By Niraj Bidawatka
One argument that people very often put forward is that Krishna Himself says in the tenth and eleventh chapter that “I am Shiva”, “I am the sun among all planets”, “I am this demigod”, “I am that demigod “, Therefore, they conclude that by worshiping these demigods (devatā), we are worshiping Krishna.
Krishna says, “I am the taste of water.” So why don’t you worship the taste of water as God? Krishna says so many things. But without understanding the purport they misinterpret as they like. This is called the half-hen logic.
The uniqueness of water is its taste. The uniqueness of the sun is its ability to illuminate. Thus, the ability in any thing or person, is coming from Krishna. Similarly, the demigods also have unique qualities, which are actually bestowed by Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna also says that “among the Pandavas, I am Arjuna. (Bg. 10.37)” So, does it mean that Arjuna is God? No. Arjuna was the most able warrior among the Pandavas. Therefore, Krishna says that “whatever unique qualities that you observe in anybody, know that they are emanating from Me.” This is stated at the end of the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita (10.41). The verse is as follows:
Thus, we misunderstand and misconstrue that all the demigods are equal to Krishna. This happens because we do not approach a bonafide Spiritual Master, who knows the truth.
The devotees of Lord Shiva pick up one particular verse, rudrāṇām śankaras cāsmi (Bg 10.23): “Among the Rudras, I am Lord Shiva.” On the strength of this verse, the devotees of Lord Shiva claim that Shiva is on an equal platform with Krishna. But this argument does not hold water. No one is equal to Krishna (mattah parataram nanyat – Bg 7.7).
Further on, in the same 10th Chapter, Krishna goes on to say that among the trees, “I am the banyan tree” (Bg. 10.26). So, does it mean that the Banyan Tree is equal to Krishna? Can the Banyan Tree protect the entire world? Will you accept the Banyan Tree as equal to God?
Krishna also states that, “I am death” (Bg 10.34). So, why don’t you accept “death” as God? Why do you dread meeting with death – after all it is God, isn’t it?
If Krishna were to speak the Bhagavad-Gita today, he would have included the following verse:
Among cricketers, I’m Sachin Tendulkar,
Among playback singers, I am Lata Mangeshkar;
Among painters, I am Picasso, and
Among football players, I’m Pele.
Thus, the ability of any talented person is originating from Krishna. But this does not mean that the particular person is equal to God.
Therefore, in order to understand the Bhagavad-Gita, we should take shelter of a bonafide Guru. Only then, we can understand Krishna and Krishna’s Bhagavad-Gita. Only when we accept such a bonafide guru, can we understand that Krishna cannot be equated with the ordinary demigods, or devatās. It is an established fact that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.