Tasmāt parataram. "Even better than viṣṇu-ārādhana is to worship the Vaiṣṇavas." Mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhika (SB 11.19.21). Kṛṣṇa has said also that "Anyone who is worshiping My devotee, pure devotee, that is better worship than one who is worshiping Me directly."
So Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that, "I got this opportunity of human life, but instead of worshiping Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, I have worshiped so many things." Somebody is worshiping his body, somebody is worshiping his mind, somebody worshiping his country, somebody is worshiping his something else, something else, or somebody is worshiping some other demigods also. But that is not recommended in the śāstra, at least in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajanty anya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20). There are worshipers of other demigods, but they have been described in the Bhagavad-gītā as hṛta-jñānāḥ. Hṛta-jñānāḥ. Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments, naṣṭa buddhayaḥ, "one who has lost his intelligence." These are the verdict of the śāstra.
Therefore one who has taken only to Kṛṣṇa worship, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66), only Kṛṣṇa, he is intelligent. And one who is not intelligent, mūḍha, he does not take to Kṛṣṇa. This is straight meaning of Bhagavad-gītā. You can make your own meaning, but if you want to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, this is the meaning. You cannot accept the worship even of big, big demigods. What to speak of minor demigods, even big demigods just like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva . . . you can worship. Vaiṣṇava is ready to give respect even to the ant. And why not Lord Śiva? And why not Lord Brahmā or any other demigods? They offer. But they offer in which way? As servant of Kṛṣṇa.
Just like in the Brahma-saṁhitā, there is: sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni vibharti durgā (Bs. 5.44). This is worship of Durgā. A Vaiṣṇava, Brahmā, is offering respect to Mother Durgā. So similarly, a Vaiṣṇava never disrespects any demigod. Why demigods? They are so exalted. They do not disrespect even an ant. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā, amāninā mānadena (CC Ādi 17.31 / CC Antya 20.21, Śikṣāṣṭaka 3). A Vaiṣṇava should be ready to give respect to anyone, all living entities, because all living entities are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. They should offer respect to everyone. Just like this finger is my part and parcel of the body. If you respect my body and kill my . . . cut my finger, shall I be happy? No. Therefore Vaiṣṇava knows this, that "Even a small ant, he is the part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So if I kill this ant, Kṛṣṇa will be unhappy. Kṛṣṇa will be unhappy."
There was a vyādha. In the Padma Purāṇa this story is there. He was habituated to kill animals. Vyādha, you know, hunter. So he was killing so many animals half-dead. So Nārada Muni was passing through that forest, he was very much aggrieved, "Who is this rascal, killing these animals half, and they are flapping out of painful condition? Let me see this rascal." So he searched out this vyādha, hunter. The vyādha was very busy in his hunting. So he thought . . . because, after all, Nārada Muni is a Vaiṣṇava, after seeing him personally his heart was immediately little clarified. So he offered respect, "Sir, you have come here for some tiger skin or deerskin. I shall give you, but don't disturb in my business. Please let me do my business."
So Nārada Muni said: "All right, you do your business, but one thing I request—why you are not killing these animals all at a time? Why you are killing half? It is great sin." Then it stuck to his brain, "Sin? Oh. What is this sin?" Then he described the effects of sin. Then he said: "I have been taught by my father to do this business. So if I do not do this business, how shall I live?" So Nārada Muni said: "If I guarantee your living, would you give it up this business, this profession?" "Why not? If I get my living means, then I can give up." So it was agreed that he will give up his business of hunting. And Nārada Muni said that, "I will give you all necessities of your life. Come on."
So it is a long story. I am making shortcut.