Pleasing Krishna - Part 14

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 the loving dealings between Prthu Maharaj and Lord Vishnu. Now we shall see further.

Understanding that just having darshan of Lord alone is not sufficient, Prthu Maharaj then began to offer nice prayers. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.20.23 Prthur Maharaj began to offer nice prayers.

pṛthur uvāca
varān vibho tvad varadeśvarād budhaḥ
kathaṁ vṛṇīte guṇa-vikriyātmanām
ye nārakāṇām api santi dehināṁ
tān īśa kaivalya-pate vṛṇe na ca

My dear Lord, You are the best of the demigods who can offer benedictions. Why, therefore, should any learned person ask You for benedictions meant for living entities bewildered by the modes of nature? Such benedictions are available automatically, even in the lives of living entities suffering in hellish conditions. My dear Lord, You can certainly bestow merging into Your existence, but I do not wish to have such a benediction.

 In the above verse the Lord is addressed as 

1) vibho — my dear Supreme Lord
2) vara-da-īśvarāt — from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the highest of the bestowers of benedictions
3) īśa — O Supreme Lord
4) kaivalya-pate — O bestower of merging in the existence of the Lord

Krishna being the Supreme Personality of God is glorified as "Varadaraja"  -King of all those who can give benedictions. Normally when we approach Lord with prayers, we seek His benedictions. Different types of people wish for different kind of benedictions. Karmis or those who are engaged in fruitive activities may hanker for benedictions which will entangle one more and more in the cycle of birth and death. Jnanis might hanker for merging with Supreme etc. But such benedictions are not of the highest order. So Prthu Maharaj prays that although these are benedictions which Lord can very easily bestow, he is not interested in such kinds of benedictions. 

In Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.18 Narada Muni also says to Vyasadev

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ
kālena sarvatra gabhīra-raṁhasā

Persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet [Brahmaloka] down to the lowest planet [Pātāla]. As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them. 

Since happiness and distress are bound to come even for those who are living in hellish planets, as per nature's accord, one need not specifically seek the Lord for the same. So what sort of benediction does a devotee want? Devotee always prays to Lord to keep oneself always engaged in devotional service, irrespective of the external condition. Our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj also quotes nice prayer offered by devotees of the Lord.

anāyāsena maraṇam vinā dainyena jīvanam
dehi me krpayā kṛṣṇa tvayi bhaktim acancalām 

Please bestow us instant death (so that we don't become burden to others). May we not be dependent on others for our maintenance and as long as we are alive, may we always be engaged in uninterrupted devotional service unto Your lotus feet. 

To be engaged in the service of the Lord is the greatest benediction and devotees do not hanker for any other benediction. So Prthu Maharaj in the above prayer makes it very clear that although Lord is supremely powerful to bestow any kind of material benediction, there is no point in seeking such benedictions for it will keep us bewildered and entangled in the three modes of material nature. 

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