Bhagawatam 189: The assembled guests pray to Lord Srihari who manifests in Daksha’s Yagna

The assembled guests continued to pray,

“In this world, dualities such as happiness-sorrows, victory-loss are the deep pits into which people keep falling repeatedly. In addition, people suffer terribly due to existence of ferocious wild animals known as ‘wicked persons’ in the society. There is no limit to their suffering.

O Lord, in this forest called samsāra the huge fire called grief eternally burns. In this path, human beings carry huge luggage known as body, house, wealth and struggle under its weight. They eagerly chase mirages known as sensory pleasures. It is desire that causes people to be infatuated towards this worldly path. If only such foolish persons would hold on to Your lotus feet, O Lord, definitely they would obtain protection. When will they learn to seek shelter under Your feet, O Lord?”

Swamiji explains:

Even after endless suffering why are people unable to surrender to You? They would be freed from their afflictions if only they surrender. They complain of bodily pains, but not even once do they offer that pain to Paramatma. These foolish people believe that Paramatma has no role in it, as it is their body that undergoes pain. They consider this body to be everything. Bodily pleasures themselves are liberation according to them.

The physical as well as mental agony that a being undergoes is limitless. He suffers in all his 3 bodies. If only he had surrendered whole-heartedly to the Lord, definitely the Lord will protect.

What is this illusion that has trapped people? At every moment, feelings of ‘me and mine’ run in their mind. ‘This is ‘mine’, he is ‘my’ relative, she is ‘my’ daughter, this is ‘my’ body and since it is diseased, ‘I’ need to heal it by undergoing an operation; this is ‘my’ pain’ – this is their way of thinking. It is not that pain should not be attended to. Going to a doctor and taking treatment is the right course, but meanwhile offer this body and this pain to the Lord. After all, one day you have to let go off this body. Even after taking extreme precautions to preserve the body from diseases, even after having given it endless treatment to set it right, the truth is that one day you have to let go off this body! You cannot take it with you.

You say, ‘at least as long as I live, I must be comfortable in this body’. Does it mean that you are not seeking happiness after leaving your body? If at all you seek happiness even after giving up this body, then offer the senses together with the pain to the Lord. ‘Let this body undergo pain. It is my destiny after all. I need to experience this’. Why can’t any person develop such stubborn attitude towards suffering and pain?

In every other aspect, the person is adamant. He is adamant that his desire should be fulfilled; he is adamant that he wins every argument; he is adamant that he should recover from his illness and so forth. Here once again I re-iterate that I am not against medication and treatment. I do not say that confusions and misunderstandings at home should not be set right. However along with your actions towards recovery, mentally surrender to the Lord! Why are you unable to put this into practice? This is what the assembled guests questioned. Now let’s get back to Bhagawatam.

Rudra then prayed, “O Srihari! O bestower of boons! The deluded living beings who are full of desires and Maharishis who are absolutely desireless- everyone in this creation worships Your lotus feet”.

Swamiji explains:

It is a misconception that people worship the Lord purely for fulfillment of desires. The truth is that even those who are desireless worship His holy feet. They seek shelter under Him. They seek to obtain the Supreme Lord itself! The one who has desires has love towards his body.

In the person who is desireless such attachment and love towards the body would have died down. He realizes that for having taken up a body, experiences are a must. So he retains only that much body-identification as is needed for existence. He eats only as much as needed for survival. He breathes only because life should continue. He does not struggle beyond this.

As against this, we struggle eternally for maintaining our body. More important than this is our dedication towards acquiring assets. Do you even know why you are struggling to acquire them? You struggle seeking the well-being of the children but in the process children do not know what it is to struggle and earn. Even a bird allows its babies to fetch their own food once they develop wings. The bird struggles and finds its own way. This is the rule of karma.

Human beings however are dependant up to the age of three upon parents. Only when the infant is properly nourished by the mother for three years, it survives. All other living beings live and earn their food independently right from beginning.

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