Demigods

Posted by Ishmael Adebisi on

1. Who are demigods?
A: Demigods are those who are appointed as agents of the Supreme Lord to oversee various affairs of the universal management. This is akin to a country's president or a prime minister with his appointed ministers or secretaries to oversee various departmental affairs of the state. Such ministers operate on the pleasure of the presidents and they can be terminated at any point or time as the president sees fit. Similarly the demigods are appointed by the Lord. Their positions are for a fixed period of time since the material world is itself temporary. Usually a highly pious and qualified living entity can be elevated to the position of a demigod. The demigods are devotees, in that they are spiritualists in their previous lives who have performed huge amounts of pious and religious acts, but with material desires, they are elevated to the higher planets where they could be put in a position of managing universal affairs rather than being promoted to the spiritual kingdom. Essentially the position of demigods is lower than the position of a pure devotee of the Supreme Lord; demigods are the devotees with materialistic desires while the pure devotees have no such desires. A pure devotee will never desire to attain the exalted position of a demigod knowing the dangers of such desires. The demigods are however not the same. There are different gradations. Some demigods like Lord Siva and Lord Brahma are regarded as the empowered expansions of the Lord Himself. They are not influenced by material allurements, especially Lord Siva is known as "mahadeva", or the great god, or the controller of all the smaller gods. But Lord Siva is always mindful of his subordination to the Supreme Lord. Great sages like Narada Muni and the four kumaras are also counted as among the demigods. They are however always pure devotees of the Lord.

2. How are we different from the demigods?
A: We humans living in this planet are quite different from the demigods. The demigods have vast powers that are beyond the grasp of ordinary humans. They are the controllers of every living entities having being deputed by the Lord Himself. Whenever the Lord wants to incarnate into the material world, the demigods are always the ones to assist Him by taking birth in various places where the Lord will be performing His pastimes. The demigods have vast knowledge, while ordinary living entities are largely devoid of that. However the position of pure devotee is much more higher than the demigods. A pure devotee of Lord Krishna is considered to be combination of all the demigods who are numbered to be about 33 millions. The demigods offer homages unto the pure devotees.

3. Why should we worship the demigods and Lord Krishna too? Will the worship of either do?
A: Lord Krishna recommends not to worship the demigods, as such worships are waste of time. The demigods benedict or offer the results of one's worships only after taking the permission from the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord grants the power to the demigods. Therefore anyone who worships the demigods is considered to be less intelligent. Another thing, since the demigods are vast in numbers, the worships of one of them may result in the displeasure of another, which may cause catastrophes in the lives of the worshippers. In trying to please Indra, one may displease Agni or Surya, and vice versa. Thus difficulties are always there in worshipping the demigods and the various benedictions granted by them. However the direct worship of the Lord is far more superior. The demigods are much more pleased by a devotee of the Lord and are more eager to assist a devotee who is worshipping the Lord. In fact the demigods can help a devotee to remove obstacles on the path of devotional service to the Lord. Lord Ganesh is famous for removing the obstacles a devotee may face while rendering devotional service to the Lord. The great sage, Sukadeva Goswami therefore said:
akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā
mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena
yajeta puruṣaṁ param

A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.


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