The All Munificent Purushottama - Part 17

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" wherein we were meditating on the various incarnations of the Lord and how specifically the Lord manifested His quality of being a Purushottama.

Archa Vigraha as Purushottama: Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport of Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.17  "In our present state of imperfect material existence, we cannot see the Supreme Lord due to imperfect vision. Yet those devotees who want to see Him by means of material vision are favoured by the Lord, who appears in a so-called material form to accept His devotees' service…They are factually worshiping the Lord, who has agreed to appear before them in an approachable way. The archa-vigraha is an incarnation of the Lord in a form appreciable by a devotee."

The archa avatara can be rightly called as Purushottama because the Lord lowers His position in many ways so that the devotees can worship Him in this form and attain spiritual elevation.

  • Though the Lord is Supremely Independent, in His archa form He becomes fully dependant on the priest and devotees. As per legal rules related to temples, the deity is considered as minor i.e. one who is aged less than 18 years and hence dependant on its parents or guardians.
  • Though He is beyond hunger abode of all tastes, He accepts our insignificant bhoga offerings.
  • Though He is abode of all fragrances, He accepts our insignificant offering of flowers.
  • Though He is bearer of all universes, He agrees Himself to be carried by His devotees in ratha yatra and processions so that everyone gets a chance for His darshan.
  • Though He is source of all effulgence, He accepts the offering of insignificant lamps from devotees.
  • Though He is all powerful, He becomes buried in earth and requests His devotees to rescue Him as if He is unable to come out.
  • Though He is the Supreme Protector of all living entities, He remains under the protection of His devotees in His archa form.
  • Though His form is invisible to eyes made of flesh, He makes Himself visible to all without any previous qualification in His archa form.

The Lord thus apparently gives up His exalted position appears as deity form for the benefit if all living entities. And also when the deity of the adhika masa approached the Lord, Adhikamasa considered the sovereignty of the twelve months and saw that he was being slighted. He went to Vaikuntha and related his dilemma to Sri Narayana. Out of compassion, Vaikuntha-pati took Adhikamasa with Him and appeared before Sri Krishna in Goloka. After hearing about the distress of malamasa (the impure month), Sri Krishna’s heart melted and He spoke thus:” Just as I am celebrated in this world by the name Purushottama, similarly, this Adhikamasa too will be renowned in the world by the name Purushottama. Now I offer all My qualities to this month. Becoming like Me, from today onwards, this Adhikamasa is the monarch of all the other months, and is the most worshipable and most adored in the world. All other months are sakama, that is, they will grant worldly desires. This month, however, is niskama. Those who worship this month, either without any desires (akama) or with all types of desires, will have all their karmas burnt. Then they will achieve Me.“ So the Lord gave His name to this adhika maasa and offered all His qualities and benedictions. Worship of the Lord’s form is always auspicious, it is specially auspicious because the Purushottama is pleased specially in this month. This is stated as follows.

purushottama-masasya daivatam purushottamah
tasmat sampujayed bhaktya sraddhaya purushottamam

Valmiki said, “He Drdhadhanva! Purushottama Sri Krishna is the presiding deity of the Puroshottama month. Therefore, being filled with bhakti-sraddha, you should worship Purushottama Sri Krishna with sixteen types of paraphernalia every day of this month.”

Srila Prabhupada established temples all over the world and arranged for opulent deity worship so that anyone who visits the temple (even if they cannot worship at home), can see the worship of the Purushottama in the archa form and attain immense spiritual benefits. And the Lord has special incarnation in Kali Yuga to uplift all living enitities and we will see in the next offering.

Krishna willing we shall see more on this glorious quality of the Lord in the ensuing offering.

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