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SB 11.21.32

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


upāsata indra-mukhyān
devādīn na yathaiva mām


rajaḥ—in the mode of passion; sattva—goodness; tamaḥ—or ignorance; niṣṭhāḥ—established; rajaḥ—passion; sattva—goodness; tamaḥ—or ignorance; juṣaḥ—who manifest; upāsate—they worship; indra-mukhyān—headed by Lord Indra; deva-ādīn—the demigods and other deities; na—but not; yathā eva—in the proper way; mām—Me.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


Those established in material passion, goodness and ignorance worship the particular demigods and other deities, headed by Indra, who manifest the same modes of passion, goodness or ignorance. They fail, however, to properly worship Me.


Although the demigods are part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, demigod worship fosters the false idea that the demigods exist apart from the Supreme Lord. Such worship is avidhi-pūrvakam, or an improper approach to the Absolute Truth. Śrīla Madhvācārya quotes from the Hari-vaṁśa that among those primarily in the mode of ignorance there are sometimes manifestations of passion and goodness. Ignorant persons possessing a tendency toward goodness may go to hell but are also allowed a little heavenly pleasure. Thus it can be seen that a man suffering in miserable financial or political conditions sometimes enjoys the company of a beautiful wife, though his general condition is hellish. Those in ignorance mixed slightly with passion simply go to hell, and those purely in the mode of ignorance glide down to the darkest region of hell. Those devoid of devotion to the Supreme Lord are in ignorance in these three categories. Sometimes persons situated in the mode of goodness accept the supremacy of the Supreme Lord but are more attracted to the demigods, believing that through Vedic rituals they can achieve the same standard of living as the demigods. This proud tendency is certainly an obstacle in the loving service of the Supreme Lord and ultimately causes falldown.

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