39 / Prayers by Akrura
Akrura offered his prayers as follows: "My dear Lord, I here pay my respectful obeisances unto You because You are the supreme cause of all causes and the original inexhaustible Personality, Narayana. From Your navel a lotus flower grows, and from that lotus, Brahma, the creator of this universe, is born. Since Brahma is the cause of this universe, You are the cause of all causes. All the elements of this cosmic manifestation--earth, water, fire, air, ether, ego and the total material energy, as well as nature, the marginal energy, the living entities, mind, senses, the sense objects and the demigods who control the affairs of the cosmos--are all produced from Your body. You are the Supersoul of everything, but no one knows Your transcendental form. Everyone within this material world is influenced by the modes of material nature. Demigods like Lord Brahma, being covered by the influence of material nature, do not exactly know Your transcendental existence beyond the cosmic manifestation of the three modes of material nature. Great sages and mystics worship You as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original cause of all living entities, all cosmic manifestation and all demigods. They worship You as all-inclusive. Some of the learned brahmanas also worship You by observing the ritualistic ceremony of the Rg-veda. They offer different kinds of sacrifices in the names of different gods. And there are others also who are fond of worshiping transcendental knowledge. They are very peaceful and wish to give up all kinds of material activities. They engage themselves in the philosophical search for You, known as jnana-yoga.
"There are devotees also known as Bhagavatas who worship You as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After being properly initiated in the method of Pancaratra, they decorate their bodies with tilaka and engage in worshiping Your different forms of Visnu murti. There are others also, known as Saivites, followers of the different acaryas, who worship You in the form of Lord Siva."
It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that worship of demigods is also indirectly worship of the Supreme Lord. But such worship is not orthodox, because the worshipable Lord is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Demigods such as Brahma and Siva are incarnations of the material qualities, which are also emanations from the body of Narayana. Actually, there was no one existing before the creation except Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The worship of a demigod is not on the level with worship of Narayana.
Akrura said, "Although the minds of those who are devotees of the demigods are fixed on a particular demigod, because You are the Supersoul of all living entities, including the demigods, worship of demigods indirectly goes to You. Sometimes, after flowing down from the mountains during the rainy season, small rivers fail to reach the sea; some reach the sea and some do not. Similarly, the worshipers of the demigods may or may not reach You. There is no guarantee. Their success depends on the strength of their worship."
According to Vedic principle, when a worshiper worships a particular demigod, he also conducts some ritual for Narayana, Yajnesvara, for it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita that demigods cannot fulfill the desires of their worshipers without the sanction of Narayana, or Krsna. The exact words used in the Bhagavad-gita are mayaiva vihitan hi tan, which means that the demigods can award some benediction after being authorized by the Supreme Lord. When the demigod worshiper comes to his senses, he can reason as follows: "The demigod can offer benediction only after being empowered by the Supreme Lord, so why not worship the Supreme Lord directly?" Worshipers of the demigods may come to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but others, who take the demigod as all in all, cannot reach the ultimate goal.
Akrura continued to pray: "My dear Lord, the whole world is filled with the three material modes of nature, namely, goodness, passion and ignorance. Everyone within this material world is covered by these modes, from Lord Brahma down to the immovable plants and trees. My dear Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, because You are beyond the influence of the three modes. Except for You, everyone is being carried away by the waves of these modes. My dear Lord, fire is Your mouth, the earth is Your feet, the sun is Your eye, the sky is Your navel, and the directions are Your ears. Space is Your head, the demigods are Your arms, the oceans and seas are Your abdomen, and the winds and air are Your strength and vitality. All the plants and herbs are the hair on Your body; the clouds are your hair, the mountains are Your bones and nails, the days and nights are the twinkling of Your eyelids; Prajapati (the progenitor) is Your genitals, and the rains are Your semina.
"My dear Lord, all living entities, including different grades of demigods, different grades of overlords, kings and other living entities, are supposed to be resting in You. As part and parcel of the big unit, one cannot know You by experimental knowledge. One can simply understand Your transcendental existence as the great ocean in which different grades of living entities are included, or as the fruit kadamba, out of which small mosquitoes come. My dear Lord, whatever eternal forms and incarnations You accept and which appear in this world are meant for relieving the living entities from their ignorance, illusion and lamentation. All people, therefore, can appreciate the incarnations and pastimes of Your Lordship and eternally glorify Your activities. No one can estimate how many forms and incarnations You have, nor can anyone estimate the number of universes that are existing within You.
"Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the incarnation of fish, who appeared in devastation, although Your Lordship is the cause of all causes. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Hayagriva incarnation who killed the two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha; let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appeared as the gigantic tortoise and held up the great mountain Mandara, and who appeared as the boar who rescued the earth planet which had fallen into the water of Garbhodaka. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Your Lordship, who appeared as Nrsimhadeva, who delivered all kinds of devotees from the fearful condition of atheistic atrocities. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appeared as Vamanadeva and covered the three worlds simply by expanding Your lotus feet. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appeared as the Lord of the Bhrgus in order to kill all the infidel administrators of the world. And let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appeared as Lord Rama to kill demons like Ravana. You are worshiped by all devotees as the chief of the Raghu dynasty, Lord Ramacandra. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appeared as Lord Vasudeva, Lord Sankarsana, Lord Pradyumna and Lord Aniruddha. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appeared as Lord Buddha in order to bewilder the atheistic and demoniac. And let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appear as Kalki in order to chastise the so-called royal order degraded to the abominable condition of the mlecchas, who are below the jurisdiction of Vedic regulative principles.
"My dear Lord, everyone within this material world is conditioned by Your illusory energy. Under the impression of false identification and false possession, everyone is transmigrating from one body to another in the path of fruitive activities and their reactions. My dear Lord, I am also no exception to these conditioned souls. I am falsely thinking myself happy in possessing my home, wife, children, state, property and effects. In this way I am acting as if in a dreamland because none of these are permanent. I am a fool to be always absorbed in such thoughts, accepting them as permanent and truth. My dear Lord, due to my false identification, I have accepted everything which is nonpermanent, such as this material body, which is not spiritual and is the source of all kinds of miserable conditions. Being bewildered by such concepts of life, I am always absorbed in thoughts of duality, and I have forgotten You who are the reservoir of all transcendental pleasure. I am bereft of Your transcendental association and am just like a foolish creature who goes in search of water in the desert, leaving the water spot which is covered by water-nourished vegetables. The conditioned souls want to quench their thirst, but they do not know where to find water. They give up the spot where there is actually a reservoir of water and run into the desert where there is no water. My dear Lord, I am completely incapable of controlling my mind, which is now driven by the unbridled senses and is attracted by fruitive activities and their results. My dear Lord, Your lotus feet cannot be appreciated by any person in the conditional stage of material existence, but somehow or other I have come near Your lotus feet, and I consider this to be Your causeless mercy upon me. You can act in any way because You are the supreme controller. I can thus understand that when a person becomes eligible to be delivered from the path of repeated birth and death, it is only by Your causeless mercy that he further progresses to become attached to Your causeless devotional service."
Akrura fell down before the Lord and said, "My dear Lord, Your transcendental eternal form is full of knowledge. Simply by concentrating one's mind upon Your form, one can understand in full knowledge everything that be, because You are the original source of all knowledge. You are the supreme powerful, possessing all kinds of energies. You are the Supreme Brahman and the Supreme Person, supreme controller and master of the material energies. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You because You are Vasudeva, the resting place of all creation. You are the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, and You are also the Supreme Soul residing in everyone's heart and giving direction to act. Now, my Lord, I am completely surrendered unto You. Please give me Your protection."
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