Offering Obeisances with Body - Part 2

Offering Obeisances with Body - Part 2

Date
Author
Narahari Krishna Dasa

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Mathajis,

Please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled "Offering Obeisances with Body". Let us continue to meditate further on this topic.

1. Seeking forgivance by offering obeisances: One can offer obeisances to the Lord with his body by falling in front of the deity of the Lord. It is said that one should fall in front of the Lord, devatas, spiritual master and exalted personalities like a rod. When a rod is made to stand, it will just fall flat without considering time, place and situation. Offering obeisances like this is called 'Dandavat pranams'. (Danda-rod, vat-like). Offering obeisance is also one of the ways to ask forgiveness for our offenses. We also see that when a person offends another person and realizes his mistake, sometimes the offender falls at the feet of the person whom he offended and asks for forgiveness. This is considered a very effective way of asking forgiveness.

In case of the relation between the Supreme Lord and us, our offenses to the Lord are unlimited. For many many life times we have turned away from Him and neglected Him. But however by the mercy of His devotees, we have received the seed of devotional service. Even after taking to bhakti, people like me do not realize the value of it and take devotional service for granted. We take the association and shelter of spiritual master as granted. When we chant the holy names we take the holy names for granted and this results in inattentiveness in chanting and commit lot of offenses. Same mentality extends to all forms of devotional service. The best way to seek forgiveness for all this is done by offering obeisance to the deity/picture and also pray for the sincerity so that we will not commit offenses. This attitude is shown by Arjuna when the Lord showed the universal form. Arjuna asked for forgiveness for taking the Lord for granted without knowing the Lord’s glories and treated Him like an ordinary friend. He says in Bhagavad Gita verse 11.44

tasmaat pranamya pranidhaaya kaayam
prasaadaye tvaam aham isham idyam
piteva putrasya sakheva sakhyuh
priyah priyaayaarhasi deva sodhum 

"You are the Supreme Lord, to be worshiped by every living being. Thus I fall down to offer You my respectful obeisances and ask Your mercy. As a father tolerates the impudence of his son, or a friend tolerates the impertinence of a friend, or a wife tolerates the familiarity of her partner, please tolerate the wrongs I may have done You."

Krishna willing we shall meditate further on this topic in the subsequent offering.

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