Blessedness of Discipleship
O Lord, with your pure, cooling, nectarine speech, sweetened by the bliss of Brahmic experience, as if being poured from a pitcher of words, do drench me who is tormented by the flames of the forest fire of worldly afflictions. Blessed are those who are accepted as your own, and by your passing glance are made fit recipients of your grace.
Points for Introspection:
There are only a rare few who see life as ephemeral and transitory, who find that there is nothing in this world which can be called permanent. They understand that in spite of having everything one still feels a void in life. There is something to be attained, attaining which no more craving will be left in the mind.
One finds that in life there is happiness no doubt, but it is always accompanied by misery, anxiety, tension and fear. At times, one feels as if he is getting scorched by the wild fire of miseries and afflictions in the world; as if there is darkness all around and he is getting drowned in the worldly ocean.
Such seekers are rare who grow intense yearning for ‘That’, which is the abode of fearlessness, where one will not be affected by worldly afflictions.
Ādi Śaṅkarāchārya says (Vivekachūḍāmaṇi verse 3) three things are indeed rare and can be had by the grace of God alone. First is human birth, second is burning aspiration for liberation, and the third is the loving care and guidance of a ‘Mahapurusha’ – a Self-realized Knower, a Guru.
So, in this human birth which itself is rare, if one is also gifted with the rare yearning to be liberated, he must seek and go to a Guru – the Guru, who can lift him up from this worldly ocean full of miseries and can guide him to the eternal state of supreme felicity, who can take him from mortality to immortality.
In this shloka Ādi Śaṅkarāchārya describes a disciple (śiṣya, seeker), who having developed intense yearning to reach the supreme spiritual goal, approaches a Guru, prostrates with all humility, love and devotion, and prays to be taken across the worldly ocean.
Knowing that the Guru himself has crossed the worldly ocean and has transcended torments and fears in life by gaining the knowledge of the Self, the seeker addresses the Guru with extreme humility and surrender: “O Lord, please have mercy on me and teach me how to go across this worldly torments. I am absolutely scorched by the heat of afflictions in this world. Please make me cool and calm by showering on me your nectarine words which are pure, cool, delightful as well as pleasing to the ears, which are full with your experience of the bliss of Brahman and springing forth from your lips as if being poured from a pitcher”. The seeker also adds: “O Lord, blessed are those on whom your glance has fallen even for a moment and whom you have accepted as a receptacle for your blessings.”
This beautiful scene has to be imagined: a seeker who feels helpless and fearful in this world and has developed intense aspiration to be liberated from the worldly sufferings by attaining the knowledge of the supreme Truth in life; knowing not how to reach that supreme destination, sincerely seeks and ultimately reaches the holy lotus feet of a Guru who has realized the supreme Truth. He unburdens himself at the holy feet of the Master. Prostrating with great humility and surrender, with folded hands and tearful eyes, he begs to be taken care of and be led to spiritual fulfillment.
What does the seeker pray to the Guru? He begs of his Master to shower him [सेचय, secaya] with nectarine cool words, as if poured from a pitcher. He opens up his entire being to his Guru and prays to the Master to drench him completely by pouring his cooling nectarine-words as if poured from a pitcher. Just like the plants look forward to rains during hot summer days in order to get rejuvenated, he wants to get drenched by the words of wisdom in order to transcend all affectations.
When one comes to the Guru, one must have such an attitude of surrender. No reservation should be there. The Guru should have all freedom to instruct the seeker and make him a fit receptacle for the spiritual knowledge. The seeker too with intense eagerness and feeling of blessedness (धन्यता, dhanyatā) should stretch and open up every corner of his personality to be drenched by the words of supreme Knowledge.
There is a lot to learn from this shloka. One must imagine the extremely rare and the most auspicious scene of a disciple meeting his Guru for the first time, placing his entire being at the holy lotus feet of the Guru. One must also identify himself with the seeker, think deeply and be identified with the feelings and attitudes of this seeker. Then alone he will be able to grasp the state of this seeker. Only then, the mind will be ready to receive the showers of wisdom unreservedly.
As we chant the shloka, the mind gets filled with blessedness (धन्यता, dhanyatā) and gratitude towards the Lord that He has taken us to the feet of the Guru. Also, while chanting, we should imagine that we are getting fully drenched by the showers of spiritual Knowledge. Let the whole day pass with the feeling of blessedness.
ब्रह्मानन्द-रसानुभूति-कलितैः (brahmānanda-rasānubhūti-kalitaiḥ) = sweetened by the nectar of Brahmic experience; पूतैः (pūtaiḥ) = pure ; सुशीतैः (suśītaiḥ) = very cooling; युतैः (yutaiḥ) = unifying ; युष्मद्वाक् कलशोज्झितैः (yuṣmadvāk kalaśojjhitaiḥ) = as if poured from your pitcher of words; श्रुति-सुखैः (śruti-sukhaiḥ) = delightful to the ear; वाक्यामृतैः (vākyāmṛtaiḥ) = nectarine speech; सेचय (secaya) = drench; संतप्तम् (santaptaṃ) = tormented; भवताप-दाव-दहन-ज्वालाभिः (bhavatāpa-dāva-dahana-jvālābhiḥ) = by the flames of the forest fire of worldly afflictions; एनं (enaṃ) = this (referring to self); प्रभो (prabho) = O Lord; धन्याः (dhanyāḥ) = those blessed; ते (te) = they; भवदीक्षण-क्षणगतेः (bhavadīkṣaṇa-kṣaṇagateḥ) = by your passing glance; पात्रीकृताः (pātrīkṛtāḥ) = made a fit receptable; स्वीकृताः (svīkṛtāḥ) = accepting them as your own.
प्रभो, ब्रह्मानन्दरसानुभूतिकलितैः पूतैः सुशीतैः युतैः युष्मद्वाक् कलशोज्झितैः श्रुतिसुखैः वाक्यामृतैः भवतापदावदहनज्वालाभिः संतप्तं एनं सेचय । भवदीक्षणक्षणगतेः पात्रीकृताः स्वीकृताः ते धन्याः ।
prabho, brahmānanda-rasānubhūti-kalitaiḥ pūtaiḥ suśītaiḥ yutaiḥ yuṣmadvāk kalaśojjhitaiḥ śrutisukhaiḥ vākyāmṛtaiḥ bhavatāpa-dāva-dahana-jvālābhiḥ santaptaṃ enaṃ secaya. bhavadīkṣaṇa-kṣaṇagateḥ pātrīkṛtaḥ svīkṛtāḥ te dhanyāḥ.
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