Hare Krishna !!
Anityamsukham lokmimam prapya bhajasva maam
chhah sau sahas ikees dam jaavat hain din raat
eto toto taahi ghar kaheki kuslaat
According to this saying of the Lord we should immediately get into chanting God’s glory. The meaning of calling this body as impermanent is that do not delay, you do not know when is it going to die?
If breathing stops now, then nothing would happen further. Planned activities would make no progress. All the means of pleasure will become useless, because the body is transitory. It does not remain stable even for a moment, it is moving towards death very fast. No one wants death, but it is approaching every moment. We are losing 900 breaths per hour, 21600 breaths every day. We must pay attention to this. Breaths are being spent but what are we earning? What are we happy about?
The second verse says – “Asukham” means there is no happiness in this world. This world is without happiness. It is not just that but God also calls this world as “abode of sorrow “. But on the contrary we look for happiness in this world, the exact opposite of what God says- how surprising is it? In this world, money, woman, son, home and enjoyment are considered things that give us happiness. If we really ponder over it, we would find that there is really no happiness in this world; there is only sorrow everywhere.
One thing to note here is that only that thing can give us happiness which we lack and we want to acquire it. The stronger is the desire for it, the greater will be the happiness on receiving it. In spite of lacking it, if we have not experienced the lack of it, that is, there is no severe craving for it, then it cannot make us happy even after getting it.
Therefore, in order to get happiness from money and other substances, feeling of misery for lack of money is essential. This is the sorrow that we feel before we acquire the object. Then we know that the desire for acquiring things that we want is not always fulfilled. This is the second sorrow that we feel. Even if we get those things but others get them more than us, then a new sorrow is born and that becomes third sorrow.
And on getting the thing, a possibility remains of it’s destruction, which is a cause for great concern. This is the fourth sorrow. And when it gets destroyed, we really feel a great suffering. This much of sorrow was not there even when we had felt the lack of it. This is the fifth sorrow.
We believe under the influence of illusive power of Maya that we will become very happy if we receive so much of money and other things. We have been hearing such hopes and statements; but we have found no worldly person so far who can say that we have become completely happy. On the contrary almost everyone has been heard saying (after acquiring things), ‘We now feel more miserable than before.’
When we feel the absence of an object, we try to acquire it, but often we do not succeed in it; by luck even if we get it, then many other new shortages are created, whose possibility was never thought of earlier. That is why Shri Bhagwan has said –
All the worldly pleasures caused by the interaction of the senses and their objects, are the mines that produce miseries, are the motherland of sorrows, and are combined with genesis and destruction. Hence, O Arjun! A wise man does not delight in them. (5.22)
After pondering over it we find that there is no earthly creature who feels complete happiness and satisfaction in his condition; because he is always eager and striving for greater happiness than his present state of happiness.
The third thing that Lord Krishna says is “Imam lokam prapya (attainable).” Here “imam lokam” indicates the human body; God says that after receiving this human body, I only should be worshipped.
One should only sing God’s glories after attaining this human body; because other works can be done in other bodies as well, but God’s glories can be sung only in this body. Demigods with their bodies, remain engrossed in enjoying heavenly pleasures and because of lack of authority there, they cannot even worship. In the hells the inhabitants only enjoy the fruits of sins, they neither have right to perform new deeds nor do they have knowledge about duty and sin.
Similarly, in the other eighty-four lakh forms of births, there is no knowledge of duty and sin, neither do they have resources nor do they have rights to perform spiritual practices. Rights, knowledge and resources – these three are only there in this human body. Somtimes, animals and birds etc. are also seen engaged in devotional service, but they are exceptions.
Shri Tulsidas says-
Saadhan dham mochchh kar dwara. Pai na jehin parlok sanwara.
So paratra dukh pavai sir dhuni dhuni pachhitai. kaalhi karmahi iswarhi mithya dos lagayi.
We should consider this statement carefully. Those who do not engage in spiritual practice even after getting human body, say – “It is Kali Yuga”. Time is very bad. At this time, sin is rampant; one just cannot practice truth, non-violence etc. singing God’s glories is not possible.
This is a very difficult era, everyone’s intellect is engaged in unrighteousness, what to do, is not understandable at this time. What can a single man do when the entire atmosphere is polluted? If we do not walk according to time, then it is difficult to survive and we donot follow the path of religion it would not be possible to perform spiritual practice.
‘But we should reflect upon it, do we really go according to time?’ Never. When winter comes, we buy warm clothes; make proper arrangements for fire etc., close the room in the house and stay indoors – isn’t it going against the time?
In summer time, we use cold water etc., are constantly careful to avoid the heat, and in the rainy season we take suitable measures to protect ourselves from rain. That is, all the time, we try to prevent the body’s adversity, protect it and remain engaged in providing the body with congenial materials.
Similarly, we should try to save spirituality from Kaliyuga. Just as the body is destroyed by not protecting it, similarly if one does not take sufficient steps to save spirituality he would be compelled to remain completely deprived of its benefit.
Benevolent God out of His grace has given man the best, the human-body, but a foolish and ungrateful man did not recognize the importance of that body and he ruined it completely.
By criticizing that causeless benevolent God man says, ‘what to do, it is the will of God, we act according to His will. He only has made us worldly and trapped us in the household chores. Where do we have time to worship? Such is the will of God, we work according to His directions only ‘etc. putting such blames on God is totally wrong. It means that man himself makes no effort and blames others and wants to exhibit himself as innocent.
Therefore, after considering the facts judiciously, man should be determined for his real progress and start working towards it with great enthusiasm.
The fourth thing that God has said – “Worship Me.” Now we must think what is the nature of God and what is worshipping Him. So far whatever is seen, heard and read, and according to it, whatever form of God is understood by us viz. with form or formless, with attributes or without attributes etc., consider that as the form of God and worship Him accordingly.
Now we need to think what is the nature of God, what is meant by singing His glories. So far whatever we have seen, heard and read, according to that whatever form of God has been understood by us, be it with form or formless, with attributes or attributeless, that is the form of God. Considering that form of His as Supreme, He alone is worth attaining and thus totally surrendering to Him is actually singing His glory.
That means chanting the name of God by our tongue, thinking of His form in our mind and deciding to attain Him in our intellect, obeying His commands by our body; and surrendering everything to Him and remaining fully satisfied in all the laws enacted by Him – this is singing His glory.
Now some clarification is being given to the above four forms of seeking refuge in God.
While thinking of God’s form, chanting His Holy name with constant devotion and without desiring anything from Him, and chanting, meditating, listening and narrating His qualities and pastimes all the time i.e. while walking, sleeping, keeping awake, eating and drinking, having Him in our remembrance at all times – is the first type of seeking refuge.
The second type is to follow God’s commandments. It only needs to pay more attention to the fact that the mind does not come under the influence of senses and the body and seek their congeniality; Rather, keep thinking about what the God’s desires. And how to act according to it? Its answer is that scriptures like Shrimad Bhagavavagita are the direct preachings of God.
Secondly the words of God realized great men are also the commands of God; because where there is no selfishness and egoism in the conscience, there the impulses and efforts are only according to dictates of God. Thirdly, the conduct of those great men is also ideal for us; Because God has said-
Whatever is the conduct of superior man, others behave in the same manner. Whatever standard he sets, the whole human community follows him. (3.21)
Fourthly, the impulses arising in the inner consciousness, free from attachment and envy can also be considered as a commands of God. Fifth, any human being gives orders according to his nature, hence we must try to understand the nature of that supremely benevolent God. Whatever is the command of God will be according to His nature, and He loves everyone.
Thus the work in which there is renunciation of our selfishness and is for the benefit of the entire human beings, which does not harm anyone, is the command of the Lord. Thus, understanding the secret of His command there should never be any hesitation in following His orders. In fact we should consider that only to be our supreme duty and try to follow it till our last breath, as Gita says—‘it is beneficial to die also while following our own duty.’
The third type is to surrender everything to God. In fact, everything belongs to God, because we neither brought anything with us at the time of our birth nor will we carry anything with us at the time of leaving; And even while living here, we cannot modify any object or the body etc as per our choice. This makes it clear that nothing belongs to us, everything belongs to God and is under His control. However in wherever things we have mistakenly assumed sense of mineness we have to get rid of it.
The fourth type is to be supremely happy in every legislation of God. Even in that, there is happiness in congeniality, while in adversity similar happiness is not there. In fact, the happiness in congeniality is not the happiness arising from believing that to be according to the God’s law, but it is because of delusion.
This means that the happiness that one feels on account of congeniality of one’s body, senses and conscience is actually delusion. By getting rid of that happiness by using our intellect and accepting that since God has made the law of my getting that situation it is bound to be the ultimate blessing for me, the happiness that would arise out of this belief would be on account of understanding our relationship with God.
Then there will be no more sorrow even in adversity. In this way, if you accept the situation as obtained according to the laws given by God, the memory of God will continue to remain in all the favorable and unfavorable conditions. Since that situation has been created by God, then how can a man forget God after having experienced it (the situation) directly. If you accept all the circumstances in this manner, then only it can be understood that we have realized that all situations are as per God’s law.
On giving it a thought we find that there is another benefit when an unfavourable situation occurs according to the mind, senses and body. Virtues are attenuated by favorable events and sins are destroyed by adverse events; the destruction of sins is only beneficial for us and so is the destruction of virtue.
The second thing is that man grows in adversity, there is a hindrance to progress in congeniality. Therefore, the more adversity the Lord sends, more is He benefitting us. When a child gets dirty and the mother washes him, then the child feels bad about giving him a bath.
He cries, shouts, but the mother, not caring what the child desires, cleans him. Similarly in destroying our sins, the Lord cleanses us without taking our advice, paying no heed to our crying and shouting.
Just as the goldsmith cleans that gold a little extra which he wants to keep, in the same way when the Lord gives more trouble to a devotee according to his past sins, the devotee should understand that now the Lord is adopting me, because He is now Himself destroying my sins. God himself has said-
‘Whosoever I am pleased with, I slowly take away all his wealth and disconnect him from his relatives, so that he now leads a life of misery.’
One more thing to think about is, when God listens to our mind, that is, he creates a favorable situation for us, then we should rather feel hesitant thinking that hopefully God is not belittling me by giving that situation which my mind finds congenial.
If He has done that merely to placate us, then it is not proper, because many lives have been wasted doing according to what we have wanted, now at least we should stop desiring anything. Now only that should happen what the God desires. That is what the devotee wants.
Therefore, he remains extremely happy in God’s gracious dispensation, whether that is contrary to mind, sense and body or is favorable to them. Because if you follow the law of God, then there is supreme benediction in both favourable and unfavourable conditions. Therefore, he does not keep his desire separate from God, he merges his desire in the will of God.
In this way, thinking of God, obeying commands of God, surrendering everything to God and remaining supremely happy in every desire of God is really singing glory of God.
Therefore, we all need to get very soon completely immersed in singing God’s glory. We get so engrossed in singing His glory, that the voice becomes overwhelmed with emotion, the mind becomes moved and engulfed in God; then there would be no need to sing His glory, it would occur spontaneously. Only then the song is the actual praise of God, otherwise it is fake.
The hymn that is performed is unreal, and when it occurs spontaneously it is real. But that unreal singing is also very good as compared to not singing God’s glories at all, because that unreal singing later can become real.
Hare Krishna !!