The Pilgrim’s Progress

Pilgrims Progress

click on image to enlarge

With the coming of Spring I am always inclined to travel. Spring always seems like a good season to began a journey. With this in mind, I was reading this morning from the Srimad Bhagavatam about how Vidura left the home of his brother to devote himself completely to the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

Places of pilgrimages are meant for eradicating the sins of the pilgrims, and they are distributed all over the universe just to give facility to all concerned for attaining pure existence and God realization. One should not be satisfied, however, merely by visiting the places of pilgrimage and performing one’s prescribed duties; he should be eager to meet the great souls who are already there, engaged in the service of the Lord. In each and every place of pilgrimage, the Lord is present in His various transcendental forms.

In the land of Bhāratavarṣa (India) there are many hundreds and thousands of places of pilgrimage distributed all over the country, and by traditional practice the common man visits such holy places during all seasons of the year. Some of the arcā representations of the Lord situated in different places of pilgrimage… There are millions and billions of such arcā forms of the Lord distributed all over the universe. All these arcā-mūrtis are summarized in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta in the following words:

“The Lord has so distributed Himself all over the universe just to give pleasure to the devotees, to give the common man facility to eradicate his sins, and to establish religious principles in the world.” (from purports to SB 3.1.17-18)

arca murtis

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Third Canto, Chapter 1, Text 17-18

TEXT 17

sa nirgataḥ kaurava-puṇya-labdho
gajāhvayāt tīrtha-padaḥ padāni
anvākramat puṇya-cikīrṣayorvyām
adhiṣṭhito yāni sahasra-mūrtiḥ

saḥ—he (Vidura); nirgataḥ—after having quit; kaurava—the Kuru dynasty; puṇya—piety; labdhaḥ—so achieved; gaja-āhvayāt—from Hastināpura; tīrtha-padaḥ—of the Supreme Lord; padāni—pilgrimages; anvākramat—took shelter; puṇya—piety; cikīrṣayā—desiring so; urvyām—of high grade; adhiṣṭhitaḥ—situated; yāni—all those; sahasra—thousands; mūrtiḥ—forms.

TRANSLATION

By his piety, Vidura achieved the advantages of the pious Kauravas. After leaving Hastināpura, he took shelter of many places of pilgrimages, which are the Lord’s lotus feet. With a desire to gain a high order of pious life, he traveled to holy places where thousands of transcendental forms of the Lord are situated.

PURPORT

Vidura was undoubtedly a highly elevated and pious soul, otherwise he would not have taken his birth in the Kaurava family. To have high parentage, to possess wealth, to be highly learned and to have great personal beauty are all due to past pious acts. But such pious possessions are not sufficient for obtaining the grace of the Lord and being engaged in His transcendental loving service. Vidura considered himself less pious, and therefore he decided to travel to all the great places of pilgrimage in the world in order to achieve greater piety and advance nearer to the Lord. At that time, Lord Kṛṣṇa was personally present in the world, and Vidura could have at once approached Him directly, but he did not do so because he was not sufficiently freed from sin. One cannot be one hundred percent devoted to the Lord unless and until he is completely free from all effects of sin. Vidura was conscious that by the association of the diplomatic Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Duryodhana he had lost his piety and was therefore not fit to associate at once with the Lord. In Bhagavad-gītā (7.28) this is confirmed in the following verse:

yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ

Persons who are sinful asuras like Kaṁsa and Jarāsandha cannot think of Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth. Only those who are pure devotees, those who follow the regulative principles of religious life as prescribed in the scriptures, are able to engage themselves in karma-yoga and then jñāna-yoga and thereafter, by pure meditation, can understand pure consciousness. When God consciousness is developed, one can take advantage of the association of pure devotees. Syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt: one is able to associate with the Lord even during the existence of this life.

Places of pilgrimages are meant for eradicating the sins of the pilgrims, and they are distributed all over the universe just to give facility to all concerned for attaining pure existence and God realization. One should not be satisfied, however, merely by visiting the places of pilgrimage and performing one’s prescribed duties; he should be eager to meet the great souls who are already there, engaged in the service of the Lord. In each and every place of pilgrimage, the Lord is present in His various transcendental forms.

These forms are called arcā-mūrtis, or forms of the Lord which can be easily appreciated by the common man. The Lord is transcendental to our mundane senses. He cannot be seen with our present eyes, nor can He be heard with our present ears. To the degree that we have entered into the service of the Lord or to the proportion to which our lives are freed from sins, we can perceive the Lord. But even though we are not free from sins, the Lord is kind enough to allow us the facility of seeing Him in His arcā-mūrtis in the temple. The Lord is all-powerful, and therefore He is able to accept our service by presentation of His arcā form. No one, therefore, should foolishly think the arcā in the temple to be an idol. Such an arcā-mūrti is not an idol but the Lord Himself, and to the proportion to which one is free from sins, he is able to know the significance of the arcā-mūrti. The guidance of a pure devotee is therefore always required.

In the land of Bhāratavarṣa there are many hundreds and thousands of places of pilgrimage distributed all over the country, and by traditional practice the common man visits such holy places during all seasons of the year. Some of the arcā representations of the Lord situated in different places of pilgrimage are mentioned herewith. The Lord is present at Mathurā (the birthplace of Lord Kṛṣṇa) as Ādi-keśava; the Lord is present at Purī (Orissa) as Lord Jagannātha (also known as Puruṣottama); He is present at Allahabad (Prayāga) as Bindu-mādhava; at Mandara Hill He is present as Madhusūdana. In the Ānandāraṇya, He is known as Vāsudeva, Padmanābha and Janārdana; at Viṣṇukāñcī, He is known as Viṣṇu; and at Māyāpura, He is known as Hari. There are millions and billions of such arcā forms of the Lord distributed all over the universe. All these arcā-mūrtis are summarized in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta in the following words:

sarvatra prakāśa tāṅra——bhakte sukha dite
jagatera adharma nāśi’ dharma sthāpite

“The Lord has so distributed Himself all over the universe just to give pleasure to the devotees, to give the common man facility to eradicate his sins, and to establish religious principles in the world.”

The-travels-of-Vidura-take-him-to-Vaisnava-temples-all-over-India

TEXT 18

pureṣu puṇyopavanādri-kuñjeṣv
apaṅka-toyeṣu sarit-saraḥsu
ananta-liṅgaiḥ samalaṅkṛteṣu
cacāra tīrthāyataneṣv ananyaḥ

pureṣu—holy places like Ayodhyā, Dvārakā and Mathurā; puṇya—piety; upavana—the air; adri—hill; kuñjeṣu—in the orchards; apaṅka—without sin; toyeṣu—in the water; sarit—river; saraḥsu—lakes; ananta-liṅgaiḥ—the forms of the Unlimited; samalaṅkṛteṣu—being so decorated; cacāra—executed; tīrtha—places of pilgrimage; āyataneṣu—holy lands; ananyaḥ—alone or seeing Kṛṣṇa alone.

TRANSLATION

He began to travel alone, thinking only of Kṛṣṇa, through various holy places like Ayodhyā, Dvārakā and Mathurā. He traveled where the air, hill, orchard, river and lake are all pure and sinless and where the forms of the Unlimited decorate the temples. Thus he performed the pilgrim’s progress.

PURPORT

These arcā forms of the Lord may be considered idols by the atheists, but that does not matter for persons like Vidura or His many other servants. The forms of the Lord are mentioned here as ananta-liṅga. Such forms of the Lord have unlimited potency, the same as that of the Lord Himself. There is no difference between the potencies of the arcā and those of the personal forms of the Lord. The example of the postbox and post office may be applied here. The little postboxes distributed all over the city have the same potency as the postal system in general. The duty of the post office is to carry letters from one place to another. If one puts letters in postboxes authorized by the general post office, the function of carrying letters is performed without a doubt. Similarly, the arcā-mūrti can also deliver the same unlimited potency of the Lord as when He is personally present. Vidura, therefore, could see nothing but Kṛṣṇa in the different arcā forms, and ultimately he was able to realize Kṛṣṇa alone and nothing else.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Click on image to go to Post

Click on image to go to Post

The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

click on image

click on image to visit site

Srimad Bhagavatam Online

click on image

Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

click on image

click on image

Blog Stats

  • 1,428,389 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,011 other followers

Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

click on image

click on image

Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

click on image

click on image

Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

click on image

Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

click on image

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

click on image

click on image

July 9th Letter

click on image

click on image

The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

click on image

click on image

%d bloggers like this: