Varahadeva’s Appearance Day
By HH Bhakti Gauravani Goswami
Varahadeva’s Appearance Day
Sri Varaha deva mahatosav ki
Let us begin by considering the philosophical truth of Krishna’s incarnations, so that way we will get the perspective on His descent to this material world.
Srila Prabhupada spoke about this in 1977. This is exactly 40 years ago in Bhubaneshwar, right? He spoke about Varaha’s appearance. He said “Ramadi murti su kala niyamena.” Krishna, the original adi pursua, is taking various forms. Ramadi murtisu, especially three Ramas, Parasuram, Balaram and Dasarathi Rama. Rama means enjoyment. Krishna’s enjoyment does not mean that when Krishna appeared as a boar he was suffering. Everything is “Anada- cinmaya-rasa- pratibhavitabhih,” every second is imbued and permeated with ever blissful spiritual rasa.
Srila Prabhupada gives an example which we have heard, I think more than one time, about a big man becoming a horse, remember that? He talks about the British Prime Minister Gladstone, a pretty serious man. You don’t imagine that he may become a horse.
He says that somebody came to see Gladstone and the servant told the visitor that the Prime Minister was very busy, so he would have to wait. He was waiting and an hour passed, so he became inquisitive and opened the door a little bit to see what the Prime Minister was doing. What was such an important engagement? The Prime Minister had become a horse and was taking his grandchild on his back and playing like a horse. The important visitor was waiting for one hour. So this is enjoyment.
Similarly, when Krishna appears as Kesavadhrta Sukara Rupa, Varaha Rupa, that doesn’t mean that He is a boar. Prabhupada says he is not a crocodile. No, He is everything, so it’s not by karma. When we become a crocodile, that’s karma, a punishment. Now we are human beings. In my next life I may become a crocodile according to the karma forced by the laws of nature. So, I am taking the shape of crocodile or boar or another type of animal. That is karma; to become a real horse is karma. But Gladstone’s becoming a horse, that is not Karma. That is an enjoyment.
This is Krishna’s lila, “Ananda-cimaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih,” always experiencing the ever blissful spiritual rasa. Prabhupada gives this wonderful example to illustrate a deep philosophical truth, that whatever the circumstance may be within the material world or in the spiritual world, in the form of a human being or a hog, Krishna is always Krishna. He is transcendentally situated and enjoying transcendental pleasure.
Prabhupada points out later in the purport that Krishna, or His part and parcel, has the same quality. Krishna is seeking enjoyment and we are also seeking enjoyment. But we can also enjoy together in the spiritual world without any impediment. This is the first part that He has established so that we don’t develop some misconceptions or misunderstand when the Lord appears in strange forms.
A boar, tortoise, or fish are not exactly divine forms, so one easily becomes bewildered. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, manushyanam, “when I come as human being they deride me, they think I am an ordinary person.” But Krishna is swarat, He is completely independent and can do whatever He likes. He can assume whatever form He likes and they are all transcendental.
The Bhagavatam describes two boar incarnations. In the 13th chapter we have a description of the first one. Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to one of the verses that according to Jiva Goswami, as per the vedic literature, the incarnation of Lord Varaha is in two different devastations, the Sakshusha devastation and the Swayabhuva devastation. This particular appearance is of the boar incarnation. When Varaha came out of the nostrils of Brahma, that took place in the Swayambuva devastation. All of the planets except for the higher ones were submerged in the water of the Garbodaka ocean. This particular incarnation of the boar was seen by the inhabitants of the higher planets. Srila Vishvanath Cakravarti suggests that the sage Maitreya amalgamated both of the boar incarnations in different devastations and summarized them in his description to Vidura.
With all of His pastimes, Krishna accomplishes many purposes at the same time. By doing this, He also gives different instructions, different lessons for our benefit. From the description we find in the 13th chapter from verses 14 to 19, I see nine lessons, or nine important points. I am sure there are more if you investigate further. But these are the ones which immediately caught my attention.
The first lesson starts by setting the scene for the pastime. It begins when Diti becomes engaged to her husband.
Lesson number one is that illicit sex is a high risk venture, leading to inauspicious pregnancy and demoniac children. When Diti wasn’t able to control herself and Kashyapa Muni was not able to resist her, they had sex at an inauspicious time. The result was the birth of two powerful demons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu. They terrorized the whole universe. So when ordinary people have sex at inauspicious times, and in a low state of consciousness, this results in varnasankara, small time terrorists. Well, it depends on where you go.
Srila Prabhupada writes about this in Srimad Bhagavatam 3.17.15. To check the increase of the demoniac population, the vedic civilization contains many rules and regulations for social life, the most important of which is the Garbodana process for begetting good children.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna informs Krishna that if there is varnasankara, or unwanted population, the entire world appears to be hell. We can see this as currently people are very anxious for peace in the world. There are so many unwanted children born without the benefit of the Garbodana ceremony, just like the demons born from Diti.
She was so lusty that she forced her husband to copulate at a time which was inauspicious and therefore the demons were born to create disturbances.
In sex life, to beget children, one should observe the process for begetting nice children. If each and every householder in every family observes the vedic system, then there are nice children, not demons. Automatically there is peace in the world. If we do not follow regulations in life for social tranquillity then we cannot expect peace, rather, we will have to undergo the stringent reactions of natural laws.
People today are pretty ignorant. But this pastime is from many hundreds of years ago. Hiranya could see that people were enjoying without any restriction, and that’s still going on today. The mantra is that if it feels good, do it. Usually it as long as it does not harm others, but that is getting to be less and less of a consideration. If it feels good then I will do it no matter what, and if it harms others, so what, your problem and not my problem.
This is what happens when the society is living according to that principle. They do not know that there are reactions simply by the laws of nature and that you cannot avoid them. You can complain, but there is no way to make any adjustments. The only solution is, as Srila Prabhupada explained, to follow the system given by the Lord how of how to do things, “dharmantu sakshad bhagavad pranitam.” Then there will be good progeny and good population. Then there will be peace.
Lesson number two seems to be obvious. Nowadays it has become an obsession that a strong and attractive body is the sign of success in life. Srila Prabhupada speaks about this is 17th chapter. The description is that they are born and when they grow up, they become very powerful. Their bodies became so tall that they seem to kiss the sky with the crest of their gold crowns. They blocked the view in all directions and while walking, they shook the earth. Their arms were adorned with brilliant bracelets and they stood as if covering the sun with their waists, which were crowned with beautiful and excellent gorgins.
Prabhupada says in the purport the demigods concern themselves with the spiritual upliftment of human society whereas the demons are concerned with physical and material upliftment. The two demons born of Diti made their bodies as strong as iron flames, and they were so tall they seemed to touch outer space. They were decorated with valuable ornaments and they thought this was success in life.
In the demonic way of civilizations, people are interested in getting a body constructed in such a way that when they walk on the street the earth will tremble, and when they stand, they will appear as if they will cover the sun and the vision of the four directions. Asuras do not know that their bodies consist of five elements of material nature and that when the fall they become the object of pastimes for dogs and vultures. But everybody is completely obsessed thinking that the more strong and beautiful I am, the more successful I will be in life.
Lesson number three is that the Lord is sentient, He is pleased by prayer and displeased by insults. As Srila Prabhupada wrote in his poem to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati, the Absolute is sentient. Sentience means to be able to feel pleasure and pain. The verse that is extracted from 18.6, says that the Lord was pained by the sharp and abusive words of the demons, He feels that pain. But seeing the earth on the end of His tusks, He came out of the water just as the elephant emerges with his female companion when assailed by the alligator.
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport that the Mayavadi philosopher cannot understand that the Lord has feelings. He is satisfied when somebody offers Him nice prayers and, similarly, when somebody denies His existence and calls Him by ill names, God is dissatisfied.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described by Mayavadi philosophers, who are almost demons, who say that God has no head, no form, no existence, no hands or other bodily limbs. In other words they say that He is either dead or lame. All of these misconceptions of the Supreme Lord are a source of dissatisfaction for Him. He is never pleased with such atheistic descriptions.
In this case, although the Lord felt sorrow by the piercing words of the demon, He delivered the earth for the satisfaction of the demigods who are forever His devotees. The conclusion is that God is sentient like we are. He is satisfied by our prayers and dissatisfied by our harsh words against Him. In order to give protection to His devotees, He is always ready to tolerate insulting words from the atheists.
Lesson number four is that the Lord tolerates the demons in order to show the devotees that they need not fear. In verse number nine, the demon who had the wealth of ornaments, bangles, and the beautiful golden armor chased after the Lord. The Lord tolerated his piercing, ill words, but in order to respond to him, He expressed terrible anger.
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport that the Lord could have chastised the demon immediately while the demon was deriding the Him, but the Lord tolerated him to please the demigods and to show that they should not be afraid of demons while discharging their duties. Therefore, His tolerance was a display to drive away the fears of the demigods who should see how the Lord is always present to protect them. The demon’s derision of the Lord is like just the bitting of dogs, and the Lord did not care about it. He performed His own work in spite of them to deliver the earth in the midst of water.
Lesson number five: the Lord can take anything at anytime that He likes. Prabhupada speaks about these type of people we see, materialistic demons. They possess large amounts of golds and they think that the large amount of gold, physical health, and popularity can save them from the wrath of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Demons think of their possessions as their own property, but actually, everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead who can take anything at anytime He likes. As Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita 10.24, “mrtyuh sarva-haras caham” and “kalo smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho” (BG11:32) “I am the all devouring death and I am the time that destroys the world.”
Every single day so many disasters are happening all over the world. This is the nature of the material world and still we think that by constructing big cities and so many other things like making our own body strong, accumulating riches, etc., that we can create a permanent and happy situation. Krishna says that this is never going to happen, “dukalayam asasvatam.” It’s a temporary place full of misery. There are four miseries which are inherent to the material world and cannot be solved material arrangement: jamna mrithu jara vyadi, birth, death, old age, and disease So no matter what arrangement we make, even if one becomes as powerful as Hiranyaksh or Hiranyakasipu, Krishna at any time can take away everything according to His own desire and you cannot do anything about it.
Lesson number six is that the Lord cannot be measured. He is greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. Verse 24 says that “when the demon saw his magic forces dispelled, he once again came into the presence of the Personality of Godhead, Keśava, and, full of rage, tried to embrace Him within his arms to crush Him. But to his great amazement he found the Lord standing outside the circle of his arms.” (SB 3.19.24) Sometimes very strong people can do it, at least they can do it with me. The demon tried to do that but to his great amazement found that the Lord was outside the circle of his arms.
Srila Prabhupada says in the purport that the demons attempt to measure the Supreme Personality of Godhead is significant. The demon wanted to embrace Him with his arms thinking that he could capture the Absolute by material power. He did not know that the Lord is greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. No one can capture the Supreme Lord by their will or bring Him under their control.
The demoniac persons always attempt to measure the length and breadth of the Supreme Lord. By His inconceivable potency the Lord can become the universal form, as explained in the Bhagavad Gita, and at the same time He can remain in the box of devotees as their worshipable deities. There are many devotes who keep the statue of the Lord in a small box and carry Him with them everywhere. Every morning they worship the Lord in the box .
The Supreme Lord Keshava, the personality of Godhead, Krishna, is not bound by any measure of our calculations. He can remain with His devotee in any suitable form, yet, He is unapproachable by any amount of demoniac activity. The “arca” form of the Lord is considered the mercy incarnation because Krishna makes Himself available to us so that we can see Him, handle Him, dress Him, feed Him, decorate Him and serve Him in so many different ways.
Prabhupada once spoke about whether it is possible to dress the universal form. Obviously not. But Krishna, He can come in the right size so that we are able to make a dress for Him and sew it in that way.
Lesson number seven is that the Lord can kill any powerful demon with simply one slap. In verse number two, struck by the Lord, the demon’s body begin to wheel, his eye balls bulged out of their sockets, his arms and legs broke, and the hair on his head scattered. He fell down dead like a gigantic tree uprooted by the wind.
Srila Prabhupada says that it does not take even a moment for the Lord to kill any powerful demon, including Hiranyaksha. The lord could have killed him long before, but He allowed the demon to display the full extent of his magical feats.
One may know that by magical feats, by scientific advancement, or by material power, one cannot become the equal of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His one signal is sufficient enough to destroy all of our attempts. His inconceivable power, as displayed here, is so strong that the demon, in spite of all of his demoniac maneuvering, was killed by the Lord with simply one slap.
It is stated here that although Hiranyaksha has unlimited power, he was dressed like a doll for the Lord. The child can break the doll without any endeavor. Similarly, a demon may be very powerful and extraordinary, especially in the eyes of an ordinary man in the material world, but killing such a demon is no difficulty for the Lord. He can kill millions of demons as simply as the child plays with dolls and breaks them.
Lesson number eight. We should be grateful to the Lord for His countless benedictions in the form of water, air, sun and so many other things we get to live in this world.
Verse number 36 goes to the end of this pastime and the end of the chapter. What grateful soul is there who would not render his loving service to such a great master as the Personality of Godhead? The Lord can be easily pleased by spotless devotees who reach exclusively to Him for protection, though the unrighteous man finds it difficult to propitiate Him.
Purport: Every living entity, especially persons in the human race, must feel grateful for the benedictions offered by the grace of the Supreme Lord. Anyone, therefore, with a simple heart of gratefulness must be Kṛṣṇa conscious and offer devotional service to the Lord. Those who are actually thieves and rogues do not recognize or acknowledge the benedictions offered to them by the Supreme Lord, and they cannot render Him devotional service. Ungrateful persons are those who do not understand how much benefit they are deriving by the arrangement of the Lord. They enjoy the sunshine and moonshine, and they get water free of charge, yet they do not feel grateful, but simply go on enjoying these gifts of the Lord. Therefore, they must be called thieves and rogues. (SB 3.19.36)
This of course includes any ability we also have. One may be very powerful from the bodily point of view, very strong or very attractive, and of course become very proud. If they have a beautiful body then they try to maintain that as much as possible. Others pay a large amount of money to see such kinds of people. Then there are so many other abilities like artistic abilities, those who know how to paint wonderful paintings, or conceive of music like Mozart or Bach. Where does that come from? We should know that all of these things are gifts, gifts of God, gifts of the Supreme Lord. Otherwise one becomes proud and thinks that it’s me, I am ishwaraham aham, I am I am, I am… This is to be ungrateful and sooner or later one will have to learn the lesson that everything will eventually be taken away.
And finally, lesson number nine. What a wonderful lesson, not really a lesson, rather it’s a point of great interest. Hearing this pastimes confirms many wonderful results. Verse 38 says “This most sacred narrative confers extraordinary merit, wealth, fame, longevity, and all the objects of one’s desire. On the field of battle it promotes the strength of one’s vital organs and organs of action. One who listens to it at the last moment of his life is transferred to the supreme abode of the Lord, O dear Śaunaka.” (SB 3.19.38)
Purport: Devotees are generally attracted by the narratives of the pastimes of the Lord, and even though they do not prosecute austerities or meditation, this very process of hearing attentively about the pastimes of the Lord will endow them with innumerable benefits, such as wealth, fame, longevity and other desirable aims of life. If one continues to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is full of narratives of the pastimes of the Lord, at the end of this life, one is sure to be transferred to the eternal, transcendental abode of the Lord. Thus hearers are benefited both ultimately and for as long as they are in the material world. That is the supreme, sublime result of engaging in devotional service. The beginning of devotional service is to spare some time and listen to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the right source. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu also recommended five items of devotional service, namely to serve the devotees of the Lord, to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, to worship the Deity of the Lord and to live in a place of pilgrimage. Just performing these five activities can deliver one from the miserable condition of material life.
Srila Prabhupada ki jay, Sri varaha deva ki Jay.
Any comments or questions? We still have 7 minutes of official time.
Hare Krishna. By the definition of varanasankara, most of the devotees here are varnasankara. I know all in the temple have so many good qualities and yet many of our children are not here and are giving up Krishna Consciousness. Can you explain this contradiction?
Should I explain? Are you ready to listen? I don’t know whether I should say this.
I am afraid that many of the children are not actually conceived according to Garbadana samskar regulations. I think I may be mistaken, but it’s possible. What about us? Well, Srila Prabhupada said that he created our fortune and of course it’s not a hard and fast rule.
We have the example of Prahlad, who is born in demon family. We have the example of the children of Advaita Acharya who were born of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and half of them became Mayavadis. So generally the rule is yes. As we have seen with this example of Diti, it was the wrong time and of course the consciousness was not prepared. According to your consciousness generally that influences who will take birth. That is the general rule.
So if one conceives children without preparing appropriately then there is good chance they will not be of high quality. Nevertheless, every living entity has its independence and even though all the circumstances may be beneficial or conducive to develop Krishna consciousness, you can at any time say no, I am not interested.
So any other insights on this topic? Those who are parents? I know some of the children are and some of the children are not even in the same family. We have that experience. So it’s a good idea not to have only one. No no it’s not a joke. I have four, at least one came out good. Ok. I mean, I can see if there is only one and they don’t become devotee, it’s really painful, but one is good.
Prabhupada refers to Garbhadhana samskara here, but there are other samskars. We don’t follow any practically. But Srila Prabhupada told his disciples that the idea was to chant 50 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra before conceiving a child. That’s what I want to question, whether we have done this or are we doing this. Any one doing this? Are they doing it? I don’t know, I doubt it. Because many times I think this situation may appear like Diti’s that circumstances are not right, the atmosphere is created where one has a sexual relationship and it leads to pregnancy, but it wasn’t the right time and the consciousness is not prepared. So, what can we expect?
Do we have lighter topic? I think we have 2 more mins.
All the sages worshiping, I have to look where to find it. They are worshipping Pancatattva, let’s see. The devotees worshipped the Lord and they were grateful, and that was the connection. We should be grateful for the Lord. We have Pancatattva here, probably the six Goswamis, looks like so many sages and devotees. They all adoring Pancatattva in this case. So just the attitude of realizing that the Supreme is giving everything, whatever we have. There is nothing we can claim that’s ours, not even our own existence as a spirit soul. I don’t own myself.
Bhakti Vinod Thakura expresses it in some of his songs, “I am Yours.” This atmanivedanam, the complete surrender, means I am Yours, means You are the proprietor in the ultimate sense. So myself, my body, and whatever is connected to it, it’s whatever I get. It’s all a gift and we should be grateful.
I think that’s a good lesson and a very nice way to end.
Hare Krishna. I think it’s 64 mantras, the six goswamis are representing different acharyas. Its Caitanya krpa, which are the branches of the tree of the Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Ok. Thank you.