The All Munificent Purushottama - Part 2

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, "The All Munificient Purushottama". In the previous offering we saw how the Supreme Lord lowers Himself for the elevation and auspiciousness of others and hence called Purushottama or Uttama Purusha.

The Lord demonstrated this quality in His various incarnations. In fact, the very reason for the Lord to appear in this material world is for the benefit of all living entities. The Lord’s spiritual form cannot be seen by our eyes. But in His incarnations, He makes His darshan available to common man also, so that they can see Him and get purified. He is omniscient but He accepts spiritual master like Vasishta, Sandeepani to teach us the same. He descends from the spiritual world so that we ascend from this material world to the spiritual world. So the title Purushottama is applicable to all of the Lord’s incarnations and Brahmaji states this in Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.19

tirya-manuya-vibudhādiu jīva-yoniv
ātmecchayātma-kta-setu-parīpsayā ya
reme nirasta-viayo ’py avaruddha-dehas
tasmai namo bhagavate puruottamāya

O my Lord, by Your own will You appear in the various species of living entities, among animals lower than human beings, as well as among the demigods, to perform Your transcendental pastimes. You are not affected by material contamination. You come just to fulfil the obligations of Your own principles of religion, and therefore, O Supreme Personality, I offer my obeisances unto You for manifesting such different forms.

There are many ways in which the Lord apparently lowers His position for the auspiciousness of all living entities during His incarnation. By hearing about His incarnations one can attain spiritual elevation and eventually pure love of God which is the perfection of human existence.

  1. Though He is the Supreme shelter of everyone, He (as Matsya Moorthi),  takes shelter of Satyavrata to protect the earth and saintly persons.
  2. Though the Lord's spiritual form is worthy of meditation by sages, the Lord  (as Kurma) agreed to hold the Mandara mountain on His back for the benefit of all.
  3. Though He is object of all glorification, He (as Lord Varaha) is willing to take words of abuse from demons like Hiranyaksha to save the earth.
  4. Though He is independent in choosing His place of appearance, He (as Nrsimhadeva) appeared from pillar shown by HIranyakasipu (a demon) to honour the words of Prahlada Maharaj.
  5. Though He is the master of all opulences, He (as Vamana),  chooses to beg from Bali Maharaj for the sake of the devatas.
  6. Though He is undefeatable, He (as Parasurama) agrees to be defeated by Bhishma to protect Bhishma’s promise.
  7. Though He is the Supreme Controller, He is willing to take position of messenger, charioteer, night watchman for Pandavas. 
  8. Though He is all worshipable, He (as Rishabha) accepts all verbal and physical abuse to teach the path of yoga to humanity at large.
  9.  Though the Lord is full of bliss and knowledge, He exhibits emotions such as ignorance and anxiety (as Vyasadeva) to teach us many things by His personal example.
  10. Though He is unborn(having no material birth), He (as Kapila) is born from the semen of Kardama Muni to give glory to Kardama and Devahuti.'
  11. Though He is full in Himself He (as archa vigraha) accepts all offerings made even by fallen people like us so that we can advance spiritually.

Thus the Lord voluntarily lowers His position for the sake of His pure devotees and in giving teachings to all living entities for their welfare. So in the Padma purana the Lord is glorified as Purushottama since He incarnates in various forms for the benefit of His devotees.

jātyādibhirasaspṛṣṭa sadā dhyeyo'si tattvata
tathā vibhedarūpeṇ
a bhaktānāmanukapayā
matsyakūrmādirūpeṇ
a dśyase puruṣottama

You are not touched by the miseries of birth etc., You are the one to be always meditated upon. Due to compassion for devotees, You manifest forms like Matsya, Kurma etc, O Purushottama.

We will meditate on the above pastimes in the coming offerings, Krishna willing.

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