One Pointed Attention
Srila Prabhupada says, “If realization of the Absolute Truth is the ultimate aim of life, it must be carried out by all means.” It is very important to note the word “by all means”. Now how do we do that ? Let us see.
Human society all over the world is divided into four castes and four orders of life. The four castes are the intelligent caste (brahmanasOne of the four main divisions in the Vedas themselves.), the martial caste (kshatriyas), the productive caste (Vaishyas) and the labourer caste (shudras). These castes are classified in terms of one’s work and qualification and not by birth. Then again there are four orders of life, namely the student life (brahmacarya), the householder’s life (grhasthas), the retired (Vanaprasthas) and the renounced order of life (sannyaas). In the best interest of human society there must be such divisions of life, otherwise no social institution can grow in a healthy state and in each and every one of the above mentioned divisions of life, the aim must be to please the supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead. No caste is superior or inferior to other caste and same is applicable to orders of life as well.
We can examine carefully that in each and every caste and order, hearing, glorifying, remembering and worshiping is a common occupation. We either hear something from someone or we glorify someone or we remember someone for certain things and we worship someone too. Like people generally involved in mundane talks are constantly engaged in hearing about movies, songs, news, novels, sports, actors, family etc. They glorify actors, sports persons ,dancers, their own kids, any infrastructure, certain processes, nation or some or the other material thing. People always remember some other people for good or bad deeds. They remember their past. They remember some places they had visited and the good times they had. They remember their holidays. Young people remember their childhood. Old people remember their youth and finally at death people tend to remember their unfinished businesses. Such is the effect of remembrances. And what to talk of worshipping. People worship actors, cricketers at such a limit that materialistic people have dared to build temple for them. People worship nation. People worship their bosses for promotion. They worship political leaders for getting their own work done. They worship national leaders for their heroic act. They worship electronic, mechanical industry for giving them luxuries. Some people worship relatives. Fallen souls like me still worship UNIX operating system. Such is the state of KaliA fierce form of Devi. yuga.
But are we aware that in whichever caste or order we are, we are following these four processes of hearing, glorifying, remembering and worshipping?
And are we aware that object of these four processes should not be anything material but spiritual/transcendental?
Are we aware of the direction in life that we are heading towards? Are we aware of our destination? And if we are aware of our final destination then what steps are we taking to reach it? If we are serious about reaching our destination then why is the object of these four processes – material and not transcendental? Why do we waste time in hearing, glorifying, remembering and worshipping unnecessary things? Why do we never think twice before thinking anything else other than Krishna or service towards Him ?
Suta Goswami answers our bewilderment by answering the question of sages in Namisharanya headed by Shaunaka RishiSage; specifically the seven great sages of ancient times.. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.2.14, he says
tasmad ekena manasaa / bhagavaan saatvataam patih
shrotavyah keertitavyash ca / dhyeyah pujyas ca nityadaa
“Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.“
Here we understand from the above verse that actual object of glorification is Supreme Personality of Godhead who has created everything before us. aham sarvasya prabhavo – Krishna declares that he is the source of everything. Then how can our object of glorification be anything else other than the Supreme origin of everything ? One who is giving us everything should be ideally worshipped, remembered, glorified and heard about. Not even a single blade of grass moves without Krishna’s wish, then what to speak of big changes around us. Therefore we are ought to think, talk, hear, remember, glorify Krishna every moment in our life.
Take an example of car driving. If you are driving a car and suddenly it stops due to some problem in vehicle. You are in the centre of the road and its pitch dark out there. In such darkness you are all alone and wish someone could help you. And suddenly by Lord’s arrangement, a person comes and volunteers to help you in fixing the car. What will be your feeling at that point of time? Gratitude right? You feel deep gratification towards the person who helped you in darkness. And you will remember this incident throughout your entire life. You will also glorify the person who fixed your car. If at material platform, such incidences can imbibe gratitude in us, then why not show our gratitude towards Krishna who is willing to take us out of this material darkness and take us back to Godhead?
Let us now remember the word ekena manasaa from above verse which means one pointed attention of mind. This mind should be one pointedly focused on following the four processes of hearing, glorifying, remembering and worshipping Krishna – who is the Supreme protector of devotees. Just like how although solar energy is spread across our entire planet, the energy is utilized majorly at the Solar plants where the energy is concentrated and stored and further utilized. Diversed solar energy does not help. Similarly if our mind will be engaged in thinking multiple things simultaneously, then our energy will be wasted, further risking this priceless birth that we have got in this body. Let us all take this verse seriously today and sincerely strive to use our mind only and only thinking about Krishna. If we are only going to think about devotional service then rest of the senses like tongue will naturally follow our mind and start talking about Krishna. Our tongue will start glorifying Absolute Truth. Our ears will follow and will find solace in hearing about Supreme Truth. These things will create permanent impressions on our mind such that all our remembrances will include service towards Krishna. Thus we will be constantly engaged in serving and worshipping Krishna.
I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudev, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna that I use these four processes of hearing, glorifying, remembering and worshipping in service of Krishna.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Vinayasheela Devi"goddess"; used to refer to any female deity, but most specifically Shakti, wife of Shiva. Dasi,