Offering Obeisances with Body - Part 9

Offering Obeisances with Body - Part 9

Date
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Narahari Krishna Dasa

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

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

This is in conclusion 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 in various circumstances. In this concluding offering, we will see that offering obeisances to the Lord is the activity done by all elevated personalities and perfected devotees to express their love and surrender when they see the Lord in person in His different manifestations. By this act, they also proclaim to the world, that the Lord is worshipable by all. So offering obeisances is not an activity done during practice of devotional service alone. It is done when we become perfect in devotion and see the Lord and also serve Him in the spiritual world. It is an eternal activity for all living entities. Also the Lord says in Bhagavad Gita that the goal of all Vedas is understand and love Him and surrender to Him. Bowing down to the Lord is an expression of our surrender. And the pranava (Om) is the essence of all the Vedas. The meaning of pravana is nicely stated in (Atharva Sikha up) as follows.

sarvan pranan paramatmani pranamayati etasmaad pranavah 

"Om is called Pranava because instructs and makes all the living entities to bow down before the Supreme Lord (Paramatma)".

So the essence of all Vedas is to offer obeisances to the Lord by bowing down before Him and great devotees have demonstrated this. In Bhagavad Gita, we see that when the Lord displayed His universal form to Arjuna, Arjuna saw the all perfected beings, sages and devatas were bowing down to the Lord. He offered His obeisances and said, "sarve namasyanti ca siddha-sanghaah" - "All perfected beings are offering homage to you". He also states, "O great one, greater even than Brahma, You are the original creator. Why then should they not offer their respectful obeisances unto You?"(11.37)

Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport, "By this offering of obeisances, Arjuna indicates that Krishna is worshipable by everyone…. Arjuna also thought that it was fitting that all the perfect living entities and powerful demigods offer their respectful obeisances unto Him, because no one is greater than Him…Therefore Brahma and Lord Shiva, who is born of Brahma, and all other demigods must offer their respectful obeisances." From Bhagavata purana we learn that the first thing done by all devotees when they see Him in person is to offer all obeisances. In this regard, it is said about Dhruva Maharaja, "When Dhruva Maharaja saw his Lord just in front of him, he was greatly agitated and offered Him obeisances and respect. He fell flat before Him like a rod and became absorbed in love of Godhead.(4.9.3)" Another example was the great devotee Prahlada Maharaj. After Bhagavan Narasimha appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu, all  different personalities offered their prayers and still the Lord's anger did not subside. Finally they asked Prahalad Maharaj to pacify the Lord. The first act done by Prahalada was to fall at the Lord's feet and this greatly pleased Bhagavan Narasimha and He blessed Prahlad by placing His hand on his head. The Bhagavata purana verse 7.9.4 and 5 states this as follows.

tatheti shanakai raajan / mahaa bhaagavato 'rbhakah
upetya bhuvi kaayena / nanaama vidhrtaanjalih

sva paada mule patitam tam arbhakam
vilokya devah krpayaa pariplutah
utthaapya tac chirshny adadhaat karaambujam
kaalaahi vitrasta dhiyaam krtaabhayam

Narada Muni continued, "O King, although the exalted devotee Prahlada Maharaja was only a little boy, he accepted Lord Brahma's words. He gradually proceeded toward Lord Nrsimhadeva and fell down to offer his respectful obeisances with folded hands. When Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva saw the small boy Prahlada Maharaja prostrated at the soles of His lotus feet, He became most ecstatic in affection toward His devotee."

So let us all follow in the steps of all these great devotees and bow down to the Lord and His devotees in submission. When we do this regularly when our body is fit, the Lord is very pleased and guides us to make our surrender perfect and takes us out of this material world as confirmed in the following sloka. (Ahirbudhnya Samhita).

namaskaaraatmakam yasmai vidayaatma nivedanam
tyakta dhukokilaan kaamaan aashnu te tam namaamyaham

"I bow to the Lord Nrsimha to whom, having surrendered his self which is expressed by bowing down with all humility, a man gets rid of all his suffering and enjoys all his spiritual desires.

Thank you very much.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna Dasa,

Chennai.