Bhaja Govindam 28: The four easy paths for spiritual upliftment (Verse 27)

Geyaṃ gītā nāma sahasraṃ dhyeyaṃ śrīpati rūpam-ajasram |

Neyaṃ sajjana saṅge cittaṃ deyaṃ dīnajanāya ca vittam || 27 ||

Meaning – Regularly chant the verses from Bhagavad Gita and the Sahasranama; at all times meditate upon the form of Lord Vishnu; let the mind always associate with holy saints; give away in charity to the poor and needy people.

In this hymn, the relationship between speech (vak), mind (manas), intellect (buddhi) and wealth is being preached. Four easy paths are being taught here to the spiritual aspirants.

First is to recite the verses from the Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita contains the essence of all the Upanishads. This sacred Gita was made available to the world by Lord Krishna himself! At the time of the war, Krishna preached this holy Gita to Arjuna who was unwilling to complete his duty and thus the merciful Lord washed away his grief. When a person immersed in terrible grief or troubles conducts the regular parayana of Bhagavad Gita, he will begin to clearly understand his ‘duty’. His sorrows will be washed away and the mind rendered peaceful. Bhakti (devotion), jnana (knowledge) and vairagya (dispassion) have been explained in a very easy manner in Bhagavad Gita.

‘Reciting the Bhagavad Gita’ means ‘to practice what is preached in it’.  Bhagavad Gita contains in it the solution for every single difficulty that we come across in life. Ignorance cannot envelop the person who diligently chants the Bhagavad Gita daily.

‘Reciting Vishnu Sahasranama’ means ‘to sing the glories of the Supreme Lord’. All of us are aware of the greatness and importance of chanting divine names. Amongst the 9 forms of devotion the simplest and easiest is ‘nama sankeertana’. Just as food energizes the body, bhajan energizes the mind. It purifies the mind. That is why it is said- ‘Kalou nama sankeertana’ which means, ‘In Kali Yuga, liberation can be achieved through singing the glories of the Supreme’.

The second path is to constantly meditate upon Srihari. When the mind is completely filled with the Lord, then there will be no space for desire, anger etc. within it, isn’t it? The mind will not run towards the objects of desire. The human mind acquires only that which it constantly contemplates/ thinks. By constantly thinking about the Supreme Lord, it acquires that supreme bliss, which is an inherent trait of that Lord. If the mind focuses upon the materialistic objects of desire then it will imbibe traits such as anger, greed and the like.

The third recommended path is to maintain friendship with holy persons. Shankara Bhagavad-padacharya in an earlier stanza ‘satsangatve nissangatvam’ has already explained about the greatness of satsang. Society (sanga) causes attachment and other bondages. Yet, at the same time, it is not so easy to live without society. Living within the society is the natural trait of the mind. (Man is a social being). Therefore, if at first satsang is practiced, then gradually the mind will reach the state of living without this social setup (nissanga). The story of Valmiki is the finest example of satsang.

The fourth path is helping the poor and the needy. It is very important to be charitable. Helping our own near and dear ones cannot be termed ‘charity’ (daana). Charity should be offered to a needy person in the society. A beggar, who went from door to door seeking alms, had the following message to those greedy persons who refuse to indulge in charity- ‘O man, do not be greedy. By not giving away in charity in this birth, do not take the risk of being born like me (beggar) in your next birth. Be charitable in this birth and once again be born in this good status itself”.

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