The Way to Fearlessness
I consider that for those suffering from the agonies of the worldly life, arising from the identification of the Self with the unreal (body) objects, constant worship of the feet of Achyuta, is the way to fearlessness. For one attaining the identity with the universal Supreme, fear ceases for ever.
Points for Introspection:
Life in this world is full of anxiety and fear. Right from the morning, one is gripped by stress, tension and anxiety regarding various matters – significant or insignificant. The mind thus, is never peaceful. One finds that everything in life is laden with fear, fear of losing whatever we like and fear of facing whatever we dislike.
Gripped by fear and anxiety, one suffers from lack of strength, clarity, hope and confidence. However much one may be wealthy or prosperous, beautiful and strong, scholarly and reputed, he can never escape fear and anxiety in life. As a result, even if one has everything favourable in life, he still is tormented and afflicted.
Where from is fear generated? And how to remove fear and anxiety from our lives? By practicing what, will we be able to attain the abode of fearlessness?
This shloka says that for those who are suffering from afflictions in life arising from anxiety and fear, the only way to attain fearlessness lies in worshiping always the holy lotus feet of Achyuta (another name of Sri Hari, meaning “permanent”).
Man mistakenly identifies the real, eternal, imperishable Soul with the perishable, unreal body. Whereas the Soul is always changeless and never suffers or enjoys, unfortunately by virtue of its wrong identification with the body mind and intelligence, man undergoes suffering when body-mind etc. suffers. He becomes gripped by fear.
‘Achyuta’ means one who does not change. In this shloka, it is being explained that fear is from all that is changeful, unreal and perishable. To have fearlessness, hence, we should hold on, not to the perishables but to the imperishable, the real, the changeless – the Achyuta, and whole heartedly worship His holy lotus feet.
The shloka also explains that fear arises when there is something different from oneself. If there is nobody and nothing except oneself, wherefrom will fear arise? When a devotee worships the holy lotus feet of Achyuta, he, in reality, identifies himself with the one Universal Soul – the changeless, motionless, eternal, imperishable and real. Identifying oneself with the विश्वात्मा (viśvātmā, Universal Soul) one experiences the “Universal oneness”. In the absence of a second, from whom will the fear be generated? So, the seeker becomes fearless for ever.
This shloka from Bhaagavatam announces with great authority that for man to attain fearlessness, he must worship always and one-pointedly the holy lotus feet of Sri Hari, the all-pervading unchanging Lord.
When we chant this shloka repeatedly, mentally severing our clinging to the unreal and perishable objects, and taking refuge at His lotus feet instead, we feel absolutely secure in the Divine lap, protected by the Divine embrace. The mind gets completely absorbed in Him.
Whenever one undergoes fear or anxiety on any account, chanting of this shloka helps.
मन्ये (manye) = I consider; अकुतश्चिद्भयम् (akutaścidbhayam) = having no fear from any quarter, fearlessness; अच्युतस्य (acyutasya) = of Achyuta; पादाम्बुजोपासनम् (pādāmbujopāsanam) = worship of the lotus feet; अत्र (atra) = here, in this world; नित्यम् (nityam) = always; उद्विग्नबुद्धेः (udvignabuddheḥ) = whose intelligence is agitated; असत् (asat) = unreal; आत्मभावात् (ātmabhāvāt) = identification with the Self; विश्वात्मना (viśvātmanā) = by the identity with the Universal Supreme; यत्र (yatra) = where; निवर्तते (nivartate) = ceases; भीः (bhīḥ) = fear
अत्र नित्यं अच्युतस्य पादाम्बुजोपासनं अकुतश्चिद्भयं मन्ये । असत् आत्मभावात् उद्विग्नबुद्धेः विश्वात्मना यत्र भीः निवर्तते ।
atra nityaṁ acyutasya pādāmbujopāsanaṁ akutaścidbhayaṁ manye. asat-ātmabhāvāt udvignabuddheḥ viśvātmanā yatra bhīḥ nivartate.
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