Prayer Means Glorification - Part 6

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

This is in continuation of the previous mails 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 Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.23.

4.What is our real opulence?In the last mail it was mentioned that it is our right to glorify the Lord and when we exercise this right, the Lord becomes very pleased. Devaki prabhu gave the example of Jatayu in this regard. Jatayu was very old when he fought with Ravana. When he saw that Sita matha was taken forcibly, Jatayu tried to rescue her. He knew it was going to be a losing battle. But defeat was not important for him. His fight was his glorification of Lord Rama. He never thought that I am going to save Sita maata. He thought ‘I am an instrument of the Lord and my duty is to glorify Lord Rama and fight for Him.’ One shift in attitude can cause all the difference in devotional service. The moment we think ‘I am here to protect, to fight’, we have lost the point. We remember what Lord Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavad Gita 11.33

tasmāt tvam uttiṣṭha yaśo labhasva
jitvā śatrūn bhuṅkṣva rājyaṁ samṛddham
mayaivaite nihatāḥ pūrvam eva
nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savya-sācin

Therefore get up. Prepare to fight and win glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They are already put to death by My arrangement, and you, O Savyasaaci, can be but an instrument in the fight.

When Krishna said that all these soldiers have been killed by Me, Arjuna started wondering, ‘If everybody is killed by Krishna, then what am I supposed to do?’. Then Krishna says, ‘You become My instrument. Nimitta maatram. Fight on My behalf to glorify Me’ and very significantly He addresses Arjuna as ‘savyasaachi’ meaning one who is expert in discharging arrows. Krishna is mocking Arjuna in one way. ‘O great person who can do wonderful things with arrow! By the way, I have killed every one.’ What a transcendental humour? What Krishna is telling is that, you may be a savyasaachi but this power is coming from Me. In the first canto fifteenth chapter Arjuna laments the departure of Krishna in 1.15.21

tad vai dhanus ta iṣavaḥ sa ratho hayās te
so ’haṁ rathī nṛpatayo yata ānamanti
sarvaṁ kṣaṇena tad abhūd asad īśa-riktaṁ
bhasman hutaṁ kuhaka-rāddham ivoptam ūṣyām

I have the very same Gaandivaa bow, the same arrows, the same chariot drawn by the same horses, and I use them as the same Arjuna to whom all the kings offered their due respects. But in the absence of Lord Krishna, all of them, at a moment’s notice, have become null and void. It is exactly like offering clarified butter on ashes, accumulating money with a magic wand or sowing seeds on barren land.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 1.15.5 - "The power and energy which were bestowed upon Arjuna were required for fulfillment of the mission of the Lord, but when His mission was fulfilled, the emergency powers were withdrawn from Arjuna because the astounding powers of Arjuna, which were astonishing even to the denizens of heaven, were no longer required, and they were not meant for going back home, back to Godhead. If endowment of powers and withdrawal of powers by the Lord are possible even for a great devotee like Arjuna, or even the demigods in heaven, then what to speak of the ordinary living beings who are but figs compared to such great souls. The lesson is, therefore, that no one should be puffed up for his powers borrowed from the Lord. The sane man should rather feel obliged to the Lord for such benefactions and must utilize such power for the service of the Lord. Such power can be withdrawn at any time by the Lord, so the best use of such power and opulence is to engage them in the service of the Lord."

Otherwise Arjuna is a person who could fight with Lord Shiva for Paashupata astra and they had to come to a draw. The same Arjuna could not even protect the queens of Dwaraka when they were looted by the dacoits. If Arjuna can become an instrument, then who are we and what are we? What are we trying to achieve by thinking that we are the ones running the programs, we are the ones dictating and we are the reason the program is purified. The program is non different from Krishna. The program runs itself. All arrangements are made and no one should claim supremacy.

Continuing the example of Jatayu, he gave a good fight to Ravana but Ravana was too strong and he chopped off the wings of Jatayu. And Jatayu fell wounded. Lord Rama came there and He recognized Jatayu and Jatayu explained that he tried very hard and did whatever he could in glorification of Lord Rama but he failed and he requested the Lord that he be forgiven for his failure. Lord Rama became so touched by the wondrous sacrifice, the attitude and mood of Jatayu that the acharyas tell us that Lord Rama put Jatayu’s head on His lap and He said the very famous words, ‘Today the grief of losing you is greater than the grief of losing Sita.' Because Jatayu wanted to glorify Lord Rama, the effect of one who properly glorifies Krishna in the mood of a humble devotee under the parampara is seen by how Lord Rama treated Jatayu. He performed the funeral rites for Jatyau, like a son doing for his father. Who would do this? Why He was pleased is because there was glorification of the Lord and that was the only reason for Jatayu’s service.

Srimad Bhagavatam says in the second verse of the first canto that "As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhaagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart." The pre condition is that we must have completely rejected all the religious activities that are materially motivated. Then the hearing of Bhagavatam results in culture of knowledge. Then the behaviour of a Bhagavataa will manifest tat kshanaat - without delay. Whatever material problems, it is gone because we do not turn to anything else other than Srimad Bhagavatam. A devotee who follows in the footsteps of Jatayu to glorify Krishna and not any other reason, two things will happen.

1. You will come for the program very peacefully.
2. Every devotee will love to take your association because your focus is on Krishna. There is nothing else. You are here for Krishna. Just serve the devotee establishing a proper relationship bordering solely on the point of what can we do to glorify Krishna.

When you have this attitude, Maharaj says you will have the qualification to pray like Brahmaji 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.’ Here we have to notice the word ‘may be able to give up’. If he says ‘I will’ it is again false ego. Only thing we should say is ‘Krishna willing’.

We should thus have the desire to glorify the Lord with determination. Determination is our property and if we have that, everything will come automatically without separate endeavor. Everything will fall in place and behaviour will change for the better. This mood is very beautifully expressed in the following prayer by Srila Madhavendra puri.

mugdhaṁ māṁ nigadantu nīti-nipuṇā bhrāntaṁ muhur vaidikāḥ
mandaṁ bāndhava-sañcayā jaḍa-dhiyaṁ muktādarāḥ sodarāḥ
unmattaṁ dhanino viveka-caturāḥ kāmam mahā-dāmbhikam
moktuṁ na kṣāmate manāg api mano govinda-pāda-spṛhām

Let the sharp moralist accuse me of being illusioned; I do not mind. Experts in Vedic activities may slander me as being misled, friends and relatives may call me frustrated, my brothers may call me a fool, the wealthy mammonites may point me out as mad, and the learned philosophers may assert that I am much too proud; still my mind does not budge an inch from the determination to serve the lotus feet of Govinda, though I be unable to do it.

Krishna willing, the conclusions on this wonderful prayer, very nicely explained by H.G. Devakinandan prabhu shall be posted in the next mail.

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