an excerpt from
"Prayers Of King Kulasekhara"
An unpublished manuscript
sri vallabheti varadeti dayapareti
natheti nagasayaneti jagannivasety
alapanam pratipadam kuru me mukunda
sri vallabha—very dear to Laksmi (the consort of Godhead);iti—thus; dayapara—causelessly merciful; iti—thus; bhakta-priya—very dear to the devotees; iti—thus; bhava—repetition of birth and death; lunthana—plundering; kovida—expert; iti—thus;natha—the Lord; iti—thus; naga-sayana—one who sleeps on the serpent bed; iti—thus; jagat-nivasa—resort of the cosmos; iti—thus; alapanam—constant reciter; pratipadam—beginning; kuru—please do it; me—unto me; mukunda—O Mukunda, my Lord.
O Mukunda, my Lord! Please enable me to constantly recite Your names, addressing You as very dear to Laksmi, as the endower of benediction, causelessly merciful, very dear to devotees, expert in plundering the status quo of repeated birth and death, and as the resort of the cosmos, the real Lord who lies down on the serpent bed.
A devotee of Godhead is he who glorifies the Personality of Godhead under the dictation of transcendental ecstasy. This ecstasy is a by-product of profound love for the Supreme which is attained by the process of glorification. In this age of quarrel and fighting, the process of chanting and glorification recommended here by King Kulasekhara is the only proper way to attain perfection Diseased persons who are infected by material attachment and who suffer from the pangs of repeated birth and death cannot realize the effect of such recitation of the glories of the Lord, just as a person suffering from jaundice cannot relish the taste of sugar candy. To a patient suffering from jaundice, sugar candy tastes utterly bitter, although by its nature it is sweet. However, sugar candy is the only medicine which cures jaundice. By regular treatment with doses of sugar candy one can gradually get relief from the infection of jaundice, and when the patient is perfectly cured the same sugar candy naturally becomes sweet to him.
Similarly, mundane philosophers, religionists and people in general who are constantly suffering from the threefold miseries of material existence can get freedom from all such troubles simply by chanting and glorifying the holy name, fame, etc., of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord, the Absolute Truth, is all spirit, and therefore His name, fame, etc., are nondifferent from Him. All of them are identical. The holy name of the Lord is the Lord Himself, and this can be understood by realization. By chanting the holy names of the Lord, which are innumerable, one can actually personally associate with the Lord, and by such constant personal touch with the all-spiritual Lord, one can become spiritually self-realized. This process of self-realization is very suitable for the fallen souls of this age, when life is short and people are slow in understanding the importance of spiritual realization, prone to be misled by false association and by false spiritual masters, unfortunate in every respect, and continuously disturbed by the infection of variegated material problems.
King Kulasekhara, who was an ideal pure devotee of the Lord, shows us by his own realization the way to offer prayers to the Lord. Since he is a mahajana, or an authority in the line of devotional activities, it is our prime duty to follow in his footsteps in order to achieve the highest devotional platform.
He first addresses the Lord as the very dear Lord of Laksmi. The Lord is the spiritual Personality of Godhead, and His consort, Laksmi, is the manifestation of His internal potency. By expanding His internal potency, the Lord enjoys His spiritual paraphernalia. In the highest spiritual realization, therefore, the Lord is not impersonal or void, as empiric philosophers misconceive Him to be. He is not of this material world, but He is not simply a negation of material variegatedness. He is positively the supreme enjoyer of spiritual variegatedness, of which Laksmi, the internal potency, is the fountainhead.
The Lord is next addressed as Varada because it is He only who can deliver substantiality. When we detach ourselves from His association, we are always in the midst of want and scarcity, but as soon as we get in touch with Him, the gradual process of endowment of all bliss begins. The first installment of such bliss is the clearance of the layer of dust which has accumulated in our hearts due to hundreds of thousands of years of material association. As soon as the dust is brushed aside, the clear mirror of the heart reflects the presence of the Lord, and as soon as we see Him we are automatically freed from all kinds of aspirations and frustrations. In that liberated state, everything is blissful in relation with the Lord, and one has no desires and nothing for which to lament. Thus, following this benediction, full spiritual bliss comes upon us, ushering in full knowledge, full life and full satisfaction with all existence.
The Lord is addressed as Dayapara because there is no one but the Lord who can be a causelessly merciful friend to us. He is therefore called the friend of the needy. Unfortunately at times of need we seek our friends in the mundane world, not knowing that one needy man cannot help another. No mundane man thinks himself full in every respect; indeed, even a man of the greatest riches thinks himself needy. This is because he is devoid of a relationship with the Lord. Everything is zero without the Lord, who is the digit which transforms zero into ten, two zeros into one hundred, three zeros into one thousand, etc. A zero man cannot become a happy man without the association of the Supreme One. The Supreme One always wants to make our zero efforts valuable by His association, just as a loving father by all means wants an unhappy son to be in a prosperous position. A rebellious son, however, stubbornly refuses the cooperation of the loving father and thus suffers all sorts of miseries. The Lord, therefore, not only sends His bona fide representatives to all parts of the material creation, but He sometimes even comes Himself to reclaim His fallen sons. For this purpose He also exhibits the actual life in the transcendental world, which is characterized by relationships with Him in servitorship, friendship, parenthood and consorthood. All relationships in the material world are but perverted reflections of these original reciprocations. In the mundane world we enjoy only the shadow of the reality which exists in the spiritual world. The Lord is so merciful that He is always mindful of our difficulties in the mundane world, and He is actually more anxious to get us to return home, back to Godhead, than we are anxious to go. He is by nature merciful toward us, despite our rebellious attitude. Even in our rebellious condition, we get all supplies from Him, including food, air, light, warmth, coolness, etc. Yet because we are detached from Him, we simply mismanage this paternal property which is so needed for our life. Despite their plans, the leaders of society are misleaders because they have no plan to revive our lost relationship with the Lord. His bona fide devotees, however, try their utmost to retrieve the fallen souls and bring them back home, back to Godhead. Such stainless servants of Godhead who try to broadcast the message of our transcendental relation with Him are very dear to Him. They receive such special favor from the Lord for their compassionate work that they can even go back to Godhead in this very lifetime and not be forced to take another birth.
The Lord is therefore specifically addressed as bhaktapriya, or very affectionate to His devotees. The sublime and transcendental relationship between a devotee and the Lord in terms of affectionate loving service to the Lord is very nicely described in Bhagavad-gita,where the Lord has declared that although He is undoubtedly equally kind to all living beings because all of them are His parts and parcels and His spiritual sons, those who are especially attached to Him by love and affection are particularly dear to Him because nothing is dearer to them than the Lord. Indeed, Lord Jesus Christ agreed to be mercilessly crucified rather than give up preaching on behalf of God. He was never prepared to compromise on the issue of believing in God. Such a son of God cannot be other than dear to the Lord. Similarly, Thakura Haridasa, when advised to give up the chanting of the holy name of God, refused to do so at the risk of being flogged in twenty-two markets in the open street, and Prahlada Maharaja voluntarily accepted the cruelties committed against him by his mundane father, the great atheist Hiranyakasipu, for disagreeing with his views. These are some of the great examples of the renowned devotees of the world, and we should simply try to understand how dear such devotees are to the Lord. The Lord has therefore emphatically declared that no one can vanquish His devotee under any circumstances. Sometimes, even at the risk of many stumbling blocks, a devotee relinquishes all family connections and homely comforts for the Lord's service. The Lord cannot forget all these sacrifices of His bona fide devotee at any moment because the relationship is reciprocal, as clearly defined in Bhagavad-gita.When the great mystic Durvasa deliberately attempted to take the life of Ambarisa Maharaja, he was suitably punished by the Lord, even though Durvasa was a powerful yogi who in his natural body could approach all the demigods and even the Lord Himself.
A devotee is never as anxious to see the Lord as he is to render service to Him. Yet the Lord Himself appears before the devotee, for He is more anxious to see him, just as an affectionate father is more anxious to see his son than the son is to see his father. There is no contradiction in such a quantitative difference in affection. It exists in the original reality and is reflected here not only in the minds of mundane parents in human society but even in the animal kingdom. Paternal affection is exhibited even among lower animals because originally such affection in its fullness exists in God, who is the original father of all species of living beings. When an animal is killed by a man, God, the affectionate father, is perturbed and is pained at heart. Thus, the slaughterer of the animal is suitably punished by the material energy, just as a murderer is punished by a king through police action.
By the mercy of the Lord a devotee develops all the good qualities of God, for a devotee can never remain in the darkness of ignorance. A father is always anxious to impart knowledge and experience to his son, and it is the choice of the son whether to accept such instructions. A submissive devotee is automatically enlightened in all the intricacies of knowledge because the Lord from within dissipates his ignorance with the light of self-illumination. If the Lord Himself instructs a devotee, how can a devotee remain a foolish person like a mundane wrangler? A father is naturally inclined to act for the good of his son, and when the father chastises his son, that chastisement is also mixed with affection. Similarly, all living entities who have lost paradise due to disobedience are put into the hands of material energy to undergo a prison life of threefold miseries, yet the Supreme Father does not forget the rebellious sons. He creates scriptures for them like the Vedas and Puranas in order to revive their lost relationship and awaken their divine consciousness. Intelligent persons take advantage of the knowledge contained in these scriptures and thus attain the highest perfection of life.
The Lord descends personally for His devotees to give them relief and save them from miscreants. It is foolish to impose the limits of an ordinary living being upon the unlimited potency of Godhead by obstinately maintaining that the Supreme Lord cannot descend. For the sake of His devotees He descends as He is, yet He is not infected by material qualities.
As soon as a devotee agrees to surrender unto Him, the Lord takes complete charge of Him. Being satisfied with the activities of such a devotee, He gives him instruction from within, and thus a pure devotee progressively advances on the path back to Godhead. The Lord is expert in guiding such a pure devotee who is not at all anxious for material superiority. A pure devotee does not wish to possess material wealth, nor does he want to have a great following, nor does he desire to have gold or a beautiful wife, for by the mercy of the Lord he knows the insignificance of material happiness. What he very sincerely desires at heart is to continue in the loving service of the Lord, even at the risk of repetition of birth.
When a neophyte devotee deviates from the path of devotion and wants to enjoy sense gratification, the all-merciful Lord very tactfully corrects the bewildered devotee by exhibiting before him the real picture of this material world. In the material world, love and affection are covered by an illusory curtain of mercenary relationships. The so-called wives and husbands, parents and children, and masters and servants are all concerned with reciprocal moneymaking business. As soon as the shroud is removed, the dead body of material lusty affection is at once manifest to the naked eye. The Lord therefore deals expertly with the devotee by depriving him of his capitalistic assets, and thus the devotee finds himself alone in the midst of his so-called relatives. In this helpless condition, he can experience the awkwardness of his so-called relationships with his so-called wife and children. When a man is financially ruined, no one loves him, not even his wife or children. Such a seemingly poverty-stricken devotee more perfectly fixes his faith in the Lord, and the Lord then delivers him from the fate of frustration.
The entire cosmic creation is an expert arrangement of delusion for the living being who is a false enjoyer. The living being is instinctively a servant of the Lord, but in the transcendental relationship the servant and the Lord are also identical, for the Lord also serves the servant. The typical example is Sri Krsna's becoming the charioteer of His eternal servant Arjuna. Illusioned mundaners cannot understand this transcendental identity and therefore want to lord it over material nature or cynically merge with the Absolute. A living being who is forgetful of his constitutional position either wants to become a lord or a mendicant, but such illusions are arrangements of maya. False life either as a lord or a mendicant meets with frustration until the living being comes to his senses. This is due to an expert arrangement to put a full stop to repeated birth and death. A sensible man understands this fact and thus molds his life in the right direction.
The Lord is therefore addressed as Natha, or the real Lord. One can attain the perfection of life only by realizing the real Lord. The entire material atmosphere is surcharged with the unreal lordship of the living beings. The illusioned beings struggle for false lordship, and no one wants to serve. Everyone wants to be the lord, even though such lordship is conditional and temporary. A hardworking man thinks himself the lord of his family and estate, but actually he is a servant of desire and employee of anger. Such service of the senses is neither pensionable nor terminable, for desire and anger are masters which are never to be satisfied.
The more one serves them, the more service they exact, and as such the false overlordship continues until the day of annihilation. As a result, the foolish living being is pushed into degraded life and fails to realize the Lord as the Lord of the universe, friend of all entities and beneficiary of all. One who knows the real Lord is called abrahmana, but one who fails to know Him is called a krpana, or number one miser.
The Lord of the creative energy is called Anantasayana. The material energy is impregnated by the glance of this feature of the Lord and is then able to give birth to all organic and inorganic matter. The Anantasayana sleeps on the bed of Sesanaga, who has a form like a serpent but is identical with the Lord. By His spiritual energy the Sesanaga sustains all the globes and planets upon His invisible hood, which is popularly known as Sankarsana, or "that which keeps balance by magnetic law." In the scientific world this feature of the Lord is referred to as the law of gravitation, but factually this law, which keeps all the planets and satellites floating in the air, is one of the energies of the Lord. Due to this function the Lord is celebrated by a name indicating that He is the supreme resort of all the universes. All the universes are born with the exhalation of the Lord as He lies on the Sesanaga, and all of them are annihilated with his inhalation. The Lord is therefore called Jagannivasa, or the cosmic sustainer.
There are hundreds of thousands of other names of Lord Visnu, and each one of them is as powerful as the Lord Himself. One can constantly chant any one of such names of the Lord and thereby constantly associate with Him. There are no hard and fast rules for chanting such names. At any time and any stage of life one can freely chant them, but we are so unfortunate that we are too misled even to adopt this simple process. This is the way of the misleading energy. However, one can avoid her ways simply by adherence to the lotus feet of the Lord. King Kulasekhara prays for this facility from Mukunda, the Lord. [to be continued]