सर्वेषां जनानां जीवनाधारभूताः धर्मार्थकाममोक्षाः इति चत्वारः पुरुषार्थाः। तेषु मोक्षश्च परमपुरुषार्थया सर्वैः अङ्गीक्रियते। कश्च सः मोक्षः? केन प्रकारेण वा प्राप्यते? इति प्रश्नानाम् उत्तरसमये शास्त्रकाराः मोक्षस्वरूपतत्प्राप्तिमार्गवर्णनद्वारा स्वमतस्थापनम् अकुर्वन्।
Every system of philosophy attempts to explain moksha and the methods to attain it in their own way. Moksha is universally accepted as the most important among the purusharthas that everyone strives for in one's life.
Bhakti plays a very important role in this path to moksha. Worshiping the Lord, meditating upon him, loving him, enjoying his qualities and immersing oneself in his stories are some of the ways in which people show their bhakti to the Lord.
In the 7th skandha of Srimad Bhagavatam, Yudhishthira perplexed by Sisupala attaining moksha asks how a person filled with so much of hatred towards Krishna could attain the highest state. Does this not promote an opposing standpoint to Shastras about पुण्य and पाप - we incur पाप by abusing the lord?
अहो अत्यद्भुतं ह्येतद् दुर्लभा एकान्तिनामपि ।
वासुदेवे परे तत्त्वे प्राप्तिश्चैद्यस्य विद्विषः ॥ ७।१।१५ ॥
द्वेषयुक्तेन चैद्यभूपतिना शिशुपालेन कथं योगिदुर्लभं वासुदेवसायुज्यं प्राप्यते इति विस्मितः युधिष्ठिरः।
Narada responds, "Krishna is bound by sentiments of abuse, praise, worship and scorn. In effect, Krishna is neither angry by abuse nor pleased by worship. In fact Sisupala was so consumed by the thoughts of Krishna that he attained moksha"
इदं शरीरं निन्दास्तुत्यादीनां विषयभूतमिति अविवेकिनामाशयः। लोके मनुष्याणां देहाभिमानिनाम्, अहं मम इति वैषम्यस्त्वात्, 'मम इयं निन्दा, अहम् अनेन निन्दितः', अतः हिंसाकारिषु हिंसाचरणम् साध्यम्। किन्तु, भगवतः कृष्णस्य तादृशाभिमानरहितत्वात् 'अहं निन्दितः अनेन' इति चिन्ता न उत्तिष्ठेत्।
In fact, Narada goes to the extent of saying -
यथा वैरानुबन्धेन मर्त्यः तन्मयतां इयात् ।
न तथा भक्तियोगेन इति मे निश्चिता मतिः ॥ २६ ॥
By bhakti one cannot achieve such intense absorption in thought of the Lord as one can through enmity toward Him. That is my firm belief.
Narada then lists various sentiments through which people have attained moksha or enjoyed the presence of Lord Krishna.
कामाद् द्वेषाद् भयात् स्नेहाद् यथा भक्त्येश्वरे मनः ।
आवेश्य तद् अघं हित्वा बहवः तद्गतिं गताः ॥ २९ ॥
गोप्यः कामाद् भयात् कंसो द्वेषात् चैद्यादयो नृपाः ।
सम्बन्धाद् वृष्णयः स्नेहाद् यूयं भक्त्या वयं विभो ॥ ३० ॥
Love - Gopis
Fear - Kamsa
Hatred - Sisupala
Association - Yadavas
Friendship - You all (Pandavas)
Bhakti - We (Sages like Narada)
Of course, we should not take this literally and start hating the lord. The key to this long winding approach is तन्मयत्वम् - complete absorption in the thought of Krishna.
वरिष्ठः गरिष्ठः इति यदा अपठम् तदा कुचेलोपाख्यानस्मरणम् अभूत् मनसि। कृष्णसखा कुचेलः ब्रह्मविद्वरिष्ठः इत्युक्तं श्रीशुकेन।
कृष्णस्यासीत् सखा कश्चित् ब्राह्मणो ब्रह्मवित्तमः।
विरक्त इन्द्रियार्थेषु प्रशान्तात्मा जितेन्द्रयः॥
(श्रीमद्भागवतम् स्क० १० अ० ८० श्लो ६)
अत्र श्रीविद्यरण्यस्वामिना विरचिते जीवन्मुक्तिविवेके ब्रह्मवेत्तॄणामपि तारतम्यं विद्यते इति दर्शयति -
ब्रह्मविदां वरिष्ठः* - इति ।
अत्र चत्वारः प्रतीयन्ते - *ब्रह्मवित् *प्रथमः , *ब्रह्मविद्वरो
*द्वितीयः , *ब्रह्मविद्वरीयान्
*तृतीयो , *ब्रह्मविद्वरिष्ठः *चतुर्थः । त एते सप्तसु योगभूमिषु चतुर्थीं
योगभूमिमारभ्य क्रमेण भूमिचतुष्टयं प्राप्ता - इत्यवगन्तव्यम् ।
तरप् तमप् इति द्वौ प्रत्ययौ अतिशयार्थे उपयुज्येते। द्वयोः वस्तुनोः एकम् अतिशयेन वर्तते इति दर्शयतुं तरप् उपयुज्यते। वस्तूनां समूहे एकमेव अतिशयेन वर्तते इति विवक्षायां तमपि उपयुज्यते। उदाहरणाय -
अजः क्षिप्रः जन्तुः। सिंहोऽपि क्षिप्रः। अजसिंहयोः सिंहः क्षिप्रतरः। किन्तु सर्वेषु चतुष्पदेषु जन्तुषु चित्रव्याघ्रः (cheetah) क्षिप्रतमः।
इदमेव "ईयसुन् इष्ठन्" इति द्वाभ्यां प्रत्ययाभ्यामपि वक्तुं शक्यते। यथा -
अजसिंहयोः सिंहः क्षेपीयान्।
सर्वजन्तुषु चित्रव्याघ्रः क्षेपिष्ठः।
श्रेयस् इति शब्दमञ्जर्यां दृष्टश्शब्दः वस्तुतः प्रशस्य + ईयसुन्, श्र आदेशेन, श्रेयस् इति प्रातिपदिकम्, श्रेयान् श्रेयांसौ श्रेयांसः इति शब्दप्रक्रिया च भवति।
राजामन्त्रिणोः राजा श्रेयान्।
सर्वेषु मनुष्येषु विद्वान् श्रेष्ठः।
प्रलयस्थितिसर्गाणामेकः कारणतां गतः॥ २-६॥ कुमारसम्भवः॥
pralayasthitisargāṇāmekaḥ kāraṇatāṁ gataḥ || 2-6॥ Kumarasambhava
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
धारकं= to sustain
किमु न =not enough?
पथि=on the way
पटच्चरं =piece of cloth
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!
संसेवया सुरतरोरिव ते प्रसादः सेवानुरूपमुदयो न परावरत्वम् ॥7.9.27
परावरमति: —discrimination of higher or lower
भवतो — of Your Lordship
ननु — indeed
स्यात् — there can be
जन्तोः— of ordinary living entities
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
न परावरत्वम् — not discrimination due to higher or lower levels.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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 duratyayäkramaṇaù sa mävatuयस्य — 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!