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The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Always be dedicated to the dharma of devotion, disregarding all other common worldly codes of behaviour. Serve the Wise and Noble, eliminating 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.

Audio

24 - धर्मं भजस्व

Live the Life of a True Devotee

Listen to Shloka here

धर्मं भजस्व सततं त्यज लोकधर्मान्
सेवस्व साधुपुरुषाञ्जहि कामतृष्णाम् ।
अन्यस्य दोषगुणचिन्तनमाशु मुक्त्वा
सेवाकथारसमहो नितरां पिब त्वम् ।।
- भागवतमाहात्म्यम् ४.८०
dharmaṁ bhajasva satataṁ tyaja loka-dharmān
sevasva sādhupuruṣān-jahi kāmatṛṣṇām |
anyasya doṣaguṇacintanam-āśu muktvā
sevākathārasam-aho nitarāṁ piba tvam ||
- Bhāgavatamāhātmyam 4.80
Translation:

Always be dedicated to the dharma of devotion, disregarding all other common worldly codes of behaviour. Serve the Wise and Noble, eliminating 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 Bhaagavata 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 aarati to the idol, chant stutis, 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 worshipping? What is the effect of worship 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 the observances and disciplines which a true devotee follows.

To grow Supreme devotion to God, one must go to a holy person and be in his holy association. He should not only remain in the holy association, but serve the holy person with all his heart and mind, never expecting anything in return - not even Supreme knowledge or Moksha, never praying for anything material, never having any motive. He should serve only because he feels blessed to have had an opportunity to serve a holy Mahatma. In such a holy association, through non-expectant service, the seeker would be able to assimilate the knowledge which the Mahatma bestows upon him and will be able to realize God in his own heart.

The mind looks for 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 and fix our mind on the remembrance and contemplation of God. Usually, a lot of time is wasted in petty matters like discussing others’ affairs. Throughout the day, our time is spent in criticizing others; seldom in appreciation. Without criticizing somebody or other, no day is passed.

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 Mahatmas. The aspirer should by constant listening or reading, drink the nectar that flows from such renderings.

When the mind, having got rid of all worldly interests, goes to a Mahatma, serves him lovingly and blissfully without any expectation, and hears or reads about their lives which is full of supreme devotion to God, he too attains that supreme devotion by contemplating on God with one-pointedness.

Chanting of this shloka helps us live the life of a true devotee. It also reminds us how generally we waste time contemplating on insignificant perishable matters. It powerfully compels us to become a true devotee.

Word Meaning:

धर्मम् (dharmam) = righteous way of life; भजस्व (bhajasva) = practise; सततम् (satatam) = always; त्यज (tyaja) = give up; लोकधर्मान् (lokadharmān) = worldly codes of conduct; सेवस्व (sevasva) = serve; साधुपुरुषान् (sādhupuruān) = wise and noble people; जहि (jahi) = eliminate; कामतृष्णाम् (kāmatṛṣṇām) = sense enjoyments and desires; अन्यस्य (anyasya) = of others; दोषगुणचिन्तनम् (doṣaguṇacintanam) = thinking of the imperfections and qualities; आशु (āśu) = without delay; मुक्त्वा (muktvā) = getting rid of; सेवाकथारसम् (sevākathārasam) = nectar from the words of service; अहो (aho) = Ah!; नितराम् (nitarām) = fully; पिब (piba) = drink; त्वम् (tvam) = you.

अन्वयः

धर्मं सततं भजस्व; लोकधर्मान् त्यज; साधुपुरुषान् सेवस्व; कामतृष्णाम् जहि; अन्यस्य दोषगुणचिन्तनं आशु मुक्त्वा, अहो सेवाकथारसं त्वम् नितरां पिब ।
dharmaṁ satataṁ bhajasva; lokadharmān tyaja; sādhupuruṣān sevasva; kāmatṛṣṇām jahi; anyasya doṣaguṇacintanam āśu muktvā, aho sevāakathārasaṁ tvam nitarāṁ piba.

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