Yoga Kshemam Vahamyaham
Today, Swami Kaivalyananda discussed a few shlokas from the beginning of the ninth chapter of the Gita. One in particular is the 22nd;
‘ananyascintayanto mam, ye janah paryupasate,
tesham nityabhiyuktanam, yoga kshemam vahamyaham.’
This shloka has been misinterpreted by many modern commentators. The phrase ‘yoga kshemam vahamyaham‘ literally means, ‘I will take care of My devotees’ securing and protection.’ However, this phrase has been taken in a material sense. For example, suppose a person starves for two days, and then somehow gets some food. He then considers that God has secured it for him. In a sense, it is true that Nature itself takes care of things, but that isn’t the meaning of the shloka here.
Here, it says ‘ananyascintayanto mam‘ – one who thinks of nothing but me. This isn’t something needed to secure food. The ‘securing and protection’ here refer to the spiritual growth of the aspirant that is in the hands of the Lord. This shows us that as spiritual sadhaks, all we can do is put forth effort, but the aspect of realization, of spiritual growth is completely in the hands of God, not in ours.
Then some people quote this shloka and say, ‘if you think of God incessantly, he will take care of all of your material needs.’ Some people go to the temple and pray, and then proceed to buy a lottery ticket, believing that the Lord will ‘secure’ for them. That is not the meaning of the verse. This is purely spiritual ‘securing,’ not material. All material securing and such things are within the rules set forth by God, the rules of karma. It is the spiritual progress of the sadhak which is meant here in the shloka.
May 29, 2007