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citraketuḥ priyo ’nugaḥ
sarvatra sama-dṛk śānto
hy ahaṁ caivācyuta-priyaḥ
It is said, vaiṣṇavera kriyā, mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya: one should not be astonished to see the activities of exalted, liberated Vaiṣṇavas. As one should not be misled by the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should also not be misled by the activities of His devotees. Both the Lord and His devotees are liberated. They are on the same platform, the only difference being that the Lord is the master and the devotees are servants. Qualitatively, they are one and the same. In Bhagavad-gītā (9.29) the Lord says:
samo ’haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo ’sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” From this statement by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is clear that the devotees of the Lord are always extremely dear to Him. In effect, Lord Śiva told Pārvatī, “Both Citraketu and I are always very dear to the Supreme Lord. In other words, both he and I are on the same level as servants of the Lord. We are always friends, and sometimes we enjoy joking words between us. When Citraketu loudly laughed at my behavior, he did so on friendly terms, and therefore there was no reason to curse him.” Thus Lord Śiva tried to convince his wife, Pārvatī, that her cursing of Citraketu was not very sensible.
Here is a difference between male and female that exists even in the higher statuses of life — in fact, even between Lord Śiva and his wife. Lord Śiva could understand Citraketu very nicely, but Pārvatī could not. Thus even in the higher statuses of life there is a difference between the understanding of a male and that of a female. It may be clearly said that the understanding of a woman is always inferior to the understanding of a man. In the Western countries there is now agitation to the effect that man and woman should be considered equal, but from this verse it appears that woman is always less intelligent than man.
It is clear that Citraketu wanted to criticize the behavior of his friend Lord Śiva because Lord Śiva was sitting with his wife on his lap. Then, too, Lord Śiva wanted to criticize Citraketu for externally posing as a great devotee but being interested in enjoying with the Vidyādharī women. These were all friendly jokes; there was nothing serious for which Citraketu should have been cursed by Pārvatī. Upon hearing the instructions of Lord Śiva, Pārvatī must have been very much ashamed for cursing Citraketu to become a demon. Mother Pārvatī could not appreciate Citraketu’s position, and therefore she cursed him, but when she understood the instructions of Lord Śiva she was ashamed.