Transcendental Ornaments - Part 7

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. We will continue to meditate further on the Lord’s ornaments.

6. Ornaments are eternal (nitya):
In the material world, actually ornaments are usually made to order according to the size and taste of the individuals. Sometimes they are melted and converted into gold coins or into other ornaments. The ornaments we wear do not accompany us beyond this life time. Even within this lifetime, we do not wear the ornaments throughout the life. At the time of death, all ornaments are removed before the body is buried or cremated. While giving the bath, his/her relatives ensure that all the jewels are removed. Even in the case of rich persons who possess lot of assets in the form of gold, platinum and jewellery, the jewels are removed. In rare cases, the body is burnt with minimum jewels and the people in crematorium take it. And even if they don’t take it, the jewels just burn with the body and the person who left the body cannot take any jewels with him/her even if they own kilos of jewellery during their life. This is because our body which we decorate with ornaments is itself temporary and not eternal. But in the case of the Supreme Lord, His transcendental form is eternal and hence all the ornaments that decorate His form are also eternal. Even when the material creation is completely destroyed, the Lord’s form, qualities and spiritual abode exists eternally. From Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.36, we see that before the creation of the material universe, Brahmaji did severe penance and saw the Lord’s form. That form was decorated with ornaments as follows.

evaṁ sahasra-vadanāṅghri-śiraḥ-karoru-
nāsādya-karṇa-nayanābharaṇāyudhāḍhyam
māyāmayaṁ sad-upalakṣita-sanniveśaṁ
dṛṣṭvā mahā-puruṣam āpa mudaṁ viriñcaḥ

Lord Brahmā could then see You possessing thousands and thousands of faces, feet, heads, hands, thighs, noses, ears and eyes. You were very nicely dressed, being decorated and bedecked with varieties of ornaments and weapons. Seeing You in the form of Lord Viṣṇu, Your symptoms and form being transcendental, Your legs extending from the lower planets, Lord Brahmā achieved transcendental bliss.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada mentions in the purport of SB 2.9.33, “Brahmā is factually seeing face to face his predominator Lord, who exists in His transcendental eternal form, even after the annihilation of the material creation. The form of the Lord, as seen by Brahmā, existed before the creation of Brahmā, and the material manifestation with all the ingredients and agents of material creation are also energetic expansions of the Lord, and after the exhibition of the Lord’s energy comes to a close, what remains is the same Personality of Godhead. Therefore the form of the Lord exists in all circumstances of creation, maintenance and annihilation… Śrīdhara Svāmī explains this in his notes: “During the annihilation of the creation, who serves the Lord lying on the Śeṣa, etc.” This means that the transcendental Lord with all His name, fame, quality and paraphernalia exists eternally.”

The Lord’s paraphernalia include His attire, ornaments, weapons etc., So from the above sloka and experience of Brahmaji, we can see that the Lord’s ornaments are eternal and beyond the creation and annihilation of this material world. Also when the Lord appears in this world in various incarnation such as Rama, Narasimha, Trivikrama etc., the Lord appears with His attire, ornaments and weapons. Similarly while disappearing from this material world, the Lord does not die like mortals like us. He disappears in His self-same form along with all ornaments, attire. Thus the Lord’s attire and ornaments are eternal. The below sloka from Garuda purana confirms that the Lord’s decorations (ornaments and attire) are eternal (sat).

ānandapūrṇa nakhapūrṇa sukeśapūrṇa
lomādipūrṇa guṇapūrṇa sughoṇapūrṇa 
vakṣaḥ sthalaṃ tava vibhostu viśālabhūtaṃ
sadbhūṣaṇaṃ vimalakaustubhaśobhi lakṣmyā

O lord, full of bliss, equipped with nails which are complete, hair which is complete and nose etc which are all complete, complete in all qualities, Your chest wide and shining with brilliant Kaustubha gem with eternal decorations (ornaments and attire) and the company of Lakshmi (Garuda purana 318.53)

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