Prayers of Queen Kunti, Part II

Kuntī previously expressed so much gratitude to Kṛṣṇa for taking special care of her through so many calamities. Kṛṣṇa might say, “First you say I am the Original Godhead and then you say I took so much care of you, but this is a contradiction because Godhead does not show partiality to anyone!” Fearing this objection, Kuntī speaks these words:

1.8.28-29

I know you as the master of time itself,
Infinite, without beginning or end.
You distribute yourself equally in all circumstances.
Friendship or enmity is something living beings create.

Who can understand the behavior of the All-Attractive?
People confuse you to be like them.
How could anyone be your object of favor or disfavor?
Impartiality exists only in the human mind.

Kuntī says, “You are infinite time.” Time is the force which allows events to transpire. All good and bad things therefore happen as a result of time. Time is therefore synonymous with the concept of fate, destiny, karma.

Destiny is completely impartial. It plays no favorites and gives no dispensations. It merely enforces the appropriate result of your freewill. If a soccer player commits a foul, the referee calls a penalty. Is it the referees fault or the players? If the same player scores a goal, the referee awards a point. Is this favoritism? No, it is impartiality. The good and bad one experiences from an impartial being are ones own creation. God is not to fame or fault for the pleasures and pains of the world. It is we alone who create our fortunes.

The love and protection Kṛṣṇa gave Kuntī and her family is equally available to everyone at anytime. It is up to us to choose friendship or enmity with the All-Attractive.

30

It is completely confusing
That the unborn, deedless soul of the universe
Takes birth and performs deeds
Among animals, humans, sages, and aquatics.

For example:

31

When you were naughty, the cowherd woman grasped for a rope.
Then, mascara ran in the tears flowing from your frightened eyes.
Your face looked down and fear filled you up.
This confuses me, since even the god of fear fears you!

Now  Kuntī will try to unravel the confusing mystery of why and how the unborn and deedless is born and has deeds:

32-36

Someone says the unborn is born
To glorify the Subject of Pure Poetry,
As a dear friend to the Yadu dynasty,
Like sandalwood in the Malaya hills.

Someone else says he was born
To answer the prayers of Vasudeva and Devakī.
You are that unborn who protected them
By destroying those who hate the godly.

Another person says
The world was like a sinking boat at sea with too much weight,
And Brahmā prayed for your birth
On behalf of her distress.

“This world is full of the distress
Of ignorant desires and pursuits.
So he has enabled us to hear about, remember, and worship him”
– say many others.

Embracing constant hearing & singing;
Enjoying the consequent remembrance of your deeds;
Such a person soon sees your lotus-like feet,
And the flow of material destiny runs dry.

Kuntī cites different opinions which attempt to explain why the unborn and deedless is born and does deeds.

The first opinion she cites is that the unborn is born to create subject matter for pure poetry to be used in divine glorification (kīrtan).

She uses a metaphor of sandalwood in the Malayan hills. Sandal trees could potentially grow anywhere, but for whatever reason they wound up growing in a certain hilly region and thus that region is very famous and prosperous. Similarly the All-Attractive could take birth and perform deeds anywhere, but for whatever reason he does so among the Yadu dynasty (Kuntī’s royal family) who are therefore very famous and prosperous.

The next opinion she cites is that the unborn is born to protect the world from those who hate the godly. Foremost was to protect Devakī and Vasudeva from the wicked Kaṁsa.

The third opinion is similar: that the unborn is born because the armies of greedy kings made the earth distressed like a boat at sea with too much weight, so Kṛṣṇa appeared to destroy hundreds of thousands of warriors and kings.

The fourth opinion she sites is similar to the first: The unborn is born because the world is full of intense suffering, the ultimate cause of which is forgetfulness of our essential unifying link with the Supreme Blissful All-Attractive. So Kṛṣṇa takes birth to give us something truly uplifting to sing about and hear about, which allows us to remember our link to him and thus destroy the root of our suffering.

Finally, she gives her own opinion in support of the first and fourth opinions she cited. She says that the unborn and deedless is born and has deeds just to facilitate true love and enjoyment and thus save the forlorn soul from asphyxiation in a river of meaningless existence.

The primary reason that the Absolute exists in tangible personal form is to give us something perfect to love. Therefore the primary reason you and I exist in a tangible form is to love something perfect. Singing and hearing songs about the All-Attractive are the most effective way to fall into this divine love, and also the most powerful and pure way to enjoy, embrace and express it.

The divine exists for kīrtana, therefore so do we.

A modern painting of Kunti addressing Krsna before he could leave.

About Vraja Kishor


6 responses to “Prayers of Queen Kunti, Part II

  • premila

    “Singing and hearing songs about the All-Attractive are the most effective way to fall into this divine love, and also the most powerful and pure way to enjoy, embrace and express it.

    The divine exists for kīrtana, therefore so do we.”

    Vic, I would be very grateful to you, if you could write an article to explain the purport of quoted text. The logical mind needs reasons even for truths that are beyond the realm of logic. (Why do we forget that logic is just based on five senses, so it can never offer the complete picture.)

    The best yajna (sacrifice?) in Kaliyuga is to sacrifice one’s each breath to Hari, and the best way to do this is to chant his sweet name Hare Krishna!

    • vicdicara

      I would like to do this. Meanwhile if you remain alert to this topic you’ll see that it is continually stressed all through the Srimad Bhagavatam, and even in the conclusions of Bhagavad Gita. The entire life story of Sri Caitanya also illustrates this. But sticking with the Bhagavatam, even if you read over what have covered so far in this blog, with an eye for it, you will see many, many important references to the primacy of Kirtana.

      For example

      1. the sages of Naimisharanya wanted to do sankirtana yajna, but had no fit kirtaniya to lead it, so they started doing some other yajnas they were capable of. Suta arrived and they began the sankirtan yajna since he was qualified
      2. Suta answered their question regarding what method of auspiciousness and prosperity would still function in the kali-yuga, age of quarel by saying on the sankirtan yajna works.
      3. Narada tells Vyasa he is incomplete and unsatisfied because the Vedas have insufficient kirtana of Hari / Krishna.
      4. Narada tells the story of his past life, illustrating how his good fortune arose when he participated in Krsna-sankirtana with the krsnaites during the rainy season
      5. Later he had direct experience (darshan) of Krsna by practicing the sankirtan he learned from them
      6. Following that he attained spiritual perfection and became Narada by sankirtana

      Love results in expressions. Kirtan is the most natural expression of love. Kirtan is inseparable, therefore, from love. Love, passionate divine love, is the most powerful link (yoga) to the divine – just as love is the most powerful link to anyone. So to engage in the essential activity of passionate divine love – kirtana – is to put oneself in the midst of divine love. When an object is placed in a fire, it soon becomes redhot just like the fire. This is how the soul becomes completely spiritualized by kirtan.

      • Premila

        Thanks for compiling those points, Vic! As a matter of fact 1.1 to 1.6 posts really clarified lots of questions/doubts I had about bhakti yoga and chanting the name of Hari. These are the posts (1.1 to 1.6) that created in me a strong urge to read Bhavagtam via your blog, and that’s why I look forwarding to your daily posts.

        Let me explain why i suggested writing an exclusive article about the path of love, the method. Most people are running after various new age fancy methods to find that which we call peace, bliss, joy, liberation from suffering, etc. I have been in that ratrace myself for a long time, although i could never completely devote myself to any of those techniques. However, recently, I noticed that some of them are losing convinction because there are too many options to choose from, and everytime they meet someone who is selling the same thing in a different package, they wonder if the fundamentals are not the same really — ofcourse they are the same. At the same time, if one tells them that it’s about time we went back to our roots and studied Srimad Bhagavatam or the Gita in the new light (that we have acquired after running in circles), some of them flinch! The idea sounds ‘religious’ and ‘outdated’ to them. Some of them even say, well that knowledge doesn’t apply any longer, the world is changing. Yes, the world is changing, but the laws of the universe have not changed. We still need 9 months to deliver a baby, we still get hungry, we still need to pee, and so on. I don’t do a good job of explaining to them that it’s the divine love we are after, and it is this love which will give us what we have been yearning for, and that that why chanting the name of Hari is the best remedy. I try to explain them that Krishna is beyond religion, and so are these scriptures. Religion came much later! I try to talk about chapter 12 of the Gita in which Krishna says it’s difficult for the embodied to follow the path of Unmanifest because we like to personify everything. If not this, then we start hallucinating about chakras, and colors, and forms, and levitation, so on and so forth, as if they are the ultimate iberation-providers.

        Everyone knows deep down it’s the purest love for which we crave so much, and the lack of which makes us try out different spiritual (new age) models. But not many are convinced about the “traditional approach”, which I have now understood is the ultimate path, timeless, everygreen. By no means I want to convert those people into believing what i believe, but since i can feel that they too are confused like I used to be, why not share with them what i have understood.

        So, I’m really hoping whenever you write that article you will address these points too. If I have confused you by my stream-of-consciousness commenting, please do let me know. i will try to be more clear.

      • vicdicara

        I completely agree with your comment.

        People respond not to words (pracar) but to example (acar). We can write 45,000 articles but the real thing is not the words, but the example we set. When people see other modern people who are not nutjobs becoming peaceful, satisfied and positively happy by studying and applying the sankirtan of bhagavatam – that is what will change their hearts.

        My efforts in writing this Bhagavatam are to produce the book in a modern format, without the traditional and religious trappings, but without losing touch with any of the spiritual essence of it.

  • premila

    Thanks, again, Vic! You’re right people respond to examples, so I should learn to stick to the path first. Good reminder. 🙂

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