By Niraj Bidawatka
In the Padma Purana, there is a very important instruction given by Lord Shiva to Devi Durga. Lord Shiva is not only one of the twelve mahajanas (exalted spiritual authorities) but also the best among Krishna’s devotees. vaishnavānām yathā śambhu (12.13.16): It is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana that Śambhu, or Lord Shiva is the best amongst the vaishnavas, the devotees of Vishnu, or Krishna. Therefore whatever Lord Shiva says is considered and accepted as authorized and authentic.
There are many types of worships such as demigod worship, ghost worship, spirit worship, politician worship, country worship, etc. Some people worship various demigods such as Shiva, Durga, Ganesha, Surya, Brahma, Indra, Chandra, Vayu, etc. As per the Vedic literatures, there are 330 million demigods, who are controlling various aspects of this material world. Those persons, who are motivated by material desires, worship such demigods for the attainment of temporal desires and comforts. Then there are some persons, who worship their place of birth or nation, some worship so-called great politicians and social workers. Similarly some persons worship their parents and there are others who worship ghosts and evil spirits. Srila Prabhupāda informs that there was a trader, who during the second world-war, used to worship Hitler, because he was making huge money in the black market.
So Lord Shiva, in the aforesaid Padma Purana, says that there are many types of worships, but the best amongst them is the worship of Vishnu, or Krishna. He further adds, “But, O Devi, better than the worship of Krishna is the worship of His devotees”. The exact verse is as follows:
So if one wants to attain God, one should approach the devotees of the Lord. One cannot hope to attain Krishna by directly worshiping Him. But Krishna can be very easily attained if we associate with His pure devotees. Therefore worship of Krishna’s devotees is considered better than the direct worship of Krishna.