Bhagwan Shiv is Devotee of Shree Krishna - Shree Krishna and Bhagwan Shiv are not different they are same.

Bhagwan Shiv respect Bhagwan Vishnu. He loves all HariBhakts. Bhagwan Shiv took rudra avatar of Hanuman to respect Bhagwan Ram (Vishnu). Such immense is love and respect towards Bhagwan Vishnu that Shiv visited Krishna many times in Dwapar Yug to personally get the darshan (दर्शन) of Shree Krishna.

Bhagwan Shiv became bhakt to teach one lesson to the people – The key to solving all issues in this materialistic world is only Bhakti of Shree Krishna.

Bhagwan Shiv is regarded as the destroyer of Universe in order to let Brahma recreate the entire Universe again. The cycle of creation to destruction is maintained by Tridev – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, as in Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer and Shiv the destroyer of the Universe and evil. But it is not so, there are many incidents which prove that Bhagwan Shiv and Bhagwan Vishnu are one and the same. These incidents also teach HariBhakts that following the acts of Bhagwan Shiv, common person can become great devotee of Bhagwan Krishna.

Bhagwan Shiv Is not Just Destroyer But Protector of the Universe

In one of the battles between the demons and the demigods, the demigods lost all their opulence and positions. The demigods then approached Bhagwan Brahma (ब्रह्मा), who then took them to Bhagwan Vishnu (विष्णु). Bhagwan Vishnu advised the demigods to declare a truce with the demons. With the help of the demons, the demigods should churn the ocean of milk (समुद्र मंथन ). The churning would produce amrta (अमृत), the nectar of immortality which will make the demigods immortal.

Samudra Manthan - Amrit and Poison

Bhagwan Shiv Drinks Poison to Protect Universe

During the churning of the ocean, however, the first thing that came out was a dangerous poison called halahal (हलाहल). When that poison was spreading in all directions, all the demigods, along with Bhagwan Vishnu, approached Bhagwan Shiv (शिव). The demigods observed Bhagwan Shiv sitting on the summit of Kailasa Hill with his wife, Bhavani, for the auspicious development of the three worlds. Great rishis (sages) desiring liberation were worshiping him. Offering prayers and obeisances with great respect, the demigods requested Bhagwan Shiv to save them from the great calamity.

Bhagwan Vishnu and Bhagwan Shiv are same. HariBhakt Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport how Bhagwan Vishnu acts through Bhagwan Shiv in the creation of the material world. Bhagwan Shiv acts on behalf of Bhagwan Vishnu. When the Bhagwan says in Bhagavad-gita (14.4) that He is the father of all living entities (aham bija-pradah pita), this refers to actions performed by Bhagwan Vishnu through Bhagwan Shiv. Bhagwan Vishnu is always unattached to material activities, and when material activities are to be performed, Bhagwan Vishnu performs them through Bhagwan Shiv. Bhagwan Shiv is therefore worshiped on the level of Bhagwan Vishnu. When Bhagwan Vishnu is untouched by the external energy He is Bhagwan Vishnu, but when He is in touch with the external energy, He appears in His feature as Bhagwan Shiv.

Bhagwan Shiv drinking poison to protect Universe

Seeing the distress of the demigods, Bhagwan Shiv felt very compassionate, and he considered it as his duty to save all living entities from this dangerous poison. With his great power, he then reduced that great quantity of poison to a small quantity, held it in his palm and drank it. The poison marked Bhagwan Shiv’s neck with a bluish line, which is now accepted as an ornament of the Bhagwan. Since then he became known as nilakantha, or blue-throated.

Common people try to replicate the divine acts of Bhagwan Shiv, some Shivbhakts smoke ganja chanting names of Shiv, this is an act of ignorance and idiocy. True nagas (नागा साधु ) those who smoke ganja (cannabis or marijuana) try to imitate the act of, Bhagwan Shiv drinking poison to protect Universe, are mentally devoted to Bhagwan Shiv, live life in dense forest – without relatives, money, fame and devoid of any greed. Common people cannot become great Naga Sadhus by simply intoxicating in the name of Bhagwan Shiv, this is not a bhakti but an act to satisfy their urge of intoxication. Instead such people destroy their family and future. There is no single incident in the Shiv Puran showing Bhagwan Shiv drinking toxic fluids. Celebrating Shivratri drinking toxic fluids is wrong way of remembering and respecting Bhagwan Shiv. Common people should completely avoid toxic fluids – alcohol, bhang, ganja – and instead chant mantra, ओम  नमः शिवाय , Om Namah Shivay, and pour milk on Shiv Lingam.

The incident of Shiv drinking poison to protect Universe teach us that with power comes great responsibility and a person who has greater responsibility should go to the extreme, within his limits, to protect mankind and dharma.

Enjoying material life while in power makes a person ignorant and asur who follows acts of asuripan (असुरीपन – demon like). And leaders of this world should never indulge in enjoying power for material gratification.

Bhagwan Shiv Applauds While Maa Parvati Curses HariBhakt Chitraketu

The leela of Shiv Parvati also teach us how much Bhagwan Shiv loves bhakts of Shree Krishna. The sixth canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the pastime of King Chitraketu who had the great fortune of meeting with the Bhagwan Vishnu (Shree Krishna of Dwapar Yug). Once, while King Chitraketu was traveling in outer space on an airplane given to him by Bhagwan Vishnu, he saw Bhagwan Shiv sitting in an assembly of great saintly persons and embracing Parvati who was sitting on his lap. Chitraketu laughed loudly and expressed his wonder at Bhagwan Shiv’s action. When Parvati heard this, she became extremely angry and cursed Chitraketu to become the demon Vrtrasur.

Bhagwan Vishnu aur Raja Chitraketu

King Chitraketu was human, he thought from the paradigm of materialistic world. He did not offend Bhagwan Shiv but was actually appreciating Bhagwan Shiv’s exalted position of remaining unaffected even while Parvati was on his lap. Chitraketu addressed Bhagwan Shiv as maha-vrata-dharah which indicates a brahmacari who has never fallen from his position.

Bhagwan Shiv’s response to Chitraketu’s remark also brings out his greatness. Chitraketu feared that common people might become offenders at the feet of Bhagwan Shiv by criticizing Shiv’s external behavior without understanding his purity. That’s why he laughed and criticized Bhagwan Shiv in the open assembly. Bhagwan Shiv, who is always deep in knowledge, could understand Chitraketu’s purpose, and therefore he was not at all angry; rather, he simply smiled and remained silent. But Parvati could not tolerate Chitraketu’s remark, and therefore she cursed him to become a demon Vrtrasur. Chitraketu, however, accepted the curse with folded palms as the will of the Bhagwan and went away. Bhagwan Shiv, seeing this extraordinary behavior of Chitraketu, glorified Vishnu-bhakts and the process of devotional service. He said,

narayana-parah sarve
na kutascana bibhyati
api tulyartha-darsinah

“Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Bhagwan, Narayana, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Bhagwan”(Bhag. 6.17.28). He explained to Parvati how this material world is a place of duality, and how devotees have learned to tolerate these dualities and have become transcendental to them. Persons engaged in devotional service to Bhagwan Vasudev, Krishna, have naturally perfect knowledge and detachment from this material world. Therefore such devotees are least affected by the so-called happiness and distress of this world.

The leela of Shiv Parvati showed to the world that Shiv is caretaker of HariBhakts too.

Bhagwan Shiv Said That Devotees of Shree Krishna is Dear to Him

Bhagwan Shiv’s instructions to the Pracetas (प्रसतस्) are one of the most valuable discussions appearing in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Pracetas were the sons of King Pracinabarhi (प्रचीनबर्हि). When they were ordered by their father to marry and beget children, they all entered the ocean and practiced austerities and penances for ten thousand years. Thus they worshiped the master of all austerity, Bhagwan Vishnu. When all the sons of Pracinabarhi left home to execute austerities, they met Bhagwan Shiv, who, out of great mercy, instructed them about the Absolute Truth. All the sons of Pracinabarhi meditated upon the instructions, chanting and worshiping them with great care and attention.

Bhagwan Shiv said to the Pracetas, “Any person who is surrendered to the Bhagwan Vishnu, Krishna, the controller of everything material nature as well as the living entity is actually very dear to me. You are all devotees of the Bhagwan, and as such I appreciate that you are as respectable as Bhagwan Himself. I know in this way that the devotees also respect me and that I am dear to them. Thus no one can be as dear to the devotees as I am.”

Then Bhagwan Shiv gave the Pracetas a mantra consisting of a series of verses glorifying the Supreme Bhagwan, Vishnu. The Pracetas chanted that mantra and attained the perfection of life.

Shree Krishna Bhagwan Shiv meeting in Dwapar Yug (द्वापर युग)

Bhagwan Shiv informed to the world that devotees of Bhagwan Krishna are very dear to him and he loves them with the same affection as he loves and respects Shree Krishna himself. It again shows that Shiv Bhagwan is not different from Bhagwan Krishna.

When Bhagwan Shiv Became Gopi for Attending Shree Krishna’s Divine Raas

On a pleasant night of Sharat Poornima, when six year old divine kid, Shree Krishna, was performing Maharasa on the banks of Yamuna near Vamshivat in Vrindavan, Bhagwan Shiv along with mother Parvati reached their to participate in Rasa. Mother Parvati was readily granted entryinto Rasa Mandal but Shiv was detained at the outskirts of Vrindavan by Vrinda Devi, the presiding deity of Vrindavan.

Vrinda Devi explained to Him, There is no male in Vrindavan other than Krishna, The spirit of Rasa is to please Raseshwari Shri Radha as a sakhi (friend) so as to maximize the bliss of Bhakti Ras or Rasa Ras. A male devotee, however exalted he may be, can never develop this sakhibhav and is thus not worthy of entering into Rasa Mandal. Some sages attributed this isolation to the egoistic nature of Male devotees. Shiv was left with no option but to sit at the entry point of Vrindavan and watching the magnificent Leela of Divinity.

Shree Gopesvar Mahadev Temple in Vrindavan

Determined as he was, Shiv meditated intensely on Raseshwari Shri Radhey Herself seeking her grace, Knowing His determination Devi Radha, the merciful universal Mother, dispatched her confident Lalita to initiate Shiv in Sakhibhav. Lalita explained to Shiv the secret of Raas Leela and advised him to take a dip in holy Yamuna which will induct Sakhibhav in Him.

On taking the dip, Shiv emerged as a young charming gopi and was taken into Raas Mandal by Lalita herself. Krishna smiled naughtily at this new entrant. He affectionately called him Gopeshwar. Since than Bhagwan Shiv is worshipped as Gopeshwar Mahadev in Vrindavan. The HariBhakti of Bhagwan Shiv made him Gopi, so as to take part in selfless bhakti, Raas, of Shree Krishna.

Self Control of HariBhakt Bhagwan Shiv

The Rishis (ऋषि-Sage) of the universal creation, namely Marici (मरीचि), Daksha (दक्ष) and Vasistha (वसिष्ठ), once performed a great yagna (यज्ञ), and demigods assembled for this yagna along with their followers. When Daksha, the leader of the Prajapatis (प्रजापति – progenitor) entered the assembly, everyone stood up in great respect, except Bhagwan Brahma and Bhagwan Shiv. Bhagwan Brahma was the father of Daksha, so Daksha didn’t took offense to it. Bhagwan Shiv, however, was Daksha’s son-in-law, and therefore he considered Bhagwan Shiv’s remaining seated as a great insult against him. Infuriated, he blasphemed and cursed Bhagwan Shiv and denied his share of yagna oblations. A series of curses and counter-curses followed from the members of each party, and the whole event was completely spoiled.

During Daksha’s outburst against Bhagwan Shiv, he called him yaso-ghna and nirapatrapah, which meant “one who spoils name and fame” and “one who is stunted” respectively. HariBhakt Srila Prabhupada explains how these words can be interpreted in a different way that brings out Bhagwan Shiv’s greatness. Yaso-ghna can also mean that he was so famous that his fame killed all other fame. And nirapatrapa can mean “one who is the maintainer of persons who have no other shelter.” Bhagwan Shiv generally gives shelter to bhutas (lower grade of living creatures) who cannot approach Bhagwan Vishnu. Therefore the use of the word nirapatrapa is quite appropriate.

Bhagwan Shiv Self Control and Penance Teacher

Daksha criticized Bhagwan Shiv by saying that he lives in filthy places like samshans (समशान- crematoriums), and his companions are the ghosts and demons. He roams almost naked like a madman with ashes smeared all over him. He remains unclean and decorates himself with skulls and bones. All these are highly inauspicious, and therefore he is very dear to crazy beings, who are in the mode of ignorance. Daksha knew that skulls and bones were remains of previous bodies of Maa Parvati when she took several births as wife of Bhagwan Shiv, still he cursed Nilkanth.

No God in the universe took the onus of protecting filthy beings – who are ridiculed by the world. It was only Bhagwan Shiv who came forward and took great responsibility of protecting such beings – people, bhutas (भूत  -ghost) and others, provided they follow the acts of Dharma. Bhagwan Shiv is very kind to all including those who are in the mode of darkness, such as unclean drunkards who do not regularly bathe. By giving shelter to such people, Bhagwan Shiv gradually elevates them to spiritual consciousness. That is why even after committing dastardly act of killing sons of Pandavs, Ashwathama today prays to Bhagwan Shiv.

Bhagwan Vishnu takes charge of persons who are Krishna bhakts or Vaishnavas, and Bhagwan Brahma takes charge of persons who are attached to material activities, but Bhagwan Shiv is so kind that he also takes charge of persons who are in gross ignorance and whose behavior is lower than that of the animals. Therefore he is all-auspicious. Shiv means “all-auspicious.”

During the whole episode of cursing, Bhagwan Shiv did not curse Daksha, despite having higher authority to do so. He remained silent and tolerated everything. This portrays Bhagwan Shiv’s excellent character. Because he is the greatest Vaishnava he was completely sober and tolerant. He became morose because he knew that these people, both his men and Daksha’s, were uninterested in spiritual life. From his point of view, he saw everyone equally, because he is a Vaishnava. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (5.18), panditah sama-darsinah: one who is perfectly learned does not see anyone as lesser or greater, because he sees everyone from the spiritual platform. Thus the only alternative left to Bhagwan Shiv was to leave in order to stop his follower, Nandishvara, as well as Bhrgu Muni, who sided with Daksha, from cursing each other.

The incident of self-control of Bhagwan Shiv teaches HariBhakts and world not to loose calmness and control emotional outbursts as it may lead to escalations of problems to manifolds. The word of caution: Remember, sometimes Soberness cannot be conveyed to adharmis as in Kaliyug, tit for tat is one of the mantras for the rightest and fittest to survive.

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