108 Ways of Glorifying the Lord - Part 13

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

We have been meditating on glorifying the Lord in the offerings titled, "108 Ways of Glorifying the Lord". In the last few offerings, we were seeing few of the glories of Lord mentioned in verse 8 of Isopanishad. Now we move on to verse 16 of the Isopanishad,

pūṣann ekarṣe yama sūrya prājāpatya
vyūha raśmīn samūha tejo
yat te rūpaṁ kalyāṇa-tamaṁ tat te paśyāmi
yo ’sāv asau puruṣaḥ so ’ham asmi

O my Lord, O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe, O regulating principle, destination of the pure devotees, well-wisher of the progenitors of mankind, please remove the effulgence of Your transcendental rays so that I can see Your form of bliss. You are the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, like unto the sun, as am I.

Glorification 20 - The Lord is maintainer of the universe: In the above verse pushan means maintainer. The Vedas say, eko bahunaam vidadhaati kaamaan. That supreme Lord who is eternal, is supplying and maintaining all other individual eternals. The word pūṣann ("Maintainer") is especially significant, for although the Lord maintains all beings, He specifically maintains His devotees. In reality, the Supreme Lord is always maintaining and protecting us. In this connection the below example is very relevant - the inmates of a prison are being punished by the government, yet the same government feeds them and looks after them. Similarly, sinful, atheistic people, though punished by the Lord's illusory energy, are still fed and cared for by the Lord Himself. And if the Supreme Lord feeds and maintains even the worst sinners, reprobates, and helpless souls, then what to speak of those who are eternally surrendered to His lotus feet? He is like a king who takes proper care of his subjects, but who especially looks after the needs of his near and dear relatives. The devotees are the Lord's relatives and family members. Just as ordinary people feel joy and satisfaction when they look after the needs and comforts of their family, the Lord also feels pleasure when he tends to the well-being of His devotees. Thus the Supreme Lord is known as Bhakta-vatsala, "The maintainer of the devotees." Often Prabhupada quoted this example. There are 8,400,000's of species of life, and, out of which, human beings, are a very small number, say, about 200,000 species of life. Balance eight million, two hundred thousand species of life, they are animal and aquatics, birds, beasts, uncivilized men, so many species of life. They have no economic problem. There is no question of starvation. An elephant that eats thousands of pounds of food per day gets his food and even an ant which requires one grain of food gets his food. The Lord also creates, maintains and destroys the material universes/planets although this is done by delegated authorities like Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. There are innumerable living entities and the Lord personally takes care and maintains each of them depending on the level of surrender. Also, the Lord as Supersoul in every living being's heart maintains the body of each living entity. The Supersoul nourishes and energizes the body and soul of the living entities. If the Supersoul leaves the body, the body is dead, it is of no use. The first syllable of the word bhagavaan (bha) has two meanings. The first is 'one who fully maintains,' and the second is 'guardian'. The second syllable (ga) means 'guide', 'leader' or 'creator'. The Lord fully maintains His unalloyed devotees, and He guides them progressively on the path toward devotional perfection. As the leader of His devotees, He ultimately awards the desired results of devotional service by giving Himself to them.

Glorification 21 - The Lord is the destination of pure devotees: In the above verse surya means the destination of pure devotees. The goal of pure devotees is to achieve the love of Lord Krishna and serve Him birth after birth. It doesn't matter to them whether they are in the material world or in hell or in spiritual world. Their only desire is to serve the Lord and His devotees eternally. In this relation it is very nicely mentioned in SB 7.5.31,

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ

Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Vishnu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.

The Lord is gati. Gati means the destination. We do not know what our destination is. Due to our ignorance, due to our becoming overwhelmed by the illusory energy, we do not know the goal of our life. The ultimate destination of life is to reestablish one's lost relationship with the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, people do not know this. They are simply thinking, destination of life, to have the greatest amounts of sense gratification. This is illusion. Because we are materially absorbed we have no other information. So we are trying to squeeze out all kinds of pleasure from sense. We are earning, working very hard, and the ultimate goal is sense gratification. This is illusion. In this connection Srila BhaktiVinod Thakur says in his peom "mānasa, deho, geho",

janaka, jananī, dayita, tanay prabhu, guru, pati-tuhū sarva-moy
bhakativinoda kohe, śuno kāna! rādhā-nātha! tuhū hāmāra parāṇa

Father, mother, lover, son, Lord, preceptor, and husband; You are everything to me. Thakura Bhaktivinoda says, 'O Krishna, please hear me! O Lord of Radha, You are my life and soul!'

Let us try to follow the wonderful path carved by our acharyas and make our destination the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Krishna. That will bring meaning and goal to our life. Krishna willing, we shall continue our journey of glorifying the Lord in the upcoming offerings.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Anand Patil
Wellington, New Zealand.