Pleasing Krishna - Part 18

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 prayed for the opportunity to hear about Krishna's glories in the association of  pure devotees. Now we shall see further.

18. Aspire to Serve: The effect of good chanting and hearing of Krishna katha is that we would feel more and more enthused and eager to serve Lord and His devotees. Prthu Maharaj in his prayers to Lord Vishnu sought for benediction of hearing the Lord's glories in the association of pure devotees. Then he goes on to express his earnest desire to serve Lord's lotus feet. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.20.27 he very nicely says,

athābhaje tvākhila-pūruṣottamaṁ
guṇālayaṁ padma-kareva lālasaḥ
apy āvayor eka-pati-spṛdhoḥ kalir
na syāt kṛta-tvac-caraṇaika-tānayoḥ

Now I wish to engage in the service of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and to serve just like the goddess of fortune, who carries a lotus flower in her hand, because His Lordship, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities. I am afraid that the goddess of fortune and I would quarrel because both of us would be attentively engaged in the same service.

In the above verse Prthu Maharaj is nicely glorifying the Lord as  '

akhila-pūruṣottama - the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord of the entire creation. He is the best enjoyer. guṇālayam - the reservoir of all transcendental qualities. 

The word 'lālasaḥ' in the above verse is also worth meditating. Srila Prabhupada has translated it as "being desirous." Just like how goddess of fortune although always situated on Lord's chest, is desirous or eager to serve the Lord's lotus feet, here in we find Prthu Maharaj is also eagerly desiring to serve the Lord's lotus feet. This eagerness is a very good sign. This word lālasaḥ reminds us of the word laulyam which means to be greedy to serve. Srila Prabhupada very nicely says in his lectures, "Greedy for Kṛṣṇa. Tatra laulyam eka laulyam. To get Kṛṣṇa, you have only one price = to become greedy for Kṛṣṇa." His Divine Grace says, "Laulyam, to advance in spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the value is only strong eagerness, laulyam, that "I must finish this business in this life to understand Kṛṣṇa."

We should not mistake that Prthu Maharaj is trying to compete with Mother Lakshmi. In the material world when two people are engaged in same service, then there is lot of room for competition, envy etc. In our childhood we might heard of the story of  old father and his greedy sons. In order to get big portion of the property, and to make a show of taking care of the father, started pulling the father's body when he was lying on the death-bed. So instead of serving the father, they could give him only more pain. But in case of Prthu Maharaj's desire to serve the Lord's lotus feet, His Divine Grace very nicely explains in the purport to verse 4.20.27 as to how it is above all material modes. 

Pṛthu Mahārāja desired to serve the Lord with the goddess of fortune, but this desire does not mean that he was situated on the platform of mādhurya-rasa. The goddess of fortune is engaged in the service of the Lord in the rasa of mādhurya, conjugal love. Although her position is on the chest of the Lord, the goddess of fortune, in her position as a devotee, takes pleasure in serving the lotus feet of the Lord. Pṛthu Mahārāja was thinking only of the lotus feet of the Lord because he is on the platform of dāsya-rasa, or servitorship of the Lord. From the next verse we learn that Pṛthu Mahārāja was thinking of the goddess of fortune as the universal mother, jagan-mātā. Consequently there was no question of his competing with her on the platform of mādhurya-rasa. Nonetheless he feared that she might take offense at his engaging in the service of the Lord. This suggests that in the absolute world there is sometimes competition between servitors in the service of the Lord, but such competition is without malice. In the Vaikuṇṭha worlds if a devotee excels in the service of the Lord, others do not become envious of his excellent service but rather aspire to come to the platform of that service.

May we remember this good lesson from Prthu Maharaj that when we meet other devotees, we can aspire to serve like them - but should not perspire out of anger or envy.

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