20 - लोकेशचैतन्य
Divinizing Day-to-day work
O the controller of the worlds, who is of the nature of consciousness and the first of all gods (of the nature of brilliance), O Mahavishnu, the consort of Śrī, waking up by Your command in the morning, I undertake this journey through worldly activities, for the sake of Your pleasure alone.
Points for Introspection:
We get a touch of holiness and divinity whenever we engage ourselves in devotional or spiritual pursuits; e.g., when we go to the Temple or when we worship God sitting in our own Pooja-shrine, when we chant the Lord’s name and read or hear about Him. When we have the touch of divinity, we feel pure, desireless and calm. The mind gets rid of its narrowness and expands into Universality.
But what about the time when we are not engaged in devotional pursuits contemplating on God? What about the major part of the day when we are engaged in mere worldly chores? We have no time to think about God then. We get immersed in various activities and feel burdened. Most of them generate tension, fear and anxiety. The lightness and calmness that we experience when we think about God during the time spent in devotional practices, are not experienced while we are engaged in our daily chores.
Right from the time when we wake up in the morning, our activities start. We brush our teeth, take bath, take some food, and get ready to go to the office, send children to school or simply get engaged in doing household duties. Throughout the day we face situations pleasant as well as unpleasant. We interact with many people. Some interactions we like, and some we dislike. Of the work that we do, some we do joyfully and some we do grumblingly. We never get any touch of divinity in these normal day-to-day happenings. We miss God.
The question arises, what should be our attitude so that even while performing mundane activities we will remember God, we will feel His touch that makes us feel free and generates in us love for all? With what attitude the normal day-today work should be done?
This śloka tells us about that beautiful sublime attitude which we should have in our life so that performing any work in this worldly voyage we are able to remember God and feel His presence in our heart always.
The devotee calls the Lord in all fondness, calls Him by different names: ‘O Lokesa’ (Master of the world), ‘O Chaitanya-maya’ (who is of the nature of consciouness), ‘O Adi-deva’ (the first of all gods), ‘O Śrīkānta’ (O the Consort of Śrī), ‘O Viṣṇu’ (the all-pervading Existence)!
He says, “O Lord, I have woken up in the morning by Your will, Your prompting.” It is true! We go to sleep at night but we do not know exactly when we sleep off. It is by Lord’s will that we fall asleep. Similarly, we do not wake up ourselves. It is by the will of the Supreme Power that we wake up.
The devotee adds further: “After waking up, I have now in front of me the whole day’s journey through various worldly affairs. Some of the work I like, some I do not like. But, O God, remembering that it is You who has gifted me this new day, I will course through the worldly journey considering every work that comes my way to have been given by You. It is Your work that I will do.
“As by Your Will I have woken up in the morning, so I shall see Your Will in all the activities and responsibilities that await me. And knowing that it is so, I will perform all the activities perfectly and well and perform them happily for Your pleasure alone.”
Every moment of our life, every activity that we do, will be divinized if we have this devotional attitude. We live because God Wills. It is His work that we are to do in our worldly-journey. When we are fond of God, all His work we will perform to the best of our ability so that He is pleased. So deep and strong should be our fondness that we will be able to do anything that comes our way, remembering that it is given by Him and that He will be pleased if we do it well.
Chanting this śloka again and again generates deep fondness for God who gifts us each day. Repeated chanting and contemplation of the words “tava priyārthaṁ” (for Your pleasure) make life in the world burden-free and fill our mind with divine placidity.
लोकेश (lokeśa) = O controller of the worlds; चैतन्यमय (caitanya-maya) = of the nature of Consciousness; आदिदेव (ādi-deva) = first of the gods; श्रीकान्त (śrīkānta) = consort of Śrī; विष्णो (viṣṇo) = O Viṣṇu (the all-pervading Existence); भवदाज्ञया (bhavad-ājnayā) = by Your command; एव (eva) = alone; प्रातः (prātaḥ) = morning; समुत्थाय (samutthāya) = waking up; तव प्रियार्थं (tava priyārtham) = for Your pleasure; संसारयात्रां (saṃsāra-yātrām) = the worldly voyage; अनुवर्तयिष्ये (anuvartayiṣye) =I follow.