Remembering the Lord Here and Now
O Kṛṣṇa! May my swan-like mind enter the cage of Your lotus feet, today itself. Because, at the time of death, when the throat gets choked with phlegm, wind and bile, how can one remember You !
Points for Introspection
Life in this world is like an ocean. As in the ocean, huge fearful waves arise continuously, so do in our life in the world. Continuously we are hit by big or small waves of difficulties, torments and troubles. We are always afraid of getting drowned or being swept by the waves.
While we are surrounded by the waves of tension, anxiety, and fear, we find that relief and peace is had only when we rely on God, feel His presence in our heart, and try to surrender all our troubles at His feet, with the faith that He alone can remove all our sorrows and difficulties.
Although we experience this relief at various moments, we are not able to sustain these feelings. As soon as the problems are over and happiness reigns, we forget God. We do not make God a part of our daily life. We think of Him and pray to Him only when in trouble. Had we grown a habit of remembering Him always lovingly, we would have no problem in facing the fierce waves of worldly tribulations. Alas, we are ignorant of this Truth.
Many think and believe that pursuit of God-remembrance can be taken up only when one is old and has completed all responsibilities. Most of the people say: “Where is the time to think of God when we are young and active? We are extremely busy throughout the day in performing our daily activities and carrying out our responsibilities. There is no time to spend in remembrance of God or pursue spirituality. Surely, when we grow old and become free from our responsibilities, we will have abundant time to think about God.”
Alas, That auspicious time, though contemplated upon, never comes. When one grows old, the body gets troubled by various diseases. As a result, whole focus of one’s mind goes to the suffering of the body. How can the suffering mind, overtaken by aches and pains of the body, remember God?
Also, since the mind has not been trained to be still at the Lord’s feet, even in old age it roams about here and there even in old age running behind objects of sensory pleasures or thoughts of past and future. An untrained mind, which knows only to run behind worldly objects, cannot focus on God in old age, however much it may try to do so.
However, very few people think deeply and understand this Truth. A few rare souls alone understand using their viveka, that to get peace, contentment, and joy, one must remember God always, feel His presence in the heart.
In this shloka, the devotee cries out: “O Krishna, my Supreme Lord, I find my mind to be very restless. Like a swan flying to great distances and heights, my mind too wanders off from Your Feet to distant objects, places and events, pulling me into unhappiness and sorrow.
“O Lord, just as a swan is able to drink the milk separating the water from it, so also may my mind be able to discriminate the real from the unreal, the eternal from the ephemeral. May my mind be able to understand that all the worldly allurements behind which it runs after relentlessly, are unreal and transitory; that Thy holy feet alone are eternal and imperishable. So, my Lord, I pray to Thee: Let my swan-like mind be imprisoned in the cage of Thy holy feet so that it cannot fly away anymore, but is compelled to be at Your feet and think about You.
“Let my mind enter the ‘cage’ of your abode right today. I do not want to wait till old age, to be surrendered at Your feet. I want to be Yours right today. For I know, in old age the troubles of my body will become too prominent – troubles due to phlegm, arthritis and bile. So much so, that my whole mind will be focused on my body and its various ailments. I will not be able to remember You at all. My voice will have no strength to call You. So, O Lord, make my mind a prisoner at Your lotus feet right now, so that it cannot fly away anywhere and remains at Your holy feet eternally.”
What a beautiful shloka! What a beautiful bhāva! While chanting this shloka, a great conviction arises in the mind, that Lord’s holy feet is the Supreme abode; a yearning grows in the mind to be surrendered to the Lord right now, without delay.
कृष्ण (kṛṣṇa) = O Lord Krishna; त्वदीय (tvadīya) = your; पदपङ्कजपञ्जरान्ते (pada-paṅkaja-pañjarānte) = in the cage of Your lotus feet; अद्य (adya) = today; एव (eva) = itself; मे (me) = my; विशतु (viśatu) = may enter; मानसराजहंसः (mānasa-rājahaṃsa:) = the swan-like mind; प्राण-प्रयाणसमये (prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye) = when the life forces are about to leave the body; कफवातपित्तैः (kapha-vāta-pittai:) = by phlegm, wind and bile; कण्ठावरोधनविधौ (kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau ) = in the condition of throat being choked; स्मरणं (smaraṇaṃ) = remembrance; कुतः (kuta:) = how; ते (te) = your;
(हे) कृष्ण ! मे मानसराजहंसः त्वदीय पदपङ्कजपञ्जरान्ते अद्य एव विशतु । प्राणप्रयाणसमये कफवातपित्तैः कण्ठावरोधनविधौ ते स्मरणं कुतः ।
(He) Kṛṣṇa! me mānasa-rājahaṃsa: tvadīya padapaṅkaja-pañjarānte adya eva viśatu | Prāṇaprayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittai: kaṇṭhāvarodhanavidhau te smaraṇaṃ kuta:
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