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Verses for Introspection

Shloka 55 saa vaag yayaa tasya

Ma Gurupriya

  • Shloka 55 saa vaag yayaa tasya

    Ma Gurupriya

Wholesomeness in Devotion

सा वाग् यया तस्य गुणान् गृणीते करौ च तत्कर्मकरौ मनश्च ।
स्मरेद्वसन्तं स्थिरजङ्गमेषु शृणोति तत्पुण्यकथाः स कर्णः ।।
शिरस्तु तस्योभयलिङ्गमानमेत् तदेव यत् पश्यति तद्धि चक्षुः ।
अङ्गानि विष्णोरथ तज्जनानां पादोदकं यानि भजन्ति नित्यम् ।।
– श्रीमद्भागवतम् १०.८०.३,४

sā vāg yayā tasya guṇān gṛnīte karau ca tat-karma-karau manaśca |
smared-vasantaṃ sthira-jaṅgameṣu śṛṇoti tat-puṇya-kathā: sa karṇa: ||
śiras-tu tasyobhaya-liṅgam-ānamet tad-eva yat paśyati tadd-hi cakṣu: |
aṅgāni viṣṇor-atha taj-janānāṃ pādodakaṃ yāni bhajanti nityaṃ ||
– śrīmadbhāgavatam 10.80.3, 4

Translation:

That indeed is real speech which expounds the glories of the Lord; that indeed, a true hand which performs His service; that indeed, a worthy mind that remembers the Lord as dwelling in the non-living and living beings; and that indeed is a blessed ear which listens to His auspicious stories.

The head that bows down to living and non-living beings (or, devotees and images) as symbols of the Divine, is the real head. The eye that has the insight to see That (i.e., the Divine presence) is the real eye. And those limbs are blessed, which always carry (or get drenched in) the water with which the feet of the Lord or His devotees have been washed.

Points for Introspection:

This is a śloka which tells us how, remaining in the world and interacting with it, we can be enveloped in divinity.

Every human being wants peace and happiness in life. To achieve happiness, one runs behind worldly objects gaining which one feels he will be happy. However, man never becomes permanently happy by acquiring objects of the world which are themselves impermanent. Even if happiness is gained, that happiness is short-lived and disappears, leaving one in want of happiness again. So, the mind of every human being remains unfulfilled, fearful and anxious about whether he will get what he wants and whether he will lose whatever he has achieved.

If thoughts, actions and achievements relating to worldly gains only disturb our mind, in this life, what should we do in order to become peaceful and happy?

Our scriptures emphasize that man can rise beyond all sufferings by being supremely devoted to God and realizing Him in his own self. To grow supreme devotion to God and to realize Him in one’s own self, is the highest purpose of human life, says Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.

When a devotee dwells in the thought of the supreme Lord by constant remembrance through listening to His glories, by singing His praises and hymns and by rumination, then all inauspiciousness disappears from the mind; the mind becomes calm, the whole being becomes pure, devotion for the Lord becomes deeper resulting in dispassion for the worldly objects which cause disturbance in the mind. Gradually the devotee gets filled with the realization of the supreme Self and experiences a blissful divinity surrounding him unbrokenly.

But how to grow supreme devotion for God? How do we generate that divinity in our day-to-day life?

It is our experience that when we go to temples or when we worship in our own pooja-room, we are filled with divine feelings. We light lamps and incense sticks, chant hymns and praises about God or simply sit and meditate on God’s beautiful form. At times, we read or listen about God’s excellences and glories. As a result of these devotional practices during which our thoughts, speech and actions are associated with God, there is a feeling of devotional joy in the mind, a feeling of holiness, purity as well as a non-expectant love for everybody. The mind becomes quiet and placid.

However, the feelings of divinity generated during the period of devotional practices are mostly lost when we get involved intensely in our daily activities. We hardly find divinity in our mundane day-to-day actions and interactions. Why does that happen? If we introspect, we will find that we do not associate God or divinity with our day-to-day thoughts, speech and action. We do not even know how to do that. We spend a great deal of time in unnecessary thoughts, speech and interactions, which make the mind scattered and agitated.

How can we always remain connected to God and feel surrounded by a feeling of divinity even in the midst of our daily life and interactions? To feel divinity, we must see God in everybody and everything. Feel Him constantly in every perception through every sense organ, in every thought in the mind, in every speech and in every activity done by the body. A devotee whose heart yearns to get immersed in divinity always, understands that he must divinize every moment of his life. This should be taken up consciously and lovingly as a practice. A devotee whose mind is always soaked in devotion considers those moments of life as lived properly with blessedness, which he has spent dwelling on the thought of God. For him the other moments have been spent worthlessly.

Such a devotee says with his own inner conviction: “That indeed is real speech which expounds the glory of the Lord.” He wants to talk about God always, sing His glory and excellences, and in doing so he feels extremely blessed and purified. He does not indulge in light and unnecessary talk which takes the mind away from God. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam has said elsewhere that a speech which is devoid of the glories of the Lord is unreal and false; and also, the tongue which makes non-divine sound is nothing but the tongue of a frog, which makes useless sound.

The devotee understands, “those hands alone can be called real hands, when they are engaged in the service of God”. How does one actualize it in daily living? Such a devotee considers all work as given by God. Whether his hands get engaged in doing work related to the worship of God in the temple or in ordinary domestic and worldly work, the devotee feels he is doing service to God for His pleasure.

In a similar manner, he feels, a mind is worthy of being called a mind, when it remembers the Divine as dwelling in everything – mobile and immobile, living and non-living. So, the devotee makes a conscious effort to remain connected to God through all his thoughts.

He feels his ears are indeed blessed and auspicious when they hear auspicious stories about the exploits of the Lord and do not indulge in listening to such words that agitate and distract the mind.

Knowing the all-pervading nature of God, the devotee finds God in every object and every activity. His mind and intelligence remain grateful and humble in every situation. He considers his head to be worthy when it prostrates at mobile and immobile beings, finding God in everything. His eyes become the real eyes which find nothing but the divine Presence all around. His limbs are ever ready to receive as a blessing the holy water which has washed the feet of God and His devotees.

When we chant this śloka repeatedly, we experience how our whole being can be divinized, how our mind can be filled with intense one-pointed devotion! We understand how in the midst of intense activities outside, we can enjoy divinity at heart.

Word Meaning:

सा () = that; वाक् (vāk) = speech; यया (yayā) = by which; तस्य (tasya) = His; गुणान् (guṇān) = qualities; गृणीते (gṛnīte) = one expounds; करौ (karau) = pair of hands; (ca) = and; तत् (tat) = that; कर्मकरौ (karma-karau) = perform work; मनः (mana:) = mind; (ca) = and; स्मरेत् (smaret) = remembers; वसन्तं (vasantaṃ) = dwelling; स्थिरजङ्गमेषु (sthira-jaṅgameṣu) = in the non-living and living beings; शृणोति (śṛṇoti) = listens; तत्पुण्यकथाः (tat-puṇya-kathā:) = His auspicious stories; (sa) = that; कर्णः (karṇa:) = an ear;

शिरः (shira:) = head; तु (tu) = and(indeed); तस्य (tasya) = His; उभयलिङ्गम् (ubhaya-liṅgam) = both (non-living and living) as a symbol (of the Divine); आनमेत् (ānamet) = bows down; तत् (tat) = that; एव (eva) = only; यत् (yat) = which; पश्यति (paśyati) = sees; तत् (tat) = that; हि (hi) = indeed; चक्षुः (cakṣu:) = an eye; अङ्गानि (aṅgāni) = limbs; विष्णोः (viṣṇo:) = of Lord Vishnu; अथ (atha) = moreover; तत् (tat) = that; जनानां (janānāṃ) = of the devotees of the Lord; पादोदकं (pādodakaṃ) = the water which has washed the feet; यानि (yāni) = which; भजन्ति (bhajanti) = worship; नित्यम् (nityaṃ) = always;

अन्वयः

सा (एव) वाग् यया तस्य गुणान् गृणीते । (ते) करौ च (यया) तत् कर्मकरौ । (सः) च मनः (यया) स्थिरजङ्गमेषु वसन्तं स्मरेत् । स कर्णः (यया) तत् पुण्यकथाः शृणोति ।


sā (eva) vāg yayā tasya guṇān gṛnīte. (te) karau ca (yayā) tat karma-karau. (sa:) ca mana: (yayā) sthira-jaṅgameṣu vasantaṃ smaret. sa karṇa: (yayā) tat puṇya-kathā: śṛṇoti.


तत् शिरः तु (यया) तस्य उभयलिङ्गम् आनमेत् । (तत्) चक्षुः हि यत् तत् एव पश्यति । (ते) अङ्गानि यानि तत् विष्णोः अथ जनानां पादोदकं नित्यम् भजन्ति ।

tat shira: tu (yayā) tasya ubhaya-liṅgam ānamet. (tat) cakṣu: hi yat tat eva paśyati. (te) aṅgāni yāni tat viṣṇo: atha janānāṃ pādodakaṃ nityaṃ bhajanti.

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Shloka 55 saa vaag yayaa tasya

Ma Gurupriya

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