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The second offense against the Holy Name

In the nectar of devotion by Bhaktivedanta Swami and in practically all other descriptions of offenses against the Holy Name, the second offense is quoted as follows:

"It is an offense against the Holy Name of God to keep the names of demigods like Shiva or Brahma equal to or independent of the name of Vishnu."

In this translation a polytheism is condemned. This is actually not really necessary, because the person who chants Krishna's Holy Name and turns to Krishna already has a certain trust in Krishna. A Judeo-Christian image of God resonates strongly in this warning against the other gods, proclaiming an envious God who only wants attention to be directed at himself and who is in a bad mood when there are competing deities next to him.

In the Bhagavad gita, Sri Krishna says something completely different:

"If the gods are satisfied with sacrifices, they will please you too, and when people cooperate with the gods in this way, they become receptive to the ultimate." (Bhagavad Gita 3.10)

“I dwell as an Oversoul in the heart of everyone. As soon as someone has the desire to worship a particular demigod, I consolidate their faith so that they can devote themselves to that particular deity. ”(Bhagavad Gita 7.21)

In addition, there is nothing in the Sanskrit text about Brahma or Devas (demigods).

The second offense is called in Sanskrit (Padma Purana, Brahma-khanda 25.15-18):

shivasya shri vishnor ya iha guna nam adi-sakalam

dhiya bhinnam pashyet sa khalu harinamahitakarah

shivasya - of Shiva

shri vishnor - of Vishnu

ya - who

iha - here

guna properties

nam - name

adi - and so on

sakalam - complete

dhiya - in contemplation (while contemplating)

bhinnam - separated

pashyet - see

sa - he

khalu - certainly, without a doubt

harinamahitakarah - commit offenses against the Holy Name

The exact translation:

“Who here (in this world) sees the attributes and names and so on (everything that is connected with Krishna) in contemplation (during meditation) as completely separate (from Krishna), is committing an offense against the Holy Name . "

The attributes, names and lilacs of God are shiva, all-auspicious, since Krishna exists in them in his absoluteness and can be experienced in them due to his power of mercy. His name, as well as his forms, properties and lilas are all transcendental and unaffected by all transience. Therefore, if one tries to separate the Absolute Personality of God from his name or its transcendental forms, attributes and games by considering them to be material, he is committing an offense. This means seeing worldly differences in the Holy Name. “The Lord owns all universes, and He may be known by different names in different places. Every name that refers to the Supreme Lord is as holy as all others, for they all designate the Lord. ”(Explanation on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.1.11)

This offense also means looking at God separately from material appearance, i.e. not seeing anything in relation to him and only sticking to the things, to the externality, without suspecting the original reason, God, behind it.

"Everything rests on me like pearls on a string." (Bhagavad Gita 7.7)

Or put in positive terms:

"I would like to understand not only theoretically but very directly that Sri Krishna and His holy name are identical and that there is nothing more precious than this name in all fourteen worlds. With this understanding, contemplating on sambandha-jnan (my relationship to Krishna) , I would like to meditate on the Holy Name with surrender and with great joy (since it has become a priority). "

To commit this offense means to remain caught in a dualism in which one separates God and his energy from one another. This leads to the world being described as the other, as a counterpart of God.

Dualism assumes two primordial principles of things, a good and a bad, which have been in conflict for ages. This view establishes that there is still something outside of God.

rte 'rtham yat pratiyeta

na pratiyeta catmani

tad vidyad atmano mayam

yathabhaso yatha tamah

"Oh Brahma, whatever seems of value has no reality unless it is connected to me. Know that it is my deceptive energy, that reflection that is in darkness." (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.34)

"If the living being identifies itself incorrectly with the material bodies in which it is located, it becomes completely absorbed in the external energy of the Lord, thereby losing the overview for the whole, and its perspective is curtailed.

As a result of this self-forgetfulness, the soul no longer recognizes its actual and essential relationship with God, even forgets it, seeks reference in the peripheral world and begins to be afraid. "(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37)

This fear stems from the understanding that there is something else besides God's control.

The reference to this offense ultimately seeks to overcome the fear that is generated by a dualism - in the misunderstanding of the connection between spirit and matter.

One can translate “shiva” not only as “auspicious”, but also recognize the personality of Shiva in it.

Then a new meaning arises again: if one regards the qualities and names of Shiva as different or separate from Vishnu, he is committing an offense against the Holy Name.

Bhaktivinod Thakur writes in his commentary on Brahma-samhita (Brahma-samhita-prakashini 5.45): “Shambhu (Shiva) is not another controller (ishvara) and is not different from Krishna. Anyone who sees a difference between them (bheda buddhi) is committing an offense against the Supreme Lord. Shambhu’s quality as a controller is dependent on the control of Sri Govinda’s. For this reason they are a principle that cannot be separated and distinguished (vastutah abheda-tattva). "


In the 12th Canto, Lord Shiva speaks to Markandeya Rsi:

"You are venerable to me. You make no distinction between Sri Vishnu, Brahma and me (Shiva), nor do you make a distinction between yourself and any other living being."

In the Brhad Bhagavatamrta (BB 1.2.86) Sanatan Goswami speaks about the intimate relationship between the name Vishnus and the name Shivas:

"To think that Siva and Krishna are different from one another is a serious spiritual deviation."

But the common translation of the second offense quoted above is problematic as it creates many potential misunderstandings that could obscure the whole perspective of spirituality. It's a distortion of what is actually meant. From the perspective of being biased in a certain point of view, there is a feeling of being trapped in collectively accepted errors. This results in a strong tendency towards a limited worldview in the name of religion and self-realization.

From such partially misunderstood and misunderstood, implicit spiritual foundations, behaviors manifest themselves. Especially in the area of ​​the sacred, unhealthy beliefs can present themselves as astonishingly self-destructive and destructive and even lead to ecclesiogenic neurosis (such as religious intolerance).

What the religious-sociological consequence of a repeated and copied misunderstanding in the community of the Vaishnavas causes, I would like to leave the reader as a thought task.