Shravan Sud 9, Sunday 19 Aug 2018

Shikshapatri Shlocks

Shikshapatri Shlock

English: I meditate, within my heart, upon Lord Shree Krishna, whose left Radha is standing by, on whose right chest resides Lakshmi and who enjoyed his own divine sports at Brindavana (with Radha and Lakshmi).

Gujarati: હું જે તે મારા હદયને વિષે શ્રીકૃષ્‍ણ ભગવાનનું ધ્‍યાન કરું છું. તે શ્રી કૃષ્‍ણ કેવા છે તો જેના ડાબા પડખાને વિષે રાધિકાજી રહ્યાં છે અને જેના વક્ષઃસ્‍થળને વિષે લક્ષ્‍મીજી રહ્યાં છે અને વૃંદાવનનેવિષે વિહારના કરનારા છે.


Lord Swaminarayan, in his first Shloka performs Manglacharan of Lord Shree Krishna. He meditates on the very form of Shree Krishna. Thus, Lord Swaminarayan extols his deep devotion, faith and worship for Lord Shree Krishna. Lord Swaminarayan in his first ten Shlokas, introduces the Shikshapatri and therefore is the very essence of what the Shikshapatri is and its objective.

Shatanand Muni gives us a fuller 'Darshan' of Radha Krishna beyond the physical aspect. He explains the deeper meanings of the words 'Radha Krishna', which are of great importance: Radha is the consort of Krishna who is famed in the childhood years of Krishna. She however represents a great deal more. Brahmanvaivrata Purana says, 'Ra represents that which destroys sin and immoral conduct. Furthermore, the a of Ra represents deliverance from the cycle of births, deaths and from mundane desires.'

Shatanand explains that by uttering 'Radha' or even listening to it being chanted, man automatically becomes free from repeated births and deaths. Hence the divinity of Shree Radhika who is the very representation of salvation.

The 'dha' in 'Radha' represents the breakdown of barriers in life that lend itself to a successful and peaceful life. Shatanand adds that 'Ra' also represents devotion to God and service to his lotus feet. It is also a symbol of a person's quest for happiness that is derived through service to God. In addition, 'dha' epitomizes the wish to attain God and it delivers supreme knowledge (Brahman Vidhya) and eternal gratification. 'a' of 'dha' symbolizes the great luminosity of God, the will to give (Dana Shakti), the awakening of the mind (Yoga Shakti) and intellect (Buddhi) and it also instills allegiance and eternal devotion to God.

Indeed Radha epitomizes the 'Bhakta' - the devotee within all. Radha represents all these qualities discussed and so is of vital importance. She is the embodiment of betterment and salvation and so is at the side of the Lord - Vamay Yasya Sthita Radha.

Laxmi is then remembered - Shreescha Yasyasti Vakshasi - as residing in the heart of Krishna. Rukshmani is the very incarnation of Goddess Laxmi (Shree), the consort of Vishnu or Narayan. She is as a result given a place at the Lord's heart. She is non other than Sita, consort of Shree Rama who is famed in the Ramayan.

Rukshmani is the foremost of the 'Asta-Patrani' - the eight prominent wives of Krishna. Thus she is dearly respected. In Rasmanjari it is written: 'Laxmi represents shelter or protection. Residing in the Lord's heart, she is always considered to be with the Lord, forever serving him.'

Our Shastras add that no one should find difference in either Radha or Rukshmani as both are worthy of equal praise. Shatanand instructs that one should refer to the relevant Shastras to further realize the greatness of Radha and the various Avatars of Laxmi.

Shatanand now briefly describes the greatness of Lord Shree Krishna. Krishna is reputed in many of our Shastras, of which the Bhagwat Purana's tenth chapter is most prominent. Our Shastras say that Katha (pastimes) of Shree Krishna are very difficult to resist, as they are so attractive and absorbing.

Shree Krishna is depicted with a peacock feather upon his 'Mugat', dark skinned, with a flute in hand, wearing a brilliant golden coloured cloth around his lower body and is the cowherd who sports with his friends and herding cows in 'Gokul'.

'Krush' represents the Earth and 'ana' represents joy and peace. Thus Krushna or Krishna is the very representation and source of joy and peace upon this Earth.

Krushastu Bhagwan Swayam proclaim our Shastras - 'Krishna is God Supreme' thus bestowing Godhead to Shree Krishna. Krishna is considered as Satchitananda Rupaiya, which reveals the highest nature of Godhead: 'Sat' - of existence, 'Chit' - of consciousness and 'Anand' - of bliss. Therefore Krishna is the highest form of God alone worthy of meditation.

Jaydeva in Gita Govind says:

Vedanudharte Jaganivahate Bhugolmudribrate Daiyam
Daryate Balim Chalyate Kshatrakshrayam Kurvate
Paulastyam Jayate Halam Kalayate Karunyamatanvate Miechan
Murchayate Dushaksuti Drute Krushaya Tumyam Namaha

'The uplifter of the Vedas, the supporter of the universe, the saviour of the Earth, the slayer of Hiranyakashipu (as Narsinha), the fooler of Bali (as Vamana), the destroyer of evil Kshatriyas (as Parsurama), the promoter of compassion and the annihilator of Barbarians; such is thee, my Lord Shree Krishna, I humbly bow down before thy greatness.'

Shree Krishna sports in Vrindavan - Vrindavana Vihaaram Tam. Vrinda is also considered as Tulsi who is ever dear to the Lord and therefore is also remembered here. In this way, Lord Swaminarayan meditates upon Shree Krishna having the above form with all his heart - Shree Krushnam Hridye Chintaye - in the hope that he may forever shower his blessings upon us all.