|Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth Order||Chapter 20: Lord Viṣṇu's Appearance in the Sacrificial Arena of Mahārāja Pṛthu|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.20.28
jagaj-jananyāḿ jagad-īśa vaiśasaḿ
syād eva yat-karmaṇi naḥ samīhitam
karoṣi phalgv apy uru dīna-vatsalaḥ
sva eva dhiṣṇye 'bhiratasya kiḿ tayā
jagat-jananyām — in the mother of the universe (Lakṣmī); jagat-īśa — O Lord of the universe; vaiśasam — anger; syāt — may arise; eva — certainly; yat-karmaṇi — in whose activity; naḥ — my; samīhitam — desire; karoṣi — You consider; phalgu — insignificant service; api — even; uru — very great; dīna-vatsalaḥ — favorably inclined to the poor; sve — own; eva — certainly; dhiṣṇye — in Your opulence; abhiratasya — of one who is fully satisfied; kim — what need is there; tayā — with her.
My dear Lord of the universe, the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, is the mother of the universe, and yet I think that she may be angry with me because of my intruding upon her service and acting on that very platform to which she is so much attached. Yet I am hopeful that even though there is some misunderstanding, You will take my part, for You are very much inclined to the poor and You always magnify even insignificant service unto You. Therefore even though she becomes angry, I think that there is no harm for You, because You are so self-sufficient that You can do without her.
Mother Lakṣmījī, the goddess of fortune, is well known for always massaging the lotus feet of Lord Nārāyaṇa. She is an ideal wife because she takes care of Lord Nārāyaṇa in every detail. She takes care not only of His lotus feet but of the household affairs of the Lord as well. She cooks nice foods for Him, fans Him while He eats, smoothes sandalwood pulp on His face and sets His bed and sitting places in the right order. In this way she is always engaged in the service of the Lord, and there is hardly any opportunity for any other devotee to intrude upon His daily activities. Pṛthu Mahārāja was therefore almost certain that his intrusion into the service of the goddess of fortune would irritate her and cause her to become angry with him. But why should mother Lakṣmī, the mother of the universe, be angry with an insignificant devotee like Pṛthu Mahārāja? All this was not very likely. Yet Pṛthu Mahārāja, just for his personal protection, appealed to the Lord to take his part. Pṛthu Mahārāja was engaged in performing the ordinary Vedic rituals and sacrifices according to karma-kāṇḍa, or fruitive activities, but the Lord, being so kind and magnanimous, was ready to award Pṛthu Mahārāja the highest perfectional stage of life, namely devotional service.
When a person performs Vedic rituals and sacrifices, he does so to elevate himself to the heavenly planets. No one can become qualified to go back home, back to Godhead, by means of such sacrifices. But the Lord is so kind that He accepts a little insignificant service, and therefore it is stated in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa that by following the principles of varṇāśrama-dharma one can satisfy the Supreme Lord. When the Lord is satisfied, the performer of sacrifices is elevated to the platform of devotional service. Pṛthu Mahārāja therefore expected that his insignificant service to the Lord would be accepted by Him as being greater than that of Lakṣmījī. The goddess of fortune is called cañcalā ("restless") because she is very restless and is always coming and going. So Pṛthu Mahārāja indicated that even though she might go away out of anger, there would be no harm for Lord Viṣṇu, because He is self-sufficient and can do anything and everything without the help of Lakṣmījī. For example, when Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu begot Lord Brahmā from His navel, He did not take any help from Lakṣmī, who was just sitting by Him and massaging His lotus feet. Generally if a son is to be begotten, the husband impregnates the wife, and in due course of time the son is born. But in the case of Lord Brahmā's birth, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu did not impregnate Lakṣmījī. Being self-sufficient, the Lord begot Brahmā from His own navel. Therefore, Pṛthu Mahārāja was confident that even if the goddess of fortune became angry with him there would be no harm, neither to the Lord nor to himself.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness