"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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bhaja Govindam - 22

रथ्याचर्पटविरचितकन्थः पुण्यापुण्यविवर्जितपन्थः ।
योगी योगनियोजितचित्तो रमते बालोन्मत्तवदेव ॥२२॥
(भज-गोविन्दं भज-गोविन्दं…)

rathyācarpataviracitakanthah punyāpunyavivarjitapanthah |
yogī yoganiyojitacitto ramate bālonmattavadeva ||22||
(bhaja-govindam bhaja-govindam…)

रथ्या = road, चर्पट = rags, विरचित = made of, कन्थः = shawl, पुण्या = merit, पुण्य = lacking merit, विवर्जित = beyond/without, पन्थः = path, योगी = Yogin/sage, योग = the way to be,  नियोजित = joined, चित्त = mind, रमते = sports/revels, बाल एव = as a child, उन्मत्त एव = as a mad man   

Literal Translation:
The Yogin who wears just a shawl made from rags, who walks the path that is beyond merit and demerit, whose mind is joined in perfect yoga (with consciousness), he revels (in consciousness) like a child or a madman.  

This stanza is attributed to Nityananda, a disciple of Shankara.

A person with his mind installed in the Self has risen above name and form. He no longer has a sense of individuality. Such a person is described in the scriptures as living as a child or a madman or a ghost, meaning that to us, he appears to be a child, madman or a ghost - not that he has become one.
A child does not remember the misery of the previous moment, nor does a child worry about the future. Children live innocently in the present, spontaneously expressing the emotion of the moment. A Person of Perfection lives similarly – always living the present moment to its fullest, with no anxiety from the past and no worry about the future.

A madman living among people, is engrossed in his own world. Similarly, a Person of Realization lives in his own world. Though he lives amidst people, his mind is installed in the Self. He lives above likes and dislikes, and his inner experiences would be strange for the rest of the world to understand.  

Such a sage lives in equipoise. He is above the pair-of-opposites – heat/cold, joy/sorrow, pleasure/pain, that are felt only those that identify with the jeeva. He walks alone and silently through dense forests and secluded places without fear like a ghost - others may fear his presence, he fears none.

A Realized Master lives a life that is beyond merit and demerit. Merit and demerit do not affect the Perfect. The actions of such a mahapurusha – great person, are not to be judged – such is the injunction of the Vedas. Such a Person of Perfection, with his mind removed from passion, lust and greed, is no longer a slave to his body. He takes care of the body so it can serve him, and so he does cover it. A thin quilt of rags patched together (“godadi” ) is sufficient protection for the body.  

Everyone in society has privileges and responsibilities. A Person of Perfection who takes no privileges from society is also free of its responsibilities. But as he sees the world as an extension of the Self, is constantly conscious of the common substratum of all creation, his love encompasses all. And though he demands nothing, he spends each moment selflessly, working hard and sincerely for the greater good.

Gurudev says that whereas most people in the world are focused on minimum work and maximum gain, the Man of Perfection works tirelessly without demanding much more from the world than the basic necessities. Since he has nothing to gain from this world, he does not add to the fierce competition for the world’s resources.  

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

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