Attaining Unlimited Opulence - Part 1

Attaining Unlimited Opulence - Part 1

Narahari Krishna Dasa

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva. 

From the scriptures we hear that the Supreme Lord is the Possessor/Master of all opulence. There are six opulence namely wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge(material and spiritual) and renunciation and these are collectively called as ‘bhaga’. All the other opulences which we can conceive of can be subsumed into these 6 categories. Since the Lord possesses these opulences in unlimited measure, He is called ‘Bhagavan’. And also since He is the Lord of all these opulence He is called bhagesha (bhaga- opulence; isha- Lord). Because of this, He is worshipable by everyone. The shruti mantras beautifully glorify the Lord as Bhagavan as follows.

sarva disha urdhvam adhas ca tiryak
prakaashayan bhraajate yad tv anadvan
evam sa devo bhagavaan varenyo
yoni-svabhaavaan adhitishtaty ekah

"Just as the sun illuminates all directions: above, below, and across, so the Lord who is one without a second illuminates and rules over all the creation. He is full of all opulence (Bhagavan) and hence He is worshipable by all."

Everyone in the creation is looking to attain these opulence in different measures. Among these six opulence, the five opulence namely wealth, strength, fame, beauty and material knowledge are sought after by most people in general. And one is blessed with these opulence in different quantities based on one's destiny/effort. But the opulence we possess are mostly associated with the below shortcomings and so we are anxious and not happy even though we have these opulence in different measures.

1. Mostly a person cannot possess all opulence or even one of these opulence in full measure and hence it is limited. There may be someone who possess more than us. So we compare with that person and try to match up with him. 

2. Even when we match up with that person, still we see someone better than us and the loop continues as our mind never stops comparing. 

3. In this way, when we’re successful in increasing our opulence to the topmost position, still we have fear that our no. 1 spot might be taken over by someone at any time. 

4. On the other thread, the person with whom we're comparing, he compares himself with somebody else and try to become like him and hence agitated always and this vicious chain is present all over the creation. 

However in contrast, the Lord’s opulence are unlimited, never diminishing, natural to Him (in contrast to ours as we attain them by our karma) and they belong to Him eternally (not subject to fear). The Vedas themselves states this point in the Bhagavata purana: aatmanaa samavaruddha-samasta-bhagah - By Your very nature You are perfectly full in all opulence.

In general we all hanker for the first 5 opulence, but if we possess the 6th opulence, i.e., renunciation, then we will not even care for the other 5 opulence. If we cultivate the opulence of renunciation, we can be fearless in this world and at the end of life we can reach the spiritual world, where we can attain all the 6 opulence in unlimited measure which we can enjoy eternally without any fear/anxiety. This is explained by Prahlada Maharaja (SB 7.10.9) as follows. 

vimuncati yadaa kaamaan / manavo manasi sthitaan
tarhy eva pundarikaaksha / bhagavattvaaya kalpate

"O my Lord, when a human being is able to give up all the material desires in his mind, he becomes eligible to possess wealth and opulence like Yours."

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport, "Bhagavattva, becoming as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, does not mean becoming one with Him or equal to Him, although in the spiritual world the servant is equally as opulent as the master. The servant of the Lord is engaged in the service of the Lord as a servant, friend, father, mother or conjugal lover, all of whom are equally as opulent as the Lord. This is acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. The master and servant are different yet equal in opulence." 

So rather looking at others who possess these opulence in greater measure than us (but always limited and subject to fear) and comparing which results in only anxiety and frustration, if we train ourselves to connect with the Lord in relationships as His servant, friend etc, then we will be able to appreciate his opulence and develop attraction for Him. This will lead us to the perfection of devotional service eventually. 

Krishna willing, we will see how appreciating and meditating on the Lord’s opulence can lead us to the Lord and attain eternal unlimited opulence. 

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das