[Advaita-l] Adi Sankara's Bhaja Govindam - 15

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun May 22 20:35:56 EDT 2022

(Continued from previous post)
Verse 18
सुरमन्दिरतरुमूलनिवास:, शय्याभूतलमजिनं वास: ।
सर्वपरिग्रह भोगत्याग:, कस्य सुखं न करोति विराग: ॥
suramandiratarumūlanivāsa:, śayyābhūtalamajinaṁ vāsa: ।
sarvaparigraha bhōgatyāga:, kasya sukhaṁ na karōti virāga: ॥
Living under a tree in the temple (सुरमन्दिरतरुमूलनिवास: suramandiratarumūlanivāsa:), dressed in an animal [deer] skin (अजिनं वास: ajinam vāsa: ), sleeping on bare earth (भूतलंशय्या: 
bhootalam shayyā: ), and renouncing all possessions and enjoyments (सर्वपरिग्रह भोगत्याग : sarvaparigraha bhogatyāga: ) [the renounced lives]. To whom (कस्य kasya ) will dispassion
(विराग: virāga: ) [of this sort] not bring happiness (सुखम् न करोति sukham na karoti) ?
Happiness is purely an internal state of mind, the real nature of the Self according to our scriptures, and not gained by external possessions and circumstances. Indeed, the desire
for possessing anything (प्रवृत्तिpravṛtti) arises from some sort of a sense of inadequacy of not having something, while the urge to get rid of something (निवृत्तिnivṛtti)
is the result of some discomfort or inadequacy from the item which is desired to be removed. A person who realizes the completeness of the Self has no needs, either to possess
or dispossess. If that be the case, is there anyone who will not realize one’s happiness through dispassion?
The life of an ascetic is in direct contrast to a material life marked by the desire and constant pursuit of various possessions. It is directed totally inwards and does not depend
on externalities for happiness. Such a person is happy in and by himself (आत्मन्येव आत्मना तुष्ट:ātmanyeva ātmana tushta: – Bhagavat Gita, 2-55).
Virāga: (विराग:), dispassion, is freedom from rāga or craving. Along with the shedding of rāga, virāga involves also the shedding of dvesha, all types of dislikes and hatred.
The shedding of cravings is quite different from developing an aversion and does not mean that one should not enjoy anything; it is just that one should give up any dependency on
externalities for one’s enjoyment. One who understands the complete nature of the Self cannot feel incomplete and have cravings. Similarly, the one who sees the world as being
ordered by a higher force can have no dislikes or hatred. He does not just tolerate, he accepts. Vairāgya is not an act, but a constant state of one’s disposition. The source of
such a disposition can only be knowledge of the Self (ज्ञान: jnāna). For the non-ascetic, a life of karma-yoga, namely performing one’s duties with the spirit of both
prasāda buddhi and iswarārpana buddhi, is a means to developing a right amount of virāga to avoid becoming a slave to one’s cravings and dislikes.
Verse 22
रथ्याचर्पटविरचितकन्थ: , पुण्यापुण्तविवर्जितपन्थ: ।
योगी योगनियोजितचित्तो, रमते बालोन्मत्तवदेव ॥
rathyācarpaṭaviracitakantha: , puṇyāpuṇtavivarjitapantha: ।
yōgī yōganiyōjitacittō, ramatē bālōnmattavadēva ।।
Wearing a quilt made of rags found in the street (रथ्याचर्पटविरचितकन्थ:, rathyācarpaṭaviracitakanthah), traversing a path beyond merit and demerit (पुण्यापुण्तविवर्जितपन्थ: puṇyāpuṇtavivarjitapanthah ),
and with mind joined by yoga (योगनियोजितचित्तोyōganiyōjitacittah ), the yogi (योगी, yōgī) revels (रमते, ramate) as a child or a madman (बालोन्मत्तवदेव bālōnmattavadēva).
The wearing of rags implies the lack of any possessions or any obsession with the body. The fact that the rags come from a roadway on which grand chariots are driven shows the
lack of any concern for appearances. The wise man also does his duties without a sense of doership and is therefore absolved of all its effects in the form of merit or demerit.
His mind is focused on yoga or union with Brahman. Such a yogi is thefore able to revel without any worries or inhibitions like a child or a man who has lost his mind.
(Continued in next post)

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