Offer your mind-lotus to God
A dull-witted man goes to a deep lake, enters a deserted frightful forest, or climbs a huge mountain, in search of a flower, to offer to You, O Lord Umanatha (Siva). People do not know that one can offer to You, his own mind-lotus, and be happy here itself. What a wonder!
Points for Introspection
A devotee feels like worshiping God, singing hymns and praises for God, and offering various items of his choice, which he feels will please God. He cleans the place of worship and decorates with beautiful rangoli. He lights lamps, burns incense sticks, offers garlands and flowers. He lovingly offers fruits and sweets to God. All these external arrangements for worship he does with lot of fondness for the Lord. Regularly, he sits at the feet of the Lord, worships and contemplates on His deeds and excellences.
When anybody worships God, the benefit is solely for the worshiper. God, who is worshiped has nothing to gain. With every act of worship, if done with sincerity and with a yearning to grow, the heart of the worshiper becomes purer and more expanded. More love and fondness get generated. Devotion and reliance on God deepens. He feels love for everybody. In everybody, he finds God Himself. His mind becomes one-pointed in devotion to God resulting in peace and calm.
Although a worshiper through worship should attain these beautiful inner qualities, unfortunately for most people, worship becomes a mechanical routine. The mind, instead of dipping within and getting enriched and enlightened by the acts of worship, gets busy with the external arrangements. As a result, no spiritual growth is achieved.
A worshiper undergoes spiritual growth, when he introspects over every act of worship, finds divinity therein, and purifies his mind through all such acts. As long as this introspection is not there, blessedness and divinity is not associated with the performances, the mind does not get elevated.
For example, the cleaning of the place of worship or the cleaning of the lamps or other pooja-vessels must not be considered as simple acts of cleaning. Such acts become divine and make the mind purer if, while cleaning, one thinks: “May my mind too become clean and pure, be rid of all its dross of desires and expectations.”
In most cases, such purifying thoughts do not arise. Rather, the mind gets habitually busy with externals like how to make the place of worship more decorative with more decorative items, etc.
Similarly, when the lamp is lit, instead of delving deep within and experiencing the silence and brilliance of the flame, thinking, “May my mind also shine with such pure self-effulgent brilliance”, thoughts of other unnecessary details clutter the mind.
Whenever some offerings of flowers, garlands, fruits or sweets are offered, the mind should dwell in divine thoughts: “O God, nothing belongs to me. I offer to you that which truly belongs to You.” These thoughts make the mind humble, sublimating ego and possessiveness. Instead of such purifying thoughts that generate non-possessiveness, devotees generally spend time and energy in making many arrangements and acquiring rare and costly items to be offered.
In doing so, the mind becomes unnecessarily ambitious, competitive, egoistic, and complacent. No internal growth takes place, as the devotee offers only external items and not his own mind. When the mind is focused only on external offerings, it gets bogged down to acquiring and offering more of external materials. As a result, the mind is never satisfied and peaceful.
In this shloka the poet highlights the above fact. He takes the example of offering flower to the Lord. In order to collect beautiful flowers to be offered to God, a devotee undertakes a lot of trouble. He enters deep lakes, forests and even climbs high mountains. Even though they offer these flowers, obtained with difficulty, the mind of the devotees do not attain a state of peace as the mind remains disturbed by various worldly matters. The poet says that such devotees are dull-witted, as they do not know that there is this unique mind-flower, the mind-lotus, which is the best offering to the Lord. Only when the lotus like mind is offered to God, one essentially offers all ego and possessiveness. Through introspection, the mind gets purified and one lives in peace and joy.
Truly speaking, God does not need any offering from the devotees; not to speak of variety. He wants only devotion and love from the devotees. Bhaagavatam says, प्रीयतेऽमलया भक्त्या हरिरन्यद् विडम्बनम् (prīyatē’malayā bhaktyā hariranyad viḍambanam)” – God is pleased by pure devotion, everything else is ostentation. (Śrīmadbhāgavatam 7.7.52)
So, whatever be the external process of worship, unless the pure and devotional mind-lotus is offered at the holy lotus feet of the Lord, God is not pleased.
When we chant this shloka, we understand the futility of offering variety of items to the Lord. We understand how foolish we are, that we simply forget about the best offering that we have – our own mind-lotus which should be offered at the Lord’s lotus feet unconditionally, and unreservedly.
गभीरे कासारे (gabhīre kāsāre) = in a deep lake/pond; विशति (viśati) = enters; विजने घोरविपिने (vijane ghōravipine) = in a deserted frightful forest; विशाले शैले (viśāle śaile) = on a huge mountain; च (ca) = and; भ्रमति (bhramati) = is wandering about; कुसुमार्थं (kusumārthaṃ) = for the sake of a flower; जडमतिः (jaḍamati: ) = a dull-witted man; समर्प्य (samarpya) = having offered; एकं (ekaṃ) = one; चेतः (cēta:) = mind; सरसिजम् (sarasijam) = lotus; उमानाथ (umānātha) = O Lord Umanatha/Lord Śiva; भवते (bhavate) = for you; सुखेनावस्थातुं (sukhenāvasthātuṃ) = being in happy state; जनः (jana:) = people; इह (iha) = in this place; न जानाति (na jānāti) = do not know; किम् अहो (kim aho) = what a wonder;
जडमतिः कुसुमार्थं विजने घोरविपिने विशति, गभीरे कासारे विशाले शैले च भ्रमति, (हे) उमानाथ, जनः न जानाति एकं सरसिजं चेतः भवते समर्प्य इह सुखेन अवस्थातुं ; किम् अहो ।
jaḍamati: kusumārthaṃ vijane ghōravipine viśati, gabhīre kāsāre viśāle śaile ca bhramati, (he) umānātha, jana: na jānāti ekaṃ sarasijam cēta: bhavate samarpya iha sukhena avasthātuṃ; kim aho.
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