Endless Visiting Hours

[Krishna saving Draupadi]“Once Bhima was administered poison in a cake, once they were put into the house made of shellac and set afire, and once Draupadi was dragged out, and attempts were made to insult her by stripping her naked in the vicious assembly of the Kurus. The Lord saved Draupadi by supplying an immeasurable length of cloth, and Duryodhana’s party failed to see her naked.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.24 Purport)

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An important person is coming to town. They are famous for having been on television many times. Business insiders say that television is “crazy money.” The meaning is that networks and production companies will pay significant fees for a person to appear on their shows. This makes sense, as the large audiences, both from the live viewing and subsequent re-airings on both television and online, mean great exposure.

Better than watching this person on television, you have a chance to meet them. You want to say a few words, give thanks and the like. There are some questions you would like to ask, as well. The issue, of course, is that popularity has some negative sides, at least to you personally. Other people have the same desire. There is a reason musicians, athletes, actors and the like travel with a security detail. If they were to accept every autograph or photo request, they would not have time to do their job.

This famous person has visiting hours. Between certain times they are willing to meet with people from the general public. The competition is stiff. Moreover, other famous people would like a meeting, also, and they are given higher priority. There is every likelihood that your desired meeting will never see the light of day.

Can there be a more important personality than Bhagavan? His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada translates that Sanskrit word as “Supreme Personality of Godhead.” He is a person, purusha, like everyone else, but in a superior position. He is part of Godhead, meaning that the Almighty is not limited to a single manifestation.

[Radha-Krishna deities]What are Bhagavan’s visiting hours? We know that in the established temples there are designated hours of darshana, or viewing. This is when the curtains on the altar are open and people can see the deities beautifully dressed and worshiped with great pomp by the devotees. Try to get a meeting in the odd hours of the night and the temple will likely be closed.

Though the archa-vigraha is an indication of Bhagavan’s causeless mercy, to appear in a form that is somewhat understandable to the limited mind, the wise understand that the all-pervading one is not limited to a specific residence. That is to say He lives both inside and outside of the temple. He is everywhere.

There are no “visiting hours” per se, because He can be called at any moment. The holy name is identical to Him. The idea is that by chanting mantras that contain those names, with the proper mindset and purification in thought, word and deed, Bhagavan appears at the scene instantly. For this reason devotees are known to repeat the sacred sequence of words, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”

Bhagavan should be remembered all the time, but it just so happens that during moments of distress the frequency with which the call is made increases. An example from history is Draupadi and her sari. A chaste and pious queen, she was one time on the verge of great embarrassment and shame, through no fault of her own. Wicked characters in her extended family wanted to disrobe her in an assembly, to show her naked in front of respected personalities and elders.

Draupadi tried her best to hold on, but there was a mismatch in physical strength. At last she called out to Govinda, in full surrender. This is another name for Bhagavan, who is known by countless names. There was not a specific visit to a temple. There was not a direct line of sight, where she was seeing Govinda eye to eye. Nevertheless, the visit in terms of a meeting occurred. The Supreme Lord immediately arrived on the scene.

[Krishna saving Draupadi]It was in a way not visible to all. He took the form of the princess’s sari. No matter how much the miscreants pulled, Draupadi could not be shown naked. The sari kept protecting her. One of the properties of God is ananta. This means “without end.” Both literally and symbolically, there is no end to His mercy and no restriction in terms of when He can be called. For this reason and more Govinda is the best well-wishing friend to every person.

In Closing:

Friends to living entities the best,

Devotees through practice blessed.

Not with important celebrity like,

Where only in visiting hours sight.

Any time coming to the scene,

Like Draupadi’s sari unseen.

That well-wisher of all,

To hear at any time call.

Categories: krishna pastimes

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