Indian man (7): Swamijī, Śiva is not another name of God?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Śiva is next to God. Just like yogurt, dahi. You know dahi? What is this dahi? Milk. But it is not milk. Dahi is not anything but milk, but it is not milk. Similarly, Lord Śiva is nothing but Viṣṇu, but it is not Viṣṇu. Is it clear now? You can say, "Well, dahi is nothing but milk." Yes. But it is not milk. If instead of milk you take dahi, the result will be different. And if you take milk instead of dahi, that is..., that will be different, although the milk and dahi is the same thing, same ingredients. So you have to understand in that way. Lord Śiva is nondifferent from the Supreme Lord. Everyone is nondifferent from Supreme Lord, but he's still different. This is the perfect philosophy, acintya-bhedābheda, simultaneously one and different.
Indian man (7): Swamijī, in all the temples in Mauritius, the supreme deity...
Prabhupāda: Supreme Deity is Viṣṇu.
Indian man (7): But we consider Lord Śiva to be the supreme deity because we...
Prabhupāda: But that is your lack of knowledge. I have already explained that, that yogurt is not different from milk. It is milk but still, it is not milk. You have to understand like that. Lord Śiva is not different from Viṣṇu, but he's still not Viṣṇu.
Indian man (7): No, but do we offer the prayer first to Śiva...?
Prabhupāda: That you do. There is no harm. Lord Śiva is also called Mahādeva. Amongst the demigods, he is the chief. So if you worship Lord Śiva... We also worship Śiva. It is not that we disrespect Śiva. We offer our utmost respect to Lord Śiva. But that does not mean that he is the Supreme Lord.
Indian man (7): The difference that is there, Swamijī...
Prabhupāda: Difference I have already explained. You cannot understand?
Indian man (7): No, no, we pray Śiva first and then we go to pray Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: So that you do. There is no harm. There is no harm. But you should understand what is Śiva and what is Viṣṇu. If you offer first prayer to Lord Śiva, there is no harm. It is good. He is... Vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ. He is our spiritual master. He is Vaiṣṇava. Why not offer first respect to him? But if you take Lord Śiva as the Supreme, that is insult. You are giving me respect as spiritual master, but if you give me overestimation, that "You are the king of the whole world," that is insult. That is insult. That is not prayer. If you offer me prayer as I am befitting, then it is all right. But if you give me prayer for which I am not befitting, that is insult. That is insult. So you must know what is the position of... Lord Śiva is Vaiṣṇava. He is the greatest devotee. He is the number-one demigod, and everything is all right. But if you say that he is the Supreme, then he will feel insulted, that "What is this nonsense saying?" So don't insult him in that way. That will go against your credit. He doesn't like that.
Morning Walk -- October 5, 1975, Mauritius
Girirāja: At one of the programs, somebody raised the question that we cited that Lord Śiva is worshiping Kṛṣṇa, that he is a Vaiṣṇava. So that person replied that Lord Rāma also worshiped Śiva. So he wanted to know the explanation.
Lokanātha: You explained yesterday.
Prabhupāda: Sometimes Kṛṣṇa is chastised by mother Yaśodā. So how is that? The Supreme Personality of Godhead is being chastised by mother Yaśodā?
Girirāja: He likes to be chastised. It's part of the relationship.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, He likes to worship His devotee. Sometimes the father takes the child on his shoulder. Does it mean the child is more important than the father? They say the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, there is no such incidence as Rāmacandra worships Śiva. It is later on, interpretation. But even if He does so, what is the wrong here?
Harikeśa: That later-on Rāmāyaṇa has caused some havoc.
Harikeśa: That later-on interpretation?
Prabhupāda: Yes, the Śaivaites, they want to make Lord Śiva the exalted Supreme Person. In South India there is good propaganda. That is always going on.
Lokanātha: When Lord Śiva says in Purāṇas that mukti-pradapaḥ sarveṣāṁviṣṇu... (sic)
Lokanātha: Purāṇa, the same Lord Śiva says there is no other liberated besides Viṣṇu.
Devotee: ...engagement, one devotee commented that the reason that Lord Rāma worshiped Lord Śiva was because He wanted to kill Rāvaṇa and Rāvaṇa was a devotee of Śiva, so Lord Rāma worshiped Śiva in that respect.
Prabhupāda: Hm? What is that?
Harikeśa: He said that because Lord Śiva was, ah, excuse me, Rāvaṇa was a devotee of Lord Śiva, that in order that Lord Rāmacandra could kill Rāvaṇa, He worshiped Śiva.
Kīrtanānanda: He wanted to take permission of him, so they say. Rāma wanted to take permission from Śiva...
Prabhupāda: So Śiva is so rascal that he gave permission? That means they are trying to prove Śiva is a rascal. (devotees laugh) Because he gave permission to kill his devotee. Then what is the use of his, of one becoming Śiva's devotee? If such a rascal that one can take his permission to kill his devotee, so what is the use of becoming a devotee of such a rascal? Huh?
Harikeśa: He protected Bāṇāsura.
Prabhupāda: Huh? What is that? That means that proving that Śiva is a rascal. He gave permission to kill his devotee. Then what is the use? Then nobody should become Śiva's devotee. That is the conclusion. Because he gives permission to somebody else to kill his devotee. They are trying to prove Lord Śiva is a rascal. What do you think? Huh? If I want your permission, please give me your permission, I shall kill your son, and if you say, "Yes, I give my permission," then are you not a rascal? By this example they are making Lord Śiva a rascal, that he has no common sense even.
Indian man: (Hindi)
Prabhupāda: No, if this proposition is there, that Lord Śiva gives permission for killing his devotee, then who will become his devotee? Huh? Is it not?
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupāda: No sane man will become his devotee. All the manufactured foolish statements, just see. Any commonsense man will immediately say, "Then Śiva is a rascal; he cannot give protection to his devotee." What do you think? Huh?
Kīrtanānanda: Of course, Śrīla Prabhupāda, does one have to give protection to their devotee if they break the law? Just like if you have a child, and he murders someone, isn't he supposed to be punished? So if someone goes against the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even if you are a devotee, shouldn't Śiva concur?
Prabhupāda: No, no. That is another thing. This proposal, that because Lord Rāmacandra approached Lord Śiva to kill Rāvaṇa, and he gave permission, although Rāvaṇa was his great devotee. Then what is the use of becoming devotee of Lord Śiva? He gives permission. Huh? Is that very reasonable proposal? If I ask your permission that I shall kill your son, will you give permission? No. Then? So Lord Śiva gives permission to Lord Rāmacandra, "Yes, You can kill Rāvaṇa," then what is the use of becoming his devotee?
Harikeśa: I think Dr. Patel would say that it's not fair, you have fired the opposition.
Harikeśa: It's not fair. You have completely destroyed the opposition. (Prabhupāda laughs) There is no question of fight.
Prabhupāda: The actual fact is that Lord Śiva did not give permission, but he did not go to protect Rāvaṇa, because he knew that it was impossible to give him protection. That is summarized in Bengali, rākhe kṛṣṇa māre ke, māre kṛṣṇa rākhe ke. If Kṛṣṇa kills somebody, wants to kill somebody, nobody can give him protection. That is the conclusion. And if Kṛṣṇa protects somebody, nobody can kill him. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. Huh? He was protected by Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva. Who can kill?
Kīrtanānanda: Why did Lord Śiva try to protect Banasura?
Kīrtanānanda: Didn't Lord Śiva try to protect Banasura?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You must try, when your son is in danger, you must try. That is natural. That is not uncommon. You can save or not save, that is a different thing. But it is you duty, if somebody is under your protection, you must try to save him, even at the risk of your life. That is real protector.
Morning Walk -- December 23, 1975, Bombay
Although Brahmā and Śiva are greatly elevated and are almost on the level of Viṣṇu, it is not possible for such incarnations of rājo-guṇa (passion) and tamo-guṇa (ignorance) to release the conditioned soul from the clutches of māyā. In other words, both Brahmā and Śiva are also under the influence of māyā. Only Viṣṇu is the master of māyā; therefore He can alone give release to the conditioned soul. The Vedas confirm this in the phrase tvam eva viditvā or "Freedom is possible only by understanding Kṛṣṇa." Even Lord Śiva affirms that liberation can be achieved only by the mercy of Viṣṇu. Lord Śiva says:
mukti-pradātā sarveṣāṁ viṣṇur eva na saṁśayaḥ.
"There is no doubt that Viṣṇu is the deliverer of liberation for everyone.