21 - नित्योत्सवो भवेत्
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For them will be continuous festivity, eternal prosperity and felicity – in whose heart resides Lord Hari, the abode of all auspiciousness.
Points for Introspection:
Everything in this world is transitory. Nothing is permanent. Whatever we acquire or possess today – and we feel happy acquiring and possessing – decays, becomes old or even gets lost forever after some time. Life itself is impermanent, what to speak of the family, relatives, friends, wealth or fame!
Every human being wants to be happy always. Nobody likes unhappiness. But the usual day-to-day life is full of unhappiness, misery and agitation. It is generally monotonous and burdensome. It is full of anxiety, fear and tension resulting in unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
That is why people look forward to festivals and special days to forget the problems and monotony of everyday life, and to be immersed in a mood of happiness. During festivity, everybody – whether he is rich or poor, old or young, learned or illiterate – is happy and cheerful. When the mood is festive, we feel enthusiastic, inspired, full of love for everybody, full of benevolent attitude of helping others and sacrificing for others.
However, people fail to realize that festivities are not solutions to their unhappiness, that happiness and joy disappears with the conclusion of the festive period. The delightful and loving atmosphere generated during festivities is not eternal, because festivities themselves are occasional and transitory.
How to have continuous unbroken festivity so that the mind can be free of its misery forever?
This śloka says, in order to have unbroken festivity in the mind, keep Lord Hari in your heart always, be in His constant remembrance. We do not have constant joy and festivity because we fill our mind with undesirable worldly matters which themselves are impermanent, changeful and unreal.
Sri Hari is the One Universal Supreme Being – changeless and eternal. He is the abode of auspiciousness. When we keep Him in our heart we hold on to the Imperishable, the never changing abode of auspiciousness. When the Lord is enshrined in the heart, He removes all our impurities: धुनोति सर्वं हृदि सन्निविष्टः (dhunoti sarvaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ) – “Remaining in the heart He washes off all our impurities.” When impurities are washed off, the mind gets rid of all agitating thoughts, which are the product of our worldly attractions and repulsions.
The mind becomes calm, delightful and free of expectations. Then alone we experience eternal festivity. And when the mind is full with the eternal, it also experiences eternal prosperity born of perfect harmony. This is the state of constant auspiciousness, in which everything around becomes divine.
Chanting of this śloka repeatedly compels us to strive for that state where we have unbroken remembrance of God. It compels us to make every moment of our life a divine festival.
नित्योत्सव:(nityotsavaḥ) = continuous festivity; भवेत् (bhavet) = shall be; तेषाम् (teṣām) = their; नित्यश्रीः (nityaśrīḥ) = eternal prosperity; नित्यमंगलम् (nityamaṁgalam) = eternal auspiciousness; येषाम् (yeṣām) = whose; हृदिस्थः (hṛdisthaḥ) = residing in the heart; भगवान् (bhagavān) = the Lord; मङ्गलायतनम् (maṅgalāyatanam) = abode of auspiciousness; हरि: (hariḥ) = Hari;