Sunday 9 July 2017


2017 0709 28  Bhagavad Gita 17.16: Cheerfulness of Mind [मनःप्रसादः]

Swami Dayananda Saraswati [1930-2015]
[I was going through Pujyashri Dayananda Saraswathi Swamiji's Bhagavad Gita Home Study Course BG Ch 17 Sloka 16 and was deeply impressed by his explanation of "manah-prasadah" [मनःप्रसादः] which I wanted to share with you all.]

Manah-prasadah is mental cheerfulness. The word, ‘mental’ is used deliberately here because, sometimes you can put on an appearance of cheerfulness, but not be mentally cheerful at all.

A discipline, which helps you acquire and maintain mental cheerfulness, is tapas. It involves a prayerful attitude, and an acceptance of yourself and of the situation in which you find yourself

This includes acceptance of the past, and of the world as we find it. Futuristic conjectures are also resolved in an attitude of surrender and simple appreciation.

I do not need to prove myself to anybody.  These are all simple things. But then, these things count a lot, because, it is the simple things that bring about cheerfulness. It involves living one day at a time. 

Today I am alive, and what is to be done this day, I just do. The future can take care of itself. If I can manage today, tomorrow I have only one day to manage. This is the truth about life. Your whole life, all you have to manage is one day. 

If yesterday, you made a mistake; that is fine. You are wiser for it. If you are worried about it today, not only yesterday but today also is wasted in worrying. With reference to what is to be done, a certain surrender allows you to live happily.  

The future will take care of itself. I may plan for the future, but I do what I can do today. That is all. Today's plan is like this, and tomorrow's plan may be the same, or I may revise it. This ‘one day at a time’ never goes away. These are the attitudes that bring about surrender. 

Then there is a law that ‘What will be, will be—bhavatavyam bhavatyeva!’ This is an important shock absorber. What is to happen will happen; I do what I can. That is the truth about living.

What is to happen to you, your own prarabdha and that of others, are all intertwined. This is how things happen. If you have understood and assimilated even what has happened so far, you have an attitude that is ready for surprises. That is mental cheerfulness, manah-prasadah.  A number of things are involved in this.

Whenever concern or anxiety arises, you resolve it by bringing back the proper attitude. Just remind yourself that it is nice being yourself. Say to yourself, ‘It is nice being myself.’ In whichever area you have to change, make efforts to change. If necessary, take help, even the help of God, in the form of prayer. I do not have to prove myself to anybody. If another person thinks ill of me, it is his problem. I just accept myself as I am

[What follows is adapted from  "Sadaka Sanjivini" commentary on Bhagavad Gita by Swami Ramsukhdas which also will be found to be very relevant.] 

Cheerfulness of the mind is called "manah-prasadah" [मनःप्रसादः]. Cheerfulness which is caused by contact with persons and things is not permanent. Cheerfulness which is revealed by staying away from evils remains permanent. And this leads to serenity of mind

1] One who is free from attachments and aversions to persons and circumstances;
2] One who is not partial nor selfish nor proud;
3] One who if full of divine traits such as compassion, forgiveness, generosity, etc;
4] One who always feels for the welfare of all beings; and
5] One who is temperate in food, sleep and recreations according to ordinance of scriptures, such a striver attains cheerfulness of mind and serenity speedily.

1 comment:

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