Pray for Unwavering Devotion Alone
O Lord, I have no confidence in dharma, or material wealth, or in enjoying the desired objects. Whatever comes in accordance with my past deeds, let that happen. O Lord, this is my much considered prayer: May I have unwavering devotion to your lotus feet in as many lives to come.
Points for Introspection:
In this world, man finds security and happiness in wealth and property, in family and children, friends and relatives. If he has money and has people around him, he feels protected and believes that in enjoying life there is no obstacle. He considers himself to be greatly fortunate if he is able to pursue a life of dharma, is able to acquire wealth and live in comfort and luxury. He believes that all happiness lies in enjoyment through the senses.
Unfortunately, he does not see the transitory nature of the world and the futility of all possessions and enjoyments. Ignorant as he is, he fails to seek the Imperishable and Eternal God attaining whom he will be eternally happy. As a result, his entire devotion is for perishable world and worldly enjoyments.
There are a few who understand and realize the transitory and perishable nature of the world. They understand that however much one may acquire wealth and other possessions, he would not be fulfilled or happy. They understand that worldly acquisitions (family, wealth, name, fame, etc.) do not help to take one beyond fear and anxiety; do not make one immortal.
Understanding the real nature of the world – that this changeful world is not going to bestow immortality and fearlessness – such rare devotees develop strong dispassion for the worldly objects and enjoyments. They find their only succor at the Lord’s feet and develop intense devotion towards the Lord. This unwavering devotion for the Lord, who Himself is changeless and is eternal, make them go beyond all fear and attain Immortality. Being dispassionate to the world as they are, their only wish is to have unflinching devotion at the Lord’s holy lotus feet.
This shloka is a prayer from such a devotee. He says “O Lord, I have no confidence in dharma, nor in acquiring wealth and fulfilling desires. Nor do I wish to enjoy the various sensory pleasures. Whatever is destined for me, let all that take its course. I accept everything without any grievance. I have no other wish whatsoever. However, I have only one prayer that, O Lord, may I have unwavering devotion at your holy lotus feet in as many lives as I am born in. I wish for nothing else O Lord.”
Chanting of this shloka again and again, identifying oneself with the cry of the devotee gives an experience of intense dispassion for worldly affairs. A feeling grips the mind: “I want nothing from the world”. Repetition of the words also gives a glimpse of an unwavering devotion at the Lord’s feet. The words निश्चला भक्तिः (niścalā bhaktiḥ) settles in the mind, bringing about a wholesome dependence on the Lord and nothing else.
न (na) = not; आस्था (āsthā) = regard, confidence; धर्मे (dharme) = in dharma; न (na) = not; वसुनिचये (vasunicaye) = in acquiring wealth; न (na) = not; एव (eva) = indeed; कामोपभोगे (kāmopabhoge) = in experiencing sensory pleasures; यत् भव्यम् (yat bhavyam) = what ever should happen ; तत् (tat) = that; भवतु (bhavatu) = let it be; भगवन् (bhagavan) = O Lord; पूर्वकर्मानुरूपम् (pūrvakarmānurūpam) = in accordance with the past deeds; हि (hi) = indeed; एतत् (etat) = this; प्रार्थ्यम् (prārthyam) = prayer; मम (mama) = my; बहुमतम् (bahumatam) = much considered opinion; जन्मजन्मान्तरे (janma-janmāntare) = in many births; अपि (api) = also; त्वत् (tvat) = your; पादाम्भोरुहयुगगता (pādāmbhoruha-yugagatā) = lotus feet; निश्चला (niścalā) = unwavering; भक्तिः (bhaktiḥ) = devotion; अस्तु (astu) = be there;
न धर्मे आस्था; न वसुनिचये; न कामोपभोगे एव । पूर्वकर्मानुरूपं यत् भव्यं, तत् भवतु । भगवन्, एतत् हि, मम बहुमतं, प्रार्थ्यं – जन्मजन्मान्तरे अपि त्वत् पादाम्भोरुहयुगगता निश्चला भक्तिः अस्तु ।
na dharme āsthā; na vasunicaye; na kāmopabhoge eva. pūrvakarmānurūpaṁ yat bhavyaṁ, tat bhavatu. Bhagavan, etat hi, mama bahumataṁ, prārthyaṁ – janmajanmāntare api tvat pādāmbhoruhayugagatā niścalā bhaktiḥ astu.
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