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Even pure (niskama) devotees pray for some benediction
SB Canto 5
May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other's welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.
The following verse describes a Vaiṣṇava:
- vāñchā-kalpa-tarubhyaś ca
- kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
- patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
- vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
Just like a desire tree, a Vaiṣṇava can fulfill all the desires of anyone who takes shelter of his lotus feet. Prahlāda Mahārāja is a typical Vaiṣṇava. He prays not for himself, but for all living entities—the gentle, the envious and the mischievous. He always thought of the welfare of mischievous persons like his father, Hiraṇyakaśipu. Prahlāda Mahārāja did not ask for anything for himself; rather, he prayed for the Lord to excuse his demoniac father. This is the attitude of a Vaiṣṇava, who always thinks of the welfare of the entire universe.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and bhāgavata-dharma are meant for persons who are completely free of envy (parama-nirmatsarāṇām). Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja prays in this verse, khalaḥ prasīdatām: "May all the envious persons be pacified." The material world is full of envious persons, but if one frees himself of envy, he becomes liberal in his social dealings and can think of others' welfare. Anyone who takes up Kṛṣṇa consciousness and engages himself completely in the service of the Lord cleanses his mind of all envy (manaś ca bhadraṁ bhajatād adhokṣaje). Therefore we should pray to Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva to sit in our hearts. We should pray, bahir nṛsiṁho hṛdaye nṛsiṁhaḥ: "Let Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva sit in the core of my heart, killing all my bad propensities. Let my mind become clean so that I may peacefully worship the Lord and bring peace to the entire world."
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has given us a very fine purport in this regard. Whenever one offers a prayer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one always requests some benediction from Him. Even pure (niṣkāma) devotees pray for some benediction, as instructed by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka:
- ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ
- patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau
- kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-
- sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya
(Cc. Antya 20.32, Śikṣāṣṭaka 5)
"O son of Mahārāja Nanda (Kṛṣṇa), I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick Me up from the ocean of death and place Me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet." In another prayer Lord Caitanya says, mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi: (Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4) "Life after life, kindly let Me have unalloyed love and devotion at Your Lordship's lotus feet." When Prahlāda Mahārāja chants oṁ namo bhagavate narasiṁhāya, he prays for a benediction from the Lord, but because he is also an exalted Vaiṣṇava, he wants nothing for his personal sense gratification. The first desire expressed in his prayer is svasty astu viśvasya: "Let there be good fortune throughout the entire universe." Prahlāda Mahārāja thus requested the Lord to be merciful to everyone, including his father, a most envious person.