Those vraja-women are blessed indeed, who, ever-absorbed in love for Sri Krishna, always used to sing about Him with emotion filled voice and tears, while involved in various activities like milking, de-husking, churning buttermilk, sprinkling water and smearing the courtyard, rocking the cradles and consoling the crying babies, with their minds fixed in Sri Krishna.
Points for Introspection
When we think of God with love and devotion, the mind becomes peaceful and happy. All troubles and difficulties seem to fade away. All fear and anxiety disappear. It seems as though there is nothing to worry. One feels absolutely secure as if one is in the mother’s lap.
In order to fill our minds with devotion to God and to feel His divine presence in our heart, many follow regular devotional routines. At a particular time of the day, we sit near the altar (poojā-shrine), think about God, chant hymns and praises addressing Him. We pray to Him. Quite often, our eyes shed tears of devotion, body has horripilation and our voice gets choked. We feel God very near to us, feel absolutely taken care of, and completely owned by Him; as if God has placed His divine hands on our head removing all fear. The mind becomes calm and blissful.
These are the feelings that most of us experience during devotional practices and during intense remembrance of God. But, what happens at other times? We may be spending about one to two hours in front of the poojā-shrine, but rest of the time is spent in various worldly activities. Are we able to think of God then?
Normally, as soon as one gets engaged in worldly activities and takes up his duties and responsibilities, he gets busy with worldly thoughts. The whole day passes and at the end of the day we see that we didn’t think of God even for a moment.
Sadly we discover that our mind had remained engaged in various desires, expectations, likes, dislikes, anger, hatred, jealousy and so on. Instead of thinking about God which results in peace and solace, we find our mind running after unnecessary matters generating all kinds of disturbance like anxiety, fear, sadness and so on.
But then, most often a question arises in everybody’s mind – remaining in worldly life, performing one’s duty towards the family members, is it ever possible to think of God constantly? How can the mind think of God when it is engaged in worldly matters? God and the world seem to be so different from each other! One is so divine and the other so non-divine! While interacting with non-divine matters, how can the mind enjoy divinity?
This śloka dispels the doubt and conveys that it is possible to think of God even in the midst of most ordinary and day-to-day routine work. This śloka reminds us of the Vraja-women, the Gopikās, who thought about Krishna and sang songs about Krishna’s glories right from the time they woke up in the morning through all the daily chores.
On getting up in the morning, they swept their houses, smeared the floor with cow dung, watered the plants, milked the cows, churned the curd to make butter, rocked the cradle and consoled the crying children, de-husked the paddy and remaining engaged in innumerable other activities. In spite of doing all these apparently worldly and non-divine work, their minds were never immersed in worldly thoughts. They still could sing songs about the divine Krishna, think about Him very fondly with their mind full of love, eyes full of tears and throat choked with emotion. These Gopikas are said to be the real blessed ones among devotees and seekers.
How is it that they were able to think about Him and sing His glories even while engaged in various daily activities? They were able to do so because they loved Krishna. Krishna was dear to them more than their own lives.
When somebody loves a person, he thinks about him effortlessly. In the midst of all his work and activities, he never forgets his object of love. Thinking about him the mind experiences joy and delight. This is how the mother loves her child. Nobody has to remind the mother to think of the child. She thinks about the child spontaneously. Whatever she may be busy with, her mind will always be engaged in the thought of the child and its welfare.
This śloka teaches us to love God naturally and intensely. Know that He alone is – the One Real Being. Knowing this, we must give God the supreme position in life, more than anything else. However much one is surrounded by people, however much one has wealth and prosperity, God alone can bestow happiness and fearlessness. We belong to God alone. So, one must grow intense love for God; pure love, love without any expectation.
When the mind becomes full of devotional love, the mind spontaneously thinks of God, even if the body is engaged in variety of activities. In fact, one then seeks God in every action and interaction.
When we chant this śloka and identify with the Gopikās, we understand that our love for God should be as intense as that of the Gopikās’ for Krishna – pure love, without desire and expectation. Then we too will feel blessed like the Gopikās.
या (yā) = who; दोहने (dohane) = while milking; अवहनने (avahanane) = while dehusking;
मथन-उपलेप-प्रेङ्ख-इङ्खन-अर्भरुदित-उक्षण-मार्जन-आदौ (mathana-upalepa-preṅkha-iṅkhana-arbha-rudita-ukṣaṇa-mārjana-ādau ) = while churning curd, smearing the floor, rocking the cradles, consoling crying children, sweeping and mopping, etc.; गायन्ति (gāyanti) = sing;
च (ca) = and; एनम् (enam) = Him (the Lord); अनुरक्त-धियः (anurakta-dhiya:) = those whose minds are absorbed in love; अश्रु-कण्ठ्यः (aśru-kaṇṭhya:) = those whose throats are choked with tears; धन्याः (dhanyā:) = are blessed; व्रज-स्त्रियः (vraja-striya:) = women of vraja; उरु-क्रम-चित्त-यानाः (uru-krama-citta-yānā ) = those who are always absorbed in the thought of Sri Krishna.
दोहने अवहनने मथन-उपलेप-प्रेङ्ख-इङ्खन-अर्भरुदित-उक्षण-मार्जन-आदौ च याः अनुरक्त-धियःउरु-क्रम-चित्त-यानाः व्रज-स्त्रियः अश्रु-कण्ठ्यः एनं गायन्ति (ताः) धन्याः ।
dohane avahanane mathana-upalepa-preṅkha-iṅkhana-arbha-rudita-ukṣaṇa-mārjana-ādau ca yā: anurakta-dhiya: uru-krama-citta-yānā: vraja-striya: aśru-kaṇṭhya: enam gāyanti (tā:) dhanyā: .
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