Lessons from Great Personalities - Part 6

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble pranams! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!

This is in conclusion of this series summarizing a few of the points from the wonderful lecture spoken by H.G. Svayam Sphurathy Krishna das prabhuhighlighting the messages we learn from some of the great personalities appearing in the third canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. In this posting we shall see theone quality which is common in all the five great personalities and that is their compassion for all the living entities. The definition of compassion is -a strong desire to mitigate the suffering of someone and that desire is a sustained desire. We shall see how these five great personalities manifested thisquality of compassion.

1. Lord Sankarshana:
We saw that Lord Sankarshana was meditating upon the Supreme Lord and when the four Sanat kumaras came before Him being inquisitive to know, for the sake of the advancement of the great learned sages, He slightly opened His lotus like eyes and began to speak. The Lord knew that the Kumaras had come from the highest planet down to the lowest region through the water of the Ganges and the hair on their heads was wet because of that. When the Lord saw that they have come from such a distance to know about the Supreme Lord, Lord Sankarshana became very compassionate and started speaking, not caring for His own meditation.

2. Controlling deities of the physical elements:
The controlling deities of the physical elements , in their prayers to the Lord request the Lord to enlighten them regarding the ways and means by whichthey can offer the Lord all enjoyable grains and commodities so that both the demigods and all other living entities in this world can maintain themselves without disturbance. The demigods in the service of the Lord supply the necessities of life to the living entities and thus are very much compassionate.

3.Lord Brahma
Lord Brahma after having the darshan of the Lord started praying to the Lord for creative energy and the very first verse he speaks is from Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.1

brahmovāca
jñāto ’si me ’dya sucirān nanu deha-bhājāṁ
na jñāyate bhagavato gatir ity avadyam
nānyat tvad asti bhagavann api tan na śuddhaṁ
māyā-guṇa-vyatikarād yad urur vibhāsi

Lord Brahma said: O my Lord, today, after many, many years of penance, I have come to know about You. Oh, how unfortunate the embodied living entities are that they are unable to know Your personality! My Lord, You are the only knowable object because there is nothing supreme beyond You. If there is anything supposedly superior to You, it is not the Absolute. You exist as the Supreme by exhibiting the creative energy of matter.

Here we can see the compassion overflowing in the heart of Brahmaji about the unfortunate living entities who are unable to know the Lord. Again we see that in his prayers in SB 3.9.8 Brahmaji is expressing his pity and he is greatly aggrieved seeing the material miseries of the conditioned souls. SrilaPrabhupada writes in the purport - A pure devotee of the Lord like Brahma and persons in his disciplic succession are always unhappy to see the perplexitiesof the conditioned souls, who are suffering the onslaughts of the threefold miseries which pertain to the body and mind, to the disturbances of materialnature, and to many other such material disadvantages. Unless the devotees of the Lord take pity on these suffering conditioned souls and teach them theright path, their lives are hopeless failures. The devotees of the Lord who voluntarily take the responsibility of raising the foolish materialistic senseenjoyers are as confidential to the Lord as Lord Brahma.

3. Shri Uddhava
Although Uddhava was very much attached to the Lord and wanted to accompany the Lord to the spiritual abode, he accepted the instructions of the Lord andcontinued to remain in the material world to preach the message of the Lord. Anybody who preaches the message of the Lord is exhibiting his compassion so that all the living entities who are undergoing unsurpassable miseries in the material world may come to the safe shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

4. Sage Maitreya
We can see that Sage Maitreya preached with great enthusiasm to Vidura. We could see that while giving instructions, the Lord was especially favorable to Uddhava and He did not pay much attention to Maitreya, but Maitreya did not mind this and understood things in the right perspective and he disseminated theknowledge and this shows his compassion not considering his own personal honor.

5. Mahatma Vidura
Vidura’s compassion was extraordinary. Even though he was insulted and driven out by Duryodhana, and Dhrtarashtra also accepted the line of action followedby his son, Vidura remained a sincere well wisher of Dhrtarashtra. At the last stage of Dhrtarashtra’s life, it was Vidura only who proved to be his real friend. He personally went to preach to Dhrtarashtra. Such is the behaviour and compassion of a Vaishnava like Vidura. He desires all good, even for hisenemies.

We can all see the unlimited compassion of Srila Prabhupada who traveled to the West in his advanced age to preach the message of the Lord, leaving hisbeloved Vrindavana and also woke up in the middle of the night to write the transcendental literatures so that generations can study them and be guided inthe right direction. Our beloved Guru Maharaj is a perfect example of this quality. Whenever the devotees travel to go and have the darshan of Maharaj healways makes it a point to welcome them warmly, take care of their comforts and then impart the supreme knowledge. We all know the many instances when Guru Maharaj at his advanced age, came personally to the railway station in Rajkot to receive the disciples. When Maharaj was in Bhaktivedanta hospital, Mumbaiin January 2010, just a few days before his disappearance, undergoing severe physical discomforts, many disciples from all over the world went to havedarshan of Maharaj. At that time, Maharaj not considering his own difficulties very lovingly enquired about where the devotees are staying and havingprasadam. Then Maharaj was repeatedly speaking the verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.40

tvam apy adabhra-śruta viśrutaṁ vibhoḥ
samāpyate yena vidāṁ bubhutsitam
prākhyāhi duḥkhair muhur arditātmanāṁ
saṅkleśa-nirvāṇam uśanti nānyathā

Please, therefore, describe the Almighty Lord’s activities which you have learned by your vast knowledge of the Vedas, for that will satisfy the hankerings of great learned men and at the same time mitigate the miseries of the masses of common people who are always suffering from material pangs. Indeed, there is no other way to get out of such miseries.

Our humble obeisances at the lotus feet of all these Vaishnavas and we pray to them that we also be blessed with at least a few of these qualities so that our life becomes successful.

Thank you very much,
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi,
Abu Dhabi.