Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
This is in continuation of the previous offering titled 'Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam'. In the previous offerings we were hearing the story of Atmadeva being narrated by the Sanata kumaras to Narada Muni, as mentioned in Uttara khanda of Padmapurana. When Atmadeva was troubled by the acts of his son Dundhukari, the other son Gokarna began to enlighten him with spiritual knowledge. He asked Atmadeva to go to forest, renouncing all worldly attachments. When Atamdeva asked him what he needs to do in the forest, Gokarna very nicely says, in shloka 80 of the 4th chapter of Uttarakhanda of Padmapurana Gokarna says
dharmam bhajasva satatam tyaja lokadharmaan sevasva
saadhushu rushaajjahi kaama thrshnaam
anyasya dosha gunacintanamaashu muktaa
sevaa kathaa rasa maho nitaraam pibatvam
"Always practise the virtue of remembering the Lord. Abandon all the temporary duties connected to the worldly affairs, which are unimportant. Be eager to take association of saintly persons. Give up all thirst for the pleasure of senses. Stop meditating on others' defects. Instead meditate only on their good qualities and appreciate them. You should enjoy the bliss of serving the Lord and hear His stories with devotion."
This is a very beautiful verse which is applicable for all of us, not just for Atmadeva. In this age it is not practical for us to go to forest. But wherever Lord has placed us, in whichever varna or ashrama we are in, if we follow the above instructions, which are nicely given in a nutshell, we will surely go back home, back to Godhead. Let us try to meditate one by one, on each of the instruction given in the shloka.
1) dharmam bhajasva satatam - Always remember Krishna: Our dharma or prime duty is to remember, worship and glorify the Supreme Lord always. Now we may wonder how can we do it satatam or always? Even while standing in front of the Deity in altar or temple, our evil mind drags us hither and thither. So how to remember or glorify Him always? It is indeed a challenge when we try to do it on our own. But when we take shelter of instructions of our acharyas and endeavour to follow them, then it becomes easy.
In one of his letters to his disciples, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada says, "We can remember Krishna in every moment. We can remember Krishna while taking a glass of water because the taste of water is Krishna. We can remember Krishna as soon as we see the sunlight in the morning, because the sunlight is a reflection of Krishna's bodily Effulgence. Similarly, as soon as we see moonlight in the evening we remember Krishna because moonlight is also reflection of sunlight. Similarly, when we hear any sound we can remember Krishna because sound is Krishna, and the most perfect sound, transcendental, is Hare Krishna, which we have to chant 24 hours. So there is no scope of forgetting Krishna at any moment of our life provided we practice in that way."
Once a devotee asked our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj as to, "We have to do our prescribed duties in the form of household chores, office work etc and we sleep as well. How we can chant 24 hours?" Maharaj said that when we are doing household chores like cooking etc, we should chant Mahamantra or shlokas from Gita and Bhagavatam. Being an acarya, Maharaj himself practised what he said. Right from the time Maharaj wakes up and gets ready, while taking bath, while washing his clothes and while cooking bhoga, while travelling - Maharaj always chanted Mahamantra or shlokas from scriptures continuously.
Maharaj said that before going to work, we should offer obeisances to the Deity, seeking permission from them to leave and at work, we must concentrate only on work and do it very immaculately and sincerely. In fact Maharaj says, "If your boss is pleased, then Krishna is pleased." Maharaj never encourages any kind of preaching activity to be done during office hours. Office hours are meant only for work and it should not be misused for doing anything other than office work. So when we work sincerely, remembering that job is also a mercy of Lord, then Krishna accepts such working hours also as time spent in remembering Him. Maharaj added that, "As soon as we return home, we should bow down before the Deity, thanking Lord for the day, quickly refresh and try to steal time to take shelter of scriptures. Before going to bed at night, we should chant Mahamantra and as soon as we wake up in the morning, we should chant the Mahamantra. By doing so, sleeping time is also considered by Krishna as time spent in remembering Him".
Let us try to follow the footsteps and instructions of these great souls and as His Divine Grace always insists, let us "always remember Krishna and never forget Krishna".
Krishna willing we shall try to meditate on the other instructions of Gokarna in the subsequent offering.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.
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