Memorizing scripture doesn’t burden the head – it unburdens the heart
The Bhagavad-gita (17.15) recommends regular recitation of scriptures as a means to discipline our power of speech. Such regular recitation 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 burdensome, that is probably because we have not experienced the blessings available through timely recitation of memorized scriptural verses.
Let’s look at some of those blessings. Humble recollection and prayerful recitation of verses can:
- Calm our stressed minds by giving us a feel of the steady eternal underlying the shaky ephemeral
- Empower us to resist temptations by stimulating our intelligence with wisdom and our heart with devotion
- Help us base our decisions on time-tested insights, not spur-of-the-moment impulses
- Usher us into the presence of Krishna as shabda-brahma (sacred sound), thus boosting our confidence and courage
- 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, thereby becoming our ever-ready counselors. Whenever our heart feels burdened by life’s inevitable perplexities, we will be able to turn to them for relief and get not just relief but also rejuvenation and wisdom. Then we will realize that the same scripture memorization that we had feared would burden our head has actually unburdened our heart.
“Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”