Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Mukunda-mālā-stotra 34
cetaś cintaya kīrtayasva rasane namrī-bhava tvaḿ śiro
hastāv añjali-sampuṭaḿ racayataḿ vandasva dīrghaḿ vapuḥ
ātman saḿśraya puṇḍarīka-nayanaḿ nāgācalendra-sthitaḿ
dhanyaḿ puṇya-tamaḿ tad eva paramaḿ daivaḿ hi sat-siddhaye
cetaḥ — O mind; cintaya — please think; kīrtayasva — please glorify; rasane — O tongue; namrī — bowed down; bhava — become; tvam — you; śiraḥ — O head; hastau — O hands; añjali-sampuṭam — palms folded in supplication; racayatam — please make; vandasva — please offer obeisances; dīrgham — outstretched; vapuḥ — O body; ātman — O heart; saḿśraya — take full shelter; puṇḍarīka — like lotuses; nayanam — of Him whose eyes; nāga — on the serpent; acala — of mountains; indra — like the king; sthitam — seated; dhanyam — all-auspicious; puṇya-tamam — supremely purifying; tat — He; eva — alone; paramam — the topmost; daivam — Deity; hi — indeed; sat — of permanent perfection; siddhaye — for the achievement.
O mind, think of the lotus-eyed Lord who reclines on the mountainlike serpent Ananta. O tongue, glorify Him. O head, bow down to Him. O hands, join your palms in supplication to Him. O body, offer outstretched obeisances to Him. O heart, take full shelter of Him. That Supreme Lord is the topmost Deity. It is He alone who is all-auspicious and supremely purifying, He alone who awards eternal perfection.
This verse is similar to Text 20, wherein the poet instructs his mind, his tongue, his head, and other parts of his body to serve the Lord with full, reverent devotion. Here King Kulaśekhara also offers us some succinct reasons why the Lord is worshipable. He is no mortal being but rather the inconceivable Mahā-Viṣṇu, who lies on the serpent couch Ananta Śeṣa. Lord Śeṣa is Himself the resting place of all the universes, and Mahā-Viṣṇu is the omnipotent source of all creation.
The Supreme Absolute Truth is complete along with His personal energies, who serve and worship Him. Just as a king is complete only when he interacts with his loving subjects, so the Parabrahman is complete along with his worshipers. And the devotees are fully satisfied only when rendering devotional service to the Lord. Throughout his prayers, King Kulaśekhara advocates the relationship of the eternal servant with his eternal Lord. He never suggests that the living entities can become one in all respects with the Supreme, or that both the servants and the Lord will ultimately lose their identity in impersonal Brahman. The impersonal theory of the Absolute is an interpretive one, and does not come directly from the Vedic scriptures. The Vedas personified make this statement in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.87.30):
aparimitā dhruvās tanu-bhṛto yadi sarva-gatās
tarhi na śāsyateti niyamo dhruva netarathā
ajani ca yan-mayaḿ tad avimucya niyantṛ bhavet
samam anujānatāḿ yad amataḿ mata-duṣṭatayā
"O supreme eternal! If the embodied living entities were eternal and all-pervading like You, then they would not be under Your control. But if the living entities are accepted as minute energies of Your Lordship, then they are at once subject to Your supreme control. Therefore real liberation entails surrender by the living entities to Your control, and that surrender will make them happy. In that constitutional position only can they be controllers. Therefore, men with limited knowledge who advocate the monistic theory that God and the living entities are equal in all respects are actually misleading themselves and others."
Worship of the Supreme Lord is auspicious and purifying. It clears all dirt from our heart, including the illusion that we are the prime mover in our world and the center of enjoyment. To worship someone or something greater than ourselves is natural, but we often mistake a great person or demigod as the proper object of worship. In the Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa makes it clear that He alone is the only proper object of worship. And in this verse King Kulaśekhara reiterates this point by stating that the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord is the topmost Deity. For universal management Lord Kṛṣṇa expands into many Viṣṇu forms and empowers millions of demigods. Thus there are innumerable deities, or īśvaras (controllers), but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the topmost controller of all.
King Kulaśekhara's prayer calls to mind similar prayers in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Vedic śāstras, uttered by devotees who attained the direct vision (darśana) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The pure devotees always receive the darśana of the Lord in a mood of worshipful ecstasy. They never consider Him an ordinary human being of this universe; nor do they seek to lose their identities and merge into His impersonal effulgence. The devotional sentiments such exalted Vaiṣṇavas express evince the natural awakening of the soul as it comes into the presence of the Lord. The soul becomes humbled and purified and worships his beloved Lord with eloquent prayers and praises. In reciprocation, the Lord bestows His mercy upon His devotees.
In this prayer King Kulaśekhara speaks of the ṣaṭ-siddhi, or permanent achievement, awarded by the Supreme Lord. This refers to the personal liberation of going back to Godhead. The jīvas are qualitatively one with Kṛṣṇa, and when they come together with Him, a natural attraction occurs. The devotee then wants to use all his faculties to worship the Supreme Lord, who is auspicious to worship and inconceivably great. As great as He is, however, He doesn't force reciprocation. Kṛṣṇa makes this clear in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.11): "As they approach Me, I reciprocate with them." Thus it is up to the devotee to choose to serve the Lord out of his own free will.
This verse is, therefore, a call to one's free will. It is a prayer to one's own self to not misuse one's God-given faculties but to engage them in the Lord's service and worship. Because Kṛṣṇa is supremely independent and we are part and parcel of Him, we have minute free will, and so the all-important decision is in our own hands. As Prabhupāda would say, "Man is the architect of his own fortune." Hearing the prayers of King Kulaśekhara inspires us to use our free will properly.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari