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, "Surrender unto His Lotus Feet" wherein we were meditating on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.6.7 and about elephant king Gajendra surrendering to Lord's lotus feet when being attacked by crocodile in the lake. In the last offering we saw the verse 8.3.11 wherein Gajendra offers his obeisances unto the Lord Who is Master of the transcendental world, bestower of uncontaminated happiness and Who could be reached or understood only by pure devotional service
Now we shall see next prayer.
namaḥ śāntāya ghorāya
namo jñāna-ghanāya ca
I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Vāsudeva, who is all-pervading, to the Lord’s fierce form as Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, to the Lord’s form as an animal [Lord Varāhadeva], to Lord Dattātreya, who preached impersonalism, to Lord Buddha, and to all the other incarnations. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has no material qualities but who accepts the three qualities goodness, passion and ignorance within this material world. I also offer my respectful obeisances unto the impersonal Brahman effulgence.
Srila Prabhupada mentions in the purport that in the previous verses Gajendra said that Lord has no material form, but He takes different forms for the pleasure of His devotees, to protect them from demons. So in this prayer we find Gajendra offering his obeisances to the different forms of the Lord's incarnations.
Gajendra offers his obeisances to the Lord Who is
1. śāntāya — unto Him who is above all material qualities and completely peaceful, or unto Vāsudeva, the Supersoul in every living entity;
In the pastime of Bhrgu Muni testing the Lordships Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu to see Who has goodness in full, we see that even when kicked by Bhrgu Muni, Lord Vishnu remained unagitated. Instead of becoming angry or upset with Bhrgu Muni, He asked for forgivance for not having received him properly and Lord offered obeisances to him and touched his feet to relieve the pain that he might hav experienced due to kicking Lord's chest.
We lose our peace and patience - even when we are slightly offended by others - either mentally or verbally. But here we find how Lord is the embodiment of all peace. That's why He is glorified as śāntākāram. In Krishna book Srila Prabhupada writes, "Small lamps may be agitated by a slight breeze, but the greatest lamp or the greatest illuminating source, the sun, is never moved, even by the greatest hurricane. One’s greatness has to be estimated by one’s ability to tolerate provoking situations. The sages gathered on the bank of the river Sarasvati concluded that one who wants actual peace and freedom from all fear should take shelter of the lotus feet of Vishnu"
So Gajendra also understood that Lord alone is the only shelter who can save him from the clutches of crocodile.
2. ghorāya - unto the fierce forms of the Lord like Jāmadagnya and Nṛsiṁhadeva; For demons, the ferocious forms of the Lord make them fearful. But for devotees all forms of Lord are equally relishable for they know that Lord is transcendental in every form. In case of Prahlad Maharaj we see that he was never afraid to go near Lord Narasimhadev.
3. mūḍhāya - the form of the Lord as an animal, such as the boar; When Lord takes various forms like Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Hayagriva, Narasimha - there is no decrease in His potency or Supremacy. By His sweet will and to protect His dear devotee, Lord never hesitates to take any form in this material world.
4. guṇa-dharmiṇe - who accepts different qualities within the material world;
5. nirviśeṣāya - who is without material qualities, being fully spiritual
6. sāmyāya - Lord Buddha, the form of nirvāṇa, wherein the material qualities stop.
7. jñāna-ghanāya ca - who is knowledge or the impersonal Brahman
Krishna willing we shall meditate further on this topic in the subsequent offering.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva
Sudarshana devi dasi
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