Prayer Means Glorification - Part 3

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

This is in continuation of the previous mail highlighting some of the points from the wonderful class of H.G. Devakinandan prabhu, our beloved God brother in Singapore who visited Chennai in May 2010 and gave very instructive and practical explanations on the following verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.23

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 3.9.23, Lord Brahma prays as follows

eṣa prapanna-varado ramayātma-śaktyā
yad yat kariṣyati gṛhīta-guṇāvatāraḥ
tasmin sva-vikramam idaṁ sṛjato ’pi ceto
yuñjīta karma-śamalaṁ ca yathā vijahyām

The Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, is always the benefactor of the surrendered souls. His activities are always enacted through His internal potency, Ramaa, or the goddess of fortune. I pray only to engage in His service in the creation of the material world, and I pray that I not be materially affected by my works, for thus I may be able to give up the false prestige of being the creator.

2. What should be our actual prayer ?
In the last mail it was mentioned that Brahmaji is teaching us by his example as to what our actual prayers should be. Here Lord Brahma is praying I pray only to engage in His service in the creation of the material world, and I pray that I not be materially affected by my works, for thus I may be able to give up the false prestige of being the creator.

If we go through Brahmaji’s prayers in the second canto, he prays in 2.9.29 and 30 as follows:

"Please tell me so that I may be taught in the matter by the instruction of the Personality of Godhead and may thus act instrumentally to generate living entities, without being conditioned by such activities. O my Lord, the unborn, You have shaken hands with me just as a friend does with a friend [as if equal in position]. I shall be engaged in the creation of different types of living entities, and I shall be occupied in Your service. I shall have no perturbation, but I pray that all this may not give rise to pride, as if I were the Supreme."

We should just think why should the greatest personality chant the same prayer twice? Brahmaji is so powerful that when Narada muni was created and when he saw that Brahma was creating the material creation so wonderfully, Narada was definite in the beginning that Brahma is the all in all. But it is only after one action of Brahmaji that Narada raised a doubt as to the presence a personality superior to Brahmaji. Narada saw that Brahmaji was always chanting prayers while creating, in glorification of the Lord. This shows the humility of Brahmaji. Brahma immediately directed Narada telling that he is not the all in all. When yamadutas came to Yamaraj in the episode of Ajamila, Yamaraj quickly responded saying ‘I am not taking credit for anything. All the principles of religion are only coming from the Supreme Lord.’ This shows the mood of a devotee that he never takes credit for anything. In the material world, Maharaj always says, when there is a problem we blame Krishna or someone else.

There is a nice story in Panchatantra. Once there was a Brahmana who had a very nice garden and in that garden he grew so many nice things and when everybody asked who did this, the Brahmana was very happy and he proudly proclaimed, ‘I did this. I did that. I have green fingers’ so on and so forth. So he was very happy and for everything he was taking all the credit for himself. One day a cow entered the garden and started chewing all the plants. So the Brahmana was so angry that all his hard work is being destroyed. He took a stick and started beating the cow. A Brhamana is supposed to protect the cows but now he lost all his common sense. When you take credit for everything, you lose all common sense and you start beating those persons who are showing you the constructive reason why you should not take the credit. He beat the cow until it died. The village chief summoned him and told him that he was to be hanged for the crime. The Brahmana started thinking how to get out of this problem. He though that there must be something in the scriptures to save him. The Brahmana approached the village chief and accepted that he beat the cow but he did not kill it. The village head wondered how it was possible. He started explaining, ‘you see, in the shastras it is said that each part of the body is under the control of a demigod. Thus the demigod has a higher control. I am just an instrument. So it is Indra who is to be blamed because he is the presiding deity of the hand. ‘Now word started spreading that Indra killed the cow, until it reached svargaloka and Indra got disturbed about this reverse publicity. He was wondering that he has never even seen the cow. Indra came down in the form of a small boy and walked into the garden of the Brahmana. He met the Brahmana and very much appreciated him for the beautiful garden. As usual the Brahmana started explaining how with hard endeavor he is watering and taking care of then plants. Eventually Indra got fed up and he said, ‘Stop Brahmana. For everything you are saying that your hands has done everything. But when it comes to killing the cow, it is my hand that killed and not yours. This is absolute nonsense.'

The moral we learn from this is that when things are bad, we do not stop to take the responsibility. When things are good, we cannot stop taking credit. Here we see how Brahmaji is praying that he may be able to give up the false prestige of being the creator. In one of the verses in Srimad Bhagavatam, Brahmaji gives the reason as to how he has been able to develop this mood and attitude. Krishna willing, I shall post this reason and the other explanations by Devaki prabhu in the ensuing mails.

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