Demigod Worship or Worship of the Devas

Q. In Chapter 7, verse 20–23, of the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna describes the worshipers of devas (demigods) as less intelligent. But in Chapter 10 He describes Himself as many devas, such as Indra, Shiva, and Brahma. So is Chapter 10 saying that worship of the devas is all right?

A. In Chapter 10 Lord Krishna reveals that the best of everything in this world represents Him. In that sense these things are Krishna but Krishna doesn’t suggest we worship Him by worshiping examples of His opulence. He says that among fish He is the shark but we don’t worship sharks. Similarly, because Indra, Shiva and Brahma are chief among the devas, they represent some aspect of Krishna’s unlimited power but Krishna says in the ninth chapter that worshiping them is avidhi purvakam or against the rules. Because everything in the material world is Krishna’s energy, it is in a sense Krishna. But Krishna tells us to worship Him—the person—and not His energy.