प्रलयस्थितिसर्गाणामेकः कारणतां गतः॥ २-६॥ कुमारसम्भवः॥
tisṛbhistvamavasthābhirmahimānamudīrayan |
pralayasthitisargāṇāmekaḥ kāraṇatāṁ gataḥ || 2-6॥ Kumarasambhava

एकः त्वम् = Existing as only one (before creation)
तिसृभिः अवस्थाभिः = with the help of 3 states
महिमानम् = greatness
उदीरयन् = showing, manifesting
प्रलय-स्थिति-सर्गाणाम् = for destruction, sustenance and creation
कारणताम् = causal factor
गतः = became
Manifesting your might by the three forms, you who existed alone before creation became the cause of the creation, protection and destruction of the worlds.

In Kumarasambhava 2nd Canto, the devas approach Lord Brahma to seek a solution for the atrocities done by Tarakasura. This sloka is one of the many slokas in praise of Lord Brahma. The greatness of Kalidasa is that he sees the brahman is all deities - Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. The advaitin that he was, Kalidasa describes Siva as the Brahman in the same canto sl. 58
 स हि देवः परं ज्योतिस्तमःपारे व्यवस्थितम्।
परिच्छिन्नप्रभावर्द्धिर्न मया न च विष्णुना॥ २-५८॥ 

and Vishnu as the cause for creation, protection and destruction of the world, in Raghuvamsa canto 10 sl. 16
नमो विश्वसृजे पूर्वं विश्वं तदनु बिभ्रते।
अथ विश्वस्य संहर्त्रे तुभ्यं त्रेधास्थितात्मने॥ १०-१६॥

नास्ति पित्रार्जितं किञ्चिन्न मया किञ्चिदार्जितम्।
अस्ति मे हस्तिशैलाग्रे वस्तु पैतामहं धनम्॥

 पित्रा = by father, आर्जितं = earned, किञ्चित् = little, नास्ति = not, मया = by me, किञ्चित् = a little, आर्जितं = earned, न=not, हस्तिशैलाग्रे = at the top of the mountain called hasthigiri, वस्तु = property, पैतामहं = earned by forefathers (brahma), धनम् = wealth , मे = for me, अस्ति = is there.

I have neither earned anything nor do I possess any ancestral wealth earned by my father. Yet, I have a great treasure which was earned by my forefathers, which is that Supreme entity residing at the top of the hastigiri – Lord Varadaraja.

I have only tried to give a very brief outline about वैराग्यपञ्चकम्. Pondering deeply on these slokas, one can unearth a wealth of knowledge. Life's lessons are best taught thro' brevity of expression.

This small set of slokas has been rendered by Srimad Andavan Sri Ranganatha Divyamani Padhuka Sevaka Sri RangaRamanuja Maha Desikan.

शरीरपतनावधि प्रभुनिषेवणापादनात् अबिन्धनधनञ्जय प्रशमदं धनं दन्धनम्।
धनञ्जयविवर्धनं धनमुदूढगोवर्धनं सुसाधनम्बाधनं सुमनसां समाराधनम्॥

अप् इन्धन = fuel of water धनञ्जय= abdominal प्रशमदम् = quenches,धनम् =wealth शरीर पतन अवधि = till the death प्रभुनिषेवण अपादनात् =by saluting the kings/masters दन्धनम् =not use(useless) विवर्धनम् =supported,धनञ्जय=Arjuna उदूढगोवर्धनं=one who lifted the govardhan mountain, सुमनसां=by noble minded, समाराधनम्=which gives happiness सुसाधनम्=good instrument अबाधनम् =cannot be destroyed(imperishable) धनम्=wealth

The wealth acquired through lifelong service to lord, which quenches the abdominal fire fueled by water is useless. But the wealth which supported Arjuna, which lifted the mountain – Govardhan, which is easily attained and is easily worshiped by the noble minded people is the one that is imperishable.

Desika shows the difference between material prosperity and spiritual felicity. The supreme goal that everybody should strive for is the Lord Krishna himself which the imperishable wealth.

दुरीश्वरद्वार बहिर्वितर्दिका दुरासिकायै रचितोऽयमञ्जलिः।
यदञ्जनाभं निरपायमस्ति मे धनञ्जयस्यन्दनभूषणं धनम्॥
यत् =why, अभञ्जन आभम् = the colour of collyrium निरपायम् =everlasting,धनञ्जय =of arjuna,स्यन्दन भूषणम् =adorned the chariot ,धनम् =wealth, दुरीश्वर= petty kings, द्वार =door, बहिर्वितर्दिका =front yard,(tatio)porch. दुरासिकायै =sitting on अयम् अञ्जलिः=this folded hand, रचितः=written.

Let my salutaion be to the cheap act of sitting on the porch of petty kings. I have that wealth which is dark like the collyrium,which is inexhustible and which adorned the chariot of arjuna.

The wealth that Desika talks of is Lord Krishna / Narayana who resides in the mind of the poet. He would rather stand at the doorstep of vaikuntha than that of kings.

ज्वलतु जलधि-क्रोड-क्रीडत्कृपीडभव-प्रभा-प्रतिभट-पटु-ज्वालामालाकुलो जठरानलः।
तृणमपि वयं सायं संफुल्लमल्लिमतल्लिका परिमलमुचा वाचा याचामहे न महीश्वरान्॥ 
जठरानलः=Jataragni, जलधिक्रोड=in the middle of the ocean, क्रीडत् = playing, कृपीडभव=vatavamukagni, प्रभा= lusture, प्रतिभट=opposite side, पटुज्वाला=flames, माला आकुलः=like a row, ज्वलतु= let burn, वयं सायं= we in the evening संफुल्ल=well bloomed, मल्लि मतल्लिका=jasmine, परिमलमुचा=with good fragrants, वाचा=words, महीश्वरान्=kings, तृणमपि=even a grass, न= never,याचामहे=beg.

There is a fire called “vatava mukaagni”( fire in the form of a horse face) in the middle of an ocean, which evaporates the water, thereby preventing it from flooding the earth. Similarly, there is a fire that burns the food in our stomach and we need to eat to feed that fire. The poet says, 'let the Jataraagni burn with many flames. Even then we will never beg, even a piece of grass, from a king. The words that praise the lord are fragrant like evening jasmine.


तावत् भयाद्धि भेतव्यं यावद्भयमनागतम् ।
आगतं तु भयं वीक्ष्य प्रहर्तव्यमभीतवत्

One has to be nervous of an impending and fearful occurrence , but once it occurs he should cease to be nervous and face it directly.

सिलं किमनलं भवेदनलमौदरम् बाधितुम् पयः प्रसृतिपूरकम् किमु न धारकम् सारसम्।
अयत्न मलमल्लकम् पथि पटच्चरम् कच्चरम् भजन्ति विबुधा मुधा ह्यहह कुक्षितः कुक्षितः॥

सिलं = plough/field
औदरं = stomach
अनलं =fire (jataraagni) / grains of different plants
बाधितुं = to subside
भवेत् किं = not enough?
प्रसृति पूरकं =hand full of
सारसं=pond water
धारकं= to sustain
किमु न =not enough?
पथि=on the way
कच्चरं =dirty
पटच्चरं =piece of cloth
मलमल्लिकं =loincloth
विबुधाः = scholars
कुक्षितः= kings/for the sake of stomach
मुधा = useless
भजन्ति हि =praising
अहह= oh alas....

Is it not enough to quench the fire of hunger with a few rice grains from the fields? Is not a handful of water from a lake enough to sustain oneself? Does not a dirty piece of cloth found on the roadside serve as a loincloth to keep one's modesty? Alas! even the wise resort to petty kings for the sake of their stomachs.

Food, water and cloth are grouped together and called "BASIC" necessities of life. If scholars who pursue knowledge for moksha resort to begging kings, what to say of common men!

नैषा परावरमतिर्भवतो ननु स्याज्जन्तोर्यथात्मसुहृदो जगतस्तथापि ।
संसेवया सुरतरोरिव ते प्रसादः सेवानुरूपमुदयो न परावरत्वम् ॥7.9.27
नैषा —not this
परावरमति: —discrimination of higher or lower
भवतो — of Your Lordship
ननु — indeed
स्यात् — there can be
जन्तोः— of ordinary living entities
यथा as
आत्मसुहृदो — of one who is the friend
जगत:— of the whole material world
तथापि — but still (there is such a demonstration of intimacy or difference)
संसेवया — according to the degree of service rendered by the devotee
सुरतरोरिव — like that of the wish-yielding tree
ते प्रसादः —Your blessing
सेवानुरूपम् — according to the category of service one renders to the Lord
उदयः— manifestation
न परावरत्वम् — not discrimination due to higher or lower levels.
Prahlada says:  O Lord, You do not have discrimination as superior and inferior, of those who seek your refuge.  You consider one and all as the same, You are everyone's friend.   Indeed You are like the wish yielding tree which just grants the wishes of the one who asks of it, without judging them.
The Prahlada stuti is truly magnificent. Each and every sloka in this stuti (43 slokas ) is a gem. The verses here are some of my favourite.
How grateful Prahlada must have been to have his torture and death-threats removed by the Lord! But to start with he never did have a doubt in his mind about being saved. He was always unperturbed just as a true ज्ञानी.

बालस्य नेह शरणं पितरौ नृसिंह नार्तस्य चागदमुदन्वति मज्जतो नौः ।
तप्तस्य तत्प्रतिविधिर्य इहाञ्जसेष्ठस्तावद् विभो तनुभृतां त्वदुपेक्षितानाम् ॥7.9.19
नृसिंह O my Lord Nṛsiḿha
न इह शरणं पितरौ — the father and mother are not shelter (protection) in this world
बालस्य — of a little child
— nor
अगदं — medicine
उदन्वति in the water of the ocean
आर्तस्य च — of a person suffering from some disease
नौः — the boat
मज्जतः — of a person who is drowning
तप्तस्य of a person suffering from a condition of material misery
तत्प्रतिविधिः— the counteraction (invented for stopping the suffering of material existence)
यः इष्टः that which is accepted (as a remedy)
इह in this material world
अञ्जसा — very easily
तावत् — similarly
विभो O my Lord, O Supreme
तनुभृताम् — of the living entities who have accepted material bodies
त्वत्-उपेक्षितानाम् — who are neglected by You and not accepted by You.
For those who are neglected by the Lord, there is indeed no refuge.  Their remedy may be temporarily beneficial but certainly of an impermanent nature.  For the parents cannot protect the child, a doctor or medicine cannot save the sick nor can a boat save the drowning man.   

नैवात्मनः प्रभुरयं निजलाभपूर्णो मानं जनादविदुषः करुणो वृणीते ।
यद्यद् जनो भगवते विदधीत मानं तच्चात्मने प्रतिमुखस्य यथा मुखश्रीः ॥7.9.11
अयं प्रभुः — this Lord
निजलाभपूर्णः — is always satisfied in Himself
करुणः —Who is so kind to the foolish, ignorant person
वृणीते — accepts
मानम् — respect
जनात् — from a person
अविदुषः — who does not know ( that the aim of life is to please the Supreme Lord)
नैव आत्मनः — not for His personal benefit
यत् यत् — whatever
जनः a person
भगवते — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead
विदधीत — may offer
मानं — worship
तत् — that indeed
आत्मने —is for his own benefit
यथा — just as
मुखश्रीः— the decoration of the face.
प्रतिमुखस्य — (shows up as )the reflection of the face in the mirror
Indeed, the Supreme benevolent God accepts the worship of his devotee for the devotee's own benefit as He does not require any thing from anybody.  Just as a beautiful decorated face in turn shows up a beautiful decorated reflection so also, devotion unto the Lord reflects itself as His manifold blessings.  

मन्ये धनाभिजनरूपतपःश्रुतौजस्तेजःप्रभावबलपौरुषबुद्धियोगाः ।
नाराधनाय हि भवन्ति परस्य पुंसो भक्त्या तुतोष भगवान् गजयूथपाय ॥7.9.9
मन्ये I think
धन— riches
अभिजन— aristocratic family
रूप— personal beauty
तपः— austerity
श्रुत— knowledge from studying the Vedas
ओज: — sensory prowess
तेजः— bodily effulgence
प्रभाव— influence
बल— bodily strength
पौरुष— diligence
बुद्धि— intelligence
योगाः — mystic power
नाराधनाय भवन्ति — are not for satisfying
परस्य पुंसो — Supreme Personality of Godhead
हि — indeed
भगवान् — the Supreme Personality of Godhead
तुतोष — was satisfied
भक्त्या — simply by devotional service
गजयूथपाय— unto the King of elephants (Gajendra).
Indeed, one's education, beauty and other superficial 'qualifications' would not please the Supreme Being.  Is not the Lord endowed with all glory, so  would He be stunned by the presence of but a fraction of these?  Only when arrogance on possessing beauty, strength etc take a back seat and  sincere devotion and love surface, does he/she become endearing to the Lord.

The most celebrated and oft repeated story from Srimad Bhagavatam is the story of Prahlada.

The vile Hiranyakashipu, wanting to ask for death-less-ness, considering himself very smart, instead, asked for death, neither at day or at night, neither by man or beast, neither up nor down, so on and so forth. Hiranyakashipu was a great enemy of Vishnu and he had got this boon to avenge himself the death of his brother Hiranyaksha at the hands of Vishnu. It was indeed difficult to find a loophole in his boon and kill him by any creation of Lord Brahma. Having got his boon he went on to torture sages, people and divine and semi-divine beings for many yugas. Under his reign the world it seemed had forgotten Lord Vishnu. This however, as rightly pointed out by Prahlada himself (मन्ये धनाभिजनरूपतपःश्रुतौजस्तेजःप्रभावबलपौरुषबुद्धियोगाः । नाराधनाय हि भवन्ति परस्य पुंसो) did not seem to bother the Lord.
Ironically Prahlada, Hiranyakashipu’s own young son was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and refused to acknowledge the greatness of his father as Supreme Being. This irritated Hiranyakashipu and he was even ready to kill his own son to prove his superiority. Such was his hatred which had won over his पुत्रवात्सल्य. Hence he threw Prahlada in fire, out of which he came without even a singed hair; he fed him poison which did not even make him drowsy; he pushed him from the mountain-top and Prahlada did not even have a scratch! Even after witnessing these miracles, Hiranyakashipu did not even have an inkling of the greatness of the Supreme being which was supporting his son. Then came the instance when he drew out his sword and asked Prahlada, “Show me that power which is supporting you!” Prahlada replied, “the very question you ask is by that Power.” “Alright then, where is it?” “Everywhere” “Everywhere! If it is everywhere, how come I don’t see it in this pillar? Let it come and save you” So saying he struck the pillar and out came Nrsimha in all his glory. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Nrsimha exclusively for Prahlada.
The little boy Prahlada was not afraid of the Lord, even though He looked gruesome and He had just killed his father. He went on to praise the Lord and thank him for his mercies.

सत्याशिषो हि भगवंस्तव पादपद्मम् आशीस्तथानुभजतः पुरुषार्थमूर्तेः|
अप्येवम् आर्य भगवान् परिपाति दीनान् वाश्रेव वत्सकमनुग्रहकातरोऽस्मान्॥ 4.9.17॥

भगवन् — my Lord
तव — Your
पादपद्मम् — lotus feet
हि — certainly
सत्याशीः — real benediction
आशिषः — compared with other benedictions
तथा — in that way
अनुभजतः — for the devotees
पुरुषार्थमूर्तेः — the personification of the real goal of life
आर्य— O Lord
अनुग्रहकातरः — eager to bestow mercy
अस्मान् — upon me
परिपाति — maintains
दीनान् — the poor in heart
इव — like
वाश्रा — a cow
वत्सकम् — unto the calf

The अन्तर्यामी resides in each and every being and rejuvenates the beings with life – sight, hearing, taste and feelings. If the God within were absent, merely the body would become useless. Prince Dhruva firstly thanks the Lord for granting him the things which are “basic” and so taken for granted by many.
His anger and frustration at his younger brother and step mother was long gone or non-existent. After having seen the Lord, Dhruva expressed his gratitude for being and prayed in earnest that he may cross over the dangerous भवाब्धि: by his associations with people devout in His feet. He entreats the Merciful Lord who takes care of all his creations with kindness and thoughtfulness just as a cow would look after her new born calf.

भक्तिं मुहुः प्रवहतां त्वयि मे प्रसङ्गो भूयादनन्तमहताम् अमलाशयानाम् ।
येनाञ्जनसोल्बणमुरुव्यसनं भवाब्धिं नेष्ये भवद्गुणकथामृतपानमत्तः ॥ 4.9.11॥

अनन्त — O unlimited
मे — my
भूयात् — may it become
प्रसङ्गः — intimate association
महताम् — of the great devotees
प्रवहताम् — of those who perform
भक्तिं — devotional service
मुहुः — constantly
त्वयि — unto You
अमलाशयानाम् — whose hearts are freed from material contamination
येन — by which
नेष्ये — I shall cross
अञ्जसा — easily
उल्बणम् — terrible
भवाब्धिम् — the ocean of material existence
उरु — great
व्यसनम् — full of dangers
पान — by drinking
भवत् — Your
अमृत — nectar, eternal
गुण — transcendental qualities
कथा — pastimes

Dhruva continues with his stuti. To cross this ocean of transmigratory existence, eternal devotion to the lord and intimate association with his devotees is a necessity.

Prince Dhruva was the son of King Uttanapada. One day, he wanted to climb in his father’s lap, as his half-brother Prince Uttama had. It was afterall a big desire for a small child. When he was turned down by his step mother Suruchi, his disappointment was too much to bear. His own mother Sunithi, the first queen of Uttanapada too was helpless in reinstating that right. Hence she, a devout person advised Dhruva to seek to please Srimannarayana, the Universal father, by penance.
Even though Prince Dhruva was but five years old he decided to follow his mother’s advice in earnest and proceeded towards the forest. Sage Narada, met him on the way and knowing him to be determined to meditate upon Lord Vishnu, blessed and initiated him.
His joy when the Lord appeared before him was beyond bounds -”दृग्भ्यां प्रपश्यन् प्रपिबन्निवार्भकः” “as if drinking in the sight with his eyes”.
He fell flat in the feet of the Lord and proceeded to praise Him:

योऽन्तः प्रविश्य मम वाचमिदं प्रसुप्तां सञ्जीवयत्यखिलशक्तिधरः स्वधाम्ना ।
अन्यांश्च हस्तचरणश्रवणत्वगादीन् प्राणान्नमो भगवते पुरुषाय तुभ्यम् ॥4.9.6॥

यः — the Supreme Lord who
अखिलशक्तिधरः — possessing universal energy
प्रविश्य — entering
अन्तः — within
मम — my
वाचम् — words
सञ्जीवयति — rejuvenates
इमाम् — all these
प्रसुप्ताम् — which are all inactive or dead
स्वधाम्ना — by His internal potency
अन्यान् च — other limbs also
हस्त-चरण-श्रवण-त्वक्-आदीन् — like hands-legs-ears-skin, and so on
प्राणान् — life force
नमः— let me offer my obeisances
भगवते — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead
पुरुषाय — the Supreme Person
तुभ्यम् — unto You.

When I was trying to think of an equivalent for the word "misconception" in sanskrit, some of the words that came up were

  • अयथार्थः - loosely translated as 'false'
  • विपर्यय - reversed, inverted, opposite hence erroneous knowledge
  • तर्कः - this is very specific to तर्कशास्त्र - hypothetical reasoning/confutation
  • मूढग्राह - this term I came upon at a website. I liked it immediately.
More often than not, misconceptions are based on ideas that have been handed down without the thinking that goes along with it. One such is the title of this post "ब्राह्मणाः भोजनप्रियाः!"

Sri Rama Shastri was very famous for thinking and providing out of the box explanations for some simple stuff. He has given a wonderful twist to this expression.

"ब्राह्मणाः भो! जनप्रियाः"

A brahmin's work, as enumerated by Manu, was यजनं, याजनम्, अध्ययनम्, अध्यापनं, दानं, प्रतिग्रहः, च। Each one of these was designed with the welfare of the whole world in mind. A brahmin performed sacrifices for लोकक्षेम, he helped others to perform sacrifice. He studied in order to teach others. He accepted donation in order give more in charity.

अत एव, भोः जनाः, जनप्रियान् ब्राह्मणान् भोजनप्रिया इति मूढबुद्धिं त्यजन्तु।

गोप्याददे त्वयि कृतागसि दाम तावद्
या ते दशाश्रुकलिलाञ्जनसम्भ्रमाक्षम् ।
वक्त्रं निनीय भवभावनया स्थिततस्य
सा माम् विमोहयति भीरपि यद्बिभेति ॥1.8.31
गोपी — the cowherd lady (Yasoda)
आददे — took up
दाम — rope
त्वयि — on You
कृतागसि — creating disturbances (by breaking the butter pot)
तावत् — at that time
ते — Your
या दशा — that situation
अक्षम् — eye
अञ्जन — ointment (disturbed)
अश्रुकलिल — being flooded with tears
सम्भ्रम — perturbed
वक्त्रम् — face
निनीय — downwards
भयभावनया — by pretentions of fear
स्थितस्य — standing
भीः अपि — (and ) even ‘fear’ personified
बिभेति — is afraid.
यत् — of whom
सा— that (plight of yours)
विमोहयति — bewilders
माम् — me
Krishna pretends to be afraid when his mother threatens with punishment after upsetting all the butter pots. In this aspect of being afraid, He can only pretend to be overcome with fear since He knows not what fear may actually feel like… Isn’t he the Lord who grants ‘अभयम्’ to all those surrender unto Him? Kunti is very amused by Krishna’s display of fear, all the more, because even fear personified is afraid of Him and his devotees.

जन्मैश्वर्यश्रुतश्रीभिर्एधमानमदः पुमान् ।

नैवार्हत्यभिधातुं वै त्वामकिञ्चनगोचरम् ॥1.8.26

पुमान् - the person

जन्म-ऐश्वर्य-श्रुत-श्रीभिः - (who) by the possession of birth, opulence, education and beauty

एधमानः - (and) progressively increasing

मदः - intoxication

वै - certainly

न एव - never

अर्हति - deserves

अभिधातुं - to address

त्वां - You

अकिञ्चनगोचरम् - who is easily approachable for the materialistically famished

Says Kunti, It is not possible for the self-important person, who is materially satiated, to remember the lord with as feeling and sincerity as the impoverished and suffering. Hence Kunti prays for calamities to beset her so that she may always remember the lord with total sincerity and a feeling of helplessness.

Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas was one of Krishna’s aunts. Needless to say she loved Krishna, as Devaki or Yashoda might love Him. Apart from her मातृभावः, she had, early on in her life, begun to look up to Sri Krishna as the savior of her sons, Pandavas and Draupadi and their progeny. The Lord was with them, at all major instances, as the story unfolded. Here it was, after the war when Yudhishtira was proclaimed king. Just as the Lord was preparing to leave for Dwaraka after the Mahabharata war, He yet again, saved the unborn son of Uttarakumari, daughter-in-law of Arjuna, on whom the powerful brahma missile was released by Ashwattama. Kunti, overcome by emotion on hearing that their savior Sri Krishna had saved the unborn offspring of the Kuru dynasty, praises him with words of gratitude.

विपदः सन्तु ताः शश्वत्तत्र तत्र जगद्गुरो ।

भवतो दर्शनम् यत्स्यादपुनर्भवदर्शनम् ॥ 1.8.25

जगद्गुरो - O lord of the Universe

सन्तु - let there be

विपदः - calamities

शश्वत् - again and again

तत्र तत्र - here and there

भवतः - your

दर्शनम् - meeting

यत् - that

स्यात् - which is

अपुनः - not again

भवदर्शनम् - seeing the repetition of birth and death

In this verse, which is a part of Kunti’s stuti of Sri Krishna in Canto 1, Chapter 8 of श्रीमद्भागवतम्, she asks the Lord for more calamities in her life, since calamities give her the opportunity to see the Lord more often.

It may seem a contradiction that Kunti asks for more calamities in her life, since every being wishes for happiness in his/her life, but in Kunti’s case, she who has tasted the bliss of the Lord’s presence through each and every calamity, the word calamity loses its bitterness and implies that SriKrishna’s sweet presence would instead take its place.

क्षुभ्यक्षुद्रनरेन्द्रचाटुरचनाधन्यान् न मन्यामहे।
देवं सेवितुमेव निश्चिनुमहे योऽसौ दयालुः पुरा
धानामुष्टिमुचे कुचेलमुनये दत्ते स्म वित्तेशताम्॥1॥

क्षोणीकोण = Small part of the earth, शत अंश = one-hundredth (of that part), पालन कला = art of protecting, दुर्वार = uncontrollable, गर्व अनल = arrogance like fire, क्षुभ्यत् = agitated, क्षुद्र नरेन्द्र = small king, चाटु रचना = praises, धन्यान् = honoured ones, न मन्यामहे = we do not consider, पुरा = once, यः असौ = he who, दयालुः = kindhearted, धाना मुष्टिमुचे = for a hand-full of dry puffed rice, कुचेलमुनये = to the sage Kuchela, वित्तेशताम् = Status of Kubera, दत्ते स्म = gave, देवम् सेवितुम् एव = only to salute that lord, निश्चिनुमहे = we decided.

Sri Vedanta Deshika illustrates why we should pray to Lord Krishna.
Sri Desika says, "We do not bother ourselves with uncontrollable kings, who are very arrogant (like fire), due to the power of ruling a bit of the earth. We (the learned ones) will praise only that god, who gave the status of Kubera, the lord of wealth, to the sage Kuchela, in exchange for just one handful of flattened rice."

In those days, scholars would honor gods rather than beg from kings even in dire circumstances. Although we pray to Krishna only for moksha, worldly riches can be attained automatically by worshipping him.

श्रीजगन्नाथ पण्डितः
अयं कविरेव पण्डितराजः इति विशेषेण प्रसिद्धः।पेरुभट्टाख्यस्य शास्त्रज्ञस्य पुत्रः श्रीजगन्नाथपण्डितः।अयं कविः भट्टोजिदीक्षित अप्पय्य दीक्षितयोः समकाले एव अवसत् इतिग्रन्थेभ्यः ज्ञातुं शक्यते। एष कविः दिल्लीनगरस्य राज्ञः शहजहानात् “पण्डितराज ” बिरुदः प्राप्तः।
अनेन कविना बहवः ग्रन्थाः विरचिताः। तेषु रसगङ्गाधरः दिङ्मात्रम् विज्ञेयः।
आलङ्कारिकाणाम् अलङ्कारः अयं ग्रन्थः। अप्पय दीक्षितेन विरचित
चित्रमीमांसायाः खण्डनरूपः “चित्रमीमांसा खण्डनम् ” इति ग्रन्थः।एवं भट्टोजि
दीक्षितेन विरचित मनोरामा खण्डन ग्रन्थः “मनोरमाकुचमर्दनम्”। सुधालहरी,
यमुनालहरी , अमृतलहरी, प्राणाभरणम् इत्यादयः ग्रन्था अपिअनेन कविना
लिखितः इति श्रूयते। कवेः अन्तिम कालः वाराणसी प्रदेशे एव असीत् इति
च श्रूयते॥

तरङ्गफेनभ्रमबुद्बुदादि सर्वं स्वरूपेण जलं यथा तथा ।

चिदेव देहाद्यहमन्तमेतत् सर्वं चिदेवैकरसं विशुद्धम् ॥ (विवेकचूडामणि- 390 )

taraìgaphenabhramabudbudädi sarvam svaroopeëa jalam yathä tathä

cideva dehädyahamantametat sarvam cidevaikarasam viçuddham

Wave, foam, bubbles- all these are nothing but water in reality. So this body and all are nothing but consciousness- the one pure consciousness.

It is only the pure consciousness that appears in different forms

सोऽन्तःसरस्युरुबलेन गृहीत आर्तो
दृष्ट्वा गरुत्मति हरिं ख उपात्तचक्रम् ।
उत्क्षिप्य साम्बुजकरं गिरमाह कृच्छ्रान्
नारायणाखिलगुरो भगवन्नमस्ते ॥
सः – He (Gajendra)
अन्तःसरसि – in the water
उरुबलेन – with great force
गृहीतः – who was captured (by the crocodile)
आर्तः - severely suffering
दृष्ट्वा - on seeing
हरिं – Lord Vishnu
गरुत्मति – on the back of Garuda
उपात्तचक्रम् – with his discus ready
उत्क्षिप्य - raising
साम्बुजकरम् – his trunk along with a lotus flower
गिरमाह – uttered the words
कृच्छ्रात् – with great difficulty
नारायण – O Lord Narayana
अखिलगुरो – O Universal Lord
भगवन् – O Supreme person
नमस्ते – salutations to you

Gajendra, even though being an animal cried out to the Supreme Lord when he was mortally captured by the crocodile in the lake. His plea was to relieve him from his current pain and all future bondages. His stuti in the 8th canto 3rd chapter of Srimadbhagavatam, brims with Advaita philosophy. What also strikes the reader is his lack of anger towards his visible mortal enemy, the crocodile. Instead he directs his thoughts to relieving himself from bondage of births and deaths and surrenders to the Supreme Being, the Lord of the Universe, who treats all alike, who alone is capable of granting his wishes. This being said, Gajendra, even in his pain, offers a lotus flower to the Lord who has appeared to save him. Perhaps nothing more is reachable to him, it is truly moving that he thought of offering something very simple yet demonstrating his trust and affection to the Lord. Likewise, we are all small in stature, but no offering of love of ours to the Supreme being is too small. Guess that proves Its magnanimity all over again.

मादृक्प्रपन्नपशुपाशविमोक्षणाय मुक्ताय भूरिकरुणाय नमोsलयाय |
स्वांशेन सर्वतनुभृन्मनसि प्रतीत प्रत्यक्दृशे भगवते बृहते नमस्ते |
मादृक् — like me
प्रपन्न — surrendered
पशु — an animal
पाश — from entanglement
विमोक्षणाय — unto He who releases
मुक्ताय — unto the Supreme, who is untouched by the contamination of material nature
भूरिकरुणाय — who is unlimitedly merciful
नमः — I offer my respectful obeisance
अलयाय — who is never inattentive or idle (for the purpose of my deliverance)
स्वांशेन — by Paramatma
सर्व — of all
तनुभृत् — the living entities embodied in material nature
मनसि — in the mind
प्रतीत — who are acknowledged
प्रत्यक्दृशे — as the direct observer (of all activities)
भगवते — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead
बृहते — who is unlimited
नमः — I offer my respectful obeisance
ते — unto You.

Gajendra appeals to His mercy in relieving his (and of others similar to him) bondage in this mundane world. He reiterates that the Lord resides in all beings (including himself and the crocodile) and who is witness to all that happens. Most importantly, only he who is free from bondage himself can offer that to his others. Only the Lord can be called as a mukta. Luckily for Gajendra, (and for all of us) He is verily the ocean of mercy.

Gajendra, the king of elephants lived in the mountain Trikuta. He wandered its peaks along with his herd. There was a lake and one day, he entered its cool fragrant waters to quench his thirst when he was caught by a crocodile. Gajendra’s herd tried to help him out but were unable to, and they walked away leaving him to face death alone. After a long time, being thus caught, even though being stout, he weakened in strength. However the crocodile being aquatic was going on strong. Gajendra pondered a while over his situation and decided to surrender to the Supreme soul whose devotees do not have any peril from Death.

He thought of the Supreme Godhead, about whom he had learnt in his previous birth. “I surrender unto You, O lord, who is all-pervading, who protects this Universe taking many avatars. Let that lord, who resides within all beings, protect me. I offer my respectful obeisance unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by whose illusory energy the jiva, who is part and parcel of God, forgets his real identity. I take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose glories are difficult to understand.”

Says Gajendra:

न यस्य देवा ऋषयः पदं विदुर्जन्तुः पुनः कोऽर्हति गन्तुमीरितुम् |
यथा नटस्याकृतिभिर्विचेष्टतो दुरत्ययानुक्रमणः स मावतु ||

na yasya devā åñayaù padam vidurjantuù punaù ko.arhati gantuméritum

yathä naöasyäkåtibhirviceñöato duratyayäkramaaù sa mävatu

यस्य — of whom
न — neither
देवाः — the demigods
ऋषयः — great sages
विदुः — can understand
पदं — position
जन्तुः — (unintelligent) living beings like animals
पुनः — again
कः — who
अर्हति — is able
गन्तुं — to enter (into the knowledge)
ईरितुं — or to express by words
यथा — just as
आकृतिभिः — by bodily features
नटस्य — of the artist
विचेष्टतः — dancing in different ways
दुरत्यय — very difficult
अनुक्रमणः — His movements
सः— may that Supreme Personality of Godhead
अवतु — may give His protection.
मा — unto me

The actions and movements of the Supreme God cannot be understood even by demigods and sages. What to say of mere animals like me!

Stories from Bhagavatam

नूतनतया एकम् आवलिं श्रीमद्भागवतपुरणविषये आरब्धुम् इच्छा वर्तते। भागवते श्रीकृष्णस्य चरितं तस्य कथाः चैव प्रसिद्धाः। परन्तु तस्मिन् पुण्यपुराणे अनेकाः अन्यकथाः ज्ञानोद्धीपकाः स्फूर्तिदायकाः जीवनोद्धारकाश्च बह्व्यः सन्ति। ताः उद्धृत्य अत्र शुष्करूपेण लिखितुं प्रयतामहे।

A new series is underway with stories from Bhagavatapurana. We have invited a guest blogger, Aparna Ganapathy, who has completed her M.A. in Sanskrit, to contribute to this series.

Srimadbhagavatam is a very popular purana and is one among the principle 18 compiled by Sri Veda Vyasa. The purana owes its popularity to the stories and leelas of Lord Krishna which forms the 10th skandha of the total 12. The rest of the skandhas of Srimadbhagavatam contains many beautiful value based stories like that of Gajendra moksha, Prithu, Dhruva, the dasavataras, Sage Markandeya, etc.

This series will focus on the lesser known stories from Srimad Bhagavatam.


ज्ञाने मौनं क्षमा शक्तौ त्यागे श्लाघाविपर्ययः ।

गुणाः गुणानुबन्धत्वात्तस्य सप्रसवा इव ॥

jïäne mounam kçamä çaktou tyäge çläghä viparyayaù

gunäù guëänubandhatvät tasya saprasaväù iva

The above verse is from the 1st canto of kälidäsa’s raghuvamça that describes the great qualities of king dilépa.

Opposite qualities remained naturally with one another, like good brothers, in the case of king dilépa. First let’s see the behaviour and attitude of people possessing great virtues in general.

A ज्ञानिन् or a knowledgeable person usually tempted to show off his knowledge when needed and at times even out of turn; a strong person likes to punish severely the inferior ones; a charitable person loves to boast of his charities.

But in the case of king dilépa it is totally different. The king though learned he was, was shy like a maiden, though powerful and courageous, he forgave his enemies and though generous and liberal while giving gifts he averse to refer them.

ज्ञाने- in knowledge , मौनम् - silence, शक्तौ- in power, क्षमा-forgiveness, त्यागे- charity, श्लाघाविपर्ययः - absence of boasting, तस्य गुणाः- His qualities, गुणानुबन्धत्वात् – associated with other qualities (of an opposite nature),

सप्रसवा इव – like brothers (born from the same source).

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