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ŚB 5.19.26


यै: श्रद्धया बर्हिषि भागशो हवि-
र्निरुप्तमिष्टं विधिमन्त्रवस्तुत: ।
एक: पृथङ्‌नामभिराहुतो मुदा
गृह्णाति पूर्ण: स्वयमाशिषां प्रभु: ॥ २६ ॥


yaiḥ śraddhayā barhiṣi bhāgaśo havir
niruptam iṣṭaṁ vidhi-mantra-vastutaḥ
ekaḥ pṛthaṅ-nāmabhir āhuto mudā
gṛhṇāti pūrṇaḥ svayam āśiṣāṁ prabhuḥ


yaiḥ — by whom (the inhabitants of Bhārata-varṣa); śraddhayā — faith and confidence; barhiṣi — in the performance of Vedic ritualistic sacrifices; bhāgaśaḥ — by division; haviḥ — oblations; niruptam — offered; iṣṭam — to the desired deity; vidhi — by the proper method; mantra — by reciting mantras; vastutaḥ — with the proper ingredients; ekaḥ — that one Supreme Personality of Godhead; pṛthak — separate; nāmabhiḥ — by names; āhutaḥ — called; mudā — with great happiness; gṛhṇāti — He accepts; pūrṇaḥ — the Supreme Lord. who is full in Himself; svayam — personally; āśiṣām — of all benedictions; prabhuḥ — the bestower.


In India [Bhārata-varṣa], there are many worshipers of the demigods, the various officials appointed by the Supreme Lord, such as Indra, Candra and Sūrya, all of whom are worshiped differently. The worshipers offer the demigods their oblations, considering the demigods part and parcel of the whole, the Supreme Lord. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts these offerings and gradually raises the worshipers to the real standard of devotional service by fulfilling their desires and aspirations. Because the Lord is complete, He offers the worshipers the benedictions they desire even if they worship only part of His transcendental body.


In Bhagavad-gītā (9.13) Lord Kṛṣṇa says:

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

“O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.” Mahātmās, advanced devotees, worship only the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Others, however, who are also sometimes called mahātmās, worship the Lord as ekatvena pṛthaktvena. In other words, they accept the demigods as different parts of Kṛṣṇa and worship them for various benedictions. Although the devotees of the demigods thus achieve the desired results offered by Kṛṣṇa, they have been described in Bhagavad-gītā as hṛta-jñānah, not very intelligent. Kṛṣṇa does not desire to be worshiped indirectly through the different parts of His body; Kṛṣṇa wants direct devotional worship. Therefore a devotee who directly worships Lord Kṛṣṇa through staunch devotional service, as recommended in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, (tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena yajeta puruṣaṁ param), is very quickly elevated to the transcendental position. Nevertheless, devotees who worship the demigods, the different parts of the Lord, receive the benedictions they desire because the Lord is the original master of all benedictions. If anyone wants a particular benediction, for the Lord to award it is not at all difficult.