After Hiraṇyakaśipu was killed, the Lord continued to be very angry, and the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, could not pacify Him. Even mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, the constant companion of Nārāyaṇa, could not dare come before Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva.
Narayana (SB cantos 7 - 12)
SB Canto 7
O greatly fortunate and learned brāhmaṇa, whether Nārāyaṇa is partial or impartial has become a subject of great doubt. Kindly dispel my doubt with positive evidence that Nārāyaṇa is always neutral and equal to everyone.
Since Lord Nārāyaṇa is absolute, His transcendental qualities are described as one. Thus His punishments and His offerings of favor are both of the same value. Essentially, His inimical actions are not displays of enmity toward His so-called enemies, but in the material field one thinks that Kṛṣṇa is favorable to devotees and unfavorable to nondevotees.
Kaṁsa and other enemies of Kṛṣṇa merged into the existence of Brahman, but why should Kṛṣṇa's friends and devotees have the same position? Kṛṣṇa's devotees attain the association of the Lord as His constant companions, either in Vṛndāvana or in the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Similarly, although Nārada Muni wanders in the three worlds, he has exalted devotion for Nārāyaṇa (aiśvaryamān).
In the Nārada-pañcarātra it is stated by Lord Nārāyaṇa that worship of the Deity within the mind is called mānasa-pūjā, One can become free from the four miseries by this method. Sometimes worship from the mind can be independently executed.
Although the servants of Lord Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, in the Vaikuṇṭha planets are equally situated with the Lord, the devotees there know very well that the Lord is the master whereas they are servants.
My dear friends, O sons of the demons, it is certain that no one bereft of knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been able to liberate himself from material bondage at any time or in any country. Rather, those bereft of knowledge of the Lord are bound by the material laws. They are factually addicted to sense gratification, and their target is woman. Indeed, they are actually playthings in the hands of attractive women. Victimized by such a conception of life, they become surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and thus they are shackled to material bondage. Those who are very much addicted to this conception of life are called demons. Therefore, although you are sons of demons, keep aloof from such persons and take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, the origin of all the demigods, because the ultimate goal for the devotees of Nārāyaṇa is liberation from the bondage of material existence.
My dear sons of demons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, is the original Supersoul, the father of all living entities. Consequently there are no impediments to pleasing Him or worshiping Him under any conditions, whether one be a child or an old man. The relationship between the living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always a fact, and therefore there is no difficulty in pleasing the Lord.
The Lord asserts in Bhagavad-gītā (14.4):
- sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
- mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
- tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
- ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father." The Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa, is the seed-giving father of all living entities because the living entities are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord (mamaivāṁśo ...jīva-bhūtaḥ (15.7)). As there is no difficulty in establishing the intimate relationship between a father and son, there is no difficulty in reestablishing the natural, intimate relationship between Nārāyaṇa and the living entities. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt: if one performs even very slight devotional service, Nārāyaṇa is always ready to save one from the greatest danger. The definite example is Ajāmila. Ajāmila separated himself from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by performing many sinful activities and was condemned by Yamarāja to be very severely punished, but because at the time of death he chanted the name of Nārāyaṇa, although he was calling not for the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa but for his son named Nārāyaṇa, he was saved from the hands of Yamarāja. Therefore, pleasing Nārāyaṇa does not require as much endeavor as pleasing one's family, community and nation. We have seen important political leaders killed for a slight discrepancy in their behavior. Therefore pleasing one's society, family, community and nation is extremely difficult. Pleasing Nārāyaṇa, however, is not at all difficult; it is very easy.
One's duty is to revive one's relationship with Nārāyaṇa. A slight endeavor in this direction will make the attempt successful, whereas one will never be successful in pleasing his so-called family, society and nation, even if one endeavors to sacrifice his life.
Since the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, is situated in the core of everyone's heart, every body is a temple of Viṣṇu. One should not misuse this understanding as an excuse for such words as daridra-nārāyaṇa. If Nārāyaṇa lives in the house of a daridra, a poor man, this does not mean that Nārāyaṇa becomes poor. He lives everywhere—in the houses of the poor and those of the rich—but in all circumstances He remains Nārāyaṇa; to think that He becomes either poor or rich is a material calculation. He is always ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇa, full in six opulences, in all circumstances.
Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the well-wisher and friend of all living entities, formerly explained this transcendental knowledge to the great saint Nārada. Such knowledge is extremely difficult to understand without the mercy of a saintly person like Nārada, but everyone who has taken shelter of Nārada's disciplic succession can understand this confidential knowledge.
One should not misunderstand every living entity to be the Paramātmā. Sometimes unscrupulous persons designate a living entity as daridra-nārāyaṇa, svāmī-nārāyaṇa, this Nārāyaṇa or that Nārāyaṇa. One should clearly understand that although Nārāyaṇa is situated in the core of the heart of every living entity, the living entity never becomes Nārāyaṇa.
A devotee sees everyone and everything in relationship with Nārāyaṇa (nārāyaṇam ayam). Everything is an expansion of Nārāyaṇa's energy. Just as those who are greedy see everything as a source of money-making and those who are lusty see everything as being conducive to sex, the most perfect devotee, Prahlāda Mahārāja, saw Nārāyaṇa even within a stone column. This does not mean, however, that we must accept the words daridra-nārāyaṇa, which have been manufactured by some unscrupulous person. One who actually envisions Nārāyaṇa everywhere makes no distinction between the poor and the rich. To single out the daridra-nārāyaṇas, or poor Nārāyaṇa, and reject the dhani-nārāyaṇa, or rich Nārāyaṇa, is not the vision of a devotee. Rather, that is the imperfect vision of materialistic persons.
Making a loud, shrill sound of laughter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, who is extremely strong and powerful, captured Hiraṇyakaśipu, who was protecting himself with his sword and shield, leaving no gaps open. With the speed of a hawk, Hiraṇyakaśipu moved sometimes in the sky and sometimes on the earth, his eyes closed because of fear of Nṛsiṁhadeva's laughter.
At that time, the airplanes of the demigods, who desired to see the activities of the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa, crowded the sky. The demigods began beating drums and kettledrums, and upon hearing them the angelic women began to dance, while the chiefs of the Gandharvas sang sweetly.
Because of special favor bestowed upon Prahlāda Mahārāja, he remained silent and unafraid, even though all the demigods, including even Lakṣmīdevī, were afraid of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva. Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). Not only is a pure devotee of Nārāyaṇa like Prahlāda Mahārāja unafraid of any dangerous condition of material life, but also if the Lord appears to mitigate the fear of a devotee, the devotee maintains his status of fearlessness in all circumstances.
The Kṛṣṇa conscious person can go even to hell and still be happy. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja said, naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyāḥ: "O best of the great personalities, I am not at all afraid of material existence." The pure devotee is never unhappy in any condition of life. This is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.17.28):
- nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve
- na kutaścana bibhyati
- api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ
"Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord."
After Kṛṣṇa comes Balarāma, after Balarāma is Saṅkarṣaṇa, then Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Nārāyaṇa and then the puruṣa-avatāras—Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. All of them are avatāras.
By hearing about the characteristics of Prahlāda Mahārāja, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira became extremely pleased. Now he inquired from Nārada Muni about the actual religion of a human being and about special characteristics of varṇāśrama-dharma, which marks the highest status of human civilization. When Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira asked Nārada Muni about these matters, Nārada Muni stopped giving his own statements and quoted statements by Lord Nārāyaṇa, for He is the supreme authority for giving religious codes (dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19)). Every human being is expected to acquire thirty qualities, such as truthfulness, mercy and austerity. The process of following the priniples of religion is known as sanātana-dharma, the eternal religious system.
Śrī Nārada Muni said: After first offering my obeisances unto Lord Kṛṣṇa, the protector of the religious principles of all living entities, let me explain the principles of the eternal religious system, of which I have heard from the mouth of Nārāyaṇa.
Lord Nārāyaṇa, along with His partial manifestation Nara, appeared in this world through the daughter of Dakṣa Mahārāja known as Mūrti. He was begotten by Dharma Mahārāja for the benefit of all living entities. Even now, He is still engaged in executing great austerities near the place known as Badarikāśrama.
The sannyāsī, completely satisfied in the self, should live on alms begged from door to door. Not being dependent on any person or any place, he should always be a friendly well-wisher to all living beings and be a peaceful, unalloyed devotee of Nārāyaṇa. In this way he should move from one place to another.
Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full of all opulences, is predominant within the core of your heart because of your being a pure devotee. He always drives away all the darkness of ignorance, as the sun drives away the darkness of the universe.
Money is undoubtedly coming in great quantities, but we should not be attached to this money for sense gratification; every cent should be spent for spreading the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, not for sense gratification. There is danger for a preacher when he receives great quantities of money, for as soon as he spends even a single cent of the collection for his personal sense gratification, he becomes a fallen victim. The preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement should be extremely careful not to misuse the immense quantities of money needed to spread this movement. Let us not make this money the cause of our distress; it should be used for Kṛṣṇa, and that will cause our eternal happiness. Money is Lakṣmī, or the goddess of fortune, the companion of Nārāyaṇa. Lakṣmījī must always remain with Nārāyaṇa, and then there need be no fear of degradation.
Whenever there is a ceremony for distribution of prasāda, the prasāda is offered first to the brāhmaṇas, then to the children and old men, then to the women, and then to animals like dogs and other domestic animals. When it is said that Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Being, is situated in everyone's heart, this does not mean that everyone has become Nārāyaṇa or that a particular poor man has become Nārāyaṇa. Such a conclusion is rejected herein.
Charity, therefore, should be given to the first-class transcendentalist, the devotee, because the śāstras recommend:
- muktānām api siddhānāṁ
- sudurlabhaḥ praśāntātmā
- koṭiṣv api mahā-mune
"O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and perfect in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, or Kṛṣṇa. Such devotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare." (SB 6.14.5)
In Kali-yuga there is a scarcity of food almost every year, and thus philanthropists spend lavishly to feed the poor. For this they invent the term daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā. This is prohibited. One should distribute sumptuous prasāda, considering everyone a part of the Supreme Lord, but one should not juggle words to make a poor man Nārāyaṇa. Everyone is related to the Supreme Lord, but one should not mistakenly think that because one is related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has become the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. Such a Māyāvāda philosophy is extremely dangerous, especially for a devotee. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore strictly forbidden us to associate with Māyāvādī philosophers.
Anyone, whether a gṛhastha or a sannyāsī, can keep small Deities of the Lord suitably packed or, if possible, installed, and thus worship the Deities of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Sītā-Rāma, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, Lord Jagannātha or Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by offering food prepared in ghee and then offering the sanctified prasāda to the forefathers, demigods and other living entities as a matter of routine daily work.
If one does not enter the devotional service of the Lord but artificially considers himself Brahman or Nārāyaṇa, not perfectly understanding that the soul and body are different, one certainly falls down (patanty adhaḥ). Such a person again gives importance to the body. There are many sannyāsīs in India who stress the importance of the body. Some of them give special importance to the body of the poor man, accepting him as daridra-nārāyaṇa, as if Nārāyaṇa had a material body. Many other sannyāsīs stress the importance of the social position of the body as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra. Such sannyāsīs are considered the greatest rascals (asattamāḥ). They are shameless because they have not yet understood the difference between the body and the soul and instead have accepted the body of a brāhmaṇa to be a brāhmaṇa. Brahmanism (brāhmaṇya) consists of the knowledge of Brahman. But actually the body of a brāhmaṇa is not Brahman. Similarly, the body is neither rich nor poor. If the body of a poor man were daridra-nārāyaṇa, this would mean that the body of a rich man, on the contrary, must be dhanī-nārāyaṇa. Therefore sannyāsīs who do not know the meaning of Nārāyaṇa, those who regard the body as Brahman or as Nārāyaṇa, are described here as asattamāḥ, the most abominable rascals. Following the bodily concept of life, such sannyāsīs make various programs to serve the body. They conduct farcical missions consisting of so-called religious activities meant to mislead all of human society. These sannyāsīs have been described herein as apatrapaḥ and asattamāḥ—shameless and fallen from spiritual life.
SB Canto 8
In this way the King of the elephants, Gajendra, offered prayers directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without mistaking Him for one of the demigods. None of the demigods came to see him, not even Brahmā or Śiva. Rather, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, seated on Garuḍa, personally appeared before him. Gajendra, by lifting his trunk, offered obeisances to the Lord, and the Lord immediately pulled him from the water along with the crocodile who had captured his leg. Then the Lord killed the crocodile and thus rescued Gajendra.
Even if there is some falldown, practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness never goes in vain. For example, Ajāmila, in his boyhood, practiced chanting the name of Nārāyaṇa under the direction of his father, but later, in his youth, he fell down and became a drunkard, woman-hunter, rogue and thief. Nonetheless, because of chanting the name of Nārāyaṇa for the purpose of calling his son, whom he had named Nārāyaṇa, he became advanced, even though he was involved in sinful activities. Therefore, we should not forget the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra under any circumstances. It will help us in the greatest danger, as we find in the life of Gajendra.
The names of the Lord like Rāma and Kṛṣṇa are nondifferent from the person Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. Thus by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one constantly associates with Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore becomes liberated. A practical example is Ajāmila, who always remained transcendental to his activities simply by chanting the name Nārāyaṇa.
Within the body is the ātmā, the soul, whereas the various parts of the body like the hands and legs are external. Similarly, the ātmā of the entire cosmic manifestation is Nārāyaṇa, Lord Viṣṇu, and all the demigods, human beings and other living entities are parts of His body.
Gajendra had been forcefully captured by the crocodile in the water and was feeling acute pain, but when he saw that Nārāyaṇa, wielding His disc, was coming in the sky on the back of Garuḍa, he immediately took a lotus flower in his trunk, and with great difficulty due to his painful condition, he uttered the following words: "O my Lord, Nārāyaṇa, master of the universe, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You."
There was a king on the Gandharva planet whose name was Hūhū. Once this King Hūhū was enjoying with women in the water, and while enjoying he pulled the leg of Devala Ṛṣi, who was also taking a bath in the water. Upon this, the sage became very angry and immediately cursed him to become a crocodile. King Hūhū was very sorry when cursed in that way, and he begged pardon from the sage, who in compassion gave him the benediction that he would be freed when Gajendra was delivered by the Personality of Godhead. Thus the crocodile was delivered when killed by Nārāyaṇa.
When Gajendra, by the mercy of the Lord, became one of the Lord's associates in Vaikuṇṭha, he got four hands. This achievement is called sārūpya-mukti, or the liberation of receiving a spiritual body exactly like that of Nārāyaṇa.
Agastya Muni thought it wise to curse the King to become an elephant because the powerful King did not receive Agastya Muni as one is obliged to receive a brāhmaṇa. Yet although Agastya Muni cursed Mahārāja Indradyumna to become an elephant, the curse was indirectly a benediction, for by undergoing one life as an elephant, Indradyumna Mahārāja ended the reactions for all the sins of his previous life. Immediately after the expiry of the elephant's life, he was promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka to become a personal associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, in a body exactly like that of the Lord. This is called sārūpya-mukti.
There are many instances in the history of the world in which even a slight service rendered to the Lord has saved a living entity from the greatest danger. Ajāmila, for example, was saved by the Supreme Personality of Godhead from the greatest danger, that of going to hell. He was saved simply because he chanted the name Nārāyaṇa at the end of his life. When Ajāmila chanted this holy name of the Lord, Nārāyaṇa, he did not chant knowingly; actually he was calling his youngest son, whose name was Nārāyaṇa. Nonetheless, Lord Nārāyaṇa took this chanting seriously, and thus Ajāmila achieved the result of ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ (SB 2.1.6), remembering Nārāyaṇa at the end of life. If one somehow or other remembers the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa or Rāma at the end of life, he immediately achieves the transcendental result of going back home, back to Godhead.
Because of this combination of Lakṣmī and Nārāyaṇa, all who were present, including the demigods and people in general, were very pleased. The demons, however, being neglected by the goddess of fortune, were very depressed. Then Vāruṇī, the goddess of drinking, was generated, and by the order of Lord Viṣṇu the demons accepted her. Then the demons and demigods, with renewed energy, began to churn again.
If one wants the favor of the goddess of fortune, mother Lakṣmī, because she is by nature bhagavat-parā one must keep her with Nārāyaṇa. The devotees who always engage in the service of Nārāyaṇa (nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇa) can easily achieve the favor of the goddess of fortune without a doubt, but materialists who try to get the favor of the goddess of fortune only to possess her for personal enjoyment are frustrated. Theirs is not a good policy.
The goddess of fortune, mother Lakṣmījī, accepted the ocean of milk as her father, but she perpetually rests on the bosom of Nārāyaṇa. She offers benedictions even to Lord Brahmā and other living entities in this material world, yet she is transcendental to all material qualities. Although she appeared to have been born of the ocean of milk, she immediately resorted to her eternal place on the bosom of Nārāyaṇa.
The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmīdevī, having been generated from the ocean of milk, was the daughter of the ocean. Thus she was allowed to select her own husband in a svayaṁvara ceremony. She examined every one of the candidates, but she could not find anyone suitably qualified to be her shelter. In other words, Nārāyaṇa, the natural husband of Lakṣmī, cannot be superseded by anyone in this material world.
According to the desire of Lakṣmīdevī, the goddess of fortune, the Supreme Personality of Godhead made His bosom her residence so that by her glance she could favor everyone, including the demigods and ordinary human beings. In other words, since the goddess of fortune stays on the bosom of Nārāyaṇa, she naturally sees any devotee who worships Nārāyaṇa. When the goddess of fortune understands that a devotee is in favor of devotional service to Nārāyaṇa, she is naturally inclined to bless the devotee with all opulences. The karmīs try to receive the favor and mercy of Lakṣmī, but because they are not devotees of Nārāyaṇa, their opulence is flickering. The opulence of devotees who are attached to the service of Nārāyaṇa is not like the opulence of karmīs. The opulence of devotees is as permanent as the opulence of Nārāyaṇa Himself.
Thereafter, being enlivened because of drinking the nectar, the demigods, who are always at the shelter of the lotus feet of Nārāyaṇa, used their various weapons to counterattack the demons in a fighting spirit.
The great sage Nārada said: All of you demigods are protected by the arms of Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by His grace you have gotten the nectar. By the grace of the goddess of fortune, you are glorious in every way. Therefore, please stop this fighting.
O King, during the eighth manvantara, the great personalities Gālava, Dīptimān, Paraśurāma, Aśvatthāmā, Kṛpācārya, Ṛṣyaśṛṅga and our father, Vyāsadeva, the incarnation of Nārāyaṇa, will be the seven sages. For the present, they are all residing in their respective āśramas.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are the original Personality of Godhead, the witness in everyone's heart, and the incarnation of Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi in the form of a human being. O Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
In the Vedic system, prasāda is distributed, as recommended here, without discrimination as to who may take the prasāda. Regardless of whether one be a brāhmaṇa, śūdra, vaiśya, kṣatriya, or even the lowest of men, a caṇḍāla, he should be welcome to accept prasāda. However, when the caṇḍālas, the lower class or poorer class, are taking prasāda, this does not mean that they have become Nārāyaṇa or Viṣṇu. Nārāyaṇa is situated in everyone's heart, but this does not mean Nārāyaṇa is a caṇḍāla or poor man. The Māyāvāda philosophy of accepting a poor man as Nārāyaṇa is the most envious and atheistic movement in Vedic culture. This mentality should be completely given up. Everyone should be given the opportunity to take prasāda, but this does not mean that everyone has the right to become Nārāyaṇa.
When Vāmanadeva appeared from the womb of His mother, He appeared in the form of Nārāyaṇa, with four hands equipped with the necessary symbolic weapons, and then immediately transformed Himself into a brahmacārī (vaṭu). This means that His body is not material. One who thinks that the Supreme Lord assumes a material body is not intelligent.
Here we understand that the Ganges began when the water from Lord Brahmā's kamaṇḍalu washed the lotus feet of Lord Vāmanadeva. But in the Fifth Canto it is stated that the Ganges began when Vāmanadeva's left foot pierced the covering of the universe so that the transcendental water of the Causal Ocean leaked through. And elsewhere it is also stated that Lord Nārāyaṇa appeared as the water of the Ganges. The water of the Ganges, therefore, is a combination of three transcendental waters, and thus the Ganges is able to purify the three worlds. This is the description given by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura.
It is said:
- nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve
- na kutaścana bibhyati
- api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ
"Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord." (SB 6.17.28) A devotee engaged in the service of Nārāyaṇa is always in equilibrium. A devotee actually lives transcendentally. Although he may appear to have gone to hell or heaven, he does not live in either place; rather, he always lives in Vaikuṇṭha (sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26)).
A Vaiṣṇava does not fear any punishment. Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28).
Material opulence is so bewildering that it makes even a learned, self-controlled man forget to search for the goal of self-realization. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, the Lord of the universe, can see everything by His will. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.
Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, thereafter addressed Śukrācārya, who was sitting nearby in the midst of the assembly with the priests (brahma, hotā, udgātā and adhvaryu). O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, these priests were all brahma-vādīs, followers of the Vedic principles for performing sacrifices.
My Lord, You are certainly the inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, Śrī Hari. It is to show Your mercy to the living entities that You have now assumed the form of an aquatic.
SB Canto 9
Durvāsā fled to Brahmaloka, Śivaloka and all the other higher planets, but he could not protect himself from the wrath of the Sudarśana cakra. Finally he went to the spiritual world and surrendered to Lord Nārāyaṇa, but Lord Nārāyaṇa could not excuse a person who had offended a Vaiṣṇava. To be excused from such an offense, one must submit to the Vaiṣṇava whom he has offended. There is no other way to be excused. Thus Lord Nārāyaṇa advised Durvāsā to return to Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and beg his pardon.
"Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, never fear any condition of life. The heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same to a devotee." (SB 6.17.28)
Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). A pure devotee of Nārāyaṇa is never afraid of any material danger. There are many examples of devotees such as Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was tortured by his father but was not at all afraid, although he was only a five-year-old boy.
Thereafter, being disappointed even in taking shelter of Lord Śiva, Durvāsā Muni went to Vaikuṇṭha-dhāma, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, resides with His consort, the goddess of fortune.
Durvāsā Muni, the great mystic, scorched by the heat of the Sudarśana cakra, fell at the lotus feet of Nārāyaṇa. His body trembling, he spoke as follows: O infallible, unlimited Lord, protector of the entire universe, You are the only desirable objective for all devotees. I am a great offender, my Lord. Please give me protection.
Nārāyaṇaḥ paro 'vyaktāt: Nārāyaṇa is beyond the material creation. Because He is the creator of the material world, He is not subject to the conditions of the material world.
In the Satya-yuga, the first millennium, all the Vedic mantras were included in one mantra-praṇava, the root of all Vedic mantras. In other words, the Atharva Veda alone was the source of all Vedic knowledge. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Nārāyaṇa was the only worshipable Deity; there was no recommendation for worship of the demigods. Fire was one only, and the only order of life in human society was known as haṁsa.
By worshiping the demigods, one worships the different parts of the Lord, just as one might water the branches and twigs of a tree. But worshiping Nārāyaṇa, the all-inclusive Supreme Personality of Godhead, is like pouring water on the root of the tree, thus supplying water to the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves and so on. In Satya-yuga people knew how to fulfill the necessities of life simply by worshiping Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In Satya-yuga, Lord Nārāyaṇa was worshiped by meditation (kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum). Indeed, everyone always meditated upon Lord Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, and achieved every success by this process of meditation. In the next yuga, Tretā-yuga, the performance of yajña began (tretāyāṁ yajato mukhaiḥ).
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The best of the kṣatriyas, Kārtavīryārjuna, the King of the Haihayas, received one thousand arms by worshiping Dattātreya, the plenary expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. He also became undefeatable by enemies and received unobstructed sensory power, beauty, influence, strength, fame and the mystic power by which to achieve all the perfections of yoga, such as aṇimā and laghimā. Thus having become fully opulent, he roamed all over the universe without opposition, just like the wind.
Without material desires, Mahārāja Yayāti worshiped the Supreme Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart as Nārāyaṇa and is invisible to material eyes, although existing everywhere.
A paṇḍita, or learned person, perceives the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living being. Therefore, although it has now become fashionable to give preference to the so-called daridra-nārāyaṇa, or "poor Nārāyaṇa," Rantideva had no reason to give preference to any one person. The idea that because Nārāyaṇa is present in the heart of one who is daridra, or poor, the poor man should be called daridra-nārāyaṇa is a wrong conception. By such logic, because the Lord is present within the hearts of the dogs and hogs, the dogs and hogs would also be Nārāyaṇa. One should not mistakenly think that Rantideva subscribed to this view. Rather, he saw everyone as part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ). It is not that everyone is the Supreme Godhead. Such a theory, which is propounded by the Māyāvāda philosophy, is always misleading, and Rantideva would never have accepted it.
All those who followed the principles of King Rantideva were totally favored by his mercy and became pure devotees, attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. Thus they all became the best of yogis.
Because Rantideva was the king, the chief executive in the state, all the residents of the state became devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, by the king's transcendental association. This is the influence of a pure devotee.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
Mahā-Viṣṇu is a plenary expansion of Saṅkarṣaṇa, who is a plenary expansion of Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa is a plenary expansion of the catur-vyūha, and the catur-vyūha are plenary expansions of Baladeva, the first manifestation of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore when Kṛṣṇa appeared with Baladeva, all the viṣṇu-tattvas appeared with Him.
A Vaiṣṇava prays to the energy of the Lord for the opportunity to serve the Lord along with His spiritual energy. Thus Vaiṣṇavas all worship such Deities as Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Sītā-Rāma, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa and Rukmiṇī-Dvārakādhīśa, whereas durgā-śāktas worship the material energy under different names.
When Kṛṣṇa is there, it is to be understood that all His plenary expansions, such as Nārāyaṇa, and incarnations like Lord Nṛsiṁha and Varāha, are with Him, and they are not subject to the conditions of material existence. In this way, Devakī became the residence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is one without a second and the cause of all creation.
The highest blunder committed by the impersonalist is to think that when the incarnation of God comes, He accepts a form of matter in the mode of goodness. Actually the form of Kṛṣṇa or Nārāyaṇa is transcendental to any material idea. Even the greatest impersonalist, Śaṅkarācārya, has admitted, nārāyaṇaḥ paro 'vyaktāt: the material creation is caused by the avyakta, the impersonal manifestation of matter or the nonphenomenal total reservoir of matter, and Kṛṣṇa is transcendental to that material conception.
Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati: because a devotee is engaged in transcendental activities, he is not afraid of being materially embodied. (SB 6.17.28) Illustrating this liberated position, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu prayed, mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi: (Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4) "All I want is Your causeless devotional service in My life, birth after birth." Even if a devotee, by the supreme will of the Lord, takes birth in this material world, he continues his devotional service.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, descendant of King Bharata, Vasudeva could understand that this child was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. Having concluded this without a doubt, he became fearless. Bowing down with folded hands and concentrating his attention, he began to offer prayers to the child, who illuminated His birthplace by His natural influence.
Because Devakī was an unalloyed devotee, she could understand that the same Lord Viṣṇu had appeared as her son. Therefore, after the prayers of Vasudeva, Devakī offered her prayers. She was very frightened because of her brother's atrocities. Devakī said, "My dear Lord, Your eternal forms, like Nārāyaṇa, Lord Rāma, Śeṣa, Varāha, Nṛsiṁha, Vāmana, Baladeva, and millions of similar incarnations emanating from Viṣṇu, are described in the Vedic literature as original. You are original because all Your forms as incarnations are outside of this material creation. Your form was existing before this cosmic manifestation was created. Your forms are eternal and all-pervading. They are self-effulgent, changeless and uncontaminated by the material qualities. Such eternal forms are ever-cognizant and full of bliss; they are situated in transcendental goodness and are always engaged in different pastimes. You are not limited to a particular form only; all such transcendental, eternal forms are self-sufficient. I can understand that You are the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu." We may conclude, therefore, that Lord Viṣṇu is everything, although He is also different from everything. This is the acintya-bhedābheda-tattva philosophy.
Pure devotees, whose eyes are anointed with the ointment of prema, love, want to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Śyāmasundara, Muralīdhara, with a flute swaying in His two hands. This is the form available to the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, who are all in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Śyāmasundara, not as Lord Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, who is worshiped in Vaikuṇṭha, where the devotees admire His opulence.
Although it has become fashionable to speak of daridra-nārāyaṇa, the words viṣṇor ārādhanārthāya do not mean that all the people satisfied by Nanda Mahārāja in this great ceremony were Viṣṇus. They were not daridra, nor were they Nārāyaṇa. Rather, they were devotees of Nārāyaṇa, and by their educational qualifications they would satisfy Nārāyaṇa. Therefore, satisfying them was an indirect way of satisfying Lord Viṣṇu. Mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā (SB 11.19.21). The Lord says, "Worshiping My devotees is better than worshiping Me directly."
May Hṛṣīkeśa protect Your senses, and Nārāyaṇa Your life air. May the master of Śvetadvīpa protect the core of Your heart, and may Lord Yogeśvara protect Your mind.
May Lord Pṛśnigarbha protect Your intelligence, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Your soul. While You are playing, may Govinda protect You, and while You are sleeping may Mādhava protect You. May Lord Vaikuṇṭha protect You while You are walking, and may Lord Nārāyaṇa, the husband of the goddess of fortune, protect You while You are sitting. Similarly, may Lord Yajñabhuk, the fearful enemy of all evil planets, always protect You while You enjoy life.
Feeling the child to be as heavy as the entire universe and therefore being anxious, thinking that perhaps the child was being attacked by some other ghost or demon, the astonished mother Yaśodā put the child down on the ground and began to think of Nārāyaṇa. Foreseeing disturbances, she called for the brāhmaṇas to counteract this heaviness, and then she engaged in her other household affairs. She had no alternative than to remember the lotus feet of Nārāyaṇa, for she could not understand that Kṛṣṇa was the original source of everything.
Mother Yaśodā did not understand that Kṛṣṇa is the heaviest of all heavy things and that Kṛṣṇa rests within everything (mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni). As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (9.4), mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jagad avyakta-mūrtinā: Kṛṣṇa is everywhere in His impersonal form, and everything rests upon Him. Nonetheless, na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ: Kṛṣṇa is not everywhere. Mother Yaśodā was unable to understand this philosophy because she was dealing with Kṛṣṇa as His real mother by the arrangement of yogamāyā. Not understanding the importance of Kṛṣṇa, she could only seek shelter of Nārāyaṇa for Kṛṣṇa's safety and call the brāhmaṇas to counteract the situation.
It may be noted that Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, in his book Krama-sandarbha, has enunciated the purport of this verse. In every millennium, Kṛṣṇa appears in a different form, either as white, red or yellow, but this time He personally appeared in His original, blackish form and, as predicted by Gargamuni, exhibited the power of Nārāyaṇa. Because in this form the Supreme Personality of Godhead exhibits Himself fully, His name is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the all-attractive.
In conclusion, therefore, O Nanda Mahārāja, this child of yours is as good as Nārāyaṇa. In His transcendental qualities, opulence, name, fame and influence, He is exactly like Nārāyaṇa. You should all raise this child very carefully and cautiously.
In this verse, the word nārāyaṇa-samaḥ is significant. Nārāyaṇa has no equal. He is asamaurdhva: no one is equal to Him, and no one is greater than He is. As stated in śāstra:
- yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ
- samatvenaiva vīkṣeta
- sa pāṣaṇḍī bhaved dhruvam
- (CC Madhya 18.116)
One who equates Nārāyaṇa even with great exalted demigods like Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā is a pāṣaṇḍī, an agnostic. No one can equal Nārāyaṇa. Nonetheless, Gargamuni used the word sama, meaning "equal," because he wanted to treat Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead who had become Nanda Mahārāja's son. Gargamuni wanted to impress upon the mind of Nanda Mahārāja, "Your worshipable Deity, Nārāyaṇa, is so pleased with you that He has sent you a son almost equal to Him in qualifications. Therefore you may designate your son with a similar name, such as Mukunda or Madhusūdana. But you must always remember that whenever you want to do something very good, there will be many hindrances. Therefore you should raise and protect this child with great care. If you can protect this child very cautiously, as Nārāyaṇa always protects you, the child will be as good as Nārāyaṇa." Gargamuni also indicated that although the child was exaltedly qualified like Nārāyaṇa, He would enjoy more than Nārāyaṇa as rāsa-vihārī, the central enjoyer of the rāsa dance. As stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam: (Bs. 5.29) He would be served by many gopīs, who would all be as good as the goddess of fortune.
In the beginning, the Vedic purpose is pursued in three ways (trayī)—by karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa. When one reaches the complete, perfect stage of upāsanā-kāṇḍa, one comes to worship Nārāyaṇa, or Lord Viṣṇu. When Pārvatī asked Lord Mahādeva, Lord Śiva, what is the best method of upāsanā, or worship, Lord Śiva answered, ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param. Viṣṇūpāsanā, or viṣṇv-ārādhana, worship of Lord Viṣṇu, is the highest stage of perfection, as realized by Devakī.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Having thus spoken, the great saint Devarṣi Nārada returned to his āśrama, known as Nārāyaṇa-āśrama, and Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva became twin arjuna trees.
Because of intense paternal affection, the cowherd men, headed by Nanda, could not believe that Kṛṣṇa could have uprooted the trees in such a wonderful way. Therefore they could not put their faith in the words of the boys. Some of the men, however, were in doubt. "Since Kṛṣṇa was predicted to equal Nārāyaṇa," they thought, "it might be that He could have done it."
One view was that it was impossible for a small boy like this to have done such a thing as pulling down the trees. But there were doubts because Kṛṣṇa had been predicted to equal Nārāyaṇa. Therefore the cowherd men were in a dilemma.
Although Kṛṣṇa is Nārāyaṇa Himself, Gargamuni did not disclose this. Thus Nanda Mahārāja appreciated the words of Gargamuni, but because of his deep affection he could not understand who Kṛṣṇa was, although Gargamuni had said that Kṛṣṇa's qualities would be exactly like those of Nārāyaṇa.
Janma-lābhaḥ paraḥ puṁsām ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ (SB 2.1.6): if we can somehow or other remember Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa, at the end of life, our life will be successful.
Text 38 explains that Aghāsura attained a body exactly like that of Viṣṇu, and the verse after that also clearly states that he attained a completely spiritual body like that of Nārāyaṇa. Therefore in two or three places the Bhāgavatam has confirmed that Aghāsura attained sārūpya-mukti.
Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam: (Bs. 5.33) when we speak of Kṛṣṇa, we refer to all His avatāras, such as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, Nārāyaṇa, Viṣṇu, Lord Caitanya, Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma and Śyāmasundara. One who always thinks of Kṛṣṇa must attain vimukti, special salvation as the Lord's personal associate, not necessarily in Vṛndāvana, but at least in Vaikuṇṭha. This is called sārūpya-mukti.
When one full year had passed, Brahmā returned and saw that Kṛṣṇa was still engaged as usual with His friends and the calves and cows. Then Kṛṣṇa exhibited all the calves and cowherd boys as four-armed forms of Nārāyaṇa. Brahmā could then understand Kṛṣṇa's potency, and he was astonished by the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, his worshipable Lord. Kṛṣṇa, however, bestowed His causeless mercy upon Brahmā and released him from illusion. Thus Brahmā began to offer prayers to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
We should always remember that Kṛṣṇa is the only supreme master and that everyone else is His servant (ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya). Be one even Nārāyaṇa or Lord Śiva, everyone is subordinate to Kṛṣṇa (śiva-viriñci-nutam). Even Baladeva is subordinate to Kṛṣṇa. This is a fact.
"A person who considers demigods like Brahmā and Śiva to be on an equal level with Nārāyaṇa must certainly be considered an offender." No one can compare to Nārāyaṇa, or Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is Nārāyaṇa, and Nārāyaṇa is also Kṛṣṇa, for Kṛṣṇa is the original Nārāyaṇa. Brahmā himself addressed Kṛṣṇa, nārāyaṇas tvaṁ na hi sarva-dehinām: "You are also Nārāyaṇa. Indeed, You are the original Nārāyaṇa." (SB 10.14.14)
Brahmā had considered himself absolute, thinking himself the only powerful deity, but now his pride was subdued, and he again became merely one of the demigods—an important demigod, of course, but a demigod nonetheless. Brahmā, therefore, cannot be compared to God—Kṛṣṇa, or Nārāyaṇa. It is forbidden to compare Nārāyaṇa even to demigods like Brahmā and Śiva, what to speak of others.
- yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ
- samatvenaiva vīkṣeta
- sa pāṣaṇḍī bhaved dhruvam
- (CC Madhya 18.116)
"One who considers demigods like Brahmā and Śiva to be on an equal level with Nārāyaṇa must certainly be considered an offender." We should not equate the demigods with Nārāyaṇa, for even Śaṅkarācārya has forbidden this (nārāyaṇaḥ paro'vyaktāt). Also, as mentioned in the Vedas, eko nārāyaṇa āsīn na brahmā neśānaḥ: "In the beginning of creation there was only the Supreme Personality, Nārāyaṇa, and there was no existence of Brahmā or Śiva." Therefore, one who at the end of his life remembers Nārāyaṇa attains the perfection of life (ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ (SB 2.1.6)).
Now Brahmā saw Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing as a cowherd boy in Vṛndāvana, not demonstrating His opulence but standing just like an innocent boy with some food in His hand, loitering with His cowherd boyfriends, calves and cows. Brahmā did not see Kṛṣṇa as catur-bhuja, the opulent Nārāyaṇa; rather, he simply saw an innocent boy. Nonetheless, he could understand that although Kṛṣṇa was not demonstrating His power, He was the same Supreme person. people generally do not appreciate someone unless he shows something wonderful, but here, although Kṛṣṇa did not manifest anything wonderful, Brahmā could understand that the same wonderful person was present like an ordinary child, although He was the master of the whole creation. Thus Brahmā prayed, govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **: "You are the original person, the cause of everything. I bow down to You." This was his realization.
The Supreme Lord is narākṛti; that is, He resembles a human being. It is not that He is four-armed (catur-bāhu). Nārāyaṇa is catur-bāhu, but the Supreme Person resembles a human being. This is also confirmed in the Bible, where it is said that man was made in the image of God.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
My dear Lord, it is said that when the three planetary systems are merged into the water at the time of dissolution, Your plenary portion, Nārāyaṇa, lies down on the water, gradually a lotus flower grows from His navel, and Brahmā takes birth upon that lotus flower. Certainly, these words are not false. Thus am I not born from You?
Are You not the original Nārāyaṇa, O supreme controller, since You are the Soul of every embodied being and the eternal witness of all created realms? Indeed, Lord Nārāyaṇa is Your expansion, and He is called Nārāyaṇa because He is the generating source of the primeval water of the universe. He is real, not a product of Your illusory Māyā.
My dear King Parīkṣit, Lord Kṛṣṇa's wonderful, powerful dancing trampled and broke all of Kāliya's one thousand hoods. Then the serpent, profusely vomiting blood from his mouths, finally recognized Śrī Kṛṣṇa to be the eternal Personality of Godhead, the supreme master of all moving and nonmoving beings, Śrī Nārāyaṇa. Thus within his mind Kāliya took shelter of the Lord.
Therefore, O Nanda Mahārāja, this child of yours is as good as Nārāyaṇa. In His transcendental qualities, opulence, name, fame and influence, He is exactly like Nārāyaṇa. Thus you should not be astonished hy His activities.
(Nanda Mahārāja continued:) After Garga Ṛṣi spoke these words to me and returned home, I began to consider that Kṛṣṇa, who keeps us free from trouble, is actually an expansion of Lord Nārāyaṇa.
The beautiful gopīs said: O all-powerful one, You should not speak in this cruel way. Do not reject us, who have renounced all material enjoyment to render devotional service to Your lotus feet. Reciprocate with us, O stubborn one, just as the primeval Lord, Śrī Nārāyaṇa, reciprocates with His devotees in their endeavors for liberation.
Goddess Lakṣmī, whose glance is sought after by the demigods with great endeavor, has achieved the unique position of always remaining on the chest of her Lord, Nārāyaṇa. Still, she desires the dust of His lotus feet, even though she has to share that dust with Tulasī-devī and indeed with the Lord's many other servants. Similarly, we have approached the dust of Your lotus feet for shelter.
In this way Lord Kṛṣṇa, the original Lord Nārāyaṇa, master of the goddess of fortune, took pleasure in the company of the young women of Vraja by embracing them, caressing them and glancing lovingly at them as He smiled His broad, playful smiles. It was just as if a child were playing with his own reflection.
Śrī Akrūra said: I bow down to You, the cause of all causes, the original and inexhaustible Supreme Person, Nārāyaṇa. From the whorl of the lotus born from Your navel, Brahmā appeared, and by his agency this universe has come into being.
O Lord of lords, master of the universe, O You whose glories it is most pious to hear and chant! O best of the Yadus, O You whose fame is recounted in excellent poetry ! O Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa, I offer You my obeisances.
(The people said:) These two boys are certainly expansions of the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa who have descended to this world in the home of Vasudeva.
Śrī Uddhava said: O respectful Nanda, certainly you and mother Yaśodā are the most praiseworthy persons in the entire world, since you have developed such a loving attitude toward Lord Nārāyaṇa, the spiritual master of all living beings.
Anyone, even a person in an impure state, who absorbs his mind in Him for just a moment at the time of death burns up all traces of sinful reactions and immediately attains the supreme transcendental destination in a pure, spiritual form as effulgent as the sun. You two have rendered exceptional loving service to Him, Lord Nārāyaṇa, the Supersoul of all and the cause of all existence, the great soul who, although the original cause of everything, has a humanlike form. What pious deeds could still be required of you?
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Mucukunda bowed down to the Lord when he heard this. Remembering the words of the sage Garga, he joyfully recognized Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa. The King then addressed Him as follows.
There he arrived at Badarikāśrama, the abode of Lord Nara-Nārāyaṇa, where, remaining tolerant of all dualities, he peacefully worshiped the Supreme Lord Hari by performing severe austerities.
Rati said: You are the son of Lord Nārāyaṇa and were kidnapped from Your parents' home by Śambara. I, Rati, am Your legitimate wife, O master, because You are Cupid.
(The residents of Dvārakā said:) Obeisances unto You, O Nārāyaṇa, O holder of the conch, disc and club, O lotus-eyed Dāmodara, O Govinda, O cherished descendant of Yadu!
King Nagnajit first worshiped the Lord properly and then addressed Him: "O Nārāyaṇa, Lord of the universe, You are full in Your own spiritual pleasure. Therefore what can this insignificant person do for You?"
Seeing this personified weapon approach, Lord Nārāyaṇa then released His own personified fever weapon, the Viṣṇu-jvara. The Śiva-jvara and Viṣṇu-jvara thus battled each other.
O Devadeva, Jagannātha, Govinda, Puruṣottama, Nārāyaṇa, Hṛṣīkeśa, Puṇyaśloka, Acyuta, Avyaya! O Kṛṣṇa, please permit me to depart for the world of the demigods. Wherever I live, O master, may my mind always take shelter of Your feet.
After fully worshiping the great sage of the demigods according to Vedic injunctions, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is Himself the original sage—Nārāyaṇa, the friend of Nara—conversed with Nārada, and the Lord's measured speech was as sweet as nectar. Finally the Lord asked Nārada, "What may We do for you, Our lord and master?"
In this way Lord Nārāyaṇa imitated the ways of ordinary humans, manifesting His divine potencies for the benefit of all beings. Thus He enjoyed, dear King, in the company of His sixteen thousand exalted consorts, who served the Lord with their shy, affectionate glances and laughter.
In various ways King Yudhiṣṭhira, who had totally dedicated his life to Lord Nārāyaṇa, continuously honored his relatives, his immediate family, the other kings, his friends and well-wishers, and all others present as well.
By drinking her nectarean milk, the remnants of what Kṛṣṇa Himself had previously drunk, the six sons touched the transcendental body of the Lord, Nārāyaṇa, and this contact awakened them to their original identities. They bowed down to Govinda, Devakī, their father and Balarāma, and then, as everyone looked on, they left for the abode of the demigods.
Obeisances to You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa, whose intelligence is ever unrestricted. Obeisances to the sage Nara-Nārāyaṇa, who always undergoes austerities in perfect peace.
In this connection I will relate to you a narration concerning the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa. It is about a conversation that once occurred between Śrī Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi and Nārada Muni.
Once, while traveling among the various planets of the universe, the Lord's beloved devotee Nārada went to visit the primeval sage Nārāyaṇa at His āśrama.
From the very beginning of Brahmā's day Lord Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi has been undergoing austere penances in this land of Bhārata while perfectly performing religious duties and exemplifying spiritual knowledge and self-control—all for the benefit of human beings in both this world and the next.
There Nārada approached Lord Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, who was sitting amidst sages of the village of Kalāpa. After bowing down to the Lord, O hero of the Kurus, Nārada asked Him the very same question you have asked me.
As the sages listened, Lord Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi related to Nārada an ancient discussion about the Absolute Truth that took place among the residents of Janaloka.
The Supreme Lord, Śrī Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, said: Having heard these instructions about the Supreme Self, the Personality of Godhead, the sons of Brahmā now understood their final destination. They felt perfectly satisfied and honored Sanandana with their worship.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When Śrī Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi ordered him in this way, the self-possessed sage Nārada, whose vow is as heroic as a warrior's, accepted the command with firm faith. Now successful in all his purposes, he thought about what he had heard, O King, and replied to the Lord as follows.
(Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued:) After saying this, Nārada bowed down to Śrī Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, the foremost of sages, and also to His saintly disciples. He then returned to the hermitage of my father, Dvaipāyana Vyāsa.
Vyāsadeva, the incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, respectfully greeted Nārada Muni and offered him a seat, which he accepted. Nārada then described to Vyāsa what he had heard from the mouth of Śrī Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi.
The great demigods could only remain silent, not knowing how to counteract the benediction. Then Lord Śiva reached the luminous realm of Vaikuṇṭha, beyond all darkness, where the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa is manifest. That realm is the destination of renunciants who have attained peace and given up all violence against other creatures. Going there, one never returns.
Today you have made me remember my Lord, the supremely blissful Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. The Supreme Lord is so auspicious that whoever hears and chants about Him becomes completely pious.
Of the one hundred sons of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, the eldest, Bharata, was completely devoted to Lord Nārāyaṇa. It is because of Bharata's fame that this planet is now celebrated as the great Bhārata-varṣa.
In accordance with the particular nature one has acquired in conditioned life, whatever one does with body, words, mind, senses, intelligence or purified consciousness one should offer to the Supreme, thinking, "This is for the pleasure of Lord Nārāyaṇa."
Thus learning the science of devotional service and practically engaging in the devotional service of the Lord, the devotee comes to the stage of love of Godhead. And by complete devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, the devotee easily crosses over the illusory energy, māyā, which is extremely difficult to cross.
King Nimi inquired: Please explain to me the transcendental situation of the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa, who is Himself the Absolute Truth and the Supersoul of everyone. You can explain this to me, because you are all most expert in transcendental knowledge.
When the primeval Lord Nārāyaṇa created His universal body out of the five elements produced from Himself and then entered within that universal body by His own plenary portion, He thus became known as the Puruṣa.
The servants of the demigods reached the assembly of Indra, and thus, while all the residents of the three heavens listened, they explained to Indra the supreme power of Nārāyaṇa. When Indra heard of Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi and became aware of his offense, he was both frightened and astonished.
"Obeisances to You, O Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, and to Your forms of Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all obeisances unto You. O Lord Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, O creator of the universe, best of personalities, master of this cosmos and original form of the universe, O Supersoul of all created entities, all homage unto You."
My dear King, the inhabitants of Satya-yuga and other ages eagerly desire to take birth in this age of Kali, since in this age there will be many devotees of the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa. These devotees will appear in various places but will be especially numerous in South India. O master of men, in the age of Kali those persons who drink the waters of the holy rivers of Draviḍa-deśa, such as the Tāmraparṇī, Krtamālā, Payasvinī, the extremely pious Kāverī and the Pratīcī Mahānadī, will almost all be purehearted devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva.
Therefore, O Lord, feeling weary of material life and tormented by its distresses, I now surrender unto You because You are the perfect master. You are the unlimited, all-knowing Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose spiritual abode in Vaikuṇṭha is free from all disturbances. In fact, You are known as Nārāyaṇa, the true friend of all living beings.
The Lord of the universe, Nārāyaṇa, is the worshipable God of all living entities. Without extraneous assistance, the Lord creates this universe by His own potency, and at the time of annihilation the Lord destroys the universe through His personal expansion of time and withdraws all of the cosmos, including all the conditioned living entities, within Himself. Thus, His unlimited Self is the shelter and reservoir of all potencies. The subtle pradhāna, the basis of all cosmic manifestation, is conserved within the Lord and is in this way not different from Him. In the aftermath of annihilation the Lord stands alone.
The yogī who places his mind in My form of Nārāyaṇa, known as the fourth factor, full of all opulences, becomes endowed with My nature and thus obtains the mystic perfection called vaśitā.
Among ladies I am Śatarūpā, and among male personalities I am her husband, Svāyambhuva Manu. I am Nārāyaṇa among the sages and Sanat-kumāra among brahmacārīs.
Having thus worshiped the Lord in the sacrificial fire, the devotee should offer his obeisances to the Lord's personal associates by bowing down and should then present offerings to them. He should then chant quietly the mūla-mantra of the Deity of the Lord, remembering the Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality, Nārāyaṇa.
This is called the naimittika, or occasional, annihilation, during which the original creator, Lord Nārāyaṇa, lies down upon the bed of Ananta Śeṣa and absorbs the entire universe within Himself while Lord Brahmā sleeps.
O best of the Kurus, I have related to you these narrations of the pastimes of Lord Nārāyaṇa, the creator of this world and the ultimate reservoir of all existence, presenting them to you only in brief summary. Even Lord Brahmā himself would be incapable of describing them entirely.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: O great sage Śaunaka, your very question will help remove everyone's illusion, for it leads to the topics of Lord Nārāyaṇa, which cleanse away the contamination of this Kali age.
I offer my humble obeisances to Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the all-pervading and all-inclusive form of the universe, as well as its spiritual master. I bow down to Lord Nārāyaṇa, the supremely worshipable Deity appearing as a sage, and also to the saintly Nara, the best of human beings, who is fixed in perfect goodness, fully in control of his speech, and the propagator of the Vedic literatures.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: The Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa, the friend of Nara, was satisfied by the proper glorification offered by the intelligent sage Mārkaṇḍeya. Thus the Lord addressed that excellent descendant of Bhṛgu.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: The Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa had arranged this opulent display of His bewildering potency. Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi, having experienced it, took shelter of the Lord.
This literature fully glorifies the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari, who removes all His devotees' sinful reactions. The Lord is glorified as Nārāyaṇa, Hṛṣīkeśa and the Lord of the Sātvatas.
O most eminent of brāhmaṇas, you are all indeed extremely fortunate, since you have already placed within your hearts Lord Śrī Nārāyaṇa—the Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller and the ultimate Soul of all existence—beyond whom there is no other god. You have undeviating love for Him, and thus I request you to worship Him.