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The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Space, wind, fire, water, earth, all the celestial objects, all the living creatures, the directions, trees, plants and other immovable beings, and the rivers and the oceans form the body of Lord Hari. So, with one-pointed devotion, prostrate before whatever is perceived (regarding that to be Lord Hari).

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It is God and God Everywhere

37 - खं वायुमग्निं

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खं वायुमग्निं सलिलं महीं च
ज्योतींषि सत्त्वानि दिशो द्रुमादीन् ।
सरित्समुद्रांश्च हरेः शरीरं
यत्किञ्च भूतं प्रणमेदनन्यः ।।
- श्रीमद् भागवतम् ११.२.४१
khaṁ vāyum-agniṁ salilaṁ mahīṁ ca
jyotīṁṣi sattvāni diśo drumādīn |
sarit-samudrāṁśca hareḥ śarīraṁ
yatkinca bhūtaṁ praṇamed-ananyaḥ ||
- Śrīmad bhāgavatam 11.2.41

Translation:

Space, wind, fire, water, earth, all the celestial objects, all the living creatures, the directions, trees, plants and other immovable beings, and the rivers and the oceans form the body of Lord Hari. So, with one-pointed devotion, prostrate before whatever is perceived (regarding that to be Lord Hari).

Points for Introspection:

Devotees worship God with lot of devotion. But most of the devotees worship God finding Him only in image and idols present in their own Pooja-shrine or in temples.

But, is God present only in the images and idols? What happens to the devotee who performs his worship and then steps out of the shrine and temple? Mostly he is again gripped by various emotions like anger, irritation, jealousy, depression and the like. Under the grip of these tendencies, all the divinity that he experiences in the worship is lost. How can he retain the divine presence of the Lord when he is away from the place of worship? All around him, people, places and events do not bring to him the thought of God. Neither does he feel the Lord’s presence at other moments of his wakeful hours.

A supreme devotee is one who remains absorbed in the thought of God without any break. He never misses the presence of God at any moment of his life. When a devotee dwells constantly in the remembrance of God, all his evil tendencies get dissolved, agitation of the mind gets sublimated. He experiences purity and expansion of the mind. Devotion for God deepens.

But, how to have constant remembrance of God? How to see him everywhere and in everything despite the fact that the world around does not appear to be divine.

This shloka says wherever we look, whatever we interact with, we should see God. We should remember that He is the Creator and hence He is present in all His creation. Everyday we are interacting with sky, wind, fire, water and earth. In fact, we are living because of the presence of all these. Everyday we also see the celestial objects, the elements, all the directions. We see the plants and trees. We see rivers and oceans. All these are most common but most indispensible companions of our life. But living in the close association of all these, do we ever think of God in these associations? Mostly we appreciate Nature, we also feel awe-struck by the variety in Nature, the variety in Creation. But, seldom we think of the Creator. When we see a beautiful flower we want to possess it, when we see a ripe fruit in the tree, we want to pluck and eat it. Our thoughts do not go beyond that. The thought of God generally does not arise in normal dayto- day activities and interactions.

As long as a seeker has differentiation in outlook, he acknowledges the presence of God only in certain places, in certain things and in certain activities. Everything else he finds non-Godly or non-divine. Only when this differentiating outlook dissolves, i.e., when one finds God in everything – in good as well as bad, in happiness as well as misery, he becomes supremely happy and blissful. But how to see God everywhere and in everything? What is the practice?

This shloka says, whatever we see around us, the everyday things – living and non-living, mobile and immobile, all the activities and interactions that we have, we should feel firmly that all this is permeated and pervaded by God; that this whole universe with everything in it is God’s body alone, nothing is outside. He alone envelopes every creation in this earth.

When a seeker, a devotee practices this introspection throughout the day amidst all thoughts and actions, he is able to experience God’s presence every moment and everywhere, even in the midst of most unfavourable and trying circumstances.

The divine touch of God removes all miseries and impurities from the seeker’s mind. His mind melts with exclusive devotion to God, and gets filled with pure love for everybody. To experience the presence of God and the resulting divinity he does not have to go particularly to a divine place any more. Wherever his eyes fall, wherever his feet take him, he sees God and God alone.

What does he do then? Finding God everywhere, he prostrates with exclusive devotion before everything – whoever and whatever he comes across. For him everything in this world becomes God Himself.

This beautiful shloka, when chanted with feelings again and again, makes one aware how we miss seeing God in daily life in everything around us. Once we become aware, the overwhelming feeling that it is God and God everywhere generates horripilation and one is showered with Supreme bliss. The taste of exclusive devotion brings a feeling of intense humility and the head tends to bow down to whatever one comes across.

Word Meaning:

खम् (kham) = space; वायुम् (vāyum) = wind; अग्निम् (agnim) = fire; सलिलम् (salilam) = water; महीम् (mahīm) = earth; च (ca) = and; ज्योतींषि (jyotīṁṣi) = all the celestial objects; सत्त्वानि (sattvāni) = all the living creatures; दिशः (diśaḥ) = the directions; द्रुमादीन् (drumādīn) = trees, plants and other immovable beings; सरित्समुद्राम् च (sarit-samudrām ca) = ; the rivers and the oceans; हरेः (hareḥ) = of Lord Hari; शरीरम् (śarīram) = body; यत्किञ्च (yatkinca) = whatever; भूतम् (bhūtam) = existence; प्रणमेत् (praṇamet) = should prostrate; अनन्यः (ananyaḥ) = one-pointed, exclusive.

अन्वयः

खं, वायुं, अग्निं, सलिलं, महीं, ज्योतींषि, च सत्त्वानि, दिशः, द्रुमादीन्, सरित्समुद्रां, च हरेः शरीरं । यत्किञ्च भूतं, अनन्यः प्रणमेत् ।
khaṁ, vāyuṁ, agniṁ, salilaṁ, mahīṁ, jyotīṁṣi, ca sattvāni, diśaḥ, drumādīn, sarit-samudrāṁ, ca hareḥ śarīraṁ. yatkinca bhūtaṁ, ananyaḥ praṇamet.

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