Srimad Bhagavatam 11.27.38-44 - The Glories of Dhyana (download mp3)
by Prem Kishor Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
dhyāyann abhyarcya dārūṇi
dattvā cājya-plutaṁ haviḥ
mantraiḥ sviṣṭi-kṛtaṁ budhaḥ
The intelligent devotee should meditate upon that form of the Lord whose color is like molten gold, whose four arms are resplendent with the conchshell, disc, club and lotus flower, and who is always peaceful and dressed in a garment colored like the filaments within a lotus flower. His helmet, bracelets, belt and fine arm ornaments shine brilliantly. The symbol of Śrīvatsa is on His chest, along with the glowing Kaustubha gem and a garland of forest flowers. The devotee should then worship that Lord by taking pieces of firewood soaked in the sacrificial ghee and throwing them into the fire. He should perform the ritual of āghāra, presenting into the fire the various items of oblation drenched in ghee. He should then offer to sixteen demigods, beginning with Yamarāja, the oblation called sviṣṭi-kṛt, reciting the basic mantras of each deity and the sixteen-line Puruṣa-sūkta hymn. Pouring one oblation after each line of the Puruṣa-sūkta, he should utter the particular mantra naming each deity.
pārṣadebhyo baliṁ haret
mūla-mantraṁ japed brahma
Having thus worshiped the Lord in the sacrificial fire, the devotee should offer his obeisances to the Lord’s personal associates by bowing down and should then present offerings to them. He should then chant quietly the mūla-mantra of the Deity of the Lord, remembering the Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality, Nārāyaṇa.
Once again he should offer the Deity water for washing His mouth, and he should give the remnants of the Lord’s food to Viṣvaksena. Then he should present the Deity with fragrant perfume for the mouth and prepared betel nut.
upagāyan gṛṇan nṛtyan
karmāṇy abhinayan mama
mat-kathāḥ śrāvayan śṛṇvan
muhūrtaṁ kṣaṇiko bhavet
Singing along with others, chanting loudly and dancing, acting out My transcendental pastimes, and hearing and telling stories about Me, the devotee should for some time absorb himself in such festivity.
A devotee engaged in regulative worship of the Supreme Lord should sometimes become ecstatically absorbed in chanting and hearing the pastimes of the Lord, dancing, and other festivities. The word muhūrtam, “for some time,” indicates that a devotee should be careful not to neglect his regulative principles and service to the Lord in the name of so-called ecstasy. Although one may be ecstatically engaged in chanting, hearing and dancing, he cannot give up the formality of regulated service to the Lord.