Six Good Qualities
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
ছয় বেগ দমি' ছয় দোষ শোধি
chhaya vega dami' chhaya dosa sodhi'
"Subjugate the six urges, rectify the six defects, and bestow the six good qualities upon this servant."
When we pray in the Vaishnav song, we ask for six good qualities (chhaya-guna). Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu explains in his Sri Upadesamrita verse what these qualities are.
উৎসাহান্নিশ্চয়াদ্ধৈর্যাৎ তত্তৎকর্মপ্রবর্তনাৎ ।
"Enthusiasm, determination, patience, virtuous engagement, rejection of unfavourable association, and following pure devotional practices are the six good qualities through which one attains devotion."
(Sri Upadesamrita, 3)
(1) 'Utsaha' is enthusiasm. It means you feel excited to serve, you are always eager to do service, "When will I do my service? When will I do my Guru-seva? When will I come for the mangal-arati? When will I do the Tulasi seva? When will I cook for the Deities? When will we offer the bhog?" It is necessary to always have such devotional mood, such enthusiasm. This is called utsaha.
(2) 'Nischayad' means having a firm intention or determination, having a firm faith (dridha visvas). We sing, "Avasya raksibe Krsna, visvasa palana. I must keep faith that Krishna will definitely protect me"—we sing, "Krishna will protect us," so, we must believe it, "Yes, Krishna will protect." One time, Mahaprabhu asked Srila Haridas Thakur, "How will all the yavans be rescued from this material world?" Srila Haridas Thakur replied, "Namabhase mukti paibe—they will get liberation through the shadow of the Holy Name." He said that, and we must have firm faith, "Yes, it is correct." When Gurudev says that Krishna will reveal in your heart, you will be successful in your spiritual life, we must think, "Yes, I will succeed in my spiritual life if I practise as Gurudev told me." That is called faith. Firm determination. Firm faith. "Gurudev said this, and yes, I believe it, it will happen." It is written here very nicely.
(3) 'Dhairyat' is patience, tolerance. I have told you about it already.
(4) 'Tat tat karmapravartanat' means arranging some programmes, festivals that are favourable to devotion.
(5) 'Sanga-tyagan' means rejecting bad association. Sometimes you hear some devotee saying, "Oh, this devotee is doing this! That devotee is doing that! That devotee is doing bad!" Do not listen to such things. Always avoid it. If you hear such things, it will reduce your faith. Your faith will diminish because of that. Always reject bad association (asat-sanga tyag). Also, sometimes you are attached to listening what others say about other devotees or about you—you can be doing something, for example, making a garland, and you hear somebody talking to some other devotee, and you are listening to it; or you are cooking a subji and you hear somebody talking about you, and you listen to it. Do not do this. You must reject attachment to such listening (eavesdropping, curiosity).
(6) And 'sato vrtteh' means following the pure practices of great personalities (sadhur sad-achar). There is a great variety of devotional processes—applying tilaks, glorifying Tulasi, glorifying Vaishnavs, chanting the Holy Name, chanting the Holy Name on your beads, reciting the pranam-mantra of your Guru, chanting five simple songs, living in a holy place, etc. You may live in your house in some place and you think that you live in America, London, or Russia, but actually may not be so—wherever devotees are, they practise devotion and the place where they stay becomes a holy abode:
যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
"On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there."
('Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
When you are offering bhog, you are remembering Krishna. When you are cooking for Krishna or cooking for Gurudev, you are remembering Gurudev. When you are making a garland, you are making it for Gaura Nitai, so you are remembering Gaura Nitai. In this way, you must always make yourself busy with the service of the Lord, with all kinds of devotional activities.
These are the six good qualities (chhaya-guna), and it is necessary to have such qualities.
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