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(Lord Ganesh by Alisha, Age 15)

Devotee:  Why is it recommended in the Nectar of Devotion that a Vaiṣṇava should worship Gaṇapati?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa worship, everyone. Just like we worship also ordinary man if it gives us facility to worship Kṛṣṇa. We go to somebody and worship him, flatter him, because he will give some money, and it will be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. The man is not worshipable, but he will help us to worship Kṛṣṇa. Thereby he will be helped and we will be also helped, and Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied. Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied that "My devotee has brought some money from this rascal. All right." That is it. (laughter) So Gaṇapati is also devotee. So Gaṇapati, it is not required, but sometimes we do. Just like gopīs, they worshiped Goddess Durgā, Kātyāyanī. They did not require, but the social system is that. But they asked that "Mother Kātyāyanī, give us the opportunity to have Kṛṣṇa as our husband." The aim is Kṛṣṇa. Generally, they go to worship Devī Durgā for asking material benefit. Dhanaṁ dehi rūpaṁ dehi yaśo dehi, these things which we want in material... But the gopīs, they do not go for any material things. For Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, we can go to any demigod. Why Gaṇapati? Everyone. But our prayer should be, "Please give us Kṛṣṇa." Then it is correct.

Devotee (2): When we were just traveling this last time and collecting, Śrīla Prabhupāda, every day we were offering some incense to Gaṇeśa, and this prayer in the Brahma-saṁhitā, yat-pāda-pallava...

Prabhupāda: Pallava-yugaṁ vinidhāya kumbha... (Bs. 5.50)

Devotee (2): We were saying this, saying, "Give us facility to collect nice lakṣmī to use to build the temple in Vṛndāvana."

Devotee (3): To build the temple for Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Vṛndāvana.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is good. Whatever possible facility is available from any person, we beg for it for Kṛṣṇa's service, not for our personal benefit. (break) ...they forget Kṛṣṇa. They forget Kṛṣṇa. When they go to worship some other demigod, they forget Kṛṣṇa, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ (BG 7.20), because they have got so strong material desires that they forget Kṛṣṇa. That is harmful. Alpavat tu phalaṁ teṣām. They get some benefit out of the demigod, but that will not stay. Alpavat, er, antavat. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣām (BG 7.23). But if you take Kṛṣṇa, then it is not antavat; it will go on increasing. If you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it will never end. It will increase. Ānandāmbudhi-vardhanam, increasing. The ocean does not increase, but Kṛṣṇa consciousness is such a great ocean that it increases only. Ānandāmbudhi-vardhanam (CC Antya 20.12). Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee (4): Is it not better just to say, "Kṛṣṇa, whatever You decide. Whatever You give me, that I will accept." Like Kuntī.

Prabhupāda: Why shall I take from Kṛṣṇa? I should give.

Devotee (4): No, I mean instead of praying to demigods to give me something, saying, "Whatever You decide, Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. No. A devotee never prays to Kṛṣṇa. They have to undergo so much trouble; still they never pray to Kṛṣṇa. They know that "Kṛṣṇa will give us ultimately protection. Let us do our duty." Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). When a devotee is in difficulty, he is not disturbed. He thinks, "It is Kṛṣṇa's wish that I should suffer like this. It is not suffering; it is my pleasure." Just like when a patient is undergoing surgical operation, there is pain, but he knows, "It is better for me." Therefore agrees, "Yes, sir. You go on with your knife." So when you are surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa says that "I shall give you protection," so even in our distressed condition we must know that we are being protected by Kṛṣṇa. We should not be disturbed. Because we create so-called distress and happiness. Actually, this world is distress. Here the so-called happiness is also distress. So why a devotee should be disturbed by distressed condition? Harer nāma harer nāma (CC Adi 17.21).

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Los Angeles, January 10, 1974)
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Do Vaishnavas Worship Demigods?