Quality of Devotees

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.86.27-29 - Quality of Devotees (download mp3)
by Sridama Sakha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.86.27-29
srantan apy atha tan duraj
 janakah sva-grhagatan
anitesv asanagryesu
 sukhasinan maha-manah
pravrddha-bhaktya uddharsa-
natva tad-anghrin praksalya
 tad-apo loka-pavanih
sa-kutumbo vahan murdhna
 pujayam cakra isvaran

When King Bahulasva, a descendant of Janaka, saw Lord Krsna approaching his house from a distance with the sages, who were somewhat fatigued from the journey, he immediately arranged to have seats of honor brought out for them. After they were all comfortably seated, the wise King, his heart overflowing with joy and his eyes clouded by tears, bowed down to them and washed their feet with intense devotion. Taking the wash water, which could purify the entire world, he sprinkled it on his head and the heads of his family members. Then he worshiped all those great lords by offering them fragrant sandalwood paste, flower garlands, fine clothing and ornaments, incense, lamps, arghya and cows and bulls.

Srila Prabhupada comments: “Bahulasva, the King of Videha, was very intelligent and was a perfect gentleman. He was astonished that so many great sages, along with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, were personally present in his home. He knew perfectly well that conditioned souls engaged in worldly affairs cannot be one-hundred-percent pure whereas the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His pure devotees are always transcendental to worldly contamination. Therefore, when he found that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and all the great sages were at his home, he was astonished, and he began to thank Lord Krsna for His causeless mercy.”

The word isvara in this verse refers not only to the Supreme Lord but also to the exalted sages in His company; this is confirmed by Acaryas Sridhara Svami and Visvanatha Cakravarti.