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 previous offering, we saw that
1. The Lord can only be known by devotion and faith.
2. The Lord cannot be understood by mental speculation.
We shall continue to meditate on the next glorification.
Glorification 8 - The Lord is the greatest of all: 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.
God is described here as paribhūḥ, "the greatest of all". No one is greater than or equal to Him. Other living beings are described as beggars who ask goods from the Lord. The Lord supplies the things the living entities desire. If the entities were equal to the Lord in potency, if they were omnipotent and omniscient - there would be no question of their begging from the Lord, even for so-called liberation. Only the Lord is self-sufficient. When Lord Krsna appeared on earth five thousand years ago, He displayed His full manifestation as the Personality of Godhead through His various activities. In His childhood, He killed many demons including Aghaasura, Bakaasura, and Sakataasura and there was no question of His acquiring the power from any external endeavor. He lifted Govardhana Hill without ever practicing weight-lifting. He performed the Brahma-vimohana-lila by expanding himself into thousands of gopas and calves. The original gopas and calves were hidden by Lord Brahma in his abode. And by performing this lila Lord Krsna even left Lord Brahma bewildered.
In his nectarean lecture on verse Adi Lila 7.108 of Caitanya Caritamrta, Srila Prabhupada very nicely explains the meaning of greatest. 'It is described in Paraashara-sutra, that the Lord is the greatest in wealth, greatest in fame, greatest in knowledge, greatest in renunciation, greatest in beauty, greatest in strength. One who is greatest in all six opulences is the greatest. The Lord is also smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. The materialistic definition of "greatest" is the sky or a big ocean. We say "greatest" means that sky is the greatest or an ocean is the greatest. But the real idea of "greatest" is that one who can swallow millions of skies or universes within Himself, He is greatest. An ocean in comparison to a universe is a drop of water. And the Lord has millions of universes in his belly, hence He is the greatest. The Vaishnavas see that Krishna has within His mouth, millions of skies. So who is greatest? Krishna is greatest or the sky is greatest? This is the difference between the materialists and Vaishnavas. Just like Krishna, when He was boy, He was eating clay. His mother asked, "Oh, just open Your mouth. I want to see what You are eating." And Krishna showed her that millions of planets and millions of skies are within the mouth. So He is greatest, who can show that "Millions of skies are within Me." He is greatest."
We casually say "God is Great", without really understanding the purport of this statement. The Forbes magazine publishes the richest person in the world every year. And invariably the richest person changes each year and maybe only a few times a particular person's name might be repeated for a few years. The same is the case with other opulences. The strongest person also changes with time, nobody can claim that he or she is the strongest person ever. Even if a certain person can claim to be strongest at a certain point in time, this changes with time and even that person has to succumb to death ultimately. The famous boxing champion Mohammed Ali was recently afflicted with paralysis and without help, he could not even move his hand. During his time he was unparalleled and was never defeated in any boxing match. He was invited for an Olympic opening ceremony as the chief guest. He took a great deal of effort and help to ignite the Olympics torch. Seeing this the reporters asked him, "At one time you used to say I am the greatest of all time and now you don't even seem to be capable of moving your hands on your own, how is this?" In answer to this question, even in a condition of helplessness, Mohammed Ali said, "I am still the greatest of all time". This is our condition in the material world, we are under so much illusion that in spite of getting constant beatings from Maya we still think we are the greatest.
As far as riches are concerned in today's world, it is very flickering and changes constantly. Today's market condition is so volatile that the riches of a person varies every day, in fact, every moment. People lose millions of dollars due to a crash in the stock market. There is always a race for being the richest in the world between various companies. In this regard, two IT companies Microsoft and Oracle are always competing for the 1st position. Microsoft maintains the 1st position most of the time and one such time the stocks of Oracle shot up at such a high that the owner Lary Ellison became the richest person, this news spread like wildfire and he immediately called up a press conference. He was so happy to present that he was the richest person in the whole world. By the time the press conference finished the stock market took such a turn that the shares of Oracle dipped and again Microsoft's owner Bill Gates became the world's richest person. Lary Ellison became morose again. Within a couple of hours, he saw the highs and the lows. This is the nature of the material world, it is very very temporary.
But the opulence of the Lord never decreases even by a bit. Innumerable universes spawn out of the breathing of the Lord but His opulences never decrease even by an ounce. He has millions of Laxmi's at His feet who provide all the riches of the world. That's why the Lord is the greatest of all times.
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,
Wellington, New Zealand.
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