Sunday, March 31, 2013

What Do Hare Krishnas Believe? Part 10: The Nature of God (9)

So what can we say about this wonderful Supreme Person? Endless things. Since He's eternal and has all power, the list of His wondrous deeds is never-ending. Plus, He has the ability to separate out endless portions of Himself, who have different percentages of His transcendental qualities. Just as a few quick examples: when He appeared as Nara-Narayana Rsis, His renunciation was exhibited, and His transcendental knowledge could be seen in the form of Kapiladeva. When He appeared as Mohini-murti, His beauty was displayed. Then sometimes He invests His superhuman power to do a particular thing within a jiva soul, and such personalities are known as saktyavesa avataras. (This is different from the mere attainment of yogic siddhis by a jiva soul; it's far more magnificent, glorious and special. Any type of avatara must be certified as authentic by the scriptural prediction of His or Her appearance and the recognition by pure, saintly souls of certain specific unmistakable symptoms of the personal presence of the Lord. In the correct system, there is no room for cheating charlatans or impostors, who can't help anyone, to set themselves up as avataras and get worshiped.) King Prthu, for example, was invested with the Lord's ability to rule; the Lord's literary abilities were invested in Srila Vyasadeva. Each of these incarnations – of the Lord Himself or of His power – has His or Her own special set of wondrous transcendental activities that go on forever and ever, which just multiplies the already mind-boggling abundance of subject matter. In Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.26, the ceaseless appearance of the Lord in multifarious glorious incarnations to the different species of life in all the numberless material universes is likened to the endless flow of waterfalls. How then can His appearances and activities even be counted, much less described?

Still, in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, a condensed list of some of the most important incarnations of the Lord and a brief summary of His activities in each of these appearances is given. Then finally, at the end, it is said: ete camsa-kala pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam – “All these others are His portions and portions of portions, but Sri Krsna is Bhagavan Himself.” So although the Lord has unlimited avataras exhibiting various levels of His opulences, His original and all-inclusive form, endowed with cent percent of all existing opulences, is Sri Gopal Krsna – the transcendentally charming prince of cowherds. In that original form He is the Rasaraja, or the fountainhead and enjoyer of all loving relationship moods and flavors. The well-known one of His being the master and others being His servants is also present in Him like it is in all forms of the Lord (i.e. there are some souls whose eternal constitutional position is to serve their Lord Gopal Krsna with reverence), but in addition to that, Sri Krsna exhibits more intimate relationships such as close informal friendship (as if between equals) with His incalculably fortunate cowherd-boy companions, the sweet and tender child-parent relationship between Him and those devotees who have a strongly protective mood toward Him, and conjugal relationships with those who have an intense romantic attraction toward Him. ALL the forms of the Lord are included within Him. He's the most complete and irresistibly attractive form of God.

But He also likes to take other forms according to the special tastes that various devotees of His yearn to enjoy. Some of His devotees appreciate the flavor of His pastimes as Lord Ramacandra most of all; some long to behold Him as peaceful four-armed Narayana, adorable Vamanadeva, or thrillingly ferocious Nrsimhadeva. Just like an actor who is the same person no matter what costume he may appear in, in each one of these eternal forms (which each have their own particular sets of associates, pastimes, and purifying holy names based thereupon), He is still the same HARI. And in each one of these unlimited varieties of forms, Lord Hari presides over a designated eternal, self-effulgent Vaikuntha planet within the spiritual sky, populated with all those never-endingly blissful spirit souls who find it their natural propensity to serve Him in that particular form of His. Goloka Vrndavana (where Sri Gopal Krsna resides) and Navadvipa-dhama (the realm of Lord Caitanya) are His topmost holy abodes, followed by Mathura-dhama, Dvaraka-dhama, and Ayodhya-dhama. Beneath these, all the other brilliant Vaikuntha planets spread out limitlessly.

The narrations of the names, pastimes and qualities of all the forms of the Lord and His devoted servants, besides being very interesting, are so purifying that in a very short time of hearing offenselessly, we will begin to experience our natural state of intoxicatingly sweet attraction to Him, and corresponding fearlessness of this world. Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.31.9 (the famous tava kathamrtam verse from the songs of the gopis) was translated by Srila Prabhupada as follows in Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 14.13:

“My Lord, the nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those who are always aggrieved in this material world. These narrations are transmitted by exalted personalities, and they eradicate all sinful reactions. Whoever hears these narrations attains all good fortune. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Those who spread the message of Godhead are certainly the most munificent welfare workers.”

All glory to the Supreme Lord and His associates for enacting all these nectarean pastimes! All glory to the bhurida janah, those most munificent welfare workers who broadcast the topics of Lord Hari and His devotees! And all glory to the punya-sravana-kirtanah, the hearing and chanting of that purifying subject matter!

Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam! 

No comments:

Post a Comment