Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7, Verse 20

कामैस्तैस्तैर्हृतज्ञाना: प्रपद्यन्तेऽन्यदेवता: |
तं तं नियममास्थाय प्रकृत्या नियता: स्वया || 20||

kāmais tais tair hṛita-jñānāḥ prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ
taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya prakṛityā niyatāḥ svayā

kāmaiḥby material desires; taiḥ taiḥby various; hṛita-jñānāḥwhose knowledge has been carried away; prapadyantesurrender; anyato other; devatāḥcelestial gods; tam tamthe various; niyamamrules and regulations; āsthāyafollowing; prakṛityāby nature; niyatāḥcontrolled; svayāby their own

Translation

BG 7.20: Those whose knowledge has been carried away by material desires surrender to the celestial gods. Following their own nature, they worship the devatās, practicing rituals meant to propitiate these celestial personalities.

Commentary

When Shree Krishna (the Supreme Lord) is the basis of all that exists, no celestial god can be independent of him. Just as the president of a country administers the government with the help of numerous officers, similarly the devatās (celestial gods) are all minor officers in God’s government. Although souls like us, they are elevated, and as a result of their pious deeds in their past lives, they have attained a high post in the administration of the material realm.

They cannot grant anyone liberation from the bondage of Maya because they are themselves not liberated. However, they can grant material things within their jurisdiction. Driven by material desires, people worship the devatās and observe the strictures as prescribed for their worship. Shree Krishna says that such persons whose knowledge has been clouded by material desires worship the celestial gods.