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SB 5.4.17

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


sarvair api kratubhir yathopadeśaṁ śata-kṛtva iyāja


dravya—the ingredients for performing yajña; deśa—the particular place, a holy place or a temple; kāla—the suitable time, such as springtime; vayaḥ—the age, especially youth; śraddhā—faith in goodness, not in passion and ignorance; ṛtvik—the priests; vividha-uddeśa—worshiping different demigods for different purposes; upacitaiḥ—enriched by; sarvaiḥ—all kinds of; api—certainly; kratubhiḥ—by sacrificial ceremonies; yathā-upadeśam—according to the instruction; śata-kṛtvaḥ—one hundred times; iyāja—He worshiped.


Lord Ṛṣabhadeva performed all kinds of sacrifices one hundred times according to the instructions of the Vedic literatures. Thus He satisfied Lord Viṣṇu in every respect. All the rituals were enriched by first-class ingredients. They were executed in holy places according to the proper time by priests who were all young and faithful. In this way Lord Viṣṇu was worshiped, and the prasāda was offered to all the demigods. Thus the functions and festivals were all successful.


It is said, kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1). A ritual should be performed by young men, even boys, at a tender age in order for the ritual to be performed successfully. From childhood, people should be trained in Vedic culture, especially in devotional service. In this way, one can perfect one's life. A 'Vaiṣṇava does not disrespect the demigods, but on the other hand he is not so foolish that he accepts each and every demigod as the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is master of all demigods; therefore the demigods are His servants. The 'Vaiṣṇava accepts them as servants of the Supreme Lord, and he worships them properly. In the Brahma-saṁhitā, the important demigods—Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā and even the incarnations and expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa like Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and all the other viṣṇu-tattvas, as well as the śakti-tattvas like Durgādevī—are all worshiped by the process of worshiping Govinda with the words govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. A Vaiṣṇava worships the demigods in relation to Govinda, not independently. Vaiṣṇavas are not so foolish that they consider the demigods independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed in Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya: (CC Adi 5.142) the supreme master is Kṛṣṇa, and all others are His servants.

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