सम: शत्रौ च मित्रे च तथा मानापमानयो: |
शीतोष्णसुखदु:खेषु सम: सङ्गविवर्जित: || 18||
तुल्यनिन्दास्तुतिर्मौनी सन्तुष्टो येन केनचित् |
अनिकेत: स्थिरमतिर्भक्तिमान्मे प्रियो नर: || 19||
samaḥ śhatrau cha mitre cha tathā mānāpamānayoḥ
śhītoṣhṇa-sukha-duḥkheṣhu samaḥ saṅga-vivarjitaḥ
tulya-nindā-stutir maunī santuṣhṭo yena kenachit
aniketaḥ sthira-matir bhaktimān me priyo naraḥ
samaḥ—alike; śhatrau—to a foe; cha—and; mitre—to a friend; cha tathā—as well as; māna-apamānayoḥ—in honor and dishonor; śhīta-uṣhṇa—in cold and heat; sukha-duḥkheṣhu—in joy and sorrow; samaḥ—equipoised; saṅga-vivarjitaḥ—free from all unfavorable association; tulya—alike; nindā-stutiḥ—reproach and praise; maunī—silent contemplation; santuṣhṭaḥ—content; yena kenachit—with anything; aniketaḥ—without attachment to the place of residence; sthira—firmly fixed; matiḥ—intellect; bhakti-mān—full of devotion; me—to Me; priyaḥ—very dear; naraḥ—a person
Who is equal-minded towards friends and enemies, in honour and disgrace, in heat and cold, and pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment (desire and selfishness), who is silent (meditating), who is satisfied with what-so-ever he gets, who has no particular home, who is decided in mind, who is devoted to Me, such a man is dear to Me.
Five pairs of opposites are mentioned in these two verses. 1. Friends and enemies 2. Honour and dishonour, 3. Heat and cold, 4. Joy and sorrow, 5. Praise and blame. The devotee is expected to remain calm and equal-minded when these pairs of opposites overtake him in the usual course of life.
mauni: Silence does not simply mean giving up talking. It means the stillness of the mind also. As the devotee is very much absorbed in thinking of the Lord, he is silent and does not expend his vocal energy in useless talk. Or it may be taken to mean, one whose mind is absorbed in the contemplation of the Divine.
aniketah: One who has no particular home is ‘aniketah’. He finds his home wherever he is. If he stays in one place, home or choultry, he may become attached to it by association. Or, the word ‘niketa’ may be taken to mean ‘body’. Then ‘aniketa’ means one who has no body idea (dehabhimana).
The qualities of a ‘bhakta’ are so far mentioned. As one who is gifted with these thirty-five qualities is said to be a ‘Bhakta’, and as these qualities are also the attributes of a ‘Jnani’, it is clear that in essence both devotion and knowledge are the same. The devotee at first worships with flowers and fruits. But as he evolves he offers the flower of his own mind to the Divinity pervading the whole universe.
Sankaracharya in his Sivanandalahari says that people have not yet learned to offer the flower of their mind to the Lord and then remain in blissful quietude. Thus the real devotee evolves towards the higher form of worship with the mind. What are these flowers of the mind? They are the thirty-five virtues mentioned here.
Non-injury, self-restraint, universal love, forgiveness, peace, austerity, meditation, and truthfulness are most dear to Lord Vishnu. Therefore, along with natural flowers, it is necessary to worship the Lord with flowers of virtue and spiritual conduct. May all the seekers learn His higher form of worship and obtain God’s grace.
Of all worldly things, the greatest and the most precious possession of man is the Lord’s love, and such love cannot be attained except by the practice of the above-mentioned virtues. Those whose conduct is hostile to Divine Command and the injunctions of the ‘Sastras’ cannot hope to receive God’s grace. It is self-delusion for anyone to think that he is worshipping God, while his mind is beset with all foul and filthy passions and desires.
narah: The general term ‘man’ is used to indicate that all human beings are qualified for the divine state without any distinction what-so-ever.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“He who hates none, who is the friend of all, who is merciful to all, who has nothing of his own, who is free from egoism, who is even-minded in pain and pleasure, who is forbearing, who is always satisfied, who works always in yoga, whose self has become controlled, whose will is firm, whose mind and intellect are given up unto Me, such a one is My beloved bhakta. From whom comes no disturbance, who cannot be disturbed by others, who is free from joy, anger, fear, and anxiety, such a one is My beloved. He who does not depend on anything, who is pure and active, who does not care whether good comes or evil, and never becomes miserable, who has given up all efforts for himself; who is the same in praise or in blame, with a silent, thoughtful mind, blessed with what little comes in his way, homeless, for the whole world is his home, and who is steady in his ideas, such a one is My beloved bhakta.” Such alone become yogis.[Source]
Question: What are the qualities of the devotee mentioned in this Discourse?
Answer: Thirty-five qualities are mentioned here: (1) Absence of hatred towards all beings, (2) Friendliness, (3) Compassion, (4) The absence of ‘Myness’. (5) Absence of egoism, (6) Equanimity in joy and sorrow, (7) Forbearance, (8) Contentment, (9) Self-control, (10) Firm determination, (11) Surrendering the mind and intellect to God, (12) Absence of fear either by him to the world or by the world to him, (13) Absence of elation, hatred and fear, (14) Desirelessness, (15) Purity, (16) Competence in action, (17) Indifference, (18) Freedom from anxiety, (19) Renunciation of the fruits of action, (20) Absence of elation, (21) Absence of hatred, (22) Absence of fear, (23) Absence of desire, (24) Renunciation of good and bad, (25) Equal mindedness towards friends and enemies, (26) Equanimity in honour and dishonour, (27) Equanimity in heat and cold, (28) Equanimity in joy and sorrow, (29) Non-attachment (30) Equalmindedness in praise and blame. (31) Silence, (32) Contentment with what-so-ever obtained by chance, (33) Absence of attachment to home, (34) Firmness of decision, (35) Devotion of God.
Question: Who is dear to the Lord?
Answer: He who possesses the above virtues is dear to the Lord.
Question: What then is the way to obtain God’s grace?
Answer: The possession of these virtues alonę draws God’s grace.