Offering Obeisances with Body - Part 8

24th Oct 2014
Narahari Krishna das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled "Offering Obeisances with Body".  We have been meditating on the glories of offering obeisances to the Lord and His devotees. Now let us continue further.

5. Offering obeisances is the method of surrender: This is the method advised by all great authorities such as devotees and sages for all living entities. In previous offering, we saw that one should surrender to the Lord by offering obeisances when we encounter a bewildering situation /suffering. But is very easily said than done. This is because when we are bewildered or suffering, sometimes we tend to go away from the Lord and we tend to think that only bhakti is causing all the problems in life. Or sometimes we wrongly think that the Lord is testing us and that is why we are suffering and hence become angry with Him. And sometimes our rebellious mind tells us that we can put an end to all suffering by leaving spiritual life. With all these thoughts we will not be able to offer obeisance to the Lord on our own, as we are not elevated like Mother Yashoda. In these circumstances, great devotees show that the association of devotees helps a lot and their guidance inspire us to offer obeisance to the Lord even in the most trying circumstances. This is because the devotees always practice bhakti by glorifying the Lord and offering obeisances as stated below in Bhagavad Gita and they can guide us in doing the same.

BG 9.14
satataṁ kirtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā nitya-yuktā upāsate

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.

When we associate with them, they will guide and inspire us in difficult situations to continue bhakti. This can be seen in the lives of Pandavas. When their kingdom and property was taken away and they were sent to forest, Maharaja Yudhishtira met many saintly persons and Rshis in the forest. To every single one of them he asked the question, "I am following the path of dharma and I am suffering and Duryodhana and his allies are following adharma and they are living in prosperity. This frustrates and bewilders me. What should I do now?" Each of the sages gave a different explanation for Pandava's sufferings such as destiny, time etc. But when they were asked, "What I should do now?", they all gave a single answer which is surrender to the Lord. Finally they met sage Markandeya and all the sages advised the Pandavas to take his advice. The great sage also gave his explanation of why Pandavas suffered and he also explained in great detail the Lord's greatness and concluded his speech by stating,

Mahabharata, Aranya Parva, 161-55
sarveshaameva lokaanaam / pitaa maataa ca maadhavah
gacchadhvameenam sharanam sharanyam purusharshabhaah  

Madhava is both the father and the mother of all the worlds. Oh, the best of men, seek refuge under that Saviour by surrendering to Him.

As sincere devotees, all the Pandavas immediately executed that advice by bowing down to the Lord as stated below:

Mahabharata Aranya Parva, 161-56
evamuktaashrayah paarthaa / yamau ca bharatarshabha
draupadyaa sahaatah sarve /  namashcakruh janaardanam 

When Markandeya gave them this advice, the three sons of Kunti and the twins, Oh the best of the Bharatas, immediately offered obeisances to Janardana along with Draupadi.

So if we have the association of devotees who can understand our problems and who are concerned about us, then by the strength of their mercy we can continue our bhakti and offer obeisances in all circumstances.  

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