Bhaja Govindam 25: Give up differences of every form (Verse 24)

Tvayi mayi sarvatraiko viṣṇuḥ vyarthaṃ kupyasi mayyasahiṣṇuḥ |

Bhava samacittaḥ sarvatra tvaṃ vāñchasyacirād-yadi viṣṇutvam || 24 ||

Meaning – It is only Lord Vishnu who dwells within me, within you and within everything in this creation. He is the Supreme Lord. Feelings of jealousy and anger in you serves no purpose. If you seek to attain oneness with Vishnu, then it is essential to practise equal-mindedness towards everyone at all times.

The previous hymn asked the person to contemplate on thoughts such as – ‘who am I? From where did I come?’ We were taught to realize that this samsara is completely useless. In this hymn, the results of such contemplation are being explained.

This hymn preaches practising equanimity and treating everyone equally. Kathopanishad declares-  anor aniyan mahato mahiyan  atmasya jantor nihito guhayam –

The Self is subtler than even a sub-atomic particle yet is greater than the greatest object. The Self exists within the heart of every living being. He who is devoid of anger, jealousy and who has absolutely no desires can, through mental purity and purity of senses, experience the greatness of this Self.

This same concept is being taught in this stanza. All our Vedas, epics and scriptures teach this concept. Some of these however are very difficult to practice.

Repeated cycle of re-births (samsāra) originates out of likes-dislikes. To get hold of the snake that is hiding within his hole, the snake charmer throws sand into the hole. In a similar manner, to get over likes-dislikes, it is essential to cut out jealousy. Jealousy means to be unable to tolerate the prosperity of another person.

As the ability to see the Supreme Lord in every being and in every object is a very difficult task requiring tremendous practice, it is essential to at first begin by giving up differences of every form. In other words, feelings such as ‘he is ‘my’ person/ relative, hence he should prosper’ and/or ‘she is not dear to me, hence she should suffer’ should be completely given up.

Sarve ca sukhinah santu, sarve santu nirāmaya‘- In this prayer we pray for the welfare and prosperity of one and all. ‘Every living being should be comfortable and disease- free. Let auspiciousness be showered upon every being. Let no living being in this creation suffer’.

If we pray wholeheartedly in this manner then gradually such feelings remain permanently in the mind. This can also be addressed as ‘nishkāma karma’. The person who seeks the prosperity of even those who are not even remotely connected to him is a truly elevated being (uttama).

There is another important point in this stanza- The Supreme Lord exists within every being; yet only that person who realizes this great truth is able to enjoy the supreme bliss. The person who cannot realize this truth suffers with feelings of jealousy (asuya). There are people who derive great satisfaction in thoughts such as ‘Along with my house, my neighbour’s house also collapsed. I am happy that he has incurred more financial loss than me.’ When the feelings of jealousy have peaked in the person, such thoughts will occur. Jealousy is that which comes in the way of prosperity and happiness. Even though we possess every comfort in life, that which does not enable us to enjoy it is ‘jealousy’.

It is imperative therefore that we should give up feelings of differences and develop feelings of equanimity and equal-mindedness.

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