"Full many a ray of purest ray serene the dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness to the desert air."
from "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bhaja Govindam - 18

सुरमन्दिरतरुमूलनिवासः शय्या भूतलमजिनं वासः।
सर्वपरिग्रहभोगत्यागः कस्यसुखं न करोति विरागः॥१८॥
(भज-गोविन्दं भज-गोविन्दं)

suramandiratarumūlanivāsah śayyā bhūtalamajinam vāsah|
sarvaparigrahabhogatyāgah kasyasukham na karoti virāgah||18||
(bhaja-govindam bhaja-govindam…)
सुरमन्दिर = temple to a deity, तरुमूल = under trees, निवासः = lives, शय्या = bed, भूतल = on the bare ground, अजिनं = deer skin, वासः = apparel, सर्व = all, परिग्रह = possession, भोग = enjoyment (of), त्यागः = giving up, कस्य = which, सुखं = happiness,= not, करोति = does, विरागः = dispassion

Literal Translation:
Living in temples, under trees, with the bare ground as bed, clad only in a deerskin, having renounced the enjoyment of all possessions, which happiness does dispassion not bring?

Hastamaalaka had earlier described a person who had outwardly forsaken the pleasures of the world, but inwardly was still driven by desire. In these lines, Sureshwaracharya describes the happiness of the true renunciate.

In the world, everyone points to another who is happier than him, but the only one who has the courage to declare that he is truly happy is someone who has relinquished all passions and hungers from within. He is truly rich who no longer wants riches. Such a person is independent of the world – he may live under trees in temples and sleep on the ground clad in a deerskin, and yet he is happy. Others may have a wealth of worldly possessions but their mind has the cancer of desire and their intellect is afflicted with conceit.

Gurudev says that a true viraktah (relinquisher) would have reached the stage of desirelessness, not because of running away from life, but because of a sense of true self-sufficiency felt within. When internal riches are the basis of external poverty, there is no pain in renunciation, instead there is infinite joy. Thus a true Master lives a simple and unostentatious life.

Refer to Kaivalya Upanishad, 3.
त्यागनैके अमृतत्वमानशुः ।
tyāganaike amrutatvamānaśuh |
tyAganaike amRutatvamAnaSuH |
The literal meaning of this is: By renunciation alone, immortality is attained.

Refer to Bhagavad Geeta (2-55). Krishna says to Arjuna that when a man completely casts away all the desires of the mind, and is satisfied in the Self and by the Self, then he is considered a man of steady wisdom.

Reference text: Bhaja Govindam by Adi Shankara, commentary by Swami Chinmayananda

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