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SB 1.15.5

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


arjuna uvāca
vañcito 'haṁ mahā-rāja
hariṇā bandhu-rūpiṇā
yena me 'pahṛtaṁ tejo
deva-vismāpanaṁ mahat


arjunaḥ uvāca—Arjuna said; vañcitaḥ—left by Him; aham—myself; mahā-rāja—O King; hariṇā—by the Personality of Godhead; bandhu-rūpiṇā—as if an intimate friend; yena—by whom; me—my; apahṛtam—I have been bereft; tejaḥ—power; deva—the demigods; vismāpanam—astonishing; mahat—astounding.


Arjuna said: O King! The Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari, who treated me exactly like an intimate friend, has left me alone. Thus my astounding power, which astonished even the demigods, is no longer with me.


In the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 10.41) the Lord says, "Anyone specifically powerful and opulent in wealth, strength, beauty, knowledge and all that is materially desirable is to be considered but a product of an insignificant portion of the complete whole of My energy." No one, therefore, can be independently powerful in any measure without being endowed by the Lord. When the Lord descends on the earth along with His eternal ever-liberated associates, He not only displays the divine energy possessed by Himself, but also empowers His associate devotees with the required energy to execute His mission of incarnation. It is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 4.5) that the Lord and His eternal associates descend on the earth many times, but the Lord remembers all the different roles of incarnations, whereas the associates, by His supreme will, forget them. Similarly, the Lord takes away with Him all His associates when He disappears from the earth. The power and energy which were bestowed upon Arjuna were required for fulfillment of the mission of the Lord, but when His mission was fulfilled, the emergency powers were withdrawn from Arjuna because the astounding powers of Arjuna, which were astonishing even to the denizens of heaven, were no longer required, and they were not meant for going back home, back to Godhead. If endowment of powers and withdrawal of powers by the Lord are possible even for a great devotee like Arjuna, or even the demigods in heaven, then what to speak of the ordinary living beings who are but figs compared to such great souls. The lesson is, therefore, that no one should be puffed up for his powers borrowed from the Lord. The sane man should rather feel obliged to the Lord for such benefactions and must utilize such power for the service of the Lord. Such power can be withdrawn at any time by the Lord, so the best use of such power and opulence is to engage them in the service of the Lord.

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