|Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth Order||Chapter 24: Chanting the Song Sung by Lord Śiva|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.24.33
jitaḿ ta ātma-vid-varya-
svastaye svastir astu me
sarvasmā ātmane namaḥ
śrī-rudraḥ uvāca — Lord Śiva began to speak; jitam — all glories; te — unto You; ātma-vit — self-realized; varya — the best; svastaye — unto the auspicious; svastiḥ — auspiciousness; astu — let there be; me — of me; bhavatā — by You; ārādhasā — by the all-perfect; rāddham — worshipable; sarvasmai — the Supreme Soul; ātmane — unto the Supreme Soul; namaḥ — obeisances.
Lord Śiva addressed the Supreme Personality of Godhead with the following prayer: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all glories unto You. You are the most exalted of all self-realized souls. Since You are always auspicious for the self-realized, I wish that You be auspicious for me. You are worshipable by virtue of the all-perfect instructions You give. You are the Supersoul; therefore I offer my obeisances unto You as the supreme living being.
As soon as a devotee is inspired by the Lord to offer the Lord a prayer, the devotee immediately glorifies the Lord in the beginning by saying, "All glories unto You, my Lord." The Lord is glorified because He is considered to be the chief of all self-realized souls. As said in the Vedas (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13), nityo nityānāḿ cetanaś cetanānām: the Supreme Being, the Personality of Godhead, is the chief living being amongst all living beings. There are different kinds of individual living beings — some of them are in this material world, and some are in the spiritual world. Those who are in the spiritual world are known to be completely self-realized because on the spiritual platform the living entity is not forgetful of his service to the Lord. Therefore in the spiritual world all those who are in the devotional service of the Lord are eternally fixed, for they understand the position of the Supreme Being, as well as their individual constitution. Thus amongst self-realized souls, the Lord is known as the perfectly self-realized soul. Nityo nityānāḿ cetanaś cetanānām. When the individual soul is fixed in his knowledge of the Lord as the Supreme Being, he actually becomes established in an all-auspicious position. Lord Śiva prays herein that his auspicious position continue eternally by virtue of the Lord's mercy upon him.
The Supreme Lord is all-perfect, and the Lord instructs that one who worships Him also becomes perfect. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15): mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaḿ ca. The Lord is situated as the Supersoul in everyone's heart, but He is so kind to His devotees that He gives them instructions by which they may continue to progress. When they receive instructions from the all-perfect, there is no chance of their being misled. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (10.10): dadāmi buddhi-yogaḿ taḿ yena mām upayānti te. The Lord is always ready to give instructions to the pure devotee so that the devotee can advance further and further in devotional service. Since the Lord gives instructions as sarvātmā, the Supersoul, Lord Śiva offers Him respect with the words sarvātmā ātmane namaḥ. The individual soul is called ātmā, and the Lord is also called ātmā as well as Paramātmā. Being situated in everyone's heart, the Lord is known as the supreme ātmā. Therefore all obeisances are offered unto Him. In this regard, one may refer to the prayers of Kuntī in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.8.20):
kathaḿ paśyema hi striyaḥ
The Lord is always ready to give instructions to the paramahaḿsas, or the topmost devotees of the Lord, who are completely liberated from all contaminations of the material world. The Lord always gives instructions to such exalted devotees to inform them how they can remain fixed in devotional service. Similarly, it is stated in the ātmārāma verse (Bhāg. 1.7.10):
ātmārāmāś ca munayo
nirgranthā apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukīḿ bhaktim
The word ātmārāma refers to those who are not interested in the material world but are simply engaged in spiritual realization. Such self-realized persons are generally considered in two categories — impersonal and personal. However, impersonalists also become devotees when they are attracted by the personal transcendental qualities of the Lord. The conclusion is that Lord Śiva wanted to remain a fixed devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. As explained in the following verses, Lord Śiva never desires to merge into the existence of the Supreme Lord like the impersonalists. Rather, he thinks that it would be good fortune for him to continue to be fixed in the understanding of the Lord as the Supreme Being. By this understanding, one realizes that all living entities — including Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā and other demigods — are servants of the Supreme Lord.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness