Thursday, December 27, 2012

68 Santhanagopalam - Glory of the Supreme Person (part II)

Krishna takes Arjuna to westwards, to retrieve the children of the brahmin. Sudarshana, the Lord's discus, blazing like a million suns and quick as thought, made its way piercing the most terrible darkness, created by Krishna himself. Following the path made by Sudarshana, the chariot reaches the end of the region of darkness. Beyond it shone the region of the supreme, infinite and all-pervading light. Arjuna had to shut his eyes. Crossing the region of light, the divine chariot entered the region of water, looking splendid with huge waves created by a strong wind.
Amidst that water there was a most luminous palace, supported by thousands of columns of brilliant jewels. Present there was the foremost and most terrible of the snakes, AdiSesha -- with fearful eyes and a thousand radiant heads, gems shining at its crest. He shone brightly like the Kailasa mountain, with a blue neck and blue tongues. Arjuna then saw the most exalted Supreme Person, reposing on the coils of Adisesha, making it a comfortable bed. He was of a dark hue, like the nimbus cloud. He was clad in bright yellow clothes and looked charming with a cheerful countenance and big eyes. He wore many jewels which enhanced his beauty. He had eight long arms and a Kaustubha gem dazzled on his bosom. His chest bore the mark of Srivatsa, and the Vyjayanthimala reached up to his knees. His weapons, in a personal form, attended on him. His four potencies, Grace (Pushti), Splendour (Shri), Kirti (fame) and Maya stood by in a personal form. The Lord's attendants, Nanda and Sunanda, and all other fortunes also waited on him.
Krishna bowed to the infinite Lord, who was but himself in another form. Arjuna was filled with awe to behold such a spectacle. Following Krishna, he also just bows to the Supreme. Both stood there with joined palms.
With a smile on his lips and a deep and sonorous voice, the Supreme spoke to them: "O Krishna! O Arjuna! Desirous of seeing you both, I had the sons of the brahmin brought here. You have both appeared on earth with your part manifestations for the vindication of virtue. After vanquishing the asuras, who have a become a burden to earth, you shall soon return to me. You are the sages, Nara and Narayana, complete (poorna) in every way and nothing more to achieve. Your presence on earth is meant to set an example before men by following the path of virtue in order to maintain the world order." Krishna and Arjuna accepted the mandate of the Supreme Person and bow to him.
They return to Dwaraka with the brahmin's sons, taking the same route they had come. Krishna and Arjuna return the children to the brahmin. The sons had grown up according their respective age, but in appearance, they looked as if they were just born.
Sage Shuka continues his narration : "Seeing the glorious realms of the Supreme, Arjuna was astonished. He realised that whatever prowess is possessed by men was due to the grace of Krishna. Krishna appeared to men as though he enjoyed worldly pleasures like ordinary men, hiding his real self. He himself killed many unrighteous kings and caused many others to be vanquished with the help of Arjuna. In this way he re-established the rule of Dharma with the help of Yudhishtra and other righteous kings."
(In Kerala, this story is performed before temples, called Kathakali vazhipadu (worship) to  benefit childless couples.)

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Srimad Bhagavatham