maybe there was only one slot available for this particular boon, and you missed your chance. Someone else beat you to it. Whatever the reason, the outcome is not desired.

The negative here is that you might think that God doesn’t exist. After all, the higher powers didn’t come through. You could have found failure on your own. It is the easiest thing in the world to fail; that’s why the section in the bookstore on how to fail doesn’t exist.

2. You get what you want

Saphala, success came. You worshiped properly and got what you asked for. Now what? I wanted money, received it, and I’m still miserable. I remain in a fearful condition. I now want something else.

[ice cream cone]Indeed, the senses are known to be difficult to please. It is impossible to become satisfied simply through asking for stuff. Perhaps what I asked for wasn’t really good for me in the long run. Children ask the parents for permission to stay up late and eat ice cream at every meal. The parents are like demigods in that situation, and if they acquiesce without a thought, no one really benefits.

3. You get more than you bargained for

You were a regular customer to this particular demigod. You worshiped in the past, they were pleased, and everyone got what they wanted. This one particular year you’re going in a different direction. You’ve been advised to direct the worship someplace else.

This demigod shouldn’t mind, since you were a loyal customer for so long. Perhaps you will come back in the future. Nothing is ever fixed in the material world; constant change. Yet this deva is so upset that they’ve decided to give you what you used to pray for anyway.

By the way, they will give you more than you ever bargained for. The people of Vrindavana faced this situation a long time ago. They were accustomed to worshiping Indra, the king of heaven, for getting sufficient rainfall. They skipped his puja one year in favor of Govardhana Hill. The change was at the insistence of Shri Krishna, who was the son of the king, Nanda Maharaja.

Indra was so offended that he retaliated with rain, anyway. The people received what they normally asked for, except this time the rainfall was in excess. It threatened to wash everyone away. Not very nice treatment from someone who was a business partner for so long.

There is one kind of worship which doesn’t carry such risks. Not surprisingly, it is approaching the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In the case of Govardhana Puja, that Supreme Lord was there in the all-attractive form of Krishna. Despite Indra’s wrath, the people were protected. They did not suffer the consequences of worshiping Govardhana Hill, which Krishna declared to be non-different from Him.

Krishna applies discrimination. He actually assesses the requests made of Him. He is not obliged to give anyone anything. The person approaching may view Him as an order supplier, considering the interaction to be like a business transaction.

[Govardhana Puja]Yet Krishna’s association is so purifying that even in the polluted mindset there is benefit. The person who doesn’t get what they want at least spent some time associating with the Supreme Pure. The person who receives what they asked for doesn’t get hurt as a result. Then there are others who get more than what they asked for, namely continued and increased association with the Almighty. This is the greatest benediction a person could ever receive, proving that Krishna is the only benefactor worth approaching.

In Closing:

“This child on my territory encroaching,

Foolishly now Govardhana approaching.

With offerings first intended for me,

My true power let them now see.”

Indra-deva offended in this way,

More than expected when to pray.

Better towards Shri Krishna to go,

Proof the hill-umbrella to show.

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