What do you feel if you find others having better qualities than yours, from among the following options?
Bhagavad Gita-Chapter 10 Verse 34
The Supreme Lord Krishna says “I am Death, I am the origin of all future beings. Of females, I am Kirti, I am Sri (श्री), Vak (वाक्), Smriti (स्मृति), Medha (मेधा), Dhriti (धृति) and Kshama (क्षमा).” These are goddesses that preside over the divine qualities such as fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and forgiveness respectively.
Death the all consuming
Death puts an end to all that is associated with memory. It is the ultimate destroyer of memory which includes our current body. It is understood that of all memory cells, the memory cells of the physical body are the strongest, followed by the astral and causal bodies. The physical gross body is destroyed by death as well as it puts an end to our name and form associated with our current lifetime. Death is to be understood as the Lord’s incarnation that resets all memory. When we take a new birth, all the superficial memory related to the physical organism in its previous incarnation is reset. Tendencies that represent the fundamental character related to the organism is retained as a carry-over from the previous birth. This will provide the new-life with a base to begin with. Then there will be acquisition of fresh knowledge in the new birth which is deposited further on the already existing innate tendencies of the organism that had remained untouched by death of the earlier body of the organism. This great mechanism of death is indeed one of the greatest manifestations of the Lord.
The initiator of future beings
The Lord is the creator, sustainer and the destroyer. If Death is a reality, it is also important to understand that the potential of one’s future is also present in the Lord. Future and futuristic direction is sourced by the Lord. All scientific discoveries and projection into the future is initiated by beings who have been instilled by the creative force of the Supreme Lord. We may come across people who are creative. These creative people may be sometimes unfortunate because they may attribute that creativity to themselves which is the greatest fallacy. They fail to understand that creativity is never permanent. We may be knowing film-makers and artists who have been recognized for their creativity for some time. Suddenly they seem to lose touch and their magic in a matter of years. They may have not forgotten their art; that they very well remember just like the back of their palms and yet their magic seems to fade away. People who once appreciated them, do not find their work interesting any more. We say “The fellow lost his magic touch.” Why do we say that? It is important to remember that it is the Supreme Being who manifests or withdraws that creative potential from creators, from futuristic beings. It is important to learn early in life that anything related to science, art or commerce can only be the brain-child of the Supreme Being. A human being can at most be a humble recipient of that art and can be fortunate enough to display it but the sole owner of all progress of the upcoming generations is the Lord alone. This is the teaching of this verse.
Seven female goddesses in the verse
The seven female goddesses represent the best qualities that you can possess in this world. Out of the seven female goddesses, five are daughters of the mind-created son of Brahma namely Daksha Prajapati. Sri is the daughter of sage Bhrigu and Vak is the daughter of Lord Brahma. We shall discuss each quality to be able to see the worthiness of these seven qualities that are personified as the 7 goddesses.
Fame and Prosperity
Fame and prosperity come to a man as results for some good actions a person may have performed in the current or previous lifetimes. Usually these two come to a man as a carry-over from previous lifetimes. We see that certain individuals are born in families that are affluent, rich and prosperous. What gives one the qualification to possess fame and fortune? It should be regarded that these are external powers of the Lord and are attained by mortals as rewards. These rewards have a diminishing value as one starts enjoying name, fame and fortune. This may also come to people who display some creative potential. But more or less these are to be seen as rewards in exchange to something pious or good that one has carried out in line with the scriptures consciously or unconsciously.
Speech and Memory
Many times a person is blessed with the ability to speak well, convince and attract others. This power of attraction through the power of one’s voice is called Vak Shakti. Some are born with this ability. For such individuals, this is god-gifted. Others cultivate it through practice or through dedicated discipline which is called sadhana. A person who speaks well is a blessing, which is given to him because of accumulated virtues. It may also be a result of good karma of past lives, where the talent seems to flourish without conscious cultivation. Usually a person who is blessed with the good oratory skills also has good memory power. Thus speech and memory go hand in hand and are special blessings of the Supreme Being.
Intelligence and Steadfastness
In intelligence there are two types. One is based on intellect and worldly application of intelligence which can denote that the person is good in material sciences and is good in troubleshooting, problem solving or is a person who is good at handling other people. This is ordinary intelligence. This intelligence is born out of good karma, a result of pious deeds. Higher intelligence on the other hand is a matter of Grace, a matter of special mercy on the part of the Supreme Being which is bestowed on the living entity. When an individual is bestowed with this intelligence, the individual becomes capable of developing higher vision, wisdom that allows the individual to see beyond the veil of Maya. This is the Supreme Level of intelligence, where an individual is blessed with the capability of discovering the highest purpose of life and so dedicates himself to the study of scriptures and seeking God through such endeavors. Steadfastness is a habit that is born out of clean, clear and resolute character. It is a blessing that the Lord confers on someone who has worked towards building a character. Steadfastness means unwavering. One will not waver from one’s principles, one’s value system, one’s morality, one’s Truth and practices under any cost. Such a person is a man with the highest integrity. Power is conferred upon such a person because the man has not received it through good karma, he has worked himself with attention and single-pointedness towards creating a persona which is spotless and upright. Steadfastness has the power to supersede and overshadow all the other acquired blessings. Steadfastness, by far is the most powerful quality which is rooted in character of the individual. The grace of the Lord is felt most only through the power of character that steadfastness bestows on an individual.
This is a peculiar blessing of the Lord to his favorite devotees. If forgiveness is not part of somebody’s character, it should be seen that one is standing on a fragile ground. It is forgiveness alone that shall grant the power to move on in life without getting stuck to people or circumstances. A person blessed with the power of forgiveness is rid of all sins because he does not lay allegations on anyone nor does he blame anyone who accuses him. This makes his character like the leaf of the lotus flower. No blemish can stick on to the character of a person who has the fragrance of forgiveness in his character.
Accepting the Lord as the sole proprietor
It is to be understood that a person who displays or sports any of the above seven qualities possesses the very power of the Lord. No one should be envious or jealous of such blessed people. If one were to feel jealous of anyone who shows these qualities, it should be understood that the Lord’s choice is under question. The Lord can never make a mistake. Our negative demeanor towards such individuals is to be understood as a disagreement with the Lord. It should be understood that wherever and whenever we see these characteristics in the individuals of the world, on is to remember the Lord and his glory and thus work towards keeping ourselves attached to Him. One needs to appreciate the person who possesses these qualities but such instances should act as trigger points so to be able see the Creator acting through these blessed people.