Relishing the Venkatesha Vaibhavam Series
Celebrating the arrival of Sri Aishwarya Srinivasa Perumal in Houston, Sri Ramanujam ji, disciple of Sri Swamiji, is taking us on a journey to His divine abode by reminiscing the greatness of Lord Srinivasa and Venkatachalam, based on the divine work – ‘Divyadesa Vaibhavam’ by Paranur Mahatma Sri Sri Krishnapremi Maharaj. This is an ongoing series filled with immense rasa.
This series is available to listen on our Namadwaar E-Satsang YouTube channel at this playlist: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf2GTja1Pr3P0Yr_AsYTOi9KnzUBlI1sE
We shall now enjoy a few divine droplets from the second episode of this series.
Bhagavan’s Love for His Bhaktas
In the previous episode, we saw how Bhagavan is present in five different abodes or states. He is present in these five different abodes because He is sarvaloka sharaNya (the sole refuge for all the beings in all the worlds)!
In the first abode of Vaikuntha, only the ‘nityas’ (ever-free souls) and ‘muktas’ (liberated souls), who have been blessed by an acharya and gained entry into that divine abode, can serve Him there.
Hence out of his compassion, He is also present in a second abode, Ksheerabdhi, the Milky Ocean, which is like His working office, where the Devas, Rishis, and other such divine beings can come and pray to Him. The third state, as we saw earlier, is His Vibhava avataras like Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, etc. where He descends to the world for both blessing sadhus and destroying the wicked. The fourth state is His presence in all beings as the Antaryami (the divine spark within). The fifth state is the most compassionate incarnation of all – that of the Archavatara, where Bhagavan decides to never do nigraha (destroy) but do only anugraha (shower His grace). Paranur Mahatma Sri Sri Anna’s Divyadesa Vaibhavam continues to describe how Bhagavan decided to come down as Archavatara.
This episode begins with the beautiful scene of Bhagavan resting on Adisesha’s loving, soft folds in the divine Ksheerabdi. Adisesha, with his thousands of eyes constantly watches and adores His Master lying majestically, His eyes closed in an apparent sleep; a radiant blue sapphire in the pure milky-white ocean, with Shri Devi Herself serving His tender, lotus feet. The lovely divine couple is reflected a thousand times in the thousand jewels on the thousand hoods of Adisesha, who bears them lovingly on his heads like a devotee carries the divine couple in his heart. Hesitating to gaze directly at her Lord, the shy Shri Devi bashfully admires His handsome countenance through the multiple reflections in Adisesha’s divine hoods. And Bhagavan too, with His half-closed eyes, in turn, steals a glance at His beloved consort also through the reflection in His beloved servitor’s divine hoods.
In this beautiful, serene, divine abode of Ksheerabdi, as Bhagavan sleeps a sleepless sleep in the presence of the Divine Mother, compassion wells in His heart, and He contemplates on how He can protect those who have surrendered unto Him. Unlike the Devas and other celestial beings, humans cannot ascend to Ksheerabdi to pray to their beloved Lord. So Bhagavan decides that He Himself shall descend down to earth. And He decides that this time, He shall take such an avatara where He shall never punish even the most depraved of humans. Because He knew that in this age of Kali, we humans are not entirely wicked (dushTAs) but we are only fallen (brashTAs). So what we truly need is only Bhagavan’s compassion to lift us out of our depraved state. Hence Bhagavan decided to come down as an Archavatara!
Bhagavan always accomplishes his intention through the prayer of a bhagavata. Just like Krishnavatara happened after the prayer of Brahmaji and all the Devas, here too a bhagavata comes with a prayer for Bhagavan to descend. That bhagavata is none other than Sage Narada.
On seeing his dear Sage Narada, Bhagavan’s face blooms. And for Narada Maharishi, seeing Bhagavan’s lovely form is like a joyful celebration, an utsav, for his eyes! And then Sage Narada begins his stuti…
Bhagavan is limitless, infinite, beyond name and form, no doubt! But can we worship Him, garland Him, surrender to Him if He is nameless and formless? So, out of compassion, in order to give His devotees the joy of worshipping Him, He takes a name and a form, which is as beautiful and grand as His nameless and formless aspect.
Bhagavan loves His bhaktas a million times more than His bhaktas love Him. Bhagavan desires to be in the midst of His bhaktas. He wants to nurture love in the hearts of His devotees, so that He too can relish that prema along with His devotees! Hence Bhagavan takes a Name, so that it can dance in the lips of His devotees! He takes a lovely form so that prema can be nurtured in the hearts of His devotees! He does various leelas so that His devotees can sit together, talk about His leelas and relish them! He attracts them with His innumerable divine qualities (guNas)! His nAma, His rUpa, His leelas, His guNAs,
are all taken so that His devotees can do kirtanam, and celebrate Him. Narada Maharishi praises Bhagavan in this way and inspired Him saying that He is bhaktajano bhaktAnukUlaha (has immense love towards His devotees)!
When Bhagavan hears this, He now understands where Narada Maharishi is coming to. Narada Maharishi is now going to inspire another grand avatara of Bhagavan which is going to stand forever, and is going to shower compassion and love towards all, tolerating any excesses of devotees. That is the beauty of Narada Maharishi’s prayer. This is how mahatmas pray to ‘entice’ Bhagavan to do a leela, and the secret is that this is how mahatmas are inspired to pray by Bhagavan Himself, who Himself wants to do all these leelas!
Continuing his prayer and inspiration, Sage Narada then goes on to enumerate the reasons why Bhagavan is the one who is deenabandhu (friend of those who are lowly). He says, other Devas are only karmadAsAs, i.e. they can only bestow results based on a person’s actions (karma). They cannot independently act out of compassion. But Bhagavan is independent and can shower krupa as He pleases. He is indeed deenabandhu, karuNAmUrthy! Celebrating Bhagavan’s kalyAnagunas (auspicious qualities), Sage Narada says that Bhagavan looks, not for a reason, but only for the slightest excuse to bestow krupa on all the beings!
Based on Sri Ramanujamji’s Venkatesha Vaibhavam Series of Discourses
To listen to the complete Episode 2 of the series shot on the banks of Tamrabharani river, and replete with devotion-kindling detailed descriptions of the scene in Ksheerabdi and Narada Maharishi’s prayer, click here – https://youtu.be/Y8njuLic548
For the complete playlist on YouTube –
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