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Complete Sadhana

Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj glorifies Ambarish Maharaj as a great example of sadhana-bhakti.

This week, during his brief visit to Sri Nabadwip Dham and his public lecturing throughout Bengal, Srila Acharya Maharaj placed emphasis on a verse from Srimad Bhagavatam in which Ambarish Maharaj is glorified. Through this verse, the essential purpose of the eleven senses and the actions of every soul is outlined.

sa vai manah krishna-padaravindayor
vachamshi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane
karau harer mandira-marjanadishu
shrutim chakarachyuta-sat-kathodaye
mukunda-lingalaya-darsane drishau
tad-bhritya-gatra-sparashe ’nga-sangamam
ghranam cha tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
srimat-tulasya rasanam tad-arpite
padau hareh kshetra-padanusarpane
shiro hrishikesa-padabhivandane
kamam cha dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
yathottamahshloka-janasraya ratih
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 9.4.18–20)

“With attachment characteristic of the Lord’s devotees, and no desire for selfish enjoyment, Ambarish Maharaj engaged his mind in remembering Krishna’s lotus feet, his speech in describing the Lord’s glory, his hands in cleansing the Lord’s temples and other services, his ears in hearing true narrations about the Lord, his eyes in seeing the Lord’s Deities and abodes, his body in embracing the bodies of the Lord’s servants, his nose in smelling the fragrance of divine Tulasi after she is offered to the Lord’s lotus feet, his tongue in tasting offerings made to the Lord, his legs in travelling to the Lord’s abodes, his head in offering obeisance to the Lord’s feet, and his desires in the Lord’s service.”

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj has commented as follows with regard to this verse:

Ambarish Maharaj was a king. A king has so much responsibility and so many mundane jobs to do, but Ambarish Maharaj never forgot his practising life. He very consciously, carefully, and sincerely practised his spiritual life. In Srimad Bhagavatam it is said,

sa vai manah krishna-padaravindayor
vachamshi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane
karau harer mandira-marjanadishu
shrutim chakarachyuta-sat-kathodaye
mukunda-lingalaya-darsane drishau
tad-bhritya-gatra-sparashe ’nga-sangamam
ghranam cha tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
srimat-tulasya rasanam tad-arpite
padau hareh kshetra-padanusarpane
shiro hrishikesa-padabhivandane
kamam cha dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
yathottamahshloka-janasraya ratih
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 9.4.18–20)

Here we can see Ambarish Maharaj’s character: he serves Krishna very sincerely with full energy in many ways. Ambarish Maharaj fully devoted himself to Lord Krishna; even his thinking was service to Krishna. For the satisfaction of Lord Krishna, he preached Krishna consciousness, and with his mind he engaged himself and others in Krishna’s service. Padau Hareh ksetra-padanusarpane, every day he did parikrama of  the Lord’s divine abode.

In this way all the senses and mind, everything, can be engaged in Krishna’s service. Under any circumstances it is possible to serve Krishna if we surrender to Krishna and think that our entire account is in Krishna’s care. If everything we do is for Krishna’s pleasure, then everything that we do will be Krishna-seva. This is the teaching of Mahaprabhu and Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur. We see that, and Srila Guru Maharaj gave us that conception.

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