I’m in Mayapur, West Bengal, and standing in front of the magnificent Deity of Pancha-tattva. Magnificent as in ‘splendid, spectacular, impressive, striking, glorious, superb, majestic, awesome, and awe-inspiring’.
Everything in Mayapur is pretty magnificent to be honest, and the moments of simplicity (simple accommodation with an early warm water bucket bath) seem to make my pilgrims experience a little sweeter.
This morning’s reading brought me a timely verse - “By remembering the lotus feet of the Panca-tattva, a dumb man can become a poet, a lame man can cross mountains, and a blind man can see the stars in the sky.” CC Adi 8.5
In the purport Prabhupada explains that the kind of mercy described in this verse is the gift of the Pancha-tattva. Pure loving kindness and spiritual mercy for those with zero qualification. The analogy is powerful - from an inability to speak, to not just talking but being a poet, from non-walking, to not just walking but crossing mountains, and the blind man now star gazing.
In the same way, the mercy that remembering the Panca-tattva brings is so generous that we receive something we can’t even imagine - an awakening of our pure love for Krishna. We tend to think of mercy in terms of things going right for us in the material world - as in we can speak, walk, and see. But real mercy, and what Pancha-tattva is offering, is the poet, mount climber, and star gazer - signifying the gifts of the spiritual world and spiritual love.
We read over and over again that the process of bhakti is simple - hear about the Lord and offer service with as much love and devotion as we can muster. The returns on such efforts are more than magnificent. We will be swept up by the loving mercy of Pancha-tattva and made fit for the service of Radha and Krishna. We will love and be loved. We will be home.