Its The Thought That Counts

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.11.26-36 - Its The Thought That Counts (download mp3)
by Radhanath Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 9.11.26
asikta-margam gandhodaih
karinam mada-sikaraih
svaminam praptam alokya
mattam va sutaram iva

During the reign of Lord Ramacandra, the streets of the capital, Ayodhya, were sprinkled with perfumed water and drops of perfumed liquor, thrown about by elephants from their trunks. When the citizens saw the Lord personally supervising the affairs of the city in such opulence, they appreciated this opulence very much.
We have simply heard about the opulence of Rama-rajya during the reign of Lord Ramacandra. Now, here is one example of the opulence of the Lord's kingdom. The streets of Ayodhya were not only cleaned but also sprinkled with perfumed water and drops of perfumed liquor, which were distributed by elephants through their trunks. There was no need of sprinkling machines, for the elephant has a natural ability to suck water through its trunk and again throw it out in a shower. We can understand the opulence of the city from this one example: it was actually sprinkled with perfumed water. Moreover, the citizens had the opportunity to see the Lord personally supervising the affairs of the state. He was not a sleeping monarch, as we can understand from His activities in sending His brothers to see to affairs outside the capital and punish anyone who did not obey the emperor's orders. This is called dig-vijaya. The citizens were all given facilities for peaceful life, and they were also qualified with appropriate attributes according to varnasrama. As we have seen from the previous chapter, varnasrama-gunanvitah: the citizens were trained according to the varnasrama system. A class of men were brahmanas, a class of men were ksatriyas, a class were vaisyas, and a class were sudras. Without this scientific division, there can be no question of good citizenship. The King, being magnanimous and perfect in His duty, performed many sacrifices and treated the citizens as His sons, and the citizens, being trained in the varnasrama system, were obedient and perfectly ordered. The entire monarchy was so opulent and peaceful that the government was even able to sprinkle the street with perfumed water, what to speak of other management. Since the city was sprinkled with perfumed water, we can simply imagine how opulent it was in other respects. Why should the citizens not have felt happy during the reign of Lord Ramacandra.

SB 9.11.27
patakabhis ca manditam

The palaces, the palace gates, the assembly houses, the platforms for meeting places, the temples and all such places were decorated with golden waterpots and bedecked with various types of flags.

SB 9.11.28
pugaih savrntai rambhabhih
pattikabhih suvasasam
adarsair amsukaih sragbhih

Wherever Lord Ramacandra visited, auspicious welcome gates were constructed, with banana trees and betel nut trees, full of flowers and fruits. The gates were decorated with various flags made of colorful cloth and with tapestries, mirrors and garlands.

SB 9.11.29
tam upeyus tatra tatra
paura arhana-panayah
asiso yuyujur deva
pahimam prak tvayoddhrtam

Wherever Lord Ramacandra visited, the people approached Him with paraphernalia of worship and begged the Lord's blessings. "O Lord," they said, "as You rescued the earth from the bottom of the sea in Your incarnation as a boar, may You now maintain it. Thus we beg Your blessings."

SB 9.11.30
tatah praja viksya patim ciragatam
didrksayotsrsta-grhah striyo narah
aruhya harmyany aravinda-locanam
atrpta-netrah kusumair avakiran

Thereafter, not having seen the Lord for a long time, the citizens, both men and women, being very eager to see Him, left their homes and got up on the roofs of the palaces. Being incompletely satiated with seeing the face of the lotus-eyed Lord Ramacandra, they showered flowers upon Him.

SB 9.11.31-34
atha pravistah sva-grham
justam svaih purva-rajabhih
sthalair marakataih svacchair
citra-sragbhih pattikabhir
mukta-phalais cid-ullasaih
dhupa-dipaih surabhibhir
manditam puspa-mandanaih
stri-pumbhih sura-sankasair
justam bhusana-bhusanaih

Thereafter, Lord Ramacandra entered the palace of His forefathers. Within the palace were various treasures and valuable wardrobes. The sitting places on the two sides of the entrance door were made of coral, the yards were surrounded by pillars of vaidurya-mani, the floor was made of highly polished marakata-mani, and the foundation was made of marble. The entire palace was decorated with flags and garlands and bedecked with valuable stones, shining with a celestial effulgence. The palace was fully decorated with pearls and surrounded by lamps and incense. The men and women within the palace all resembled demigods and were decorated with various ornaments, which seemed beautiful because of being placed on their bodies.

SB 9.11.35
tasmin sa bhagavan ramah
snigdhaya priyayestaya
reme svarama-dhiranam
rsabhah sitaya kila

Lord Ramacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, chief of the best learned scholars, resided in that palace with His pleasure potency, mother Sita, and enjoyed complete peace.

SB 9.11.36
bubhuje ca yatha-kalam
kaman dharmam apidayan
varsa-pugan bahun nrnam

Without transgressing the religious principles, Lord Ramacandra, whose lotus feet are worshiped by devotees in meditation, enjoyed with all the paraphernalia of transcendental pleasure for as long as needed.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Eleventh Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Lord Ramacandra Rules the World."