brahmadayah sura-gana munayo ’tha siddhah
sattvaikatana-gatayo vacasam pravahaih
naradhitum puru-gunair adhunapi pipruh
kim tostum arhati sa me harir ugra-jateh
sri-prahradah uvaca—Prahlada Maharaja prayed; brahma-adayah—headed by Lord Brahma; sura-ganah—the inhabitants of the upper planetary systems; munayah—the great saintly persons; atha—as well (like the four Kumaras and others); siddhah—who have attained perfection or full knowledge; sattva—to spiritual existence; ekatana-gatayah—who have taken without diversion to any material activities; vacasam—of descriptions or words; pravahaih—by streams; na—not; aradhitum—to satisfy; puru-gunaih—although fully qualified; adhuna—until now; api—even; pipruh—were able; kim—whether; tostum—to become pleased; arhati—is able; sah—He (the Lord); me—my; harih—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ugra-jateh—who am born in an asuric family.
Prahlada Maharaja prayed: How is it possible for me, who have been born in a family of asuras, to offer suitable prayers to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Even until now, all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, and all the saintly persons, could not satisfy the Lord by streams of excellent words, although such persons are very qualified, being in the mode of goodness. Then what is to be said of me? I am not at all qualified.
A Vaisnava who is fully qualified to serve the Lord still thinks himself extremely low while offering prayers to the Lord. For example, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the author of Caitanya-caritamrta, says:
(Cc. Adi 5.205)
Thus he considers himself unqualified, lower than the worms in stool, and more sinful than Jagai and Madhai. A pure Vaisnava actually thinks of himself in this way. Similarly, although Prahlada Maharaja was a pure, exalted Vaisnava, he thought himself most unqualified to offer prayers to the Supreme Lord. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. Every pure Vaisnava should think like this. One should not be falsely proud of his Vaisnava qualifications. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore instructed us:
“One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.” Unless one is meek and humble, to make progress in spiritual life is very difficult.
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