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CC Madhya 20.173

Text

anye ca saṁskṛtātmāno
vidhinābhihitena te
yajanti tvan-mayās tvāṁ vai
bahu-mūrty eka-mūrtikam

Synonyms

anye — different persons; ca — also; saṁskṛta-ātmānaḥ — persons who are purified; vidhinā — by the regulative principles; abhihitena — stated in the revealed scriptures; te — such persons; yajanti — worship; tvat-mayāḥ — being absorbed in You; tvām — You; vai — certainly; bahu-mūrti — having many forms; eka-mūrtikam — although one.

Translation

“ ‘In different Vedic scriptures, there are prescribed rules and regulative principles for worshiping different types of forms. When one is purified by these rules and regulations, he worships You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although manifested in many forms, You are one.’

Purport

This verse is quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.40.7). In the Vedas it is stated that the one becomes many (eko bahu syām). The Supreme Personality of Godhead expands Himself in various forms — viṣṇu-tattva, jīva-tattva and śakti-tattva.

According to the Vedic literatures, there are different regulative principles for the worship of each of these forms. If one takes advantage of the Vedic literatures and purifies himself by following the rules and regulations, ultimately he worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.11): mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ. Worship of the demigods is in a sense worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but such worship is said to be avidhi-pūrvakam, improper. Actually demigod worship is meant for unintelligent men. One who is intelligent considers the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: sarva dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. One who worships demigods worships the Supreme Lord indirectly, but according to the revealed scriptures, there is no need to worship Him indirectly. One can worship Him directly.