Transcendental Ornaments - Part 5

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

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Transcendental Ornaments" wherein we started meditating on the unique qualities of the Lord’s ornaments as explained by Acharya Ramanuja in his great prayer Saranagati gadyam. The Lord’s transcendental ornaments which decorate His transcendental form are infinitely wonderful ananta āścarya

5. Infinitely wonderful (ananta āścarya):
Since the ornaments of the Lord are transcendental, they are wonderful compared with the ornaments and the beauty of this material nature. In Bhagavad Gita, the Lord demonstrated this while showing the universal form to Arjuna. The universal form was decorated with many ornaments. The Bhagavad Gita (11.10) uses the term “aneka divya abharanam”. One meaning of “divya” is transcendental and Srila Viswanatha Chakravarthi Thakura gives the meaning of divya as ‘wonderful”. So anekadivyaabharanam means variegated and wonderful transcendental ornaments. The Lord’s form is called as full of wonders because of His form, His ornaments, His attire, and  His garlands. In Srimad Bhagavad Gita 11.11 we see sarvāścarya-mayaṁ devam anantaṁ viśvato-mukham - All was wondrous, brilliant, unlimited, all-expanding.

The Lord’s ornaments are wonderful in many ways. Two important aspects of this wonder are

1. His ornaments are so wonderful that they mock the beauty of nature which wonders everyone.
2. They are beyond the restrictions of size and space.

We will meditate on these two aspects below.

a. Mocks the beauty of nature:- From the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.8.24 we see the below sloka glorifying the Lord’s decorated beauty.

prekṣāṁ kṣipantaṁ haritopalādreḥ
sandhyābhra-nīver uru-rukma-mūrdhnaḥ
ratnodadhārauṣadhi-saumanasya
vana-srajo veṇu-bhujāṅghripāṅghreḥ

The lustre of the transcendental body of the Lord mocked the beauty of the coral mountain. The coral mountain is very beautifully dressed by the evening sky, but the yellow dress of the Lord mocked its beauty. There is gold on the summit of the mountain, but the Lord’s helmet, bedecked with jewels, mocked it. The mountain’s waterfalls, herbs, etc., with a panorama of flowers, seem like garlands, but the Lord’s gigantic body, and His hands and legs, decorated with jewels, pearls, tulasi leaves and flower garlands, mocked the scene on the mountain.

We often see in social media and internet where the locations of most scenic places in the various parts of the world are shared. They are not only mind blowing but they create a doubt and wonder in our mind whether such beautiful places exist on this planet. In the higher planets, the standard of beauty is much higher. But when compared with the beauty of the Lord, this natural beauty which wonders a common man, looks ordinary. A best scenic picture we can imagine is given in the above verse i.e. view of a coral mountain dressed by evening sky and with golden summit and waterfalls. Here the Bhagavatam says how the Lord’s form, attire and ornaments mock the beauty of nature. 

People while going for long drive in the car and tours, have the habit of stopping at scenic view points and enjoy the nature. Enjoying and appreciating the beauty of nature is also appreciation of the Lord’s beauty but in an indirect way. But one who is directly attracted by the Lord’s beauty, sees all the beauty of this world as reflection of God’s beauty. Srila Prabhupada explains in the commentary, “The panoramic beauty of nature, which strikes one with wonder, may be taken as a perverted reflection of the transcendental body of the Lord. One who is therefore attracted by the beauty of the Lord is no longer attracted by the beauty of material nature, although he does not minimize its beauty. In Bhagavad-gītā (2.59) it is described that one who is attracted by param, the Supreme, is no longer attracted by anything inferior”.

Krishna willing we shall see more on the various aspects of the Lord’s ornaments in the ensuing offerings. 

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