"My dear gopīs, your relationship with Me is completely transcendental, and it is not possible for Me to offer anything in exchange for your love, even after many births. You have given up all attachment for material enjoyment, and you have searched after Me. Since I am unable to repay your love, kindly be pleased with your own activities."
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja has remarked that there is a class of common men who claim that anyone and everyone can worship the Supreme Lord according to his own invented mode of worship and still attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They claim that one can approach the Supreme Lord either through fruitive activities, speculative knowledge, meditation or austerity and that any one of these methods will enable one to reach the perfectional stage. They generally give the example that just as a place may be reached by one of many different paths, so the Supreme Absolute Truth may be worshiped either as Goddess Kālī, or Goddess Durgā, or Lord Śiva, Gaṇeśa, Rāma, Hari, or Brahmā. In short, they maintain that it does not matter how the Absolute Truth is addressed, for all names are one and the same. They give the example of a man with many names: if he is called by any of those names, he will answer.
Such mentally concocted views may be very pleasing to an ordinary person, but they are full of misconceptions concerning transcendental life. One who worships the demigods out of material lust cannot attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although the external energy of the Lord may award such a worshiper some material results. Krsna discourages demigod worship in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.23):
- antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām
- devān deva-yajo yānti mad-bhaktā yānti mām api
"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." Thus the Supreme Lord awards the benediction of His association only to those who worship Him, and not to those who worship the demigods. It is not a fact that everyone and anyone can reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead by worshiping material demigods. It is therefore surprising that a man can imagine that he will become perfect by worshiping the demigods. The results of devotional service rendered in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be compared to the results of demigod worship, fruitive activity or mental speculation. The result of fruitive activity is that one goes to either the heavenly planets or the hellish ones.