108 Ways of Glorifying the Lord - Part 8

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". We shall continue to meditate on the next glorifications. 

The Lord is omniscient and omnipotent. It is mentioned in Sri Isopanisad mantra 8:

sa paryagāc chukram akāyam avraṇam
asnāviraḿ śuddham apāpa-viddham
kavir manīṣī paribhūḥ svayambhūr
yāthātathyato ’rthān vyadadhāc chāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ

Such a person must factually know the greatest of all, the Personality of Godhead, who is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and uncontaminated, the self-sufficient philosopher, who has been fulfilling everyone's desire since time immemorial.

The Lord is described here as omniscient and omnipotent. 

Glorification 10 - Omniscient: The word kavih in this verse means omniscient. The dictionary meaning of omniscient is - Having infinite knowledge or understanding or having very great or seemingly unlimited knowledge.

Since the Lord is the source of everything and is present in each and every living being and also in each and every atom in the form of Paramatma, naturally he has knowledge about each and everything. There is nothing that the Lord doesn't know. During the Govardhan Lila, after Indra's ego was smashed and he begs forgiveness from the Lord, he offers wonderful prayers to the Lord (SB 10.27.4).

indra uvāca
viśuddha-sattvaṁ tava dhāma śāntaṁ
tapo-mayaṁ dhvasta-rajas-tamaskam
māyā-mayo ’yaṁ guṇa-sampravāho
na vidyate te grahaṇānubandhaḥ

Your transcendental form, a manifestation of pure goodness, is undisturbed by change, shining with knowledge and devoid of passion and ignorance. In You does not exist the mighty flow of the modes of material nature, which is based on illusion and ignorance.

Srila Sridhar Swami has translated tapo-mayam as "full of knowledge". The Lord's self-effulgent body is omniscient. Light is a common symbol of knowledge. The Lord's spiritual effulgence does not merely illuminate physically, as in the case of a candle or light bulb; more importantly, the Lord's body illuminates our consciousness with perfect knowledge because the Lord's effulgence is itself perfect knowledge. Because the conditioned soul has limited knowledge, he's under illusion by the three modes of material nature. But the Lord cannot be under illusion since He is all-knowing. By the mercy of the Lord and His pure devotees, a conditioned soul can be transformed to come out of the illusion. 

Glorification 11 - Omnipotent: The word shukram in this verse means omnipotent. The dictionary meaning of omnipotent is - Almighty or infinite in power, as God; Having very great or unlimited authority or power. In the Brahma-samhita (5.32) it is stated that with each and every part of His body the Lord can do the work of the other senses. This means that the Lord can walk with His hands, accept things with His legs, see with His hands and feet, eat with His eyes, etc. In the shruti-mantras it is also said that although the Lord has no hands and legs like ours, He has a different type of hands and legs, by which He can accept all that we offer Him and run faster than anyone. These points are confirmed in this eighth mantra through the use of words like shukram ("omnipotent").

Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport of this verse, "The arca-vigraha form worshiped in temples is an expanded form of the Lord. By worshiping the arca-vigraha, one can at once approach the Lord, who accepts the service of a devotee by His omnipotent energy. The arca-vigraha of the Lord descends at the request of the acaryas, and works exactly in the original way of the Lord by virtue of the Lord's omnipotence."

There are various examples of Lord's omnipotence - lifting of Govardhan hill without any effort by His left hand's little finger for seven days and seven nights, expanding Himself into thousands of calves and gopas during the Brahma-vimohana lila with such precision that even Lord Brahma was deceived, creating innumerable material universes from the pores of His skin and impregnating them by just glancing at them, marrying 16108 wives and living with them simultaneously and the list goes on and on. 

The Lord's potencies are so inconceivable that the Vedas personified while praying to the Lord make a very interesting point. They say, "No one, not even the mental speculators and the demigods in higher planetary systems, is actually able to estimate the length and breadth of Your form and characteristics. We think that even Your Lordship does not have complete knowledge of Your transcendental qualities. The reason is that You are unlimited. Although it is not befitting to say that You do not know Yourself, it is practical to understand that because You have unlimited qualities and energies and because Your knowledge is also unlimited, there is unlimited competition between Your knowledge and Your expansion of energies."

The idea is that because God and His knowledge are both unlimited, as soon as God is cognizant of some of His energies, He perceives that He has still more energies. In this way, both His energies and His knowledge increase. Because both of them are unlimited, there is no end to the energies and no end to the knowledge with which to understand the energies.

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

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