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"Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet" I used to think we pray to the many forms of one god but after this shloka I am really confused? Why this discrimination?

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  • They are part of one god but this part only gives temporary fruits.
    – Wikash_
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 6:33
  • Yes they above translation is correct there is no confusion you are reading bhagavad gita is supreme scripture for Hinduism. Then the god which had given that also is supreme. Confusion happens only when your current belief system which you are taught regarded something else as supreme.
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Feb 10 at 19:31
  • What discrimination? You go where you want to go lol.
    – Haridasa
    Commented Feb 10 at 23:39

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The demigods are different to Krishna. As in, their worship is different. This is why there is this distinction. The demigods are not the absolute, on account of them being accessed by those of small intelligence and yielding only temporary fruit. This means their worship or effects of the worship is transitory. One has to keep coming back because the benefits fade; it is not everlasting.

Krishna, on the other hand, is saying worshipping him is the way to yield that fruit which is everlasting (liberation). The demigods do not refer to the many forms of one god but forces that comprise the aspects of worship. In other words, the demigods are not Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, etc. They are the mediators between the human and the divine or supreme. They are sustained by worship and, through worshipping them, they sustain us. So, this is why the fruit is temporary, because it has to be constantly sustained. 3.12 espouses this phenomena:

Sustained by worship, the gods will give you desired pleasures. He who enjoys what they return, without offering, is a thief.

Krishna is saying worshipping him doesn't work the same way because he is the way to the absolute - the everlasting fruit or pleasure. The desire of all desires and that in which all desires dissolve.

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This sloka should not be applied as of today's context. It more for those who are well aware of Yajna process and what those Yajna were designed to offer. A little reading into various Vedic texts, esp. the Brahmnas of Vedas will show how various Yajnas were conducted to achieve various desires.

English Commentary By Swami Sivananda 7.23 अन्तवत् finite, तु verily, फलम् the fruit, तेषाम् of them, तत् that, भवति is, अल्पमेधसाम् those of small intelligence, देवान् to the gods, देवयजः the worshippers of the gods, यान्ति go to, मद्भक्ताः My devotees, यान्ति go to, माम् Me, अपि also.Commentary The exertion in the two kinds is the same and yet people do not attempt to worship the Supreme Being in order to attain the maximum benefits or the infinite reward (liberation or Moksha). The reward obtained by men of small understandng and petty intellect who worship the minor deities is small, perishable and temporary.Yajnas (Vedic rituals), Homas (rituals in which oblations are offered into the sacred fire) and Tapas (penance) of various sorts can bestow only temporary rewards on the performer. Liberation from the wheel of transmigration alone will give everlasting bliss and eternal peace.Those who worship Indra and others are Sattvic devotees those who worship Yakshas and Rakshasas (demoniacal beings) are Rajasic devotees and those who worship the Bhutas and Pretas (discarnate spirits) are Tamasic devotees.The knowledge of those who worship the small deities is partial and incomplete. It cannot lead to liberation. (Cf.IX.25)

English Translation of Abhinavgupta's Sanskrit Commentary By Dr. S. Sankaranarayan 7.20-23 Kamaih etc. upto man api. On the other hand, those persons, whose minds are conditioned by a variety of their own respective desires for the best and so on (or the desires that may be classified as the best and so on) - they have thier thinking faculty carried away by their desires, and worship a particular deity who possesses nothing but My intermediate body that suits only to those devotees' desires. Hence, they obtain their desired result from Me alone. But, that result has an end of its own, because it is limited by the mental impressions of their own. Therefore those who perform sacrifice etc., with the aim of becming Indra etc., (or of attaining the houses of Indra etc.) gain their desired fruit accordingly. On the other hand, those whose chief aim is to attain Me, they gain Me alone. But, while the Absolute-being is immanent in all, how is it that the fruit achieved by the worshippers of other deities is limited ?

English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda 7.23 Since those non-discriminating men with desires are engaged in disciplines for limited results, therefore, tat phalam, that result; tesam, of theirs; alpamedhasam, who are of poor intellect, of poor wisdom; antavat tu bhavati, is limited, ephemeral, indeed. Deva-yajah, the worshippers of gods; yanti, go; devan, to the gods. Madbhaktah, My devotees; yanti, to; mam api, to Me alone. 'Thus, though the effort needed is the same, they do not resort to me alone for the unlimited result. Alas! they are surely in a pitiable condition.' In this manner the Lord expresses his compassion. 'Why do they not take refuge in Me alone?'

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    This is a very advanced level answer to a very silly question.
    – user29449
    Commented Feb 10 at 7:01
  • @User29449 the concept of this Demi-God business stems from a sudo-vedic sect that has its influence from Abrahamic faith terminology. These are the 3 variety of translations that has better understanding but yet a person needs some level of Vedic literature understanding to comprehend the as to which Gods they are referring to. Commented Feb 11 at 15:52
  • 1
    I absolutely agree that with you!
    – user29449
    Commented Feb 12 at 5:08

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