Bhagawatam 158: How should we meditate upon the limbs of the Supreme Lord?

Maharishi Kapila continued, “Goddess Lakshmi, who has lotus-like eyes, is the mother of creator Brahma. She is revered by all the Devatas. Such Goddess Lakshmi keeps the Lord’s shanks on her thighs and gently massages them with her lustrous hands.

Next the yoga practitioner should meditate upon the knees of the birthless Lord Srihari who dispels the fear of re-births.

The Lord’s knees are the refuge for all energy and strength! They are luminous like the linseed flower. These knees rest on the shoulders of Garuda and glow divinely. His golden-yellow Pitambara clothing stretches up to His ankles. His waistband, made up of exquisite pearls, encircles the entire universe.

From the deep navel of Srihari, who is the support for all the worlds, arose a beautiful deep lotus which contains in it all the worlds. From this lotus arose Lord Brahma. Such navel should be meditated upon.

His breasts resemble a pair of shining lovely emeralds. They glow with a white radiance due to the luster of the pearl chains which adorn His chest. They should be meditated upon.

Srihari is that Supreme Lord who is worshipped by all the worlds. His chest is the residence for Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of fortune. It fills the mind and eyes of the practitioner who meditates upon it with total joy. The luster of His neck adds beauty to the exquisitely glittering Kausthuba gem situated on His chest! The practitioner should visualize this neck and meditate upon it.

The rotating Mandara Mountain polished the armlets and other ornaments that adorn His shoulders, causing them to shine even more resplendently. His arms and the guardian deities of the worlds who take refuge in these arms are engaged in completing their duties. It is impossible to withstand the brilliance of Sudarshana chakra (discus) that emits innumerable sparkling rays. In His lotus-like hands the conch glitters like a royal swan. The yoga practitioner should meditate upon each of them.

His mace is known as Koumodaki. This mace, which is smeared with the blood of powerful demons that were crushed by it, is very dear to Lord Srihari. A long Vanamāla garland adorns His neck. A swarm of bees hover around it buzzing melodiously. The glittering pure Kausthuba gem that adorns His neck represents the pure jeeva-tattva. The yoga practitioner should meditate upon each of them.

Purely to bless His devotees Srihari took up a form. With its long and raised nose, His lotus face glows brilliantly.  The beauty of His pure shining cheeks is further enhanced with the reflection of the crocodile-shaped earrings that dazzle on His ears. Such face should be meditated upon.

The Lord’s lotus face is the repository of all beauty! It is adorned by curly hair.  It glows with attractive eyes and strikingly beautiful eyebrows. His beautiful eyes deride even that lovely lotus which is surrounded by bees and which is a shelter for two fish. The Yoga practitioner should diligently store the imprint of this beautiful face in his mind and meditate upon it.

The Lord’s eyes are filled with compassion which flows uninterruptedly towards his devotees. To the devotee, it gives relief from the 3 types of afflictions that torment him. This gaze is filled with love and is accompanied by a charming smile. Such gaze bestows innumerable blessings upon the devotee. In the cave known as the intellect, the yoga practitioner should meditate upon this gaze of the Supreme Lord!

Hāsaṁ harer avanatākhila-loka-tīvra- śokāśru-sāgara-viśoṣaam atyudāram

Sammohanāya racitaṁ nija-māyayāsya bhrū-maṇḍala muni-kte makara-dhvajasya

His charming smile dries up the ocean of tears formed due to extreme grief in the devotee. Hence this smile should be meditated upon! The Yoga practitioner should then meditate upon the eyebrows of the Lord, which He created using His illusionary power, so as to protect the saints from the arrows of Manmatha (the Lord of desire).

When Srihari laughs loudly the glow on His lower lip emanates brightly. Due to its reflection, His two rows of teeth that are like jasmine buds gleam in red colour. The yoga practitioner should focus upon Lord Srihari in his heart-space and should meditate upon His charming smile.

The spiritual aspirant should surrender his mind that is overflowing with love to Lord Srihari. He should never desire to see anything other than Srihari! When this is done, the heart of the practitioner which is overflowing with love towards Srihari will thrive in devotion! This bliss will cause his body to horripilate. Again and again tears of joy will flow from his eyes, drenching his body.

Just as a fishing hook catches the fish, until now the mind of the practitioner caught the Lord and drew Him closer. Now the Yogi detaches this mind from the object of meditation. When this is continued relentlessly for some period of time, the mind will be absolved totally of feelings of I-ness.

The mind of the Yogi which is now totally established in dispassion, will, like the flame of the lamp merge completely into the Self. He will be totally absolved of all bondages that were caused due to oneness with the body.

He experientially realizes that the limitless Self, which is devoid of differences such as seer and seen, is the root behind everything. Spiritual ignorance (avidya) will be totally washed away in the Self-realized jnani. He will be established in his original form which is over and beyond dualities such as joys-sorrows. His mind merges into his original Self.

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