Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taking Shelter Of Scriptures

Taking Shelter Of Scriptures When we face difficult situations in our lives, and do not know how to handle those situations, we should take shelter of sadhu/spiritual master and submissively inquire from him and learn what needs to be done and what should not be done. During times, when we are not blessed with the physical association of sadhus, we should turn our attention to scriptures bestowed by Supreme Lord, wherein He has very clearly explained the do's and dont's in our lives. Krishna resides as "mantra-murti" in these shastras and mercifully reciprocates to our queries in mind if we learn them with faith.

Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.1.2 very nicely glorifies the beauty of Bhagavatam and also about the qualifications required for us to understand this great scripture.

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaraanaam sataam
vedyam vaastavam atra vastu shivadam taapa-trayonmulanam
shrimad-bhaagavate mahaa-muni-krte kim vaa parair ishvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih shushrusubhis tat-kshanaat

"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Puraana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."

The quality of the person who will be able to understand the message revealed through the scriptures is very clear defined in this verse. Only if we are 100% pure in heart - nirmatsaraanam - non-envious, then we would be able to understand the message of Bhagavatam. We would not be able to gain any kind of knowledge or instruction from the scriptures - either by possessing the scriptures at home, or by reading it in challenging mood. Unless we are simple and straight forward in our thoughts, words and deeds, we will not be able to even touch the scriptures. It is not only important to seek shelter of scriptures, it is equally more important to follow the instructions provided in them.

In verse 16.23 of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna very nicely explains the position of those who don't follow the scriptural injunctions.

yah shaastra-vidhim utsrjya / vartate kaama kaaratah
na sa siddhim avaapnoti     / na sukham na paraam gatim

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

In his purport to the above verse, Srila Prabhupada very nicely explains the meaning for whimsical nature and also the result of this attitude - "The word 'kaama-kaaratah' is very significant. A person who knowingly violates the rules acts in lust. He knows that this is forbidden, but still he acts. This is called acting whimsically. He knows that this should be done, but still he does not do it; therefore he is called whimsical. Such persons are destined to be condemned by the Supreme Lord. Such persons cannot have the perfection which is meant for the human life."

By the mercy of spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sri Krishna and Srimad Bhagavatam - we are provided with all the details of what needs to be done and what should not be done. Even after knowing these instructions, if we are lethargic and negligent in following them - then we are digging our own graves. I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudev to bless me to to take shelter of the scriptures sincerely and to give up this whimsical nature.

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