Always be dedicated to the dharma of devotion, disregarding all other common worldly codes of behaviour. Serve the Wise and Noble, renouncing worldly desires. Getting rid of the thoughts of others’ imperfections or virtues, drink to heart’s content the nectar of words of service to the Lord.
Points for Introspection:
How to develop dispassion for the worldly objects? How to develop supreme devotion and fondness for God? How to fill our life with divinity? How to follow the path of devotion which great devotees have tread? How to pursue the Bhāgavata Dharma (way of life of a devotee) and cultivate the qualities, which the true devotees have?
We believe that we are devotees. We get up in the morning, take bath, sit in the pooja-room, light a lamp, offer flowers, sandal and ārati to the idol, chant stutis (hymns of praise), read from holy books, contemplate or meditate. We also go to temples and worship. But very rarely one questions oneself: “What is the use of all this worship? Who is the God whom we are worshiping? What is the effect of worshiping on me? Even though I worship and consider myself to be a devotee, why is it that I am still gripped by anger, anxiety and fear? What is then the way of life of a true devotee? What are his qualities and characteristics?”
This shloka tells us the way of life of a true devotee or a seeker. A true devotee is one who has supreme devotion to God and strong dispassion towards worldly objects. He wants nothing else than God himself. So in order to become a true devotee one must leave all petty worldly observances, and pursue instead prescribed devotional observances and disciplines.
To grow Supreme devotion to God, one must go to a holy person and be in his association. He should not only remain in the company of the holy, but serve him with all his heart and mind, never expecting anything in return – not even supreme knowledge or mokṣa, never praying for anything material, never having any other motive. He should serve only because he feels blessed to have had an opportunity to serve a Mahātmā. In such a holy association, through non-expectant service, the seeker would be able to assimilate the knowledge which the Mahātmā bestows upon him and will be able to realize God in his own heart.
The mind can have this feeling of blessedness, which leads to supreme devotion to the exclusion of any other material object, only when we turn our mind from all petty matters to the remembrance and contemplation of God. Usually, a lot of time is wasted on insignificant discussion of others’ affairs. Throughout the day, our time is spent in criticizing others; seldom in appreciation. Without criticizing somebody or other, no day passes.
One who aspires to be a true devotee, having one-pointed devotion for God, should, without any delay, get rid of this bad habit of dwelling on others’ qualities. Instead, in order to keep the mind on God unbrokenly, he should either read about or listen to life stories of the best of devotees, how they lived, how they served the Mahātmās. The aspirer should by constant listening or reading, drink the nectar that flows from such renderings.
When the seeker, having got rid of all worldly interests, goes to a Mahātmā, serves him lovingly and blissfully without any expectation, he attains that supreme devotion. Also, by hearing and reading about lives of Mahātmās, full of supreme devotion to God, he too develops one-pointed contemplation on God.
Chanting of this shloka helps us live the life of a true devotee. It also reminds us how generally we waste time discussing insignificant perishable matters. It powerfully compels us to become a true devotee.
धर्मम् (dharmam) = righteous way of life; भजस्व (bhajasva) = practise; सततं (satatam) = always; त्यज (tyaja) = give up; लोकधर्मान् (lokadharmān) = worldly codes of conduct; सेवस्व (sevasva) = serve; साधुपुरुषान् (sādhupuruṣān) = wise and noble people; जहि (jahi) = renounce, eliminate; कामतृष्णाम् (kāma-tṛṣṇām) = sense enjoyments and desires; अन्यस्य (anyasya) = of others; दोष-गुण-चिन्तनं (doṣa-guṇa-cintanam) = thinking of the imperfections and qualities; आशु (āśu) = without delay; मुक्त्वा (muktvā) = getting rid of; सेवाकथारसम् (sevā-kathā-rasam) = nectar from the words of service; अहो (aho) = Ah!; नितरां (nitarām) = fully; पिब (piba) = drink; त्वम् (tvam) = you.
धर्मं सततं भजस्व; लोकधर्मान् त्यज साधुपुरुषान् सेवस्व कामतृष्णाम् जहि । अन्यस्य दोषगुणचिन्तनं आशु मुक्त्वा अहो सेवाकथारसं त्वम् नितरां पिब ।
dharmaṃ satataṃ bhajasva; loka-dharmān tyaja; sādhupuruṣān sevasva; kāma-tṛṣṇām jahi; anyasya doṣa-guṇa-cintanaṃ āśu muktvā, aho sevā-kathā-rasaṃ tvam nitarāṃ piba.
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