Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 22 Aug 2020


Why did Lord Krishna discourage the worship of 'other Gods' and worshipping by the 'wrong method'?

[Shri Anil asked: Some verses from the Gītā are given below along with their English translation given on internet. First of, I do not know whether the translations are correct or not. But assuming that they are correct, why did Krishna use the words ‘other gods’ and ‘wrong method’. Kindly enlighten us.

ye'pyanyadevatā bhaktāyajante śraddhayā'nvitāḥ |

te'pimāmeva kaunteya yajantyavidhipūrvakam ||9.23||

Even those who, being devoted to other gods and endowed with faith, worship (them), they also, O son of Kuntī, worship Me alone (though) following the wrong method.

Other related verses and their respective translations are also given below. Who are these ‘devatās’ mentioned below:

satayā śraddhayā yuktastasyārādhanamīhate |

labhate ca tata: kāmānmayaiva vihitānhitān || 7.22||

He worships a devatā respectfully, and obtains what he desires. But verily, those are given by Me.

antavattu phalaṃ teṣāṃ tadbhavatyalpa medhasām |

devāndevayajo yānti madbhaktāyānti māmapi || 7.23||

But the fruit gained by these people of very small intellect is temporary. Those who worship the devatās go to them (in afterlife) and those who worship Me, come to Me.

kāmaistaistairhṛtajñānā: prapadyante'nyadevatā: |

taṃtaṃ niyamamāsthāya prakṛtyā niyatā: svayā || 7.20||

People worship other devatās when their wisdom is lost to their desires. Driven by their own nature, they make up their own rules of worship.]

Swami replied: These verses of the Gītā, bring out two main points regarding ignorant people: (1) The first is that these ignorant people believe in the multiplicity of God, which is totally wrong. (2) The second is that they want to fulfill their personal desires through the worship of God.

All these people should realise that there is only one God, who gives all the fruits of people’s actions to them. That one unimaginable omnipotent God exists in all the different forms of God worshipped by different sects of devotees. Worshipping God for fulfilling selfish worldly desires is the biggest fault that turns a person’s devotion to God into business devotion. This fault can be allowed in the beginning stage because real devotion, without the aspiration for any fruit in return can only come in the advanced stage. But the multiplicity of God is the very basic crime, as a result of which, different Gods are thought to exist. It gives rise to the wrong concept that a specific form of God alone can fulfill a person’s specific desire and other forms of God cannot fulfill that specific desire. This multiplicity of Gods also leads to the multiplicity of religions and it ultimately ends in divisions and quarrels between human beings.

Multiplicity at the level of the external medium can be accepted, but the internal unity, which is the existence of only one unimaginable God must be realized by every devotee on this earth. When God Krishna says that He alone is the ultimate giver of any fruit to any devotee, through all the forms of God, we must understand it correctly. Here, the ultimate giver is not the specific form called God Krishna, but it means that the ultimate giver is the inner unimaginable God pervading all the divine forms. If the ultimate giver is misinterpreted to be the external specific divine form called Krishna, quarrels between religions will start. Here, the word “Me” said by Krishna indicates the unimaginable God present in Krishna and not the external medium called Krishna. The internal unimaginable God merges with every divine form including Krishna. This is the essence conveyed by all these verses.


| Shri Datta Swami | Why did Lord Krishna discourage the worship of 'other gods' and worshipping by the 'wrong method'? |