Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj mentioned several times in his lectures that we should try to perform devotional service by following the GRAPHW method. GRAPHW is an abbreviation for
G - Glorification, R - Remembrance, A - Audience, P - Prayers, H - Hearing, W - Worship. Maharaj coined this acronym from the beautiful prayer sung by Srila Sukadeva Goswami in Srimad Bhagavatam 2.4.15:
yat-kīrtanaṁ yat-smaraṇaṁ yad-īkṣaṇaṁ
yad-vandanaṁ yac-chravaṇaṁ yad-arhaṇam
lokasya sadyo vidhunoti kalmaṣaṁ
tasmai subhadra-śravase namo namaḥ
Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all-auspicious Lord Sri Krishna, about whom glorification, remembrances, audience, prayers, hearing and worship can at once cleanse the effects of all sins of the performer.
Maharaj used to say that even if we take one topic from this and try to explore/expand it with respect to the Lord, our entire lifetime would not be enough for fulfilling this. Drawing some inspiration from Maharaj, Krishna willing, I am making a humble attempt to glorify the Lord in 108 ways. Since this is my first attempt, please excuse my frailties and any mistakes that I may commit in this offering. There are various ways of glorifying the Lord. Great saints and devotees in the past have glorified the Lord in multiple ways, in the Vedic scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, Isopanishad, etc, in various devotional bhajans, poems, books, etc. We shall start the offering with Sri Isopanisad, which is part of the Yajur Veda and it contains information concerning the proprietorship of all things existing within the universe. It is mentioned in Isopanishad invocation:
oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate
The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.
Glorification 1: The Supreme Lord is Perfectly Complete (Purnam)
Anyone can be called perfectly complete, only when their qualities or opulences does not reduce in quantity when given to someone. Nor does it increase in quantity when we add on something to it. And this holds good only for Lord Krishna. He is very nicely glorified as Bhagavan in the scriptures. The Supreme Lord is perfectly complete in all his opulences - beauty, fame, knowledge, strength, wealth, renunciation, and causeless mercy. Normally if we possess some riches, when we give it to someone, it will reduce. But that's is not the case with the Supreme Lord. He has unlimited wealth (The Goddess of fortune being His consort) that in spite of distributing it to all the devatas, daityas, human beings, and all different kinds of living entities, still it remains the same. His compassion is so perfect and complete that even for demons who hate Him, He gives salvation. He provides food, water, and shelter and also gives air to breathe even to an atheist who does not believe or accept His existence. Similarly, His beauty, fame, knowledge, strength, renunciation, etc are also perfect and complete in all respects. Srila Prabhupada says in one of the conversations (Perth, 1975) - "purnam idam. Purnah means complete. And because He is complete, the Creator, He has no defect; therefore He can create everything complete. pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate. And He is so complete that pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya, if you take the whole complete from the complete, still He is complete.
Glorification 2: The Lord's creation is Perfect and Complete
When the source is perfectly complete, then the result will also be perfectly complete. Since the Lord is perfect and complete, His creation is also perfect and complete. Srila Prabhupada also gives us an example of how the sun is giving heat, light, and energy for millions of years, still, it is full of heat and in spite of taking so much energy from the sun, it is still full of light and energy. He also says how no matter how much ever buckets of water we take out, the ocean is always complete, and no matter how much ever we fill in, still, it never overflows. That is the beauty of the Lord's creation.
Maharaj says, "In the road, we have several man-made vehicles travelling at the maximum of say 60 to 100 miles per hour. But daily we have so many accidents. But for millions of years, the planets are travelling in their orbits around the sun, that too at greater speeds without any accidents. This is just a simple example of how perfect the Lord's creation is." In this regard, there is a story of a traveller who walks all day long. On his way, he comes across many trees, bushes, etc. He saw how a thin pumpkin creeper was bearing many large size fruits. At noontime, he decided to rest below a banyan tree. When he lied down below its shade, he noticed the fruits in the tree. They were very small in size. He wondered - "How foolish is the creator? He has kept such a small fruit on a big tree and a big fruit on a small creeper!" Filled with these thoughts, he just dozed off. After some time he woke up as, by the force of the wind, fruits started falling on his face. Then he realised his mistake and thanked God - "Had it been a big fruit like the pumpkin, I would have been hurt badly. Indeed, my dear Lord, You are always perfect in Your creation!"
In order to ingrain the importance of this shloka in our minds, Maharaj has insisted that all the students in Sri Prahlad International School in Rajkot, recite this shloka as a part of their daily assembly prayers along with the translation.
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 Gurudeva,
Wellington, New Zealand
Moderator's Note: Sriman Anand Prabhu is a wonderful devotee living in Wellington with his good wife Vasundhara Mataji and two wonderful young daughters Mrunal and Sharvari. He works as a Project Manager in IT field, still amidst his busy schedule takes time to serve in the Wellington ISKCON temple. He looks after the Tulsi Maharanis in the temple and also leads the book distribution service. He, along with a few other devotees distributed 9 sets of Srimad Bhagavatam on Janmashtami. Mataji is a homemaker, takes care of her children, and also does various services in the temple like making garlands for the deities.
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