bhagavan api tac chrutva
tusnim babhuva sadasi
sabhyas ca tad-anuvratah
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, after hearing Citraketu’s statement, Lord Siva, the most powerful personality, whose knowledge is fathomless, simply smiled and remained silent, and all the members of the assembly followed the lord by not saying anything.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Citraketu’s purpose in criticizing Lord Siva is somewhat mysterious and cannot be understood by a common man. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, however, has made the following observations. Lord Siva, being the most exalted Vaisnava and one of the most powerful demigods, is able to do anything he desires. Although he was externally exhibiting the behavior of a common man and not following etiquette, such actions cannot diminish his exalted position. The difficulty is that a common man, seeing Lord Siva’s behavior, might follow his example. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (3.21):
yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
“Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.” A common man might also criticize Lord Siva, like Daksa, who suffered the consequences for his criticism. King Citraketu desired that Lord Siva cease this external behavior so that others might be saved from criticizing him and thus becoming offenders. If one thinks that Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the only perfect personality whereas the demigods, even such demigods as Lord Siva, are inclined to improper social affairs, he is an offender. Considering all this, King Citraketu was somewhat harsh in his behavior with Lord Siva.
Lord Siva, who is always deep in knowledge, could understand Citraketu’s purpose, and therefore he was not at all angry; rather, he simply smiled and remained silent. The members of the assembly surrounding Lord Siva could also understand Citraketu’s purpose. Consequently, following the behavior of Lord Siva, they did not protest; instead, following their master, they remained silent. If the members of the assembly thought that Citraketu had blasphemed Lord Siva, they would certainly have left at once, blocking their ears with their hands.