Srimad Bhagawatham Mahatmyam Chapter 1, Sloka 4: Bhakti gnanaviragapta…
Translation: How do Vaishnavars, through Bhakti, wisdom and the realisation of the self leading to detachment and indifference to sensual enjoyment (vairagya), overcome the ignorance created by Maya?
Interpretation: Who are Vaishnavars? Vishnavars are bhaktas who surrender to Lord Vishnu and dedicate all their actions to the lotus feet of the Supreme. They lead a detached life and are indifferent to sensual pleasures. Through knowledge and wisdom, they have overcome Maya or delusion that everything is real. They know that there is only steadfast and unalloyed Bhakti can lead to the liberation of the soul.
Can we become Vaishnavars? Well, in today’s world where we are surrounded by pulls and pressures, good and evil, pleasure and pain, it may sound difficult to become true Vaishnavars. But there is a way out. Surrender all your actions to the Supreme, in the midst of your busy schedule, consciously snatch moments where you remember the Supreme and surrender yourself. It could be just for a few seconds, but do it consciously. You may be having your coffee, but close your eyes, think of the lovely coffee beans, in the midst of lush green mountains and how all this is god’s creation; thank God for giving you your cup of coffee. That is enough. You have your piping hot coffee, you also have your sip of bhakti!
The issue in today’s world is multi-tasking. When you have your coffee, you check your WhatsApp or Twitter. So, are you really enjoying your coffee or tea? Or your breakfast even as you watch TV or check your emails? Focus on each task and dedicate it to the Supreme. Do not get lost in a maze of things.
Every morning, look towards the rising sun; if you are in a highrise, look at the onset of dawn and thank the Supreme for the day and seek His guidance. ‘Hold my hand, lead my mind and take me on the road of truth and wisdom. I may falter, but every time I fall, pick me up and lead me, Oh Mahaprabhu.’
Let every day be a celebration in the name of the Supreme. Remember, you die only once, but you live every day. Death is not the greatest loss of life; loss is when life dies inside you while you are alive. So celebrate your life in the name of the Supreme.
Do not be in a rat race. As The Wise One said: I am in no competition with anyone. I have my desire to play the game of being better, with everyone. I am simply trying to be a better person than what I was yesterday.
Similarly, as dusk sets in, take a moment and thank the Supreme. You could do this even before you retire for the day. Analyse what you did in the day and how you could have been a better person. Thank Nidra Devi – the goddess of sleep – for putting you to rest after a day’s hard work.
So, how can you be a better person? Just a few simple words can make you a better person and make others feel good. There is a story of a kind senior officer in a cold storage plant who used to wish the guard at the gate a good morning and a good day. After work, he would again wish him well. He treated the guard as a human being and did not look down upon him.
One day, the officer completed his work and was walking towards his car when he had a doubt on whether his workers had correctly calibrated the temperature in a critical cold storage unit. As he entered in, the high security door got automatically locked and he was trapped. It was -5 deg C in the unit. The officer shouted and banged the door for help, but there was none around.
A few minutes later, he was on the verge of fainting. Life was slowly and surely ebbing out of him. As he slipped into a semi-conscious state, he saw a faint light around him. With folded hands, he realised it was God and that his time was up. He soon passed out.
A few hours later, he woke up and found himself in the company’s hospital. How am I alive he asked the doctor who pointed to the guard who rescued him. The officer then asked the guard how he found him in the cold storage plant.
The guard replied: “Sir, you are the only one officer who wishes me a good morning and a good day as you go out. Today, I missed your good day message in the evening and knew that you must be somewhere and in trouble. So I came searching for you and found you unconscious and your body was about to turn blue due to the cold. You were looking upward and had your hands folded. I rushed you to the hospital”.
The faint light the officer saw was when the guard opened the door.
Just a few kind words saved the officer’s life. So, first learn to thank anyone who serves you, even if he is your servant or guard. That kindness can lead to mental happiness and, ultimately, to Bhakti.
You may not get along with someone. You may not want to associate with them. You may not want to be their friend. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have good intentions or wish them the best. While you may not interact with the person or directly help them in any way, you can still hope that they find their way and eventually achieve happiness.
This may sound inconsequential, but the implications are tremendous. Cultivating compassion toward others (even people we will never meet) is closely linked to mental health and well-being. It makes us feel more socially connected to everyone and it allows us to maintain a positive outlook on life as a whole. (Courtesy WhatsApp Forward).
This mental happiness can lead to bhakti and detachment.
Faith in God is important. Faith is a small word, but has supreme implications. The problem in today’s world is that we have doubts in our faith and full faith in our doubts. True faith in the Supreme is the best medicine.