The Glorious Damodara - Part 6

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

In the previous offerings we saw the different meanings of the word 'Damodara' and the qualities revealed by the Lord. In this final offering, we will try to see two special lessons from this lila which are uniquely described in the Bhagavata purana alone.

The Damodara lila is described in other scriptures like Hari Vamsa, an extension of Mahabharata and Vishnu purāna also. But those descriptions explain only the great power of the Lord in uprooting the two trees. They do not describe the liberation of Nalakuvera and Manigrīva and their indirect favour by Narada Muni. They also do not talk about the great endeavor of Mother Yashoda in chasing the Lord and binding Him. Only Bhagavata purāna reveals the sweetness of the Damodara lila.

1. The Lord is bhrtya vaśyatā - controlled by His devotees:

SB 10.9.19
evaṁ sandarśitā hy aṅga hariṇā bhṛtya-vaśyatā
sva-vaśenāpi kṛṣṇena yasyedaṁ seśvaraṁ vaśe

O Maharaja Parikshit, this entire universe, with its great, exalted demigods like Lord Siva, Lord Brahma and Lord Indra, is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet the Supreme Lord has one transcendental attribute: He comes under the control of His devotees. This was now exhibited by Krishna in this pastime.

Srila Prabhupada mentions in the commentary,"In the Upanishads it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead can run with more speed than the mind, but here we see that although Krishna wanted to avoid being arrested by His mother, He was finally defeated, and mother Yashoda captured Him...Krishna is served by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune. Nonetheless, He steals butter like one who is poverty-stricken. Yamaraja, the controller of all living entities, fears the order of Krishna, yet Krishna is afraid of His mother's stick. These contradictions cannot be understood by one who is not a devotee, but a devotee can understand how powerful is unalloyed devotional service to Krishna; it is so powerful that Krishna can be controlled by an unalloyed devotee.This bhrtya-vaśyatā does not mean that He is under the control of the servant; rather, He is under the control of the servant's pure love." 

The Lord being the Supreme Absolute Truth controls the entire material and spiritual worlds and everyone is under His subjugation. But sometimes He also want to be controlled by some one. And that person should be a pure devotee of the Lord. The Lord also exhibited His subservience to Arjuna by becoming His chariot driver. So He is bhrtya vaśyatā.

2. The Lord's mercy flows via His pure devotees: Another important lesson from this lila is that one who is favoured by a pure devotee of the Lord automatically receives the Lord's blessings without separate endeavour. Also a pure devotee's action always benefits everyone and never results in harm. This is explained by the Lord Himself to Nalakuvera and Manigrīva after they were delivered by the Lord. This is stated in the following sloka.

SB 10.10.41
śrī-bhagavān uvāca
jñātaṁ mama puraivaitad ṛṣiṇā karuṇātmanā
yac chrī-madāndhayor vāgbhir vibhraṁśo ’nugrahaḥ kṛtaḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, The great saint Narada Muni is very merciful. By his curse, he showed the greatest favor to both of you, who were mad after material opulence and who had thus become blind. Although you fell from the higher planet Svargaloka and became trees, you were most favored by him. I knew of all these incidents from the very beginning.

When one is face to face with the sun, there is no longer darkness for one's eyes. Similarly, when one is face to face with a sadhu, a devotee, who is fully determined and surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will no longer be subject to material bondage.

Srila Prabhupada explains in the commentary, "If by chance one meets a sadhu, a devotee, one's life is immediately successful, and one is freed from material bondage. It may be argued that whereas someone may receive a sadhu with great respect, someone else may not receive a sadhu with such respect. A sadhu, however, is always equipoised toward everyone. Because of being a pure devotee, a sadhu is always ready to deliver Krishna consciousness without discrimination. As soon as one sees a sadhu, one naturally becomes free. Nonetheless, persons who are too much offensive, who commit vaishnava-aparadhas, or offenses to a sadhu, will have to take some time before being rectified."

In this lila, the two sons of Kuvera were offensive to Narada Muni, inspite of his association. Nevertheless, he indirectly blessed them with a curse and by which they attained the Lord's darshan which they would not have attained even in heaven. So once we receive the shelter of a bonafide spiritual master who is a Lord's pure devotee, our achieving of Bhagavat Prema is guaranteed. However based on our offensive and lazy nature and anarthas, the attainment will be delayed. If the two sons of Kuvera had received Narada Muni properly, they would have received bhakti very quickly without becoming trees. Because of their offensive nature it was delayed. 

I pray to our beloved Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada and Lord Damodara in this auspicious month so that I'll become bit sincere in devotional service.

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