[I found a very good and interesting book called “Bhaja Govindham of Sri Sankaracharya”. “Bhaja Govindham” means ‘Worship Govinda’, and Sri Sankaracharya is the great ancient sage who wrote extensive commentaries on many of the ancient Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. That is all I am going to say to introduce my new series of “GEMS FROM THE ASHRAMS” Series. As I search, discover, and read these really rare and precious Spiritual Philosophy which aims to make the reader a liberated and divine soul let me also share this Knowledge with you as I do. Please note that the great saint refers to both genders even when he says “woman”, this means that women should change “woman” to “man” (and vice-versa) because the message is for the Self, – the real identity of a person. Enjoy the read, it is poetry.]
“Attached to play, childhood is lost; attached to woman, youth is lost; brooding over many things, old age passes away. But none there is who wants to be lost in Para Brahman.” – Bhaja Govindham
Hard indeed is it to get a human life. It is precious but short. Before this short period of man’s lease on earth expires, he has to transcend the very bounds of his existence, annihilate the ego – the arrogating self, and rediscover the true nature of his eternal and infinite Self.
He has his life at hand and he has to extract utmost from it. But in his pathetic imbecility, man does not understand the preciousness of life. Cheated by Maya, he wanders in the sidewalks and dark alleys forgetting the goal he has to achieve, forgetting the purpose for which he is born. Before Yama (Lord of Death) overtakes him, he has to outpace him and realise his immortal nature.
The volcano is rumbling ferociously beneath his feet and yet he chooses to sit complacently, flapping idly the wings of his imagination, indulging himself in flippant talk and behaviour. Lured by passion, hoodwinked by lust and greed, duped by desires and trampled upon by the armed heel of delusion, he wanders in the world aimlessly, grabbing at things which give him a touch of momentary joy and putting him into the abyss of damnation. He creates and suffers the most violent commotions and passes his days in intense agony and misery.
Man’s mind is a biological luxury and is inestimably precious. The mind has infinite powers. If he so desires, he can firmly reject inappropriate thoughts, hold on tenaciously to the goal, and scale the high peaks of perfection. In a moment he can lift himself up from the ridiculous to the sublime. But alas, he is lost in the complexities of life and stands perplexed in their amazing varieties and charms. His eyes do not see eternal beauty because they are satisfied with the fleeting forms of beauty; this mind does not find Eternal Bliss because it contents itself with passing pleasures.
In childhood, for more than a decade, play and games take away all his time. Nothing but play delights him then. The days of dolls and plays disappear and the days of youth come with its pressing passions and lust. Charmed by the sweetheart’s look and words, youth is lost in the armorous sports of the Cupid. With the wasting of energies and power, the dreaded old age gains admittance forcing the man to bend upon his staff for support.
Despair draws long lines on his face! The grey hair and the tottering frame cling on to fruitless hopes and anxieties. The infirm frame entertains even at this stage torturous thoughts because he fails to control his mind and tame his passions when he had had enough strength and energy in his body and will-power in his mind. Even then, when so much of sorrow, suffering and misery batters him like waves of the turbulent sea, he does not wholeheartedly turn to God; his fickle mind does not take delight in the thoughts of God. He must meet death and yet he goes on planning as if he is going to live forever.
Let him always remember that he has to stage a walk-out, sooner or later, from mundane existence, and so earnestly strive to break every yoke to which he is bound. Eternal salvation should be the rivet of his life.
- From Bhaja Govindham of Sri Sankaracharya – By Swami Gurudasananda (Ramakrishna Math publication)