19.26: SHLOKAS 21 TO 24 OF 36-SELECTION FROM NARAYANEEYAM
Shloka 21: Narayaneeyam : 1 - 5
nirvyAporo’pi niShkAraNam-aja bhajase yat-kriyAm-IkShaNAkhyAM
tenaivodeti lInA prakR^itir-asatikalpA’pi kalpA’’di-kAle /
tasyaH samshuddham-amshaM kamapi tam-atirodhAyakaM sattva-rUpaM
sa tvaM dhR^itvA dadhAsi sva-mahima-vibhavAkunTha vaikunTha rUpaM //
Tr. Oh Birthless One! Even Though You are without any activity by nature, You do activate spontaneously by just a glance, the prakR^iti, at the beginning of every new cycle of creation – the prakR^iti that is latently abiding in You, without anyway affecting You, as if it were a non-existent entity. Oh Lord of VaikunTha, assuming the pure sattva aspect of the PrakR^iti, which because of its purity does not in the least hide your glories and majesties, You have manifested Yourself as this divine form.
Comment. Pure sattva is used in contrast to material sattva, which along with rajas and tamas becomes the source of all matter creation. Pure sattva, according to Vaishnava philosophy, is self-luminous, of the nature of cit (intelligence) and Ananda (bliss). The Divine Form is constituted of this pure sattva. This fact is agreed to by advaita philosophy also. But the Vaishnava philosophy holds that it is in fact identical with the Absolute. In advaita philosophy, the Absolute transcends the three guNas. This is a substantial difference between the non-dualist philosophy and the qualified-non-dualist philosophy.
Sloka No. 22 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 91 - 2):
bhUman kAyena vAcA muhurapi manasA tvad-bala-preritAtmA
yadyat kurve samastaM tadiha paratare tvay-yasA-varpayAmi /
jAtyApIha shvapAkas-tvayi nihita-manaH-karma-vAg-indriyArtha-
prANo vishvaM punIte na tu vimukha-manAs-tvat-padAd-vipravaryaH //
Tr. Oh All-Pervading Being! Whatever I do with the body, speech and mind prompted by thy Power (expressing as tendencies from within), all that I offer at the feet of Thee, the Supreme Spirit. Even if a person be of low birth, if he has resigned his mind, power of action, speech, senses and vital energies at Thy feet, he sanctifies the worlds. But not so even if he is a Brahmana by birth, if his mind is turned away from Thee.
Comment. Now comes what exactly should be done by a seeker of the Ultimate. To start on this path one has to remember Gita IX – 27 constantly:
yat-karoShi yad-ashnAsi yajjuhoShi dadAsi yat /
yat-tapasyasi kaunteya tat-kuruShva mad-arpaNaM //, meaning,
‘Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give, whatever you practise as an austerity, Oh Arjuna, do it as an offering unto Me’.
Sloka No. 23 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 91 - 6):
bhUtAny-etAni bhUtAtmakam-api sakalAn pakshi-matsyAn mR^igAdIn
martyAn mitrANi shatrUn-api yamita-matis-tvan-mayAny-AnamAni /
tvat-sevAyAM hi siddhyen-mama tava kR^ipayA bhakti-dArDyaM virAgas-
tvat-tattvasy-Avabodho’pi ca bhuvanapate yatna-bhedaM vinaiva //
Tr. Having disciplined my mind to see Thy presence in everything, I shall salute all beings – the five elements and all the products of their combinations as also these living beings like birds, fish, animals and men, including friends and enemies. Thus following the path of devotion, I shall, through They Grace, attain to deep-rooted God-love, dispassion and knowledge of They truth-nature simultaneously.
Comment. All religious and spiritual observances finally are tantamount to the development of the attitude whereby one sees the Lord in everything. ‘He who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, never becomes separated from Me nor do I become separated from him’ (Gita VI – 30). ‘He sees, who sees the supreme Lord existing equally in all beings, the unperishing within the perishing’ (Gita XIII – 27). ‘Because he, who sees the same Lord equally dwelling everywhere, does not destroy the self by the self, he goes to the highest goal’ (Gita XIII – 28).’He who sees all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings, hates none. To the illumined Soul, who sees everything as a manifestation of his own Self, how can there be delusion or grief since he sees only oneness?’ (Isopanishad, Verses 6 and 7).This sloka therefore, may be used for continuous meditation and fixed contemplation by dwelling (nidhidhyAsana) on the meaning.
Sloka No. 24 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 96 - 8):
nirviNNaH karma-mArge khalu viShama-tame tvat-kathAdau ca gADhaM
jAta-shraddho’pi kAmAn-ayi bhuvana-pate naiva shaknomi hAtuM /
tad-bhUyo nishcayena tvayi nihita-manA doSha-buddhyA bhajans-tAn
puShNIyAM bhaktimeva tvayi hR^idaya-gate manGkShu nanGkShyanti sangAH //
Tr. Oh Lord of all the worlds! Even after developing revulsion to the extremely difficult life of adherence to Vedic ritualism and cultivating deep faith in the discipline of listening to Thy deeds and excellences, I am not able to abandon all the desires of my heart. I shall therefore try to overcome these by resorting to them with a discriminative mind that is fully aware of the harmfulness and is firmly fixed on Thee. I shall strengthen my devotion to Thee; for when You reside in the heart, worldly attachments perish in no time.
Comment. The significant words here are: ‘kAmAn naiva shaknomi hAtuM’ that is, ‘I am not able to cull out my desires’. The is the million dollar problem of every one. And the only remedy is as stated here: Discriminative mind; awareness of the harmfulness of the non-spiritual path; and strengthening of one’s devotion to the Lord. This is the royal road to spirituality. Has not the Lord said, ‘Even if the worst sinner worships me, with devotion to nothing else, he too should indeed be regarded as righteous, for he has rightly resolved’? cf. Gita Ch.IX – 30 :
api cet sudurAcAro bhajate mAm-ananyabhAk /
sAdhurevea sa mantavyaH samyag-vyvasito hi saH //
‘He has taken the first step’, says the Lord. And Sathya Sai Baba used to say: ‘If he takes one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards him!’.
So when temptations are there for the mind to stray away from its spiritual moorings, the only monitor for the discriminative mind is the Lord within. Even Sankara, for the benefit of us ordinary mortals, gives us strong forceful prayers, like the following one, that one can imbibe and make it come from one’s innermost heart. This one is Sloka No.20 of Sivananda-lahari:
sadA mohATavyAm carati yuvatInAM kuca-girau
naTaty-AshA-shAkhAsu aTati jhaTiti svairam-abhitaH /
kapAlin bikSho me hr^idaya-kapim-atyanta-capalaM
dR^iDhaM bhaktyA baddhvA shiva bhavad-adhInaM kuru vibho //
meaning, Oh Lord Shiva, (The mind) constantly dwells on the sensualities of the woman’s form, and dances on the hopes and desires generated by such thoughts. Oh Lord with the skull as the begging bowl, please deign to bind my extremely fickle monkey-mind, tightly with (the rope of) devotion and make it totally subservient to You!