Two Aspects To Vishnu and His Culture

[Lakshmi-Narayana]“O King, it is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.2.36)

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तस्मात् सर्वात्मना राजन् हरि: सर्वत्र सर्वदा ।
श्रोतव्य: कीर्तितव्यश्च स्मर्तव्यो भगवान्नृणाम् ॥

tasmāt sarvātmanā rājan
hariḥ sarvatra sarvadā
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
smartavyo bhagavān nṛṇām

There are two notable limits to the thinking ability of the mind. These have a direct correlation to the standing of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The properties extend to the devotion applied for connecting with Him.

1. Sarvatra

This Sanskrit word relates to space. Man constructs buildings. He might reach for the stars through the concept of a skyscraper. There are city limits and borders which define nations. There are bodies of water separating masses of land. Sometimes the masses seem to float, as in the case of islands.

[island wallpaper]Though there is separation, the actual space does not change. There is one giant continuum, and it is difficult to comprehend. Just where exactly is the end of the universe? If we put up a boundary wall, is there not something on the other side?

The Supreme Lord is everywhere. He is not confined to a certain space. Areas are merely designations based on elements of the material nature. God is Absolute. His standing is not determined by the constitution of space.

2. Sarvada

This Sanskrit word relates to time. There is always a beginning to a beginning. There is always an end to an end. The release from the shackles and burdens associated with the present lifetime signify a sort of completion, but the individual inside continues to live.

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरो ऽपराणि
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णान्य्
अन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ‘parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.22)

The person, who is purusha, persists. There is a continuation of existence. The concepts of birth and death are merely markers. Sort of how the wide highway gets divided up into lanes based on lines that are painted, the actual surface area does not change.

The standing of the Supreme Lord is eternal. Never was there a time that He did not exist. He continues on into the future. Choose any arbitrary point in time. It can be thousands of years in the past. Prior to the invention of the printing press. When the only way to receive actionable intelligence as it relates to direction in life was to meet an aged seer living in a remote cave.

During such times God was around. He is present today, in the age of advanced technology and rapid sharing of information. He will remain in the superior position thousands of years into the future. He is always God. He never had to find that role, practice mysticism in order to achieve perfection, or keep an eye out for competitors for the post.

Sarvatra and sarvada apply to devotion, as well. This is why the acharyas explain that devotional service, bhakti-yoga, is identical with the object of worship. There are certain places of pilgrimage, such as Govardhana Hill and the forests of Vraja, which are considered non-different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

[Krishna eating butter]They are just collections of earthly elements, but due to the intimate relationship to God, the areas are considered sacred. The same feature extends to the devotion itself. Just as God is God everywhere and always, devotion to Him breaks through the same boundaries.

We can connect with Him during our period of childhood. We simply have to utilize our natural inclination to follow the adults. If they are chanting the holy names, we can sing along: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

If our parents are situated in front of an altar, waving sticks of incense, ringing a bell, and presenting food in the mode of goodness, we can try for ourselves at some time. We might not even know the esoteric meanings, the point to the process, but something about the atmosphere is appealing.

The same devotion can be practiced in a more formal environment, like a temple. If we are living abroad due to placement by the employer, we are not restricted from exercising the same devotion. Even if the prevailing culture of the society around us supposedly clashes with our interests, at least internally we can follow the same yoga.

[Lakshmi-Narayana]Place is not an impediment, and neither is time. Birth after birth, lifetime after lifetime, let me find the same all-merciful Bhagavan. Let me practice the same devotion, speak of the Divine qualities with others, and show by example that the boundaries of time and space do not apply to the servant fully surrendered at the lotus feet.

In Closing:

With my example to show,
For everyone to know.

That yoga for everyone made,
Blessed when obeisances paid.

Not affected by time and place,
Which otherwise progress to erase.

From the Supreme Himself extending,
Through acharyas culture descending.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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