(Understandings from Swami Mitrananda’s talk to Yuva Veers of Youth Empowerment Program 6th batch)
Geyam geeta naama sahasram, dhyeyam shreepati roopamajasram
Neyam sajjana sange chittam, deyam deenajanaaya cha vittam || 27 ||
Meaning: Chant Bhagavad Geeta and Vishnu Sahasranaamam (1000 names of Lord Vishnu). Meditate upon Lord Vishnu. Lead the mind to the company the wise / seekers. Distribute wealth to the needy.
Various people come up these days with different techniques promising the attainment of peace and happiness. Astrologers recommend doing rituals and offerings in different temples. There is Vaastu Shaanti to remove various obstacles. A variety of Chinese systems like Feng Shui have come up. Some claim to have Aura-cleaning techniques (!!!). Various therapies & theories like Hypnotherapy and Regression Theory claim that it can take us to our past lives and help us overcome our current pains and sorrows. There are crystals, healing stones, diamonds and what not, that can remove our miseries.
All these techniques talk about removing problems. Sadly, none of them suggest ways to strengthen ourselves inorder to face any challenges in life. And unfortunately, these techniques come with a huge price tag. It’s not that all these are farce, maybe there are some knowledgeable people doing it. However, if any problem could be solved using these techniques, why did Krishna have to waste so much time in giving out eighteen chapters or Geeta to Arjuna? He could have just hypnotized Arjuna, or done some Regression Therapy on him or just give him a precious stone according to his birth star! Moreover, are the lives of these practioners free of problems? When they themselves are unable to solve their problems, to what extent can they help us?
In contrast to these, our scriptures (like in the above verse) are very straight forward. They give their path directly which is simple and sure. That too, given either by Bhagavan Himself or by Self-Realised Masters who moved around in nothing less than the state of Godhood. And of course, without a price tag.
Here it is said to chant Geeta & Vishnu Sahasranamam. Why? Knowledge is in so much abundance in these two scriptures that even if we take up a few verses from them and stick on the teachings in them, then that is enough to bring a transformation in our lives. We saw a few verses from Bhagavad Geeta in the earlier discussions. There’s nothing mystical in them. How systematically the process of Evolvement or degradation is described! The teachings described are logical and very much practical. On top of that, this knowledge is not thrust upon us saying that ‘So and so book says so. And hence we need to follow. Or else, we will go to hell on Judgement Day’. No! A process is described. If we are find it true according to our intellectual understanding, we can follow it. Else, reject it. The choice is ours.
Second point is meditating upon the form of Lord Vishnu. The name used for Vishnu here is Shreepati which means the husband of Goddess of wealth. He is not a slave or a victim of wealth but the one who has mastered it. Wealth does not mean only money. It also includes Knowledge, Happiness, Peace, Health, etc. Lord Vishnu is the Master of all of these.
When we meditate upon the Strong, we become Strong. Hence, it is told to meditate upon the form of Vishnu.
Our mind is like a mobile battery. Once it is charged, it can operate for some time. However powerful the charge might be, eventually, it drains out. It needs to be charged regularly. The intensity to seek is there in many, but not everybody is able to retain it. To maintain the urge to seek the Truth, one should be engaged in regular discussions, talks, reading and contemplation on spiritual matters, only then the urge can continue. Otherwise, spirituality can be almost equal to spiritual entertainment.
Charity is considered as a great virtue. It is not mere donation of wealth. Anything that we have in abundance has to be given to others. All of us have some skills or the other. It can be the ability to sing, dance, sport, or knowledge in a particular subject, or a cooking recipe, etc. A knowledge that we possess should be shared. Shared with whom? With the needy. This is very important. Otherwise, it can be dangerous. An army officer should not think of doing charity by sharing military information with the enemy country. It may sound silly, but even to avoid this confusion or misunderstanding, it is mentioned in the verse ‘deyam deenajanaaya – distribute wealth to the needy’. We also saw in the earlier verse, charity is an antidote for greed. Sharing knowledge to the needy is a way how we can become Direct Contributors in making the world a better place to live in.
Four direct and sure steps to purify ourselves –
1. Chant Bhagavad Geeta & Vishnu Sahasranamam
2. Meditate upon the form of Vishnu
3. Maintain the company of seekers / the wise
4. Distribute to the needy what you have in excess