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Shlok 9-22

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On Shlok 9-22

This statement of the Lord Who guarantees the Yog Kshem of the devotee has given rise to a great deal of misunderstanding. Even Pandit, not to speak of others, have failed to grasp its real import. Once a learned Pandit was once giving discourses on the Geetaa in the august presence of a Mahaaraajaa. One day, he read the Shlok No 22 from Geetaa's Chapter 9  --
ananyaash chintayanto maam,  ye janaah paryupaasate
teshaam nityaabhiyuktaanaam,  yog kshemam vahaamyaham
ananyaah -- having no other object; chintayantah -- concentrating; maam -- on Me; ye -- those who; janaah -- persons; paryupaasate -- properly worship; teshaam -- of them; nitya -- always; abhiyuktaanaam -- fixed in devotion; yog -- requirements; kshemam -- protection; vahaami -- carry; aham -- I.

"But of those persons who concentrate on nothing else but Me and who are fixed in devotion in proper worship, I protect the union and to them I carry what they need."

The Pandit was explaining enthusiastically the many sided implications of this Shlok, but the Mahaaraaj was shaking his head repeatedly and saying - "This meaning is not correct." He continued to dispute the correctness of every one of the explanations the Pandit gave. The poor Pandit had won meritorious distinctions at the court of many a Mahaaraajaa and was honored by them all with pompous titles. But here he felt as if he was stabbed on the face when the Mahaaraaj in the presence of the entire band of courtiers condemned his explanation of this Shlok as 'wrong'. He smarted under the insult; but plucking up courage, he again set upon his task, and collecting all his scholarship, he plunged into an eloquent discourse on the multiple meaning of the words, "Yog"and "Kshemam". But the Mahaaraaj did not approve of even this; he ordered: "Find out the meaning of this Shlok and having understood it well, come to me again tomorrow". With this, the Mahaaraaj rose from his throne and went into his inner apartments.

The Pandit had lost even the few grains of courage left in him. He was weighed down by anxiety; he tottered under the insult, he reached home and, placing the copy of the Geetaa aside, he fell on the bed. Surprised at this, the Pandit's wife said, "Tell me why you came home from the palace today in such grief? What exactly did happen?" She rained one anxious question after another, so that the Pandit was obliged to describe to her all that had happened there, the insults heaped on his head, the command with which the Mahaaraaj had sent him back to his home etc.

The wife listened calmly to the account of what had happened in the court and after pondering deeply over the incident, she said - "Yes, it is true. What the Mahaaraaj said is right. The explanation you gave for that Shlok is not the correct one. How could the Mahaaraaj approve it? The fault is yours." At this, the Pandit rose in anger from the bed like a cobra whose tail has been trodden hard and cried - "What do you know, O silly woman? Am I inferior in intelligence to you? Do you, who are engaged in the kitchen all the time, cooking and serving, know more than I? Shut your mouth and quit my presence."

But his wife stood her ground; she replied, "Lord, Why do you run away into such a rage at a statement of mere truth? Repeat the Shlok once again to yourself and ponder over its meaning. You will then arrive at the right answer yourself." Thus, by her soft words the wife brought calm into the mind of her husband.

Then the pundit started analyzing the meaning of each individual word in the Shlok calmly and slowly - ananyaash chintayanto maam, he began, deliberately and slowly, repeating aloud the various meanings. The wife intervened and said, "What benefit is it to learn and expound the meanings of words? Tell me what your intention was, when you approached this Mahaaraajaa? What was your purpose to go there?"

At this, the Pandit got wild, he shouted - "I have to run this family, this home? How am I going to meet the cost of food and drink, of clothes and things, for you and all the rest? It is for the sake of these that I went to him, of course; or else, what business I have with him?" The wife then replied. "If you had only understood what Lord Krishn has declared in this Shlok, the urge to go to this Mahaaraaja would not have arisen. If He is worshipped without any other thought, if one wholly surrenders to Him, if  the mind is fixed on Him at all times, then the Lord would provide everything to His devotee. You have not done these three; you approached the Mahaaraajaa, believing that he would provide everything. That is where you have gone against the meaning of this verse. That is the reason why he did not accept your explanation."

Hearing this, that reputed scholar sat a while, ruminating on her remarks; he realized his fault; he did not go to the palace the next day. Instead, he got immersed in the worship of Krishn at home. When the King inquired why the Pandit had not appeared in the court, courtiers said that he was staying at home and had not started from there yet. The King sent a messenger, but the Pandit declined to move out. He said, "There is no need for me to go to anyone now; my Krishn will provide me with everything; He will bear my Yog Kshemam Himself. I suffered insult because I did not realize this for so long, being blinded by eagerness to know the manifold meanings of mere words. By surrendering to Him, if I am ceaselessly engaged in worshipping Him, He will Himself provide me with all I need."

When the messenger took this message to the palace, the Mahaaraaj proceeded to the dwelling of the Pandit, on foot; he fell at the feet of the Pandit, saying "I thank you sincerely for explaining to me this day, out of your own experience, the meaning of the Shlok which you expounded yesterday." Thus the King taught the Pandit that any propagation of spiritual matters, which does not come out of the crucible of experience, is mere glitter and show.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 3/9/02
Modified on 02/14/11