“Lord Brahma said: O son of Kashyapa Muni, please get up, please get up. All good fortune unto you. You are now perfect in the performance of your austerities, and therefore I may give you a benediction. You may now ask from me whatever you desire, and I shall try to fulfill your wish.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.3.17)
उत्तिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भद्रं ते
तपः-सिद्धो ’सि काश्यप
वरदो ’हम् अनुप्राप्तो
व्रियताम् ईप्सितो वरः
uttiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhadraṁ te
tapaḥ-siddho ’si kāśyapa
varado ’ham anuprāpto
vriyatām īpsito varaḥ
1. Safe from the rain
“We can’t have any leaks. One heavy rainstorm will ruin everything. The last thing I want to be doing is running around with buckets. Place over here. Rush to put another over there. If the water gathers for long enough in a particular area, an entire floor could end up caving due to the pressure.
“Water damage is one of the most expensive to repair. You have electrical appliances everywhere. There is vulnerability to mold growth. Difficulty in breathing. Higher humidity. The roof is therefore vital to sustain.”
2. Safe from the snow
“The roof should be of the proper shape. I know that in some places in the world people keep it totally flat. That way you have a rooftop that you can walk on, hang out on, dry clothes, and so forth. But here things are different. There is increased vulnerability to the elements.
“In particular, we have to worry about snow. If enough falls and then solidifies into ice, then the weight might be too much to withstand. You don’t want the top to collapse and snow to fall into the residence. Better to prepare for proper runoff.”
3. Safe from wind
“I have seen pictures of the devastation. A hurricane went through a particular area. People had prior warning; it was not like they were caught by surprise. They tried their best to evacuate. Sometimes there were attempts at fortification.
“The power of the wind was too much. It was like the nursery rhyme with the big bad wolf. Instead of just threatening to blow the house down, the wind actually took care of the job. That is why we need a solid structure; something that can withstand the heaviest onslaught from this vital element of nature, vayu.”
4. Sturdy against attack
“The presidential motorcade in America has one vehicle known as The Beast. In addition to being bulletproof, it has its own ventilation system. It can be hermetically sealed. The idea is to guard against attackers, people with ill-intent.
“If we’re making an indestructible house, we need to take the same precautions. Impenetrable to foreign attack. Guard well enough on its own, without the need of a standing army. Stay in place, withstanding every blow.”
“We have the story from the Mahabharata of the Pandavas getting tricked into staying in a house made of shellac. A giant tinderbox, the thing could go up in flames at any point. That was the plan, after all, from the wicked Duryodhana.
“In that case the Pandavas were saved with valuable intelligence cryptically delivered by the well-wishing uncle named Vidura. They did their own version of Shawshank Redemption by building an escape tunnel. No one knew that they had survived the eventual fire.
“Anyway, this perfect dwelling obviously needs to be safe from fire. It cannot burn down. In a lot of modern-day buildings there is the embedded sprinkler system. It is a worst-case scenario. If the fire inside becomes too intense, water will immediately flood the area.”
From this basic review we see that a human being has intelligence, which can then be applied in any type of construction project. Use your best judgement, taking into account personal experience and research.
Yet no matter how much a person may try, there is always a vulnerability. Someone like Hiranyakashipu received unbelievable boons from the creator, Lord Brahma. The Daitya leader wanted immortality. He asked to stay safe from the onslaught of time. He wanted perpetual association with the temporary body.
Brahma could not offer such a boon, so Hiranyakashipu settled for trying to construct the same through component parts. Safety from this weapon. Immunity from these beings. Protection during the various times of the day. Any request he could think of, he was granted.
No matter the precautions taken, even one percent vulnerability is enough to nullify the protections. This is the amazing intelligence of kala, which in Sanskrit refers to both time and death. For the grossly sinful Hiranyakashipu, time reared its ugly head in the face of a half-man/half-lion.
Narasimhadeva, an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, emerged from a pillar, of all places. Bhagavan killed the demon using nails on the hands, seating the victim so that he was neither on land nor in the air. During dusk, not by an ordinary beast or creature.
Forget protecting a house that is always vulnerable to the onslaught of time. Prepare for the continuous, eternal existence. Remember Narasimhadeva, follow the devotion of Prahlada Maharaja, and avoid the path of the ill-fated Daitya race.
A house trying to protect,
But destruction to expect.
Since time working its way,
For only so long can stay.
Better with bhakti to try.
And on Narasimha to rely.
Who eternal way giving,
In blissful spirit living.
Categories: the five