Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bhaja Govindam - Sloka 4

Hari Aum

Prostrations to my Guru. Prostrations to All.


“Nalini dalagata jalamatitharalam
Tattvam jeevitam adhisaya chapalam
Vidhi vyadhyabhimaanagratham
Lokam shoka hatham cha samastham”

Word Meaning:
Nalini dalagata jalam: water drop on the lotus leaf
Atitharalam: extremely uncertain
Tat: so
Jeevitam: life
Adhisaya: extremely
Chapalam: unstable
Vidhi: understand
Vyadhi abhimaanagratham: consumed by disease and conceit
Cha: and
Samastham: the whole
Lokam: world
Shoka hatham: is riddled with pain

“Water drop in the lotus leaf has got an extremely unstable existence similarly is life in the world which is greatly uncertain. Understand the world is consumed by disease and conceit and is riddled with pain”

In the previous two slokas, Shankara told not to have passion towards possession of wealth and enjoyment of sensual pleasure. He told to give up the passion towards these and told to have the thoughts of the Reality all the time. In this sloka, he gives reason for the advice he gave in the previous 2 slokas. The world that we see is temporary and not permanent and hence all the objects of the world are also temporary and not permanent. The example he gives is the water droplet on the lotus leaf. The water doesn’t stick on the lotus leaf, instead it just skids on the leaf and it is most uncertain that when that droplet will fall off from the leaf. Our life in the world is also very uncertain like the water droplet on the lotus leaf. We do not know when death will come to us. Death can be overcome only by realizing ones own nature of Self. But to realize ones own nature of Self, one should constantly contemplate on the Reality. The extroverted mind has to be turned inwards towards the spiritual heart which is the seat of the Self. When one constantly contemplates on the Self, he realizes the world and the objects of the world are only an illusion and such person goes beyond the birth and the death.

When one forgets ones own nature of Self and goes on to possess more and more wealth, enjoys all the sensual pleasures, goes from birth to birth. All pleasures of the world will be seem to give happiness in the beginning but later gives only sorrow. Therefore we have to understand the limitations of happiness that the objects of the world can give. Any object of the world cannot give permanent happiness because the objects itself is temporary. If we forget this, we will get deluded by the pleasure object seems to give and get carried away by that object. Death may come to us any time and hence if we have to get that permanent happiness and if have to cross over the cycle of Samsaara, we have to put effort right here and right now. There is no time to waste. More time we spend in the thought of the Reality, the more we go closer to the Reality.

Because of the ignorance of ones own nature, a person might see the world and its experience to be real. But Shankara here tells that the world and its object doesn’t deserve the importance that is given now because everywhere in the world there will be disease or self-pride. There is no real happiness at all in the world. Shankara says in the last line that the world is full of pain and sorrow. All the happiness that we see or experience from the objects of the world is only temporary which has to be understood clearly. Therefore the only solution is to surrender completely to Govinda, the Ultimate Reality of Brahman, and should have constant thought of it all the time.

Prostrations to all

Hari Aum



Blogger vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

Few Gita statements from which Sankara has borrowed the below thoughts about the temporary and sorrowful nature of the world:

Ye hi samsparshajaa bhogaah dukhayonaya eva the
Aadhyanthavantha kaunteya na teshu ramathe budah

That pleasure which is attained by contact of sense organs with sense objects is the seed of sorrow as they have a beginning and an end -- therefore the wise doesn't indulge in them.

Anityam asukham lokam imam praapya bhajasva maam

The world is filled with sorrow and is temporary (two important characteristics of anityam and asukham) -- and having attained such a world, seek me.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

5:22 AM  

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