Offering Obeisances with Body - Part 4

Offering Obeisances with Body - Part 4

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". We have been meditating on seeking forgivance by offering obeisances to the Lord and His devotees. Now we shall continue further.

2. Offering obeisances is beginning of devotional service: The Lord states in Bhagavad Gita (9.34) the one should offer obeisance to Him as follows. 

man manaa bhava mad bhaktau / mad yaaji maam namaskuru
maam evaishyasi yuktvaivam / aatmaanam mat paraayanah

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

The same instruction is repeated in 18.65 again where the Lord states "maam namaskuru" to emphasize the importance. Srila Prabhupada explains in the commentary, "There are hundreds of thousands of temples in India for the worship of Krishna, and devotional service is practiced there. When such practice is made, one has to offer obeisance to Krishna. One should lower his head before the Deity and engage his mind, his body, his activities — everything. That will make one fully absorbed in Krishna without deviation."

The following incident from the life of Srila Prabhupada explains how offering obeisances, even unintentionally, pleases the Lord and we make a beginning in the path of devotional service. 

Once Srila Prabhupada was translating books in his room in a temple abroad. At that time a person fully drunk entered the temple. He smelled obnoxious and could not even walk properly because of heavy drinking. Devotees in the temple were annoyed by this and they went to Srila Prabhupada and told him, "Prabhupada, a drunkard fully drunk has entered the temple. What shall we do?" Srila Prabhupada's eyes became bright and said, "Is it? Good!!!" The devotees were shocked at this reply. By this time, the person came inside and stood in front of the deity. One more devotee complained, "Prabhupada, that fellow is now standing in front of the deity". Srila Prabhupda said, "Oh it is very good. He is taking darshan also." The devotees were more shocked at this reply. By this time, that person fell down because of instability due to over-drinking. One more devotee came and complained to Prabhupada, "That person fell down in front of the deities." Srila Prabhupada became very happy and said, "Wonderful!!! that means he has offered obeisance also." Then the devotees asked, "Prabhupada, that person fell in front of the deities because he was unstable due to drinking and not for offering obeisances." Srila Prabhupada explained, "Yes. But even though he fell down because of instability, Krishna will take it that he has offered obeisances and give His blessings for beginning his bhakti."

Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate more on this topic in the subsequent offering.

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

Narahari Krishna dasa,

Chennai.