Transcendental Ornaments - Part 8

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.

7. Flawless and object of meditation (niravadhya):- 
The Lord's ornaments are flawless in nature. There are two kinds of flaws - gross and subtle. Gross flaws in the jewels and diamonds are cracks, deformities in the jewels. People take lot of care in jewel selection to avoid these flaws. But there is subtle flaw associated with all the jewels of the world which cannot be avoided. All the jewels of this world are made of gold, silver, diamond etc, which are all extracted from earth and gems like pearls which are obtained for ocean.  And in all these processes, lot of hardships, exploitation and suffering of various persons involved. So the jewels made out of such materials are always tainted with some sinful contamination. Also all jewels of this world have a basic problem i.e. they are tainted by the three modes of nature. So they are not fit for meditation by yogis and devotees who aspire for spiritual advancement. But in case of the Lord’s ornaments, since they are not made of the elements of this material world, they are free from all above flaws. So they are fit for meditation by all spiritual aspirants. Because they are free from material contamination, they can purify the meditator also from all contamination. So whenever scriptures recommend meditation on the Lord’s form, it is always inclusive of His paraphernalia such as weapons, ornaments, dress etc., One who is perfected in his penance and invokes the grace of the Lord, he can see the all decorated form of the Lord. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.4 as follows. 

paśyanty ado rūpam adabhra-cakṣuṣā

The devotees, with their perfect eyes, see the transcendental form of the puruṣa who has thousands of legs, thighs, arms and faces — all extraordinary. In that body there are thousands of heads, ears, eyes and noses. They are decorated with thousands of helmets and glowing earrings and are adorned with garlands. 

Here we see that the devotees/yogis with perfect vision see the Lord with helmets, earrings and attire. One such practical example in Bhagavatam is Kardama muni. We see that at the order of Lord Brahma to beget children, Kardama Muni practiced penance on the bank of the river Sarasvatī for a period of ten thousand years and propitiated the Personality of Godhead and had His darshan. Kardama Muni saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His eternal form, which is flawless being free from all material contamination (virajam) and effulgent like the sun. The Lord was clad in spotless yellow silk and adorned with a crown and earrings and the Kaustubha gem suspended from His neck. The form is glorified as ‘virajam’ (SB 3.21.9) which means it is free from all material contamination. Not only His form, but also His attire (virajah ambaram - SB 3.21.10), ornaments and other decorations are also free from all material inebrieties. Srila Prabhupada states in the commentary of the verse 3.21.11 “The decorations of the Lord are beyond material conception, as admitted even by impersonalists like Śaṅkarācārya: Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has nothing to do with the material creation. The varieties of the transcendental Lord — His body, His form, His dress, His instruction, His words — are not manufactured by the material energy, but are all confirmed in the Vedic literature.”

So seeing them requires qualification of penance and God’s grace. The following sloka from Garuda purana (3,7.55) states the humble prayer of the great sage Angiras who prays to the Lord’s mercy to have darshan of His transcendental form decorated with all His ornaments. 

draṣṭuṃ na śaknomi tava svarūpaṃ hyanantabāhūdaramastakaṃ ca
anantasāhasrakirīṭajuṣṭaṃ mahārhanānābharaṇaiśca śobhitam

O lord, due to want of penance, I do not see Your form possessed of many arms, bellies and foreheads, adorned with thousands of crowns and other precious ornaments.

For people like us who do not have the power to meditate on the Lord’s form, the Lord manifests in His deity form. And when the ornaments made of the material elements in this world are used to decorate the Lord in His deity form, they also become flawless like the spiritual jewels on the Lord’s form and hence fit for contemplation. Srila Prabhupada states in purport of SB 6.8.32-33 “The Lord is omnipotent and omniscient, and similarly, His name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and everything pertaining to Him are complete, pure, eternal and free from material contamination.” 

Thus the Lord’s jewels are flawless and ideal for meditation. 

Krishna willing, we shall see other aspects of the transcendental ornaments in the next offering.

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

Moderator's Note: Wishing you all a blissful Radhashtami.