Sing and Hear the Glories of God
As the mind becomes more and more purified by listening to and narrating the holy accounts of My glories and deeds, it becomes more and more capable of perceiving the very subtle truth of the Self; just as the ability of the eye to see subtle things is enhanced by the application of collyrium.
Points for Introspection:
Whenever anybody has a disease in the eye, he loses his clarity of vision. It becomes especially difficult to see objects, which are minute and subtle. However, when medicine like collyrium is applied to the diseased eye, gradually the eye becomes better and it gains back the clarity of vision.
This is a good illustration for seekers and devotees. Mostly our mind is overwhelmed by the worldly objects and situations. The senses draw the mind to various objects of the world. Desire to possess the objects and enjoy what we like fill the mind. Thereafter the mind gets crowded with anxiety and fear: How to get what we desire; how to preserve whatever has been acquired? The mind remains always dissatisfied. Even after possessing an object of desire, the satisfaction that is experienced disappears in no time, leaving behind intense craving for more and newer objects of enjoyment.
Alas! The objects of desire being transitory and perishable, the delight that one gets while acquiring and enjoying them is also short-lived, ultimately generating grief and affliction in one’s mind. Man always dwells in the thoughts of the past and the future. His mind remains filled with misery remembering past incidents or behaviour of people, and with anxiety about what would happen in the future.
The net result of all this is that the mind is never peaceful or contented. It remains agitated always. The root cause of this agitation is desire. Desire to have what we like and desire to avoid what we dislike. This endless desire in man’s mind expressed as likes and dislikes is the greatest and chronic disease of human life in the world (Samsāra-roga:).
When the mind is clouded or disturbed by desires nothing subtle can be perceived, what to speak of the most subtle Soul or the Indweller! Although the Supreme Lord or the Indweller is ever-present in one’s heart, it is never felt because of the desires in the mind.
Now, what is the medicine for this inner disease which hinders our clear vision of the Lord? Just as medicine is applied to the diseased eye in order to make the external vision clear, the mind must be treated with such medicines that will remove the desires – the sole cause of agitation – and fill it with purity and calmness. In a calm and pure mind alone, the most subtle Self is revealed.
This shloka tells us about that medicine. It says that the mind becomes purer and purer by the repeated listening of the auspicious glories of the Supreme Lord, and also by singing His praises. By repeated hearing about Him and by constant chanting of His name, love for the Lord increases manifold in the devotee’s heart. He finds his supreme refuge in the Lord, understanding that the all-pervading Lord is One, Universal, and Changeless. Only the Lord can bestow eternal peace and happiness. The devotee understands that joy from all other objects is transitory and superficial.
To the extent the desire to be in constant remembrance of the Lord increases, to that extent the desire for worldly objects reduces. As the love and fondness for the Lord becomes more and more intense, all evil tendencies of the mind like anger, hatred, jealousy, etc. get dissolved. The mind gets filled with benevolent qualities like love for all, sympathy, sacrifice, friendliness etc. All impurities having been dissolved, the mind becomes calm and tranquil. In such a pure tranquil mind, the most subtle Soul or the Indweller gets revealed naturally and spontaneously.
This shloka emphasizes that the disease of worldliness can be cured by constant hearing and singing of the Lord’s auspicious exploits. Sri Krishna himself says that the mind becomes supremely pure when the Lords’s leela is heard or sung. When we chant this shloka such a feeling of purity and closeness to Lord is felt.
यथा यथा (yathā yathā) = just as; आत्मा (ātmā) = Self; परिमृज्यते (parimṛjyatē) = is purified; असौ (asau) = this; मत् (mat) = my; पुण्यगाथाश्रवणाभिधानैः (puṇyagāthā-śravaṇābhidhānai:) = by listening to and narrating the holy accounts of glories and deeds; तथा तथा (tathā thatā) = in the same manner; पश्यति (paśyati) = perceives; वस्तु (vastu) = Truth; सूक्ष्मं (sūkṣmaṃ) = subtle; चक्षुः (cakṣu:) = eye; यथा (yathā) = just as; एव (ēva) = indeed; अञ्जनसम्प्रयुक्तम् (añjanasamprayuktam) = on application of collyrium.
यथा यथा असौ आत्मा मत् पुण्यगाथाश्रवणाभिधानैः परिमृज्यते, तथा तथा सूक्ष्मं वस्तु पश्यति; यथा एव अञ्जनसम्प्रयुक्तम् चक्षुः ( सूक्ष्मं पश्यति) ।
yathā yathā asau ātmā mat puṇyagāthā-śravaṇābhidhānai: parimṛjyatē, tathā tathā sūkṣmaṃ vastu paśyati; yathā ēva añjanasamprayuktam cakṣu: (sūkṣmaṃ paśyati).
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