Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mukund Mala Strota Verse 10


mabhir manda-mano vicintya bahudha yamis ciram´ yatana

naivami prabhavanti papa-ripavah? svami nanu sridharah?

alasyam´ vyapaniya bhakti-sulabham´ dhyayasva narayanam´

lokasya vyasanapanodana-karo dasasya kim´ na ksamah


ma bhih

do not be afraid; manda foolish; manah? O mind; vicintya thinking; bahudha repeatedly; yamih? caused by Yamaraja, the lord of death; ciram long-lasting; yatanah? about the torments; na not; eva indeed; ami these; prabhavanti are effective; papa sinful reactions; ripavah? the enemies; svami master; nanu is He not; sri-dharah? the maintainer of the goddess of fortune; alasyam sloth; vyapaniya driving off; bhakti by devotional service; su-labham who is easily attained; dhyayasva just meditate; narayan?am upon the Supreme Lord Narayan?a; lokasya of the world; vyasana the troubles; apanodana-karah? who dispels; dasasya for His servant; kim what; na not; ks?amah? capable.


O foolish mind, stop your fearful fretting about the extensive torments imposed by Yamaraja. How can your enemies, the sinful reactions you have accrued, even touch you? After all, is your master not the Supreme Lord, the husband of Goddess Sri? Cast aside all hesitation and concentrate your thoughts on Lord Narayan?a, whom one very easily attains through devotional service. What can that dispeller of the whole world's troubles not do for His own servant?


In a very positive mood, King Kulasekhara reminds us that as long as we are under the protection of the supreme, all-powerful Lord, no harm can come to us, even that which our own sinful reactions would normally bring us. Lord Kr?s?n?a also orders Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita (9.31), "Declare it boldly: My devotee will never be vanquished."

Sinful life and its reactions are certainly serious matters, not to be easily dismissed. Yamaraja metes out hellish torments to all sinful living beings. But the process of bhakti is so potent that it drives away all sinful reactions as if they were merely enemies one might see in a bad dream. In Text 15 King Kulasekhara will recommend the chanting of the holy name of Kr?s?n?a as the best way to attain freedom from the miseries of birth and death. Namacarya Haridasa T?hakura concurs, declaring that even the shadow of pure chanting of the holy names, known as namabhasa, destroys the entire stock of sins one has accumulated for many lifetimes and thus grants liberation.

The devotees' claim to victory over birth and death is not an idle boast, but it requires full surrender to Lord Hari. The Lord offers this benediction to the unalloyed servant of His servant, and not to others. As long as one tries to protect oneself with wealth and worldly power, one will be an easy victim for powerful Maya. The jiva who is serious about freeing himself from sam´sara does not, therefore, pretend to act on his or her own prowess but always follows the authorized directions of the Supreme Lord and His representatives. Only such a dependent servitor of the Lord, under His full protection, can be confident of conquering birth and death.

In this prayer King Kulasekhara mentions Yamaraja, the lord of death, as the cause of long-lasting torments. But such suffering is not for the Lord's devotees. Yamaraja himself once instructed his servants, the Yamadutas, that those who chant the holy names of the Lord were not under Yama's jurisdiction. Yamaraja said, "Generally [the devotees] never commit sinful activities, but even if by mistake or because of bewilderment or illusion they sometimes commit sinful acts, they are protected from sinful reactions because they always chant the Hare Kr?s?n?a mantra" (Bhag. 6.3.26). Yamaraja told his followers they should not even go near the devotees. The Vais?n?avas are always protected by Lord Vis?n?u's club, and thus neither Lord Brahma nor even the time factor can chastise them.

Srila Prabhupada said that when a devotee receives initiation from his spiritual master he is freed from his karmic reactions. Pains and pleasures that may appear like continuing karmic reactions are merely the residual effects of nondevotional activities, like the last revolutions of an electric fan after it's been unplugged. But everything depends on the sincere execution of devotional service. One who again regularly transgresses the laws of God, even after taking the vows of initiation, is once more subject to the merciless dealings of the material nature.

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