"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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bhaja Govindam - 21

पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं पुनरपि जननीजठरे शयनम् ।
इह संसारे बहुदुस्तारे कृपयाऽपारे पाहि मुरारे ॥२१॥
(भज-गोविन्दं भज-गोविन्दं…)

punarapi jananam punarapi maranam punarapi jananī śayanam  |
iha samsāre bahudustāre krapayā pāre pāhi murāre ||21||
(bhaja-govindam bhaja-govindam…)

पुनः अपि = again, जननं = birth, मरणं = death, जननी = mother, जठरे = in the womb, शयनम् = sleep, इह = this, संसार = world (cycle of life and death), बहुदुस्तारे = difficult to cross, कृपया = through kindness, पार = cross, पाहि = save, मुरारे = O Murari, O Lord

Literal Translation:
Again birth and again death, again in the mother’s womb, this world is very difficult to cross over. O lord, save me through kindness.

The cycle of life and death is never-ending as a jeeva (the individualized ego) goes through new fields of experience. And with each lifetime, one is given an opportunity to drop vasanas. Instead, the jeeva goes through new experiences and forms new attachments. It is through our ignorance that we attach ourselves to external objects that stimulate the senses, rather than turn the mind inwards towards the Self.

Gurudev has said that when the existing vasanas are exhausted, the mental turbulence caused by thoughts and desires is reduced, and when the mind dies, there is no need for a subtle body, ergo no need for more births. Unconditional surrender to the Lord destroys the ego and the egocentric vasanas. In this verse, we seek the Lord’s grace to deliver us from this world.

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

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