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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Lord's eternal divine attire and weapons

In 2006 I made a number of blogs decrying fools who claim to be ‘post-modernists’ who want to ‘modernize’ Kṛṣṇa-līlā by dressing Him up with jeans, jacket and mobile phone. A row broke out at Banki Bihāri Mandir at the time, when a pūjārī actually dressed the Lord like this. At the time I quoted some evidence from the 12th canto Bhāgavata, showing the adhyātmika or symbolic meanings to Kṛṣṇa’s apparel, trying to show it is all spiritual and part of His svarūpa. However, Śrīla Jīva Goswāmīpāda has already refuted the bizarre ideas of the post-modernists by quoting elaborately from Śrīmad Bhāgavata in his Bhagavat Sandarbha. In paragraph 47 he writes -

tatra paricchadānāṁ tat-svarūpa-bhūtatve tad-aṅga-sahitatayaivāvirbhāva-darśana-rūpaṁ liṅgam āha dvayena—

“The Lord’s apparel is a part of His svarūpa and is manifest along with His divine body, as shown in the following two verses:
tam adbhutaṁ bālakam ambujekṣaṇaṁ
catur-bhujaṁ śaṅkha-gadādy-udāyudham
śrīvatsa-lakṣmaṁ gala-śobhi-kaustubhaṁ
pītāmbaraṁ sāndra-payoda-saubhagam
tviṣā pariṣvakta-sahasra-kuntalam
virocamānaṁ vasudeva aikṣata

"Vasudeva looked at the extra-ordinary lotus-eyed little boy, who had four arms in which He held the conch, discus, mace and lotus. His chest was decorated with the mark of Lakṣmī, and the brilliant Kaustubha gem graced His neck. He was dressed in yellow; His body had the beautiful hue of a dense cloud, and was decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments. His helmet and earrings sparkled with invaluable multicolored vaidurya gems, and His hair was scattered in thousands of strands." (SB 10.3.9-10)

This describes the birth of the Lord. It is obvious that no ordinary person is born all decorated and thus the ornaments are innate parts of the Lord’s divine body.
caityasya tattvam amalaṁ maṇim asya kaṇṭhe

“The Kaustubha gem, the embodiment of all pure conscious beings, decorates the neck of the Lord.” (SB 3.28.28) 

If the Kaustubha gem is the embodiment of all pure beings, how it can be an ancient Indian jewel that can be swapped for another, more modern medallion?

In the next paragraph, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī shows that also the Lord’s weapons belong to His Svarūpa. He quotes Viśvarūpa saying to Indra:

yathaikātmyānubhāvānāṁ vikalpa-rahitaḥ svayam
bhūṣaṇāyudha-liṅgākhyā dhatte śaktīḥ sva-māyayā
tenaiva satya-mānena sarva-jño bhagavān hariḥ
pātu sarvaiḥ svarūpair naḥ sadā sarvatra sarva-gaḥ

Just as the complete Reality, Svayam Bhagavān, is experienced as free from distinction for those established in exclusive identity with Him, [similarly] through His own māyā, He Himself employs energies in the form of ornaments, weapons and insignia. On the truth of this statement, may the omniscient and omnipresent Lord Hari always protect us everywhere, by all the potencies and manifestations that are identical to His essential Being. (SB 6.8.32-33)

The advent of Vāmana deva is described as follows in the Bhāgavata (8.18.12):

yat tad vapur bhāti vibhūṣaṇāyudhair
avyakta-cid vyaktam adhārayad dhariḥ
babhūva tenaiva sa vāmano baṭuḥ
saṁpaśyator divya-gatir yathā naṭaḥ

The Lord assumed His unmanifest spiritual form, which became manifest with ornaments and weapons. Then, as His parents watched, He, like an actor, in that very form, became Vāmana, the boy brāhmaṇa.

The Lord’s famous Sudarśana Cakra cannot be swapped for a pistol either -

tvam agnir bhagavān sūryas tvaṁ somo jyotiṣāṁ patiḥ
tvam āpas tvaṁ kṣitir vyoma vāyur mātrendriyāṇi ca

O Sudarśana Cakra, you are Fire, the Sun, who is Lord of the cosmos; and the Moon, the master of all luminaries. You are Water, Earth and Sky; you are the air, the five sense objects, and the senses as well. (SB 9.5.3)

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