Category Archives: Demigod Worship

Difference between Goloka and Vaikuntha?

Q. What is difference between Goloka and Vaikuntha?
And on what basis is it decided that a soul will go to Vaikuntha or Goloka?

A. These are two separate but related questions so we will answer them together.

Go means cow and loka means abode.  So Goloka is the spiritual abode of the cows where Shyamasundara Krishna is eternally engaged in His pastimes with the cows, cowherd men and cowherd women.  Vai is a modified prefix (upasarga) which has a sense of negation and kuntha means anxiety.  So Vaikuntha is place without anxieties. Vaikuntha has several Vaikuntha planets – each presided by Narayana the Lord of Vaikuntha.  Continue reading Difference between Goloka and Vaikuntha?


Q Why did Arjuna, a great devotee of the Lord approach Lord Indra a demigod for help? Does this not contradict the teachings of Srila Prabhupada that intelligent men worship only Krishna?

A. My reply will be a two part response. First, bear in mind that the message of Bhagavad Gita and the message of Srimad Bhagavatam are describing unalloyed devotion to Krsna as the ultimate goal. This is the highest teaching and the means of the highest attainment of life. While this is true, the Mahabharata is presenting another important lesson of life, namely the principles of ethics and morality which should guide human society, whether one is an exalted unalloyed devotee of Krsna or not. Everyone should be ethical and moral, and these instructions are found in Mahabharata. The reference of Arjuna seeking weapons from the demigods adds to the grandeur of the figure of Arjuna, who was a most exalted friend of Krsna. Because of that dearness to Krsna, he had the capacity to even travel from the earthly planet to the svarga loka region, etc. What I am indicating here is that there are two levels of instructions which we find in scriptures. One level is describing the highest possible attainment, the other is describing the religious principles which should guide our life. You should not become confused when you read various literatures and find that there are different levels of instructions or teaching-by-example exhibited by great devotees. The second part of my answer has to do with the exalted nature of Arjuna. Because Arjuna was Krishna’s unalloyed devotee, therefore whatever Arjuna did was exclusively in the line of service to his master and dear friend Lord Krsna. On the other hand, if someone less qualified than Arjuna were to go to the demigods for divine astras, their purpose would not be the same. They would want to do this for name and fame, or for influence, of for some personal aggrandizement. That is not the case of Arjuna, given his exalted and pure devotion to Krsna. Therefore his activities are not subject to the same defects that others might be subject to, even when performing the same activities.


Q. What actions can make one a Demigod?

A. By perfoming lots of pious activities,one gets promoted to the heavenly planets.

Those who are simply official students of the Vedas become more interested in offering sacrifices to the different demigods like Indra and Candra. By such endeavor, the worshipers of different demigods are certainly purified of the contamination of the lower qualities of nature and are thereby elevated to the higher planetary systems or heavenly planets known as Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, etc. Once situated on those higher planetary systems, one can satisfy his senses hundreds of thousands of times better than on this planet.

Bhagavad gita-As It Is( 9.18)

Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the abominable mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.


In this verse the results of actions in the three modes of nature are more explicitly set forth. There is an upper planetary system, consisting of the heavenly planets, where everyone is highly elevated. According to the degree of development of the mode of goodness, the living entity can be transferred to various planets in this system. The highest planet is Satyaloka, or Brahmaloka, where the prime person of this universe, Lord Brahmä, resides. We have seen already that we can hardly calculate the wondrous condition of life in Brahmaloka, but the highest condition of life, the mode of goodness, can bring us to this.


Bhagavad gita 9.25

Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me will live with Me.


If one has any desire to go to the moon, the sun or any other planet, one can attain the desired destination by following specific Vedic principles recommended for that purpose, such as the process technically known as darsa-paurnamasi. These are vividly described in the fruitive activities portion of the Vedas, which recommends a specific worship of demigods situated on different heavenly planets. Similarly, one can attain the Pita planets by performing a specific yajna. Similarly, one can go to many ghostly planets and become a Yaksa, Raksa or Pisaca. Pisaca worship is called “black arts” or “black magic.” There are many men who practice this black art, and they think that it is spiritualism, but such activities are completely materialistic. Similarly, a pure devotee, who worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead only, achieves the planets of Vaikuntha and Krishnaloka without a doubt. It is very easy to understand through this important verse that if by simply worshiping the demigods one can achieve the heavenly planets, or by worshiping the Pitas achieve the Pita planets, or by practicing the black arts achieve the ghostly planets, why can the pure devotee not achieve the planet of Krishna or Visnu? Unfortunately many people have no information of these sublime planets where Krishna and Vishnu live, and because they do not know of them they fall down. Even the impersonalists fall down from the brahmajyoti. The Krishna consciousness movement is therefore distributing sublime information to the entire human society to the effect that by simply chanting the Hare Krishna mantra one can become perfect in this life and go back home, back to Godhead.


Q. Who are the Demigods? Can we see them?

A. Demigods are the empowered representatives of Supreme Personality Godhead (Krishna). They are also devotees of Krishna and want to serve Krishna but they also have material desires. They have been given charge of the management of this Universe on the Lord’s behalf. So in heavenly planets where all the facilities for sense enjoyment are available, they enjoy and at the same time render service to Lord Krishna by managing the affairs of this universe.

As far as seeing them is concerned,they are not visible to the mundane vision.We can see them only when we have a fully purified heart or when they themselves want to show themselves to us.

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.

Devi Bhagavatam

Q. One of my friends recently mentioned about Devi Bhagvatam wherein Devi Bhagvati is mentioned as supreme. She also said that this has been written by Vyasadeva. Can you help me on this.

A. There is no reference in any scripture to something known as Devi Bhagavatam. Bhagavatam refers to Bhagavan and Bhagavan according to all scriptures is Krishna. He is the Supreme. Devi (Durga,Kali,Parvati…!) is just the manifestation of the external energy of Krishna.

Demigod worship and the result

Q. If we offer to demigods, what is the problem?

A. At “Bhagavat Geeta As It Is, Chapter 7, Sloka 23, Lord Krishna says, “Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.”

The demigods are different parts of the body of the Supreme Lord. Not only are demigods parts of the Supreme Lord, but ordinary living entities are also. Regardless of the situation, if one knows that both the demigods and human beings are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, his knowledge is perfect. But if he does not understand this, he achieves different planets where the demigods reside. This is not the same destination, the devotee reaches.

The results achieved by the demigods’ benedictions are perishable because they are within this material world planets. All results achieved by worshiping demigods are perishable, and such worship is performed by the less intelligent living entity. Because the pure devotee engaged in Krishna consciousness in devotional service of the Supreme Lord achieves eternal blissful existence that is full of knowledge, his achievements and those of the worshiper of the demigods are different. The Supreme Lord is unlimited; His favor is unlimited; His mercy is unlimited. Therefore, the mercy of the Supreme Lord upon His pure devotees is unlimited.

Demigods are the devotees of the Lord Krishna. The biggest benediction a demigod can offer one is the devotional service to Lord Krishna.