That indeed is real speech which expounds the glories of the Lord; that indeed, a true hand which performs His service; that indeed, a worthy mind that remembers the Lord as dwelling in the non-living and living beings; and that indeed is a blessed ear which listens to His auspicious stories
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That indeed is real speech which expounds the glories of the Lord; that indeed, a true hand which performs His service; that indeed, a worthy mind that remembers the Lord as dwelling in the non-living and living beings; and that indeed is a blessed ear which listens to His auspicious stories.
The head that bows down to living and non-living beings (or, devotees and images) as symbols of the Divine, is the real head. The eye that has the insight to see the Divine presence in them both, is the real eye. And those limbs are blessed, which always carry (or get drenched in) the water with which the feet of the Lord or His devotees have been washed.
Points for Introspection:
The highest purpose of human life is to grow Supreme devotion to God and to realize Him in one’s own Self. As much the devotion grows and deepens in a devotee’s heart, to that extent he grows dispassion towards the world. As devotion and dispassion become pure and wholesome, the devotee realizes the Supreme Lord in his own heart as his own Self.
But, how to grow supreme devotion to the Lord? How to bring about intensity in devotion? How to think about Him always?
When do we experience divinity or the presence of God in our heart? When we go to temples or when we worship in our own pooja-room, we generally have divine feelings. We light lamps and incense sticks, chant hymns and praises about God or simply sit and meditate on God’s beautiful form. Our mind gets filled with devotion. That is, whenever our thoughts, speech and actions are associated with God, there is a feeling of devotional joy in the mind, a feeling of purity and a nonexpectant love for everybody. The mind becomes quiet and placid.
However, all these feelings are mostly lost when we get involved intensely in our daily activities. We hardly find divinity in such mundane day-to-day actions and interactions. Why does that happen? If we introspect, we will find that a great deal of time is spent in unnecessary thoughts, speech and interaction, which makes the mind constricted and agitated. Normally one is not in a habit of associating divinity with usual thought, speech and action.
A devotee whose heart yearns to get immersed in divinity always, understands how one loses the touch of divinity by indulging in unessential matters. Such a devotee strongly feels that in order to experience the presence of the Lord in his heart, he must divinize every moment of his life: his perceptions, his thoughts, and his interactions. A devotee whose mind is always soaked in devotion considers those moments of life as lived properly and with blessedness, which he has spent dwelling on the thought of God. For him the other moments have been spent worthlessly.
Such a devotee says with his own inner conviction: “That indeed is real speech which expounds the glory of the Lord.” He wants to talk about God always; sing His glory and excellences, listening to which the mind feels elevated and delighted. He does not indulge in light and unnecessary talk which takes the mind away from God.
He feels that the hands are really blessed when everything he does is as service to the Lord. The mind is worthy of being called a mind, when it remembers the Divine as dwelling in everything – mobile and immobile, living and non-living. His ears are indeed blessed and auspicious when they hear auspicious stories about the exploits of the Lord and do not indulge in listening to such words that agitate the mind.”
That is, knowing the all-pervading nature of God, the devotee finds God in every object and every activity. His mind and intelligence remain grateful and humble in every situation. His eyes find nothing but the divine presence all around. The limbs feel pure and divine as if they have been washed by holy water.
When we chant this shloka repeatedly we experience how our whole being can be divinized, how our mind can be filled with intense one-pointed devotion! We understand how in the midst of intense activities outside, we can enjoy divinity at heart.
सा (sā) = that; वाक् (vāk) = speech; यया (yayā) = by which; तस्य (tasya) = His; गुणान् (guṇān) = qualities; गृणीते (gṛnīte) = one expounds; करौ (karau) = pair of hands; च (ca) = and; तत् (tat) = His; कर्म (karma) = work; करौ (karau) = performs; मनः (mana:) = mind; च (ca) = and; स्मरेत् (smaret) = remembers; वसन्तं (vasantaṃ) = dwelling; स्थिरजङ्गमेषु (sthirajaṅgameṣu) = in the non-living and living beings; शृणोति (śṛṇoti) = listens; तत्पुण्यकथाः (tatpuṇyakathā:) = His auspicious stories; स (sa) = that; कर्णः (karṇa:) = an ear;
शिरः (shira:) = head; तु (tu) = and; तस्य (tasya) = His; उभयलिङ्गम् (ubhayaliṅgam) = both (non-living and living) as a symbol (of the Divine); आनमेत् (ānamet) = bows down; तत् (tat) = that; एव (eva) = only; यत् (yat) = which; पश्यति (paśyati) = sees; तत् (tat) = that; हि (hi) = indeed; चक्षुः (cakṣu:) = an eye; अङ्गानि (aṅgāni) = limbs; विष्णोः (viṣṇo:) = of Lord Vishnu; अथ (atha) = moreover; तत् (tat) = that; जनानां (janānāṃ) = of the devotees of the Lord; पादोदकं (pādodakaṃ) = the water which has washed the feet; यानि (yāni) = which; भजन्ति (bhajanti) = worship; नित्यम् (nityaṃ) = always;