Lord Shiva is indeed a very fortunate personality. He has the privilege of residing in all the holy Abodes of Gaur-Krishna. He is so dear to Gaur-Krishna, that He is personally worshipped by the Lord in His different incarnations. In Shrimad Bhagwatam, Shiva is described as the topmost Vaishnav. What is the secret of Shiva’s success as a devotee of the Lord? What is it that Gaur-Krishna is so fond of Shiva?
It is Shiva’s unparalleled love and devotion for Gaur-Krishna’s topmost devotee Sankarshan (Nitai) that makes Him so dear to Gaur-Krishna. Shiva knows this secret and He teaches the same to His consort Parvati when she inquires, “Whose worship is topmost?”,
aradhananam sarvesham vishnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam samarcanam
arcayitva tu govindam tadiyan narcayet tu yah
na sa bhagavato jneyah kevalam dambhikah smritah
“Of all types of worship, worship of Lord Vishnu is best, and better than the worship of Lord Vishnu is the worship of His devotee, the Vaishnava. One who performs worship of Lord Govinda but fails to worship His devotees should be understood to be not a devotee of the Lord but simply a victim of false pride.”
In the Brihad-bhagavatamrita (1.2.97-98, 1.3.1, and 2.3.66) it is stated: “Lord Shiva worships the most enchanting, equally powerful and opulent Lord Sankarshana, who is adored with camaras and an umbrella and surrounded by associates. Is it not wonderful that even Shiva accepts Sankarshana as his worshipable Lord? In Shivaloka, Narada Muni watches the most opulent Shiva become absorbed while chanting and dancing in the mood of a devotee as he worships Lord Sankarshana. Although Shiva is the lord of the universe, he accepts the mood of a servant and eternally worships the thousand-headed Shesha with love.”
The worship of the Lord’s devotees is topmost and Lord Shiva worships the topmost devotee of the Lord. This is the secret of His success. He eternally worships the plenary portion of Nitai and He gets so much reciprocation from Gaur-Krishna. Just imagine, if you will wholeheartedly love the original Sankarshan, Nitai, then how much dear you will become to Gaur-Krishna. Lord Shiva’s secret should always inspire us to worship Nitai. We must learn from Shiva as He is a Mahajan and He has factually shown the entire world how dear He is to Gaur-Krishna. He has proved that one can actually PURCHASE Gaur-Krishna by having priti for Nitai. What more can be said!
P. S.: You can read Shiva’s extraordinary glorification of Sankarshan (Nitai) from Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.17.17-24).
Worthless disciple of Shrila Nitaipreshthji,