17.15: Memorizing scripture doesn’t burden our head; it unburdens our heart

by January 30, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (17.15) recommends regular recitation of scriptures as a means to discipline our power of speech. Regular recitation of scripture becomes easy when scripture is readily accessible to us. And the most accessible place for keeping scripture is our own memory. If we find the prospect of memorizing scripture daunting, that is probably because most of us have never experienced the blessings available through timely recitation of memorized scriptural verses.

Humble recollection and prayerful recitation of scriptural verses can:

  1. Calm our stressed minds by giving us a feel of the steady eternal underlying the shaky temporal
  2. Empower us to resist temptations by stimulating our intelligence with wisdom and our heart with devotion
  3. Help us base our decisions on time-tested insights, not spur-of-the-moment impulses
  4. Usher us into the presence of Krishna as shabda-brahma (sacred sound), thus boosting our confidence and courage
  5. Bring authority and sanctity to our efforts to share our faith with others.

If we take shelter of scriptural verses regularly, they will gradually move from our brain into our heart, and will become our ever-ready counselors. Then we will realize that the same scripture memorization that we had feared would burden our memory has actually unburdened our heart.

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