“My dear Dhruva, besides worshiping the Deity and chanting the mantra three times a day, you should meditate upon the transcendental activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different incarnations, as exhibited by His supreme will and personal potencies.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
Devotional service comprises nine prescribed practices—hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, serving, offering everything to the Deity, etc. Here Dhruva Maharaja is advised not only to meditate on the form of the Lord, but to think of His transcendental pastimes in His different incarnations. Mayavadi philosophers take the incarnation of the Lord to be in the same category as the ordinary living entity. This is a great mistake.
The incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not forced to act by the material laws of nature. The word sveccha is used here to indicate that He appears out of His supreme will.
The conditioned soul is forced to accept a particular type of body according to his karma given by the laws of material nature under the direction of the Supreme Lord. But when the Lord appears, He is not forced by the dictation of material nature; He appears as He likes by His own internal potency. That is the difference. The conditioned soul accepts a particular type of body, such as the body of a hog, by his work and by the superior authority of material nature. But when Lord Krishna appears in the incarnation of a boar, He is not the same kind of hog as an ordinary animal. Krishna appears as Varaha-avatara in an expansive feature which cannot be compared to an ordinary hog’s.
His appearance and disappearance are inconceivable to us. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly said that He appears by His own internal potency for the protection of the devotees and the annihilation of the nondevotees. A devotee should always consider that Krishna does not appear as an ordinary human being or ordinary beast; His appearance as Varaha-murti or a horse or tortoise is an exhibition of His internal potency.
In the Brahma-samhita it is said, [Bs. 5.37]
“one should not mistake the appearance of the Lord as a human being or a beast to be the same as the birth of an ordinary conditioned soul, who is forced to appear by the laws
of nature, whether as an animal, as a human being or as a demigod.” This kind of thinking is offensive. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has condemned the Mayavadis as offensive to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of their thinking that the Lord and the conditioned living entities are one and the same.
Narada advises Dhruva to meditate on the pastimes of the Lord, which is as good as the meditation of concentrating one’s mind on the form of the Lord. As meditation on any form of the Lord is valuable, so is chanting of different names of the Lord, such as Hari, Govinda and Narayana. But in this age we are especially advised to chant the Hare Krishna mantra as enunciated in the sastra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
“One should follow in the footsteps of previous devotees regarding how to worship the Supreme Lord with the prescribed paraphernalia, or one should offer worship within the heart by reciting the mantra to the Personality of Godhead, who is nondifferent from the mantra.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
It is recommended here that even if one cannot arrange to worship the forms of the Lord with all recommended paraphernalia, one can simply think about the form of the Lord and mentally offer everything recommended in the sastras, including flowers, candana pulp, conchshell, umbrella, fan and camara. One can meditate upon offering and chant the twelve-syllable mantra, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. Since the mantra and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are nondifferent, one can worship the form of the Lord with the mantra in the absence of physical paraphernalia. The story of the brahmana who worshiped the Lord within his mind, as related in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, or The Nectar of Devotion, should be consulted in this connection. If paraphernalia is not present physically, one can think of the items and offer them to the Deity by chanting the mantra. Such are the liberal and potent facilities in the process of devotional service.