3rd July, 2016. Gurgaon
Srimad Bhagavatam instruct us how to take darshan of Lord.
ekaikaśo ’ṅgāni dhiyānubhāvayet pādādi yāvad dhasitaṁ gadābhṛtaḥ
jitaṁ jitaṁ sthānam apohya dhārayet paraṁ paraṁ śuddhyati dhīr yathā yathā
The process of meditation should begin from the lotus feet of the Lord and progress to His smiling face. The meditation should be concentrated upon the lotus feet, then the calves, then the thighs, and in this way higher and higher. The more the mind becomes fixed upon the different parts of the limbs, one after another, the more the intelligence becomes purified.
( SB 2.2.13)
Srila Prabhupada expands this beautiful verse further in his purport : The process of meditation recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not to fix one’s attention on something impersonal or void. The meditation should concentrate on the Person of the Supreme Godhead, either in His virāṭ-rūpa, the gigantic universal form, or in His sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha, as described in the scriptures. There are authorized descriptions of Viṣṇu forms, and there are authorized representations of Deities in the temples. Thus one can practice meditating upon the Deity, concentrating his mind on the lotus feet of the Lord and gradually rising higher and higher, up to His smiling face.
According to the Bhāgavata school, the Lord’s rāsa dancing is the smiling face of the Lord. Since it is recommended in this verse that one should gradually progress from the lotus feet up to the smiling face, we shall not jump at once to understand the Lord’s pastimes in the rāsa dance. It is better to practice concentrating our attention by offering flowers and tulasī to the lotus feet of the Lord. In this way, we gradually become purified by the arcanā process. We dress the Lord, bathe Him, etc., and all these transcendental activities help us purify our existence. When we reach the higher standard of purification, if we see the smiling face of the Lord or hear the rāsa dance pastimes of the Lord, then we can relish His activities. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, therefore, the rāsa dance pastimes are delineated in the Tenth Canto (Chapters 29-34).
The more one concentrates on the transcendental form of the Lord, either on the lotus feet, the calves, the thighs or the chest, the more one becomes purified.
Srila Prabhupada would often say, “Do not try to see Krishna but try to behave, act, and live in such a way that Krishna is very pleased to see you”. We have to remember that we are the object and Krishna is the subject.
Prabhupada once said, I could not find the exact words and reference, that when we stand in from of the deities then we should be in a mood that deity is asking us “Yes, you have come, what have you done for me?”. This, of course, is in, not so subtle, reference to our preaching activity. So it is a good idea that when we stand in front of our favorite deities then we should give our report, since whatever period has elapsed, as to what did we do to preach and spread, or share, the teachings of Mahaprabhu. Believe me, at least for me, every single time it is a very humbling experience to stand and give my report. This practice also gives us some idea of our helplessness (despite our best intentions and efforts), hence it increases our mood of dependence on Krishna and then inspire us pray to Krishna for help and guidance. So it may be a good idea to start practicing it.
We should also be a little conscious that when we attend the mangal arti on a busy weekend and push and shove our way pass other devotees to get a glimpse of the Lord. We should be aware that it is actually Lord’s glimpse on us which matters more rather than our glimpse on Him. It is His glance that has the power to change our destiny forever, our glance unfortunately has no such potency. Our mood should that of a servant who is standing in front of his master. Even if the servant can’t see his master, he is fully satisfied that his master’s glance has fallen upon him.
What is the result of glance of Lord?
svakārthānām iva rajaḥ- sattvābhyāṁ sraṣṭṛ-pālakāḥ
Those Viṣṇu forms, by Their pure smiling, which resembled the increasing light of the moon, and by the sidelong glances of Their reddish eyes, created and protected the desires of Their own devotees, as if by the modes of passion and goodness.
Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport:Those Viṣṇu forms blessed the devotees with Their clear glances and smiles, which resembled the increasingly full light of the moon (śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇam). As maintainers, They glanced upon Their devotees, embracing them and protecting them by smiling. Their smiles resembled the mode of goodness, protecting all the desires of the devotees, and the glancing of Their eyes resembled the mode of passion. Actually, in this verse the word rajaḥ means not “passion” but “affection.” In the material world, rajo-guṇa is passion, but in the spiritual world it is affection. In the material world, affection is contaminated by rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, but in the śuddha-sattva the affection that maintains the devotees is transcendental.
The word svakārthānām refers to great desires. As mentioned in this verse, the glance of Lord Viṣṇu creates the desires of the devotees. A pure devotee, however, has no desires. Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī comments that because the desires of devotees whose attention is fixed on Kṛṣṇa have already been fulfilled, the Lord’s sidelong glances create variegated desires in relation to Kṛṣṇa and devotional service. In the material world, desire is a product of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, but desire in the spiritual world gives rise to a variety of everlasting transcendental service.
Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti writes in his commentary: The phrase (rajaḥ-sattvābhyāṁ) means the Visnu forms distributed mercy with the reddish (rajas) tint of their lotus eyes and the white (sattva) of their smiles.
Taking darshan of Lord in the right consciousness could prove to be a new high in our small devotional life – every single time. So it may not be such a bad idea to start practicing from today.
All glories to the transcendental darshan of the Lord.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.