ananya-cetāḥ satataṃ yo māṃ smarati nityaśaḥ| tasyāhaṃ sulabhaḥ pārtha nitya-yuktasya yoginaḥ||14||
I am easily attainable to such a steadfast yogi who is continually engaged in my remembrance, who unceasingly contemplates upon nothing else but me.
The word ‘ananya’ means uninterrupted, in continuity, continual.
The Lord says, the one who is continually absorbed in my remembrance, wherein the contemplation, the remembrance is continual without any interruption or disruption whatsoever. Moreover this unceasing, non-stop remembrance occurs not only during the waking state but continues even in the states of dream and deep sleep. To such a being, says Śrī Krīshna, I am easily attainable.
Remembering the Lord for an hour or so in the morning, then forgetting only to briefly remember him in the evening or night and then forgetting completely in the states of dream and sleep – this is not ananya chintan, this is not unceasing remembrance! Having to take efforts to remember and being in effortless remembrance – there is a tremendous difference between the two. There are some people in your life you remember often, whereas some you remember only occasionally. And then there are some you recall only when someone reminds you of them. You don’t overtly remember your school friends you haven’t met for years together. But if someone you know happens to bump into them and tells you about it, then you may vaguely recall their names, or at times even after listening to their names, you cannot recall the memories associated with them.
Thus some memories are well-etched in your mind, whereas others are vague. But, there is no memory which is unceasingly continual. The mother who dearly loves her child, even she doesn’t remember her child constantly, at all moments. She forgets whilst she is carrying out the daily chores. When the child goes to school, the mother knows that she doesn’t have to worry about the child for the next five to seven hours, thus she gets on with her chores assuredly. And then, ordinarily, she will next remember her child when he is about to return from the school.
Furthermore, after feeding the child and tending to his needs, the mother gets back to her chores and the child engages himself in homework or play. That is it. The child will remember his mother either when he is hungry or if he needs something or wants to say something or if he is unwell. Else the child too is as preoccupied as the mother, and as indeed is everyone else.
These days it is so common for people to meet up with their friends or colleagues in some cafe or restaurant so that they can have a good chat, spend qualitative time together. Now all the time a person is with his friends chatting animatedly about politics, cinema, this and that – does he remember or think about his family members at that time?
The mind cannot be in remembrance of any one thing continually, even if it wants to. Mind is like a monkey that keeps jumping from one spot to another, from hither to thither. Have you ever seen a monkey sitting meditatively in any one place? And even if you do see a monkey sitting in one place, note that its eyes or ear lobes or limbs keep moving. It simply cannot stay still. And if nothing else, they engage themselves in removing bugs, either from their own body or the fellow monkey’s body!
Now you may find this humorous, but aren’t you doing the same? The only difference is that the bugs troubling you are not any bodily pest, but rather the vermin of your thoughts. And whosoever helps you in disinfecting and purging your mind of these disturbing pests of thoughts, you regard that person as your friend.
But the point is that you don’t remember even your friends continually. In fact the truth is that you don’t remember even your enemies continually. Thus you forget your family, your friends and even your enemies.
So, the zillion dollar question is: If you can’t continually remember even those you physically interact with, then how can you be in remembrance of Krīshna?! And mind you this Krīshna is the intangible, imperceptible, infinite, eternal Chaitanya.
The one who is in continual remembrance of the ineffable Brahman, I am easily attainable to him, says the Lord. Well, if not to such a being, who else will he be easily attainable to! The truth is that the only reason such a person can be in the Lord’s remembrance is because the Lord is easily attainable to him. ‘I am easily attainable to he who abides continually in my remembrance’, but I see this the other way round.
The one who has attained Krīshna, he alone can abide in uninterrupted contemplation of the ineffable Lord. Because the one who hasn’t attained Krīshna, who doesn’t know Krīshna – how can he remember or contemplate upon the Krīshna he doesn’t know? See, you can remember only those you know. You cannot remember those you don’t know, can you? How can you remember those you don’t know, who you have never seen or heard before? Thus he who knows God, who knows Brahman, he alone can be in remembrance of Brahman. And who can know God?
He who diligently and consistently carries out the appropriate yogic practices, he alone can know God. For by continual and dedicated practice, the practitioner achieves stillness, total repose of the mind. It is only in the sheer stillness of the mind that the supreme truth, the supreme knowledge of Brahman gets revealed. And only such an accomplished yogi can abide in continual remembrance of the Lord.
Thence, in my view, Śrī Krīshna is describing the state of an accomplished yogi and no -t that of a seeker, because a seeker simply cannot abide in such a highly evolved state of being. So when Śrī Krīshna talks about continually remembering Krīshna, this is possible only when the distinction between Krīshna and ‘you’ gets eliminated i.e. when you, in effect, become Krīshna.
If I am Krīshna, then how can I ever forget my own self? If I am separate from Krīshna, then I will not be able to remember Krīshna for a prolonged period of time. Thus he who has seen his oneness with Krīshna, he alone can remember Krīshna continually, unceasingly, uninterruptedly.
Extracted from commentary on Srimad Bhagavad Gita by revered master Anandmurti Gurumaa