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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
This is a very very noteworthy verse from Srimad Bhagavatam. I think this is what Krishna says to Uddhava during his last message from Dwaraka.
Yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate’sau mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ. What does it mean? Our body is made up of food. Whatever is the quality, nature, potential, nourishment, value etc. of the food items we take, they will determine the health, growth, well-being etc. of the body. Why don’t you similarly ask the question - what are the food and nourishment by which the mind, intelligence and the heart will grow? Have you ever thought about it?
Krishna in Srimad Bhagavatam, Veda Vyasa also say, “yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate’sau”, to wash and purify the mind. Right from the morning when we wake up till we go to bed, we are living and interacting with the world objects. These interactions are surely bringing a certain measure of impurity, contamination, constriction and the like. Our activity is outside in the object world, in the physical level. But these are some of the impurities and stains which accrue to the mind inside the body. Because the mind and whatever it accrues or whatever accrues to it, they are not objective but subjective. There must be a process to touch and involve the mind and make it pure as we want. What is that practice or process by virtue of which this can be accomplished?
Sri Krishna says, “Yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate’sau mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ”. The mind, intelligence and ego should be touched and purified. They should be reformed, refined, sublimated. How can this process or effect be brought about? He says, “mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ”. Of all the five organs, two are very important. One is eye to see, ear to hear. Audio-visual. I think ear is more effective than even eye, I should say.
What is it that you can supply or feed the ear with and what will have the desired effect in the mind inside? Krishna says mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ. Make the ears listen to the holy stories, accounts, narrations, excellences, exploits etc. of God. The content and message of whatever you hear should be godly and divine. So these divine interactions in the level of the ear will purify the mind. Now this is something you hear, that means others provide through their mouth. A narration, somebody sings, somebody does keerthana, you hear them. Now what can you do from your side?
Abhidhānaiḥ. There are different names for God. You start singing aloud, doing a keerthana of the Lord’s name. We have invariably a number of sahasranamas beginning from Vishnu Sahasranama, thousand names of Lord Vishnu. They have similarly made Sahasranama for Shiva, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Ganesha and so many other Gods and Goddesses. I would like you to recite the names of Lord Vishnu. Need not be only Sahasranama, it can be other names and other keerthanas. They should be sung aloud by you, keerthana. Abhidhānaiḥ.
So one is hearing, another is uttering yourself. These are the two ways which you should provide to your inner personality for getting purified. To the extent the mind is purified, the inner soul is purified by listening to holy accounts and by chanting the names and keerthanas of the Lord.
Tathā tathā paśyati vastu sūkṣmaṁ. The purity can be measured and the measuring rod is here. You will be able to see clearly the subtle soul presence in your body. The body is gross and the presence of the soul is subtle. Our senses can see only gross objects. They cannot see anything within the body. How will the within body elements be clear to you? Only through introspection, inner search, examination. So as much as you are able to purify your inner being by listening to divine accounts and by chanting divine names and bhajans to that extent you will be able to see the subtle presence in your body.
Cakṣur-yathaivāñjana-samprayuktam. Suppose the eyes are defective, you wear glasses. When you wear glasses, you are able to overcome the defect and see. In the same manner, by these activities and interactions, you will be able to purify the mind and intelligence, make them sharper and the subtle presence will be revealed to you. So the effect of nāma-japa, the effect of kathā-śravaṇa, tattva-kathana, it is very very clear here. This is something that the usual, secular worldly life and activities will not be able to deliver. Sankara says in Vivekachudamani:
Yathā yathā pratyag-avasthitaṁ manaḥ. Every day we wake up and ever since our waking up, the mind is always given to interact with the objects of the world. So what the mind has are object impressions. Contrary to this, you must be able to develop subject impressions. How will you do it?
Yathā yathā pratyag-avasthitaṁ manaḥ. The mind must be made to dwell on the soul. Sit in a place and do not be given to the external objects. On the other hand, fix your mind on the internal soul. Reflect upon the soul, meditate upon the soul, think about the soul, chant about the soul.
Yathā yathā pratyag-avasthitaṁ manaḥ. If the mind is able to leave the object relationship and rest on the subject, the soul, tathā tathā muñcati bāhya-vāsanām, it leaves the external desires. As much as you are able to rest, contemplate upon the soul, so much proportionately the mind will start shedding desires for the external world objects. And the process will grow broader and broader, deeper and deeper, more and more, till what happens? What is the climax?
Niḥśeṣa-mokṣe sati vāsanānāṁ. When all the desires go and you get freedom from desires, freedom from desires, by the earlier practice, ātmānubhūtiḥ pratibandha-śūnyā, the self-experience becomes obstruction-free. The effect of a devotional or spiritual practice is instantaneous.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.