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Thread: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

  1. #1

    Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    A friend of mine (member of ISKCON) showed me a passage of the SB.
    Here is the part he referred to:
    SB 4.2.29.
    http://srimadbhagavatam.com/4/2/29/en

    Is this really a true description of shaiva people?
    Or how should I understand that part of the SB?


    Furthuremore, my friend added this:
    Those who imitate Shiva are called Shaiva (and he says the quoted SB part refers to them) and
    those who follow Shiva's teachings should rather be called Vaishnava.


    Please, help me, for I got confused.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    Last edited by Elizabeth108; 27 December 2010 at 06:48 PM.

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    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Pranam

    I would not get perturbed by a verse taken in isolation, these passage comes from the destruction off Daksha's yagna, where cursing and counter cursing was going on.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Yes, that's right. ALso take a look at book 8 and chapter 7 for a stotra for Shiva.

  4. #4

    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    Yes, that's right. ALso take a look at book 8 and chapter 7 for a stotra for Shiva.
    Hi Sahasranama,

    Do you mean that is really a valid description of Shiva's followers - they eat meat, drink wine, use marihuana, neglect bathing etc. etc.?

    Om Namah Shivaya

  5. #5

    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Namaste,

    In my opinion, one should use Shaivite resources to judge Shaivism. It's just as ignorant as when person goes to christian site to know what Hindus are like. I personally don't go around & find disrespecting quotes about Vaishnavism. Sanathana Dharma is mother of many beautiful religions together as one, isn't it?
    I personally was never interested in Vaishnavism, never drawn to Vishnu, does that mean that other people can't be drawn to Vishnu? I have nothing against Vishnu, Vaishnavism, Krisha,Rama, other avataras & Vaishnavites. My school of Shaivism teaches to respect every other denomination of Hinduism. I would be glad that members of other denominations do the same.

    Truth is one, sages call it different names. Isn't that true?

    Have a great day,
    ~Alice

    EDIT: Short answer is: No, Shaivas are not like that.
    Siva Yogaswami used to say, "It takes courage to be happy all the time."

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    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Hi Elizabeth. It might help to read this text in context. It's an instance of Daksha cursing Lord Shiva. Daksha hated Shiva for marrying his daughter Dakshayani even though he had forbade it. Seems to me that his curses should be viewed with this obvious bias in mind.

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    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth108 View Post
    Hi Sahasranama,

    Do you mean that is really a valid description of Shiva's followers - they eat meat, drink wine, use marihuana, neglect bathing etc. etc.?

    Om Namah Shivaya
    No, I meant Ganeshprasad is right, the shloka looks bad when it is removed from the context of the story. Sorry for the confusion. Do not rely too much on ISCKON commentaries, they have a tendecy to distort the scriptures. Please, also take a look at book 8, chapter seven in the bhagavad purana to read more about Shiva.

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetAlisija
    In my opinion, one should use Shaivite resources to judge Shaivism

    Yes, you are right about Shaivite sources to learn about Shaivism. But I'd like to add that the Bhagavatam is not a sectarian Vaishnava text. It's unfortunate that people take one shloka out of context and give it a bad meaning. Most of the 18 maha-puranas are actually non sectarian in nature even though they have their own speciality. The Bhagavatam is a highly respected work among many traditions and it is actually highly lyrical about Shiva if you look at the text objectively without ISCKON commentaries. The stotra in canto 8, chapter 7 in the Bhagavatam for Shiva is so beautiful and deep with meaning, you will be hard pressed to find something similar even in the Shiva Purana. The Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana is truly the masterpiece of Srila Vyasadeva.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 27 December 2010 at 03:25 PM.

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    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Sahasranama... So this purport:

    Indulging in wine and meat, keeping long hair on one's head, not bathing daily, and smoking gāñjā (marijuana) are some of the habits which are accepted by foolish creatures who do not have regulated lives. By such behavior one becomes devoid of transcendental knowledge. In the initiation into the Śiva mantra there are mudrikāṣṭaka, in which it is sometimes recommended that one make his sitting place on the vagina and thus desire nirvāṇa, or dissolution of existence. In that process of worship, wine is needed, or sometimes, in place of wine, palm tree juice which is converted into an intoxicant. This is also offered according to Śiva-āgama, a scripture on the method of worshiping Lord Śiva.
    Is it a lie?

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    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    Is it a lie?


    If it's taken as a generalisation of all Shiva upasakas, then yes.

  10. #10

    Re: Is it a valid, true description of followers of Shiva?!

    There are more schools / branches within shaivism if I am not mistaken. So there might be one little sect /part that could be characterised by such words as can be read in the explanation, BUT in general, it is not referred to in shaiva literature... so that desciption can not be true in general.

    It is, I think, similar to such a case when a whole nation is described based on one member of it - that is called overgeneralisation, right?

    So I did feel my friends words and quotes disrespectful but of course he expects respecting of the teachings (ISKCON) he follows. And he is very 'aggressive' in communication when it comes to teachings.


    Thank you for the replies so far, and I am interested in others view, opinion (maybe supported by scripture passages) as well.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    Last edited by Elizabeth108; 27 December 2010 at 06:50 PM.

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