A Healing Slumber

 ThathaEvery night before falling asleep you should read at least a few pages of the Bhagavad Gita. I tell you – you would bless yourself, you would feel happy for yourself if you can read at least a few pages of the Bhagavad Gita every day. I learnt this habit of reading a few pages of sacred scriptures before falling asleep from my grandfather. He used to go to sleep at twelve o’clock in the night. But even at that time, he would sit and chant Jnana Sambandar’s Tevaram. He couldn’t read English, he could read only Tamil books.

One hour he would chant and nobody in the room could sleep. He used to sleep in the hall. I was very close to him. He was my favourite and I was his pet because I was given his name. My pre-monastic name is his name, so I would sleep next to him only. Nobody could sleep in the hall.

He had a beautiful voice. He would chant the Tiru Jnana Sambandar and Manikcyavasagar’s Tevarams and Tiruvasagar, the sacred sentiment verses. And after some years before his passing away, last few years he lost his eye sight. He couldn’t read. He trained two of his sons to read these verses for him. One nice thing, even my uncles went and learnt properly to recite these verses for him and every night they would sit and recite at least one hour for him.

The little bit of Tamil knowledge I have on the Tevaram, Tiruvaasagam all that I learnt from him only from every night chanting. But I picked up this habit of reading at least some sacred scripture before going to bed from him. It enriches the quality of consciousness in which you sleep and in which you function and in which you act and in which you flow, which you carry your whole day.

The essence is to give up the clinging for the reward. I tell you – you may think, “Oh, I know all these ideas, what is there?”

No. your brain needs to be reminded all the time again & again & again because forgetfulness is the basic quality of your mind. Reminding yourself again & again is the highest spiritual practice. So give up the attachment to the reward. Give up the clinging for the reward, radiate tranquility, the highest tranquility. I know the kind of a faith about his own body and mind and consciousness, my grandfather used to have!  

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