108 Ways of Glorifying the Lord - Part 17

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 the Lord mentioned in Srimad Bhagavad Gita. We now move on to the next glorifications. Today we shall meditate on the glorifications. The Lord is called Hrshikesha and Govinda.

Glorification 27 - Hrshikesha, the controller of the senses: In Bhagavad Gita verse 1.15 the Lord is referred as Hrshikesha. Hrshika means senses and isha means ruler or master. Lord Krishna is referred to as Hrshikesha in this verse because He is the owner of all senses. The living entities are part and parcel of Him, and therefore the senses of the living entities are also part and parcel of His senses. The living entities think they are independent of God and can do whatever they like but from this verse we can understand that even our senses are not independent of the Lord then what to speak of our whole existence? Srila Prabhupada in his powerful purport of this verse explains, "The impersonalists cannot account for the senses of the living entities, and therefore they are always anxious to describe all living entities as senseless, or impersonal. The Lord, situated in the hearts of all living entities, directs their senses. But He directs in terms of the surrender of the living entity, and in the case of a pure devotee He directly controls the senses. Here on the Battlefield of Kurushetra the Lord directly controls the transcendental senses of Arjuna, and thus His particular name of Hrshikesha." As mentioned in chapter 6 of the book Teachings of Queen Kunti - Everyone is part and parcel of Krishna (mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]), and therefore everyone's senses are also Krishna's. When we use the senses for Krishna's service, we attain the perfection of life. When we use the senses for our own pleasure we become miserable. As per Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya lila 19.170 - hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate, when by our senses (hṛṣīkeṇa) we serve hṛṣīkeśa, the real master of the senses, that service is called bhakti. This is a very simple definition of bhakti. hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ, not Hrshika-sevanam service to the Supreme master of the senses, not to the senses themselves. When we use our senses for sense gratification, we are in maya, illusion, but when we use our senses for the gratification of the master of the senses, that service is called bhakti. The Lord in the form of Paramatma is always guiding us at each step to do the right thing and go back to Him, but we do not want to listen to Him. We want to gratify our senses, serve our senses and not of the Lord and hence are miserable and unhappy. Arjuna listened to the guidance of the Lord and fought with the Kauravas and became victorious at the end of the war. When we engage all our senses in the service of the Lord there are two positives that come out we get freed from all material designations and second our senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord. This way we can perfect our life.

Glorification 28 - Govinda, the enlivener of the senses: "Go" means senses or cows or land and "vinda" means one who gives pleasure. So Govinda means one who gives pleasure to senses or one who is very kind and lovable to cows or one who is protector of all the land.

a) One who gives pleasure to senses: The senses are always craving for some satisfaction and for getting the satisfaction they are always looking out for some new sense objects. But the material sense gratification does not fulfill the thirst of the senses and its always empty or wanting. If one tries to satisfy ones own senses the Lord only provides as much satisfaction as the living entity deserves not what he desires. But if one serves the Lord Govinda, one can get unlimited satisfaction. This is so because the Lord has unlimited potency and He can fulfill everyone's desire and senses. By chanting the holy names of Krishna one participates in the infinite bliss of the Lord and thus ones senses are automatically satisfied.

b) One who gives pleasure to the cows: Cows are very dear to the Lord and He is very kind and loving to the cows. In fact in Krsnaloka (Lord Krishna's abode) the Lord is always busy as a cowherd boy tending and grazing the cows. He is always surrounded by cows. That is His main business. Lord Brahma prays in Brahma samhita 5.29,

cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakshmis or gopis.

As mentioned by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur in the purport of the above verse, "The Surabhi cows in Krsnaloka are so fortunate and loved by the Lord that the cows pour oceans of milk in the shape of the fountain of love showering transcendental bliss that does away with the hunger and thirst of all pure devotees." Hence we should always respect the cows and serve them as much as possible.

c) One who protects the entire land: The Lord is the protector of all and this includes mother earth as well. Whenever the number of sinful people on the earth increases, it pains mother earth very much. In fact it is said that mother earth cannot bear the weight of even one person who speaks lie. Imagine the plight of earth in kali yuga where truthfulness is all but vanished. When mother earth is disturbed by miscreants the Lord either sends his representatives or advents Himself to cleanse the earth of all demons and demoniac tendencies. This way the Lord protects mother earth. From another view point whenever the Lord advents on earth, the land becomes very pleasing. The trees, the land, the country, mother nature etc are all pleased due to the presence of the Lord. Hence Govinda also means one who gives pleasure to the Land.

Let's pray at the lotus feet of Lord Govinda that He shower upon us all the blessings so that we are able to serve His senses with utmost sincerity and love.

Krishna willing, we shall continue our journey of glorifying the Lord in the upcoming emails.

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