Narsimha Chaturdashi - Evening Festival Class

by Radha Gopinath Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 05.18.09
svasty astu viśvasya khalaḥ prasīdatāṁ
dhyāyantu bhūtāni śivaṁ mitho dhiyā
manaś ca bhadraṁ bhajatād adhokṣaje
āveśyatāṁ no matir apy ahaitukī

May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.

The following verse describes a Vaiṣṇava:

vāñchā-kalpa-tarubhyaś ca
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
Just like a desire tree, a Vaiṣṇava can fulfill all the desires of anyone who takes shelter of his lotus feet. Prahlāda Mahārāja is a typical Vaiṣṇava. He prays not for himself but for all living entities — the gentle, the envious and the mischievous. He always thought of the welfare of mischievous persons like his father, Hiraṇyakaśipu. Prahlāda Mahārāja did not ask for anything for himself; rather, he prayed for the Lord to excuse his demoniac father. This is the attitude of a Vaiṣṇava, who always thinks of the welfare of the entire universe.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and bhāgavata-dharma are meant for persons who are completely free of envy (parama-nirmatsarāṇām). Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja prays in this verse, khalaḥ prasīdatām: “May all the envious persons be pacified.” The material world is full of envious persons, but if one frees himself of envy, he becomes liberal in his social dealings and can think of others’ welfare. Anyone who takes up Kṛṣṇa consciousness and engages himself completely in the service of the Lord cleanses his mind of all envy (manaś ca bhadraṁ bhajatād adhokṣaje). Therefore we should pray to Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva to sit in our hearts. We should pray, bahir nṛsiṁho hṛdaye nṛsiṁhaḥ: “Let Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva sit in the core of my heart, killing all my bad propensities. Let my mind become clean so that I may peacefully worship the Lord and bring peace to the entire world.”

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has given us a very fine purport in this regard. Whenever one offers a prayer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one always requests some benediction from Him. Even pure (niṣkāma) devotees pray for some benediction, as instructed by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka:

ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ
patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau
kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-
sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya
“O son of Mahārāja Nanda [Kṛṣṇa], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick Me up from the ocean of death and place Me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.” In another prayer Lord Caitanya says, mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi: “Life after life, kindly let Me have unalloyed love and devotion at Your Lordship’s lotus feet.” When Prahlāda Mahārāja chants oṁ namo bhagavate narasiṁhāya, he prays for a benediction from the Lord, but because he is also an exalted Vaiṣṇava, he wants nothing for his personal sense gratification. The first desire expressed in his prayer is svasty astu viśvasya: “Let there be good fortune throughout the entire universe.” Prahlāda Mahārāja thus requested the Lord to be merciful to everyone, including his father, a most envious person. According to Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, there are two kinds of envious living entities: one is a snake, and the other is the man like Hiraṇyakaśipu, who is by nature envious of everyone, even of his father or son. Hiraṇyakaśipu was envious of his little son Prahlāda, but Prahlāda Mahārāja asked a benediction for the benefit of his father. Hiraṇyakaśipu was very envious of devotees, but Prahlāda wished that his father and other demons like him would give up their envious nature by the grace of the Lord and stop harassing the devotees (khalaḥ prasīdatām). The difficulty is that the khala (envious living entity) is rarely pacified. One kind of khala, the snake, can be pacified simply by mantras or by the action of a particular herb (mantrauṣadhi-vaśaḥ sarpaḥ khalakena nivāryate). An envious person, however, cannot be pacified by any means. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja prays that all envious persons may undergo a change of heart and think of the welfare of others.

If the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spreads all over the world, and if by the grace of Kṛṣṇa everyone accepts it, the thinking of envious people will change. Everyone will think of the welfare of others. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja prays, śivaṁ mitho dhiyā. In material activities, everyone is envious of others, but in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, no one is envious of anyone else; everyone thinks of the welfare of others. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja prays that everyone’s mind may become gentle by being fixed at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa (bhajatād adhokṣaje). As indicated elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ) and as advised by Lord Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (18.65), man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ, one should constantly think of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Then one’s mind will certainly be cleansed (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam). Materialists always think of sense gratification, but Prahlāda Mahārāja prays that the Lord’s mercy will change their minds and they will stop thinking of sense gratification. If they think of Kṛṣṇa always, everything will be all right. Some people argue that if everyone thought of Kṛṣṇa in that way, the whole universe would be vacated because everyone would go back home, back to Godhead. However, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that this is impossible because the living entities are innumerable. If one set of living entities is actually delivered by the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, another set will fill the entire universe.

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