Pleasing Krishna - Part 12

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, "Pleasing Krishna" wherein we were meditating on the pastime of the appearance of Lord Vishnu in the sacrificial arena of Prthu Maharaj. In the previous offering we saw how Prthu Maharaj vould detain the Lord by his good behaviour. Now we shall see further.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.20.21 Maitreya Muni describe how Prthu Mahra

sa ādi-rājo racitāñjalir hariṁ
vilokituṁ nāśakad aśru-locanaḥ
na kiñcanovāca sa bāṣpa-viklavo
hṛdopaguhyāmum adhād avasthitaḥ

The original king, Mahārāja Pṛthu, his eyes full of tears and his voice faltering and choked up, could neither see the Lord very distinctly nor speak to address the Lord in any way. He simply embraced the Lord within his heart and remained standing in that way with folded hands.

In the above verse Prthu Maharaj is described as ādi-rājā - the original king. Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions in the purport to the above verse, "Just as Kṛṣṇa is addressed in the Brahma-saṁhitā as ādi-puruṣa, the original personality, so King Pṛthu, being an empowered incarnation of the Lord, is referred to in this verse as ādi-rājaḥ, the original or ideal king."

So what are the characteristics of ideal king? Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita

śauryaṁ tejo dhṛtir dākṣyaṁ yuddhe cāpy apalāyanam
dānam īśvara-bhāvaś ca kṣātraṁ karma svabhāva-jam

Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the kṣatriyas.

Prthu Maharaj not only possessed these qualities of kshatriya, but He was also great devotee of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada nicely mentions his glories which makes him an ideal king or ādi-rājā

1. He was a great devotee
2. He was a great hero who conquered over all undesirable elements in his kingdom.
3. He was so powerful that he was equal in fighting to Indra, the King of heaven.
4. He gave protection to his citizens, keeping them engaged in pious activities and devotion to the Lord.
5. He did not collect a single cent of taxes from the citizens without being able to give them protection from all calamities.
6. Not only was he Krishna conscious - but he gave this gift to all his citizens as well

The greatest calamity in life is to become godless and therefore sinful. If the state head or king allows the citizens to become sinful by indulging in illicit sex life, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling, then the king is responsible, and he has to suffer the resultant sequence of reactions for the sinful lives of the citizens because he levies taxes on them unnecessarily. These are the principles for a ruling power, and because Mahārāja Pṛthu observed all the principles for a ruling chief, he is referred to here as ādi-rājaḥ.

Then Srila Prabhupada goes on to explain how bhakti is unconditional and not restricted to any varna or ashrama. As long as one surrenders to Supreme Lord and makes the Lord's mission as his life's mission, then one can please Supreme Lord. Lord loves to reclaim all the suffering souls back to Godhead and Prthu Maharaj by helping his citizens to take up the process of bhakti, he could please Supreme Lord. His Divine Grace very nicely says, "Even a responsible king like Mahārāja Pṛthu can become a pure devotee of the first order."

And when one practises such pure devotional service, then they experience the true symptoms of transcendental esctacy as mentioned in the above verse. On the other hand if the ruler himself is Godless and therefore unable to guide the subjects in the path of devotional service, then society becomes very chaotic. 

So just like how Prthu Maharaj was a ideal king, according to whatever varna and ashrama, Lord has placed us, we must try to follow His instructions and thereby please Him.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.