May 2015

Be regular. –  Chinmaya

Most of us are regular – in being irregular!

Why do the scriptures insist upon regularity?

Our mind has the ability to form habits – good or bad. Once trained, it becomes its nature to keep doing that thing.

All our addictions – tea/coffee, newspaper, non-vegetarianism, internet, gossip, television, attachments to people, smoking, drinks – are nothing but the results of regularity. If the mind can form such unhealthy addictions, why not make it an addict to something good and noble? Yes, it is possible. How? Be Regular.

With regular flow, the water cuts deep channels even through hard rock. An iron piece rubbed to a magnet constantly becomes a magnet. So too, a person regularly thinking of God becomes God. Indeed, the key to success is regularity.

Prayer, meditation, Japa, Yoga, Pranayama, study of the scriptures, attending satsangs, engaging in selfless service – do it regularly and soon we will find these positive addictions difficult to overcome. We become a fish out of water when even for one day we miss any of these from our daily schedule.

Little Sanju had lost both his parents in a terrible accident. But he was fortunate that he had a sweet grandmother to shower on him so much of love and affection that he never missed his parents.

The grandmother was a very religious lady. She would get up early in the morning at 5 a.m. and after freshening up, would go to the nearby Krishna temple. While making the garland for the Lord, she would chant the stotrams of various deities. After the puja is over, she would partake the prasad, do several rounds of pradakshina around the temple and then alone would return back home. This remained her morning routine throughout her life.

Sanju also, out of a sheer desire for being with his grandmother, would get up early and join her. He would help her in making garland, and would chant the stotrams along with her. The pure mind of that little child memorised all these divine chantings with the utmost ease.

With time, the grandmother could see the changes that were happening in her teenager grandson. Sanju took pride in questioning everything including the existence of God. He would mock the customs and traditions of the ancestors. He loved cornering his grandmother and making her speechless. Often he would make fun of her ‘blind faith’ and would boast himself of being a rational being, modern and educated, scientific and non-superstitious.

Years passed by. Age had caught up with the grandmother. She had fallen ill and was lying on the bed for many days amidst tablets and medicine bottles. One day she called Sanju and said lovingly, “My child, it seems that my time for departure has come.” After a brief silence, in an anxious tone she asked, “As a parting gift, may I ask something from you?”

Sanju went near her, sat at her feet and said, “Grandma, you have been my all in all from my very birth. Why ask anything? I am already yours.”

Grandmother held his palm and pleaded sweetly, “Then promise me that you will not miss going to the temple even one day and tell at least a “Hello” to Krishna… Won’t you do it for my sake?”

Sanju could not break the heart of his loving grandmother. He agreed, though reluctantly.

Hearing his assurance, the old lady became a little relieved. Now she became silent. Intuitively she felt that the time has come to depart. She stopped talking and withdrew herself from all extrovertedness. Her body became stiff, eyes rolled up, and chanting the name of Krishna thrice with a deep breath, she left forever. But that benign smile of fulfilment ever remained, playing on her lips.

 Those last moments with his grandmother left a deep impact upon Sanju. He had never in his life seen anyone facing death with such calmness, such grace.

He deeply missed her presence. Even the thought of her absence pained him very much. As he watched the body being burnt in the cremation ground, all the unforgettable sweet memories of being with her paraded in front of his tear-filled eyes. 

“What a divine lady! “, he admired. “How many times did I hurt her with harsh words… But she forgave everything. Never did she get impatient with my immature behaviour. Never have I seen her getting angry with anyone. She loved all. She treated everyone as a manifestation of Krishna. Never have I seen her complaining or grumbling, gossiping or talking ill of others. Chanting the name of the Lord, she endured all with a sweet smile. It is indeed amazing how she won the hearts of even her opponents by blessing them and praying for them! Selflessness was in her very blood. She found the greatest joy in giving, in loving and in sacrificing…”

Tears of repentance welled up in his eyes as he recollected how he looked down upon her with contempt and disregard for being illiterate and not being worldly smart. He realised that though illiterate, she was as the most cultured among all. Her divine way of living was enough proof for him to believe in the existence of a divine God.

While returning from the cremation ground, he was a totally changed man. Needless to say, his grandmother had become a role model for him to emulate for the rest of his life.

Sanju was true to his promise. As a reverential tribute to his beloved granny, he would daily go to the Krishna temple at 8 a.m., stand in front of the Lord, and say with tearful eyes, “Krishna! I have come…”

Years passed by. Job, marriage, house, children – Sanju was becoming busier day by day with his worldly commitments. But never did he swerve even once from his morning commitment. Even when he was out of station, he would mentally visualize his going to the temple at 8 a.m. and would mark his attendance in front of the Lord.

On a fateful day, Sanju had to go out for urgent work. He took his bike, and in a hurry didn’t bother to wear the helmet. He drove the bike unusually fast. At a sharp turn, he lost control over the vehicle and met with a major accident. Some kind-hearted people took him to the hospital. As the case was serious, he was immediately admitted to the I.C.U. Due to serious brain damage, he was lying unconscious.

The grief-stricken relatives gathered outside the I.C.U, worried and anxious. Doctors expressed their apprehension regarding his survival. They opined that unless he regained consciousness, nothing could be done.

The entire atmosphere was filled with gloom. The tensed relatives spent the entire night with no sleep. It was already the next day morning and Sanju was still lying in a coma. The hope of his survival was fading away from the minds of even the die-hard optimists.

At exactly 8 a.m., everyone gathered near the I.C.U heard a loud cry, “Krishna, I have come!” The surprised doctors and relatives stormed into the I.C.U. The sight they saw moved their heart. They saw Sanju, still unaware of the world, sitting on his bed with folded palms and whispering, “Krishna! I have come, Krishna! I have come…”

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