And I’d like to tell a story about Ghantakarna. This is a little bit different in illustration, but Ghantakarna loved Vishnu, and he always wanted to worship Vishnu. Vishnu came to him and said, “You know Shiva is my other form, so you can’t really please me without pleasing Shiva. So do Shiva’s puja as well as my puja.” And Ghantakarna said, “No, no, no, I only worship Vishnu, I am Vaishnava, and I don’t believe in Shiva. He hangs out with ghosts and goblins, takes bhang all the time, he’s always drunk, he’s always intoxicated. I don’t worship Shiva, I only worship Vishnu.”
So Vishnu came to him in the form of Harihara, who was half Vishnu and half Shiva. And Ghantakarna made a puja, and he offered the incense, and when he saw the side of Shiva was getting the smoke and going in to the nostril of Shiva, he went and he held the nostril of Shiva so that the smoke would only go to Vishnu. So then Vishnu tried in many, many ways to teach Ghantakarna that, no, Vishnu and Shiva are the same.
Well, what happened was whenever Ghantakarna went outside, all the boys started to tease him. And they would shout, “Shiva, Shiva, Shiva.” So Ghantakarna made some big earrings with bells in them called, “Ghantakarna”, who has bells in his ears. And everytime that he would go outside and the young children would call, “Shiva, Shiva, Shiva”, he would shake his head so that the bells would ring in his ears and all he would hear was the sound of the bells. And he would never hear the name of Shiva.
That’s the story of Ghantakarna.