A guide to life – Bhaja govindam


This song was written by the great saint Adi Sankaracharya. It has only thirty one verses. Easy to understand and it serves as a complete guide to lead a life upto the dignity of a human being.

Sankara was a person who had this exceptional combination of jnanam (knowledge), Bhakti (devotion) and karma (action). He died at the age of thirty – two.

It was on one of those days when Sankara and his disciples were travelling that they passed through Banaras, a holy city of India. Along the way, Sankara overheard an old pundit, scholar, memorising Panini’s grammar rules. He observed how the pundit memorised the grammar rules but missed the message of what he was studying and this inspired a masterful oration by Sankara that we call the Bhaja Govindam or Moha Mudgara.

Raga : Raagamaalika

Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda.

Oh fool ! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death.

bhajagovindaM bhajagovindaM
govindaM bhajamuuDhamate .
saMpraapte sannihite kaale
nahi nahi rakshati DukR^iJNkaraNe

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Look for the self in you – You fool.

Why Adi sankara calls us fool?

We human beings are one in infinite among all the living creatures ( includes all bacteria and every tiny creatures). If we are born as a human being – that itself is rare. Of which if you are an introvert then it is very very rare. Only this human being who is an introvert has this rare opportunity to understand the self. If you are a human being and an introvert – Still if you don’t put in the effort to realise the self then -YOU ARE A FOOL.

The example given by him – there are 2 kids in the family. One child has the potential – the other one is not capable. The one who is capable wants to  go to a picnic with his friends before exams. Then we call him a fool and say ” yeh fool – you have the potential !!!!!! Is this the time to go for the picnic? Go after your exams”. A person is called a fool – if he has the potential still not putting the effort. A person who does not have the potential is never called a fool.

Bhaja govindam is repeated three times to conquer the body, mind and intellect and go beyond these three to realise the self.

Don’t get caught in the grammer – understand the essence.

Verse 1 – My opinion and comments :

People generally ask – how long does it take to read the scriptures?

If you are an voracious reader you will take many lives to finish the scriptures.

What does this mean?

Normally, voracious readers spend all the time reading. Never puts any effort to understand the essence and apply it in the life.

So, if you are a person who will not go into the words and analysing the grammer; you will just understand the essence and apply it in your life. Then, may be one life or less than that is required to read the scriptures.

Parents are very happy if their child is a voracious reader. I am warning. These kids for no doubt will have a beautiful vocabulary and grammer. But will not be sure of what is right? and what is wrong ?

They are spending all their time in reading. When will they understand the essence and apply it in life?

So, it is important to read, understand the essence and try applying in life.

People arque things based on some perceptions. Please give your opinions after trying it in your life.

The books I recommend for reading are scriptures and for kids may be the tell me why series – these books give some facts and not opinions (definitely not those tons of story books). May be to cultivate the habit of reading story books can be introduced. But, Please don’t stick to story books through out your life.

When you grow big you can read somebodies opinion and think about it before making it your own knowledge.

Once, an editor of a popular newspaper visited Swami parthasarathy and asked him to give a piece of advice. Swamji said ” If I advice – you will not like it “. He still insisted to give the advice. Swamiji said ” please don’t read your newspaper – read Vedanta treatise”. That editor never came back to Swamiji.

Verse 2: Oh fool ! Give up your thrist to a mass wealth, devote your mind to thoughts of reality instead of thrist. Be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past.

mUDha jahiihi dhanaagamatR^ishhNaaM
kuru sadbuddhiM manasi vitR^ishhNaam.h .
yallabhase nijakarmopaattaM
vittaM tena vinodaya chittam.

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

All human beings are driven by two powerful motivations – acquisition and enjoyment.

We all the time have the urge to acquire something and then enjoy. Once we finish acquiring something then the urge to acquire something else crops in and again we try to acquire that and again try to enjoy that. We keep repeating it all over again.

There is nothing wrong in acquiring wealth. People misunderstand this and disregard wealth and discard wealthy people.

People think at – what they don’t have. First, please be content with what you have (but he is not saying not to aspire more). Get content and then aspire more – intellectually. Please don’t chase others.

Normally, people look at others and grieve that they don’t have that and keep chasing or feeling unhappy.

Drop the thirst and chase. Achieve some higher position rather than aspiring to acquire more.

Example : A rich man owning a yacht gave a party in it. One man just praised him – what a nice party and the yacht. This man showed him an another yacht and said ” mine is 5oo feet and that is 800 feet “.

People are not contented with what they have – rather all the time looking at what others have? All the time thirsting for something they don’t have and chasing. All the time unhappy.

Verse 2 – My opinion and comments :

Wealth includes money, name, fame etc.

The whole world is curious to know what others are doing and all the time chasing and trying to be in par with others. Once we reach that level then we look at someone else.

We need to be contented with what we have.

Just by reading that we need to be contented – do you think you will be able to improve the quality of thinking.

The answer is NO. This is just an information.

I feel if the parents are contended then the kids will naturally feel contended.

If we feel incomplete then we look at the qualities of others and feel unhappy or try to chase for it or give tons of excuses why we could not do that?

First, boost your self confidence and feel complete and contended. Then, aspire more but will not chase or feel greedy.

Examples : Couples who don’t have kids will look at people who have kids and will presume that their life is so complete and perfect. They will feel unhappy or they will keep talking about the efforts they are taking to have a baby or they might say that they are also complete even without a baby as they are very busy people.

If people are giving excuses unnecessarily that itself means they are longing for it.

If we want to get up early in the morning. We give the excuses – my kid refused to sleep in the night or my husband came home late or alarm didn’t ring. Something or the other. But when we really want to getup we will do it irrespective of whatever happens. We need the vairagya.

I still remember – I was trying to get up early but something or the other happened for a week. Then, one day I decided to wake-up early irrespective of whatever happens. On that night, my neighbour’s father-in-law fell down in the bathroom and all the men in the building rushed to open the door and took him to the hospital. When I went to sleep – it was 3 am. I planned to get up by 4 am. I just thought – I am going to getup. I hardly slept and woke up 4 am.

If you are wanting or needing to do something do it rather than giving excuses. You will feel good.

Never look at others and feel incomplete. If you like some qualities in somebody try and adopt it. Don’t feel unhappy that you don’t possess and give excuses.

But, many people have the nature to only look at the problems and will all the time think why it is happening for so and so and why not me?

If you are such a person then only god can help you. Please divert your attention to gain more knowledge. Growing and moving to the next level is the only solution.

Accumulation of anything is called wealth in vedas.

There are people who will read the point on thirst and accumulation of wealth and will think they have some aspect of spirituality in them. But, accumulating stuff in the house is also a wealth.

You are attached and never want to part with it. You will feel everything is useful.

I will like to quote this one other point. Whenever you throw or giveaway anything. The very next day, somebody in the house will feel the need for it. Don’t be attached to this feeling and think you made a mistake by parting with it. It will vanish soon. Even by mistake if you have given away something and later you find the need. Just go and buy. Don’t feel bad for parting. Attachment to anything kills you.

3: Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman’s navel and chest. These are nothing but a modification of flesh. Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.

naariistanabhara naabhiideshaM
dR^ishhTvaa maagaamohaavesham.h .
etanmaaMsaavasaadi vikaaraM
manasi vichintaya vaaraM vaaram.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Women is considered as the most powerful enjoyment by the human being. When compared to wealth and beauty – the thief will choose beauty as it is more powerful than wealth.

People think there is enjoyment in women. Look at the skin, colour, body etc. What happiness they get looking at a beautiful girl?

People also think they feel good when they eat chocolates etc.

Swamiji says – all these are illusion and purely our own imagination. If you drop the imagination then there is no enjoyment in any of these.

Some illiterate looking at the moon thinks that the light comes from the moon. But we know it is not from the moon. He imagines so he believes.

Similarly, we imagine that these things give enjoyment so we believe it.

Verse 3 – My opinion and comments :

How to change your perception?

We need to develop our intellect by reading and thinking.

Say – junk food gives joy. If we think it spoils the mind set and we can never calm down or be active and productive after eating it. Then, may be it is easy to drop it. Junk food is considered as tamasic meaning it will make the mind lazy.

So whatever you think is an enjoyment is actually not an enjoyment. It is not required to drop everything. We can enjoy it – nothing wrong but with the right thinking.

Say, we want to eat the junk food. Then, go head and have it. But, just go and sit down or sleep after eating it. Don’t try to do be active and productive.

4: The life of a man is as uncertain as rain drops trembling on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.

naliniidalagata jalamatitaralaM
tadvajjiivitamatishayachapalam.h .
viddhi vyaadhyabhimaanagrastaM
lokaM shokahataM cha samastam.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Life is uncertain. Have this knowledge.

This does not mean you will be expecting death all the time. Then, you are a pessimist. Don’t expect but be prepared.

We should not expect losses in business it is wise to make provision for breakage / losses etc. When it actually happens we have the required provision.

We know that the life is not certain. Still we don’t want to use the time to do productive things but indulge in all kinds of  enjoyment and remains a prey to negative emotions, physical or mental diseases or both.

Verse 4 – My opinion and comments :

People only expect  wrong things to happen. Never puts in the effort to get prepared. Knowledge of the self can only solve this problem of thinking.

5: So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.

yaavadvittopaarjana saktaH
staavannija parivaaro raktaH .
pashchaajjiivati jarjara dehe
vaartaaM ko.api na pR^ichchhati gehe

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

When a person is fit and able to support the family – then there are so many people around him. Once, he reaches the old age no one is around. He feels incomplete.

Verse 5 – My opinion and comments :

This is a typical situation – all the people face once they reach old age.

They feel they have enjoyment in grand children. They spend all the time with them or wait to be with them to have all the fun.

But, they will realise that it is not fulfilling and they will feel left out and incomplete. They will blame everybody for not giving the due respect to them. They will expect death and fear for the inability of the body as they grow older.

The people who don’t have the kids with them will feel that they have no one to look after and will feel incomplete. The same is the story with people who have their kids living with them.

The only solution to feel complete is to grow spiritually and understand that this is a natural phenomenon. Use this time to yourself to understand the truth. Accept this loneliness with grace. Use it productively.

This will relieve you from the stress and strain. Don’t expect death and fear. Then, you are a pessimist. Understand death is inevitable. Prepare yourself to face it when it comes.

Till then spend the time to understand the truth.

Have you seen sports men and actors reaching the peak and once they fall. They are collapsed. They lead rest of the life with depression.They didn’t prepare for the fall. Don’t expect fall everyday. Just be prepared that it is inevitable.

Have you seen the kids performing amazing shows on TV. They think they have achieved everything in life. Once you achieve something you thirst to achieve more comes. I am sure you cannot achieve everything you thirst for. There will be a fall. They cannot handle it. Because they are not prepared and it is difficult to prepare children with those attitudes.

Because of the thirst to achieve more or to retain what is achieved – I don’t know what unethical ways people adopt.

That is why many people don’t want to retire. Even after retirement they will be part of a charitable trust and fight for the president post or they will give so much donation to see their name on top.

I not saying reaching peak in young age is wrong or don’t be part of a charitable trust or don’t give donation. I am just saying don’t have the thirst and chase.

In Upanishads, there is a verse which explains how to understand the examples quoted in the vedas. It says a point and 3 examples are given with many flaws easy to pin point. But, one point matching with the point explained. It says if you want to grow spiritually just understand the one aspect of this example with the point and don’t waste time by looking at the other aspects of the example which are not matching.

In today’s educational system, children are asked to look at the problems from various angles. A person who has this capacity – tops the entrance exams and gets into the most reputed college / universities. This is a very nice quality. We need to stop this with education and should not apply it in life.

The kids are so trained with so many problems – they look at life from various angles. If somebody is telling something, they will not hear what they are telling rather will look into the other aspects which are irrelevant to the point conveyed. Because of this attitute – the people around you will be annoyed. This aspect is an hindrance to grow spiritually. This is a beautiful quality and ability which will help you in scoring good marks.

Please understand the examples quoted to understand the point. Don’t analyse the other aspects of the example. If you do that you are wasting your time and energy and the essence is lost.

6: When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.

yaavatpavano nivasati dehe
taavatpR^ichchhati kushalaM gehe .
gatavati vaayau dehaapaaye
bhaaryaa bibhyati tasminkaaye

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Always attached to your body. Wants to pamper it. Your body pegs you down to this mundane world.

You should control the sense organs and the sense organs should not control you.

All the time bothered about the body and is curious to know what others are doing to maintain it. But will take no effort to maintain it. Only just bothered and curious.

A dog or any other animal thinks of food and mate. If we human beings also become slave for food and mate then we become any other animal. We are not slaves we are the master.

Don’t be attached to the body. When you die ( soul departs) – know one wants to see the body. This is the status of the body. Understand its futility and leave the attachment.

Verse 6 – My opinion and comments :

Attachment to the body means there mind is all the time bothering about the body.

If they (people attached to the body (body includes sense organs) are doing some work – it is fine. If they are idle – they will think of some pain somewhere, they will look at all the blemishes, they will smell some thing good or bad, they will hear all soughts of sound or they want to enquire about the health of other people or they will wonder how they could do certain work as it will be a strain to the body or they will exercise more and more and will keep counting the calories.

Attachment does not mean we should not take care of the body. Understand – it is just an equipment used by the soul. To see the real self we need to use this but need to leave it to go beyond as how a pole vault sportsman uses the pole and leaves it at the time of jumping.

We need to take care of the body otherwise, it is impossible to understand the truth and enjoy. We need to maintain it clean (bathing, hair cut, nail cut etc) and do some exercise to keep it fit and also to eat well to be healthy.

We need to do only this and forget the body. We should not think of body all the time. We don’t do any of these but will be only bothered and curious about the body.

Feel detached from the body.

The people who are more attached to the body will develop more physical and mental diseases.

7: The childhood is lost by attachment to playfulness. Youth is lost by attachment to woman. Old age passes away by thinking over many past things. But there is hardly anyone who wants to be lost in parabrahman.

taruNastaavattaruNiisaktaH .
pare brahmaNi ko.api na saktaH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

We think  childhood is meant for playing. It is very difficult for us make the child come out of the toy world. He thinks it is everything. If you call a child and ask him/ her to come and hear swamiji’s lecture. Even though we know they cannot understand but just to feel good. They don’t want to come and only wants to play more and more.

Fine. Childhood is spent in playing and in the youth we need to chase the passions. Passions can be love, driving a bike in full speed, jumping from height, diving, golf, cards, movies etc. No time for anything just chasing the passions. Is it possible to make them understand the importance of truth. They will say  “no time now and it will be part of my retirement plan”.

Fine. Childhood is lost, youth is lost. Now old age. What is that we are doing? Constant worry.

If we tell them ” why are you unnecessarily worrying”. They cannot understand. As a child cannot understand beyond the toy world and the youth cannot understand beyond the passion. similarly, the old people will not understand that worry is worth less.

Now, we have crossed the toy world so we understand it is worth less. Similarly, it is possible to understand only when we move forward.

Stop your passion and worry and move forward you will understand these are worthless.

Toy world is important, passion is important and worry is important – then when will you have the time to see the parabrahman in you?

Verse 7 – My opinion and comments :

Do you know the game monopoly or once upon a time – it was called trade.

The child will think all the papers and coins are real money and he will think that he is buying all the countries. He thinks the toy world is real. We are also playing with the child and using the money and buying the places. But we know it is a game. But the child cannot understand it is unreal.

We understood because we have crossed that stage. Only when we cross and move forward we can understand the unreality of the world.

Youth time is only for passion. Couples will spend the whole weekend in fulfilling the passion (diving, movies etc). Never bothered about any of their other duties. Monday morning will make them understand ; laundry not done, things are not in place to find. Both of them blaming each other.

I am not saying fulfilling your passion is not right. Please fulfill it and enjoy every bit of it at the same time understand the reality.

If this example is not clear. I will give my example.

I am a person not in access with any of the above mentioned passions. So the passion I developed was to have a clean and organised house.

Nobody can escape from passion in youth – if you leave one – you will be caught in another.

Of course, it is a very good and useful passion.

I used to spend most of the time on this. Then, I felt – I am cleaning and again messy. That made me annoyed.

I decided to analyse this passion. I want to have a clean and organised house. There is nothing wrong to have a passion but I should  not get annoyed.

I found – to maintain a house we need to organise, maintain ( put things in the respective place) and clean regularly.

What is organising?

We need to regularly look for things that is not required and throw or give away. Retain only what is required?

I am an expert in this. But when it comes to the maintainence and cleaning  – I was annoyed.

I did so much of organising – still messy.

In India, 80% of the houses have a domestic help – who will come and sweep and swap and clean the vessels.

10 to 12 years back these domestic help used to charge say Rs. 150 to Rs. 300 per month for these jobs. Now, they charge in thousands.

So people when they see the mess; will say – I am paying so much for cleaning – still the house is messy.

If you carefully think you are paying for the cleaning and not for the maintenance and organising. That is why there is a mess. These domestic help normally will not pickup things on the floor before sweeping. Very rare cases they will do that. Even if they pick they will keep it collectively on a bed or chair etc. Because they are paid for cleaning and not clearly for maintaining and organising.

Once, I analysed and understood this – now I am not annoyed to maintain the house.

There are days I need to go out. If I say party – you will tell me party is not important than maintaining. So, I am giving the example of vedanta class. The day I have to go to the class – I cook and do the basic jobs and will not have the time to do the maintenance.

While leaving the house I ignored all these as my desire to attend the class is pulling me. When I came back – I see the mess. The laundry to be done, bathroom to be cleaned, toys all over, beds to be made, the list is endless. Previously I used to be very annoyed saying ” that is why – I don’t want to go anywhere – look at the house etc”.

Now I am prepared and I know just by organising the house it will not be clean. I need to maintain and my cleaning lady will do the rest. This is an endless job. If I decide to do it – I can do it all the time. I need to do others things also.

Previously when I am entering the house from the class my cleaning lady will follow me. So this tension. Now, I changed the timing of my cleaning lady. 6 hours after I come from the class. I finish all my work and then she comes to clean.

Now, my husband also knows about this concept of organising, maintaining and cleaning. Previously if I organise  or maintain – he will tell me -” you want to do all the work – then why are you having a maid and paying her so much”. Previously I didn’t have an answer – now I know – she is for cleaning.

People ask me how often do we need to organise?

This depends on how often you shop and how much you buy?

There are people who will tell me why cannot your husband maintain the house on the day you attend the class. May be possible. I always feel it is my duty to take care of the house. I don’t expect anybody to do any job (happily – this is my nature). Of course, putting things in place is every bodies job. But, there are days when he is in a hurry to go to office that his laundry is not put in the laundry bag or something or the other. I understand that if he has the time he will do that. On week days, he works for 10 to 12 hours a day. And there is only 24 hours in a day. He needs to sleep and rest for 8 hours in a day and left with only 4 hours for cleaning and maintaining (exercise) his body and eating in a relaxed way. My job for the 10 to 12 hours is to do the house hold work. If i cannot – there is no pressure I can do it the next day. I feel it is very unreasonable on the part of the women not working to expect the men to help them in the daily chorus.

But people tell me that husband’s become lazy if they don’t do the work on a daily basis. Yes, of course they will become. By force, we should not make anybody participate in the work. They should volunteer.

Because I am doing without any expectation. The day I fall sick – my family will do everything for me and they put everything in the right place. Much better than me.

If we don’t do the job it is pending for a long time or expect or complain – then they will do it – but not with happiness. If we organise and maintain for them everyday without expecting. Every day when they open the cupboards things are in place.

The one day if clothes are lying around – my husband now will not complain; he says ” vedanta class or bhaja govindam article”. Now, he knows that if it is messy on a day it is with a reason. There are days – I just want to sit down and not willing to do anywork. I will do the minimum and sit down. If there is a mess ; I will tell him – ” I was lazy today”. All these things are accepted because I think it is my duty and I have to do it. There can be some exceptions.

So – where did we start this example – passion.

Passion is important. Aspire and achieve it happily and don’t chase and get annoyed.

Another example of passion : Movies and vacation.

Wanting to visit all the places in the world. Even when they are in a vacation if somebody is suggesting an another place there liking will move to that place and will stop enjoying this vacation. Before one vacation is done the next is planned.

There is nothing wrong in going for a vacation but be careful that you are not over indulging in it.

I remember we planned to visit kashmir with my 3 year old son. By hearing the news my MIL and my mother started their old age passion of worrying. Their words “please think – is it required to visit Kashmir with a 3 year old child”. My FIL was waiting for his meal and my MIL is busy doing the pooja for our safe journey. My mother visiting the astrologer to ensure that it is a good time.

When we went for the vacation – we saw 2 couples from Mumbai. One very young couple,  having a 3 month old child. They said they have gone all around the world – that fellow had the next year list of holidays with him and he is booking in advance and all holidays well planned.

Then the second couple who were retired and still having the passion for site seeing. They have not reached the old age stage of worrying. The old lady just could not bear the cold and still she feel she has to visit more places.

After, looking at them we felt little comfortable.

There are people when they grow old – from site seeing the passion moves to pilgrimage trips.

Once swamiji quoted an example and I am elaborating on my own.

There was a lady who finished seeing all the temples in India. She is still unhappy because somehow for some reason she could not go to guruvayur. She says something is wrong because whenever she plans a trip some thing happens and it gets cancelled. She consults an astrologer and he says ” may be some thing wrong has happened in their  family  and lord Krishna is unhappy with them”. She says ” yes, possible – pandit – that is why -may be I have only grand daughters”. She will perform some pooja and charity to cool the god and make him feel happy.

There is nothing wrong in having a passion but over indulgence and the outlook in pursuing it – is important.

Movies :

Watching movies is not bad. There are lots of good movies. Somebody said ” I don’t know”. When asked what you don’t know. The person said ” I don’t know which is a good movie”. So what do you do?

The person said ” so I watch all movies to find which is a good movie”.

There are people who feel watching movie is a crime and will compel everybody to only read books.

All extremes are bad. Be moderate.

Parents are passing these passion to kids.

These days, kids are pushed hard for the parents passion.

Father likes guitar. So the child is taken to learn guitar. The music teacher is warning. String instruments cannot be learnt at an very young age as there hands are tender.

From one teacher they will go to another teacher. They tell him that ” my child is an exception – he was nodding his head for music even when he was 6 months old “. The teacher asked ” How old is he now?”. Say 8 yrs. The teacher says normally for 12 years and above we teach. Because the parents insisted – he agreed and said ” I will try”.

These parents don’t stop with this – will tell all there friends that their child is learning guitar. The other parents are surprised – how a 8 year old could learn? Then, they come to know of this teacher.

They will also put their kids. Now, this teacher will become an expert teacher for kids guitar. He also charges extra because he is the only one who is handling the kids.

I am not saying, don’t send your kids for classes. It is important but calm down. There is a lot of time in life. I know mothers who will stop feeding milk for the second child to take the first child to the class.

This passion is passed on to the kids. Even they cannot sit at home on weekends.

The kid will start complaining that he or she is not having friends. Do you know why? if the child is in toy world they will have friends. If they move to the other levels like passion and worry. No friends.

There are children who are constantly worrying. Unsatisfied all the time. They will have less friends.

Don’t quote me now – vedanta is saying ” move above to solve problems”. If we move really above like Sankara then no issues. Even he may not have friends but followers.

Similarly, a person in youth is having so many friends and big time boasting about socialising. Then, they must be people who are involved in all kinds of passion. The youth will attract people with passion.

There are people in the youth who will not get along with anybody. Do you know why? either they are in the toy world or in the phase of worrying.

Do you know – why the younger generation is avoiding old people?

The same big reason WORRY. The old people are surprised  “where did we go wrong in the bringing up?”

You have not done any mistake on bringing up the kids. You are all great parents and grand parents.”

The only thing that stops the younger generation to come near them is the WORRY. The child is in the toy world and the youth is in the passion. They cannot stand continues worry.

Worry is important. But, can you imagine worry like thief entering because of some article in newspaper. They want everybody in the house to be careful. Fine. It is a concern if said once. Unfortunately, people in that stage will think worry is important and they will give 10000 logical reasons for it.

Whatever they might say-  it is unnecessary. If they leave worry in old age – they will have people near them. Or else they have to be lonely.

If they leave worry and move above to seek the truth – then they will have followers. The choice is yours.

There are youth with lots of worries. They will look 80 at the age of 18. They will get along very well with the old people.

It is important for the youth to leave the passions or keep it in control to have some time for the seeking the self.

Otherwise, same story of old age – worry and loneliness.

8: Who is your wife ? Who is your son ? Strange is this samsara. Of whom are you ? From where have you come ? Brother, ponder over these truths here.

kaate kaantaa kaste putraH
saMsaaro.ayamatiiva vichitraH .
kasya tvaM kaH kuta aayaataH
tattvaM chintaya tadiha bhraataH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

What does this mean?

Who is your wife?

Don’t say – Mrs. X is my wife. He is not asking you to introduce your wife.

Think – who is she?

You met her one day and from the very next day; you cannot live without her.

What is this attachment ? Who is she?

Swamiji  : Is this your  child?

The couples : yes, swamiji – legitimate.

Swamiji : Is he the real father?

The couples : yes, natural child.

Swamiji : Does the sperm belong to the father?

The couples : yes yes….we are blessed.

Swamiji : How did the sperm come into his body?

The couples : We heard that the food is converted into sperms.

Swamiji : Was the food yours?

The couples : yes, our own agricultural land.

Swamiji : did you sit and brought every seed up with your hands to grow? Who gave you this hunger? without which how can you eat?

Hunger is not yours. Food is not yours. Sperm is not yours. How can you say that this is your child?

He is asking us to ponder on these. All these are mere attachment. He is wondering what is this strange samsara (The cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound) in which we are all entangled in.

Leave the attachment. Wealth is not the problem. My wealth. The my is the problem.

Verse 8 – My opinion and comments :

Son saw a girl. May be shown by the mother.Wanted to marry her. From day one he is attached.

Till 28 years he has not met her. In one day, he got attached.

The mother of the boy was worrying and praying to the GOD all the time for her sons wedding.

Now, he is married. She thanked the god for his blessings.

In few months, worry again. My son – not talking to me. He is all the time taking care of his wife.

He forgot what all I did for him etc etc.

But, unfortunately the mother is not able to find the reason. She will think the DIL or her bringingup is the reason and she will feel …….. I don’t have to explain – all of us know the implications.

Actually, the reason is attachment. The mother forgets that the attachment was passed on by her to the son.

Leave the attachment see the happiness in life.

This concept is very difficult to understand by many. I could understand because of my parents. Absolutely, no attachment. People mistake this as detachment. I feel this can be understood only from parents or by realising the self.

For the time being understand that this attachment is causing all the problems.

9: From Satsangh comes non-attachment, from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion, which leads to self-settledness. From self-settledness comes Jeevan Mukti.

satsaNgatve nissNgatvaM
nissaNgatve nirmohatvam.h .
nirmohatve nishchalatattvaM
nishcalatattve jiivanmuktiH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Satsangh means good company.

Tell me your friends and I will tell you who you are.

From the good company arises detachment.

Good thoughts.

What feelings are you entertaining?

What actions are you doing?

Confusion all the time – Do you know the reason? Wrong thoughts and actions.

Verse 9 – My opinion and comments :

Having a good company is very important.

Normally, people don’t find good friends because of the incompleteness in them.

Understand – we are the supreme. We are very complete.

People don’t understand this and they feel incomplete all the time.

Because of incompleteness (vaccum). There is space for desire and thoughts.

They will look for things in others and will long for it – to fill the incompleteness.

Example :

Couples who don’t have children will feel incomplete and will look at all the couples having a child. They will presume that they are having a happy life.

They will long for it and will think why me?

The couples who have a child will look at people who have 2 kids. They feel only that is complete.

The couples with 2 kids will look at kids who are studying and disciplined. They will try hard to make their kids study and discipline them. They feel only then it is complete.

This is an on going process.

First feel contended and this contentment will give detachment and will give everything in life for you without longing for.

10: What good is lust when youth has fled ? What use is a lake which has no water ? Where are the relatives when wealth is gone ? Where is samsara when the Truth is known ?

vayasigate kaH kaamavikaaraH
shushhke niire kaH kaasaaraH .
kshiiNevitte kaH parivaaraH
GYaate tattve kaH saMsaaraH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

What is the use of lust (very strong sexual desire) when youth is gone and old age is reached.

What is the use of the lake when there is no water in it.

When there is no wealth there will be no relatives.

When the truth is known then there is no need for samsara.

Swamiji is telling that this life is an entanglement. People don’t understand this and they are very comfortable with it.

If we free ourself from this entanglement then we will have freedom.

He explain this with 2 egs,

Eg 1 : Attachment to your house – maintain a proper house we need to do many things. The paint will peal, geyser need to be fixed, screw needs to be tightened, switches needs to be fixed and one tile coming out in the bathroom. We feel it is inevitable and we will keep doing these the whole life and get entangled. Suppose, you have left this house and gone to a new house. You will feel free from the entanglement. Of course, after some time you may have to do the same thing. This example is given to understand freedom from entanglement.

Eg 2 : You are working with a company and you are handling all the problems of it. Suppose, you change the job. You will feel free from entanglement.

If we get the knowledge of truth then we will be free from the entanglement of samsara.

Verse 10 – My opinion and comments :

We are tied up with the attachment to family and kids. We feel it is very important and we can never take time to understand the truth.

I have seen people complaining about relationship issues, managing the family, kids , job etc. If I ask them what is the measure you have taken to solve all this. The answer is ” this is part of life and I am handling all this very well somehow. What to do – I am doing good deeds to get more punniya and this will free me from all the troubles”.

All of them have problems and they are comfortable with it. The only action is some good deeds and some pooja.

You should feel suffocated and get bored of this mundane routine and should feel the need to get out of it.

This does not mean you leave your duties and run away to Himalayas. The solution to free from these unending jobs or entanglement is leave the attachment. Do your duties because it is your duty without cribbing and enjoying initially and later this enjoyment should also vanish. Just doing your duties without any expectations and attachment. Then you will be reasonably free and further the knowledge of the self will give you the full freedom.

11: Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.

maa kuru dhana jana yauvana garvaM
harati nimeshhaatkaalaH sarvam.h .
maayaamayamidamakhilaM hitvaa
brahmapadaM tvaM pravisha viditvaa

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

People have so much arrogance when they are in youth because they have everything. Don’t boast it will soon vanish.

Don’t take pride of wealth and friends. Even they are not permanent.

Don’t get caught in these illusion of the world  – understand the reality and free yourself.

Verse 11 – My opinion and comments :

This example was given in my vedanta class.

A person was hypnotised. In his hand some cold stone was kept. He was told that it was a hot charcoal. He believed and when the hypnotism was over her came home and saw a boil in his hands.

This is the power of your thoughts. It was a cold stone because he believed it to be hot charcoal he got the boil.

There are people who will expect wrong things to happen continuously because of fear and worry and it will happen to them. They will quote “see I said and it happened”. If you keep expecting and believing something to happen – it will happen.

That is why we need to only think good and positive.

We are believing that this world is real so it looks real to us. If we think it is maya or illusion then we can see the truth. My sir says ” even if we get the slightest doubt whether this world is an illusion . Then we can become a philosopher”.

12: Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.

dinayaaminyau saayaM praataH
shishiravasantau punaraayaataH .
kaalaH kriiDati gachchhatyaayuH
tadapi na muJNcatyaashaavaayuH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Everything passes but our desires are there.

We have come to this world to leave the desires. In turn, we are accumulating desires.

Man – Desire = GOD

God + desire = Man

Animals have body and mind. Only we human beings have body,mind and intellect.

We have the intellect to get rid of desire but we are using it to accumulate desire. (Please read my articles on intellect to get better view. I am not repeating it again.)

Desire is referred to as Satan in Christianity, Shaitan in Islam, Mara in Buddhism and Asura in Hinduism.

We need to get rid of the Asura but we are accumulating it.

When we feel incomplete there is a vacuum and it is filled by strong thoughts which gets converted to desire. If we feel complete then there is no place for desire.

13: Oh mad man ! Why this engrossment in thoughts of wealth ? Is there no one to guide you ? There is only one thing in three worlds that can save you from the ocean from samsara. Get into that boat of satsangha quickly. (Stanza attributed to Padmapada.)

kaate kaantaa dhana gatachintaa
vaatula kiM tava naasti niyantaa .
trijagati sajjanasaM gatiraikaa
bhavati bhavaarNavataraNe naukaa

Verse 13 – My opinion and comments :

 If we exercise we will have a perfect body. You are worried of imperfect body if you are not exercising.

You don’t exercise – you worry about the figure. You are not doing your duty. If you do your duty you will get the result. Why are you longing for a perfect body? Is the longing and worrying will give you the perfect body. The answer is No.

If you exercise if your friend or your spouse gets a perfect body – then problem. You need to worry. Every thing is perfectly controlled. Then – why are you worrying and longing? Just do your duty.

There is perfect law and order. Nobody can do anything. If you do and think good you will get good things.

Why are you worrying of wealth, acquisition and enjoyment?

Everything is guaranteed if you lead a perfect life.

Just do your duties perfectly. You will get everything.

By worrying and longing – nothing we will be achieved. So please leave that and get in touch with good company (satsangha).

The law and order of the self is very good. If we do good things the punniya is coming to us and not to anybody else. Don’t doubt this and start worrying. You are under perfect law and order. So just do your duties.

14: There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in saffron, yet others in various colors — all just for a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish ones see it not. (Stanza attributed to Totakacharya.)

jaTilo muNDii luJNchhitakeshaH
kaashhaayaambarabahukR^itaveshhaH .
pashyannapi cana pashyati muuDhaH
udaranimittaM bahukR^itaveshhaH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Sanyasa in mind is what matters and not with the dress.

There are so many people in this field and all are having it as a business for living.

These people are in this field – still they don’t see the truth.

Watch out. You are nowhere near. Start it…. otherwise – it is difficult.

15: Strength has left the old man’s body; his head has become bald, his gums toothless and leaning on crutches. Even then the attachment is strong and he clings firmly to fruitless desires. (Stanza attributed to Hastamalaka.)

aNgaM galitaM palitaM muNDaM
dashanavihiinaM jataM tuNDam.h .
vRiddho yaati gRihiitvaa daNDaM
tadapi na muJNcatyaashaapiNDam.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

How can we get rid of desires ?

May be by indulgence.

A man who has indulged in all desires and he has become old with bald head, no teeth – still his desires are not over.

More indulgence leading to more desires.

A fellow was drinking so much. He knows he is making a mistake. If others also pinpoint he gets angry.

He thought he has to get rid of this habit with indulgence.

He filled his house with lots of alcohol.

He started drinking. He felt uncomfortable and still continued and continued.

He did this for 4 days. He thought this is enough – I am feeling too much. I don’t want this.

He called his friends for a party. Gave them the rest of the alcohol  They were having and he was watching. He boasted saying “see – even now I am not tempted”.

After 6 months one thought came – why not? He said what is this funny thing – I already left. After 2 weeks again – why not, why not. He again controlled. After some time – why not, why not, why not? He started again and drank much more than before.

This example is given to elaborate the point – we cannot get rid of desires by indulgence.

Ravana was supplied apsaras by Indira but still; he wanted Sita.

Verse 15 – My opinion and comments :

We have so far understood that if we feel incomplete. There is vaccum and this space is filled with thoughts. Strong thoughts become desire.

The desires can lead to passion or worry.

We need to eliminate desires to reach the truth.

How can we eliminate desires?

By indulgence we cannot get rid of it.

If we indulge in the passion of site seeing / pilgrimage – we will be wanting to visit more and more places. We will not get contended.

If we watch movies. We will be wanting to see more and more of it.

16: Behold there lies the man who sits warming up his body with the fire in front and the sun at the back; at night he curls up the body to keep out of the cold; he eats his beggar’s food from the bowl of his hand and sleeps beneath the tree. Still in his heart, he is a wretched puppet at the hands of passions. (Stanza attributed to Subodha.)

agre vahniH pR^ishhThebhaanuH
raatrau chubukasamarpitajaanuH .
tadapi na muJNcatyaashaapaashaH

Verse 16 – My opinion and comments :

We cannot get rid of desire by indulgence.

Can we get rid of it by abstinence ?

The answer is NO.

He says the person has no clothes. He feels heat by the sun and fire. He does not even have a bowl to eat. He eats with his hands. Still desires don’t vanish.

Have you seen people who will restrict them from indulgence of all desires. They will presume that they are leading a simple life.

By abstinence of desire – what we get is frustration?

People –  if they are in the spiritual path or to show that they are leading a disciplined life –  will control everything.

What they have got rid is not desire.What they are accumulating is sadness, depression and frustration.

There are also people who will not enjoy the resources they have. Thinking that someone is deprived of it.

I have seen people who will not throw the excess little food and keep it and have the old food.

The reason –  there are so many people without food and we should not waste it.

By eating old food – we cannot have a calm mind.

It is very natural that some food will be excess. If it is too much then it is understandable. But even small quantity is stored.

When I was reading on Rasas (emotions) in Ayurveda. It talks about 2 kinds of emotions namely pity and compassion.

Pity is a negative emotion and compassion is a positive emotion.

There are people who feel pity for some one and will not enjoy the resources blessed for them. If you don’t enjoy what you have – you will not be blessed more.

Get on to the roads like Mother Teresa and devote your life by helping the poor. By storing the little left over food and not using the things properly – you are not helping anybody.

Then, you will argue saying -resources are scarce – it should not be wasted.

You are thinking resources are scarce. So you will get only little.

The world is amazing – all the resources are in abundance.

If we feel it is abundant we will get more. People with wrong thoughts get less and people with good thoughts get more.

We cannot get rid of desires by indulgence and abstinence.

Don’t restrict your life for pity. Feel compassionate and help others if required. Just do the help and forget about it.

17: One may go to gangasagar, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity ! Yet, devoid of jnana, nothing can give mukthi even at the end of a hundred births. (Stanza attributed to Sureshwaracharya.)

kurute gaN^gaasaagaragamanaM
vrataparipaalanamathavaa daanam.h .
GYaanavihinaH sarvamatena
muktiM na bhajati janmashatena

Verse 17 – My opinion and comments :

We have understood that we cannot get rid of desires by indulgence and abstinence.

Next question – Then what can I do?

I will lead a normal life. I will visit temples and will do pooja. I will fast and give charity.

Even if you live like this for 100 births – you will not get rid of desires.

18: Take your residence in a temple or below a tree, wear the deerskin for the dress, and sleep with mother earth as your bed. Give up all attachments and renounce all comforts. Blessed with such vairagya, could any fail to be content ? (Stanza attributed to Nityananda.)

sura ma.ndira taru muula nivaasaH
shayyaa bhuutala majinaM vaasaH .
sarva parigraha bhoga tyaagaH
kasya sukhaM na karoti viraagaH

Verse 18- My opinion and comments :

We cannot get rid of desires by indulgence, abstinence and leading a normal life.

The only solution is leaving the attachment and the possessiveness of the possessions.

There is nothing wrong in possessions and enjoyment; provided you are not possessive.

Normally people will deny possessions and enjoyment but they will have the attachment with every little thing they have.

How do you know that you have attachment?

If you lose or if some thing is broken or it is misused – you will feel bad. You will not happily part with anything with anybody.

Suppose, I wanted a particular show piece for my house. I bought it and keep it. Some how – when my kids were playing – it got broken. I will warn the kids to be careful next time and clean up the place. Then, I have no attachment to it. Even though I wanted it. There is nothing wrong in possession and enjoyment.

If I am going to talk about it for 10 days and whenever kids are playing – I am going to warn them to be careful. I will think 100 times before buying the next show piece for the house. Then I have attachment.

People misunderstand this as a careless attitude.

Say for example Janaka and Sudama. Janaka had possessions and Sudama had no possessions still both of them practiced non – attachment.

Whether you possess things or not does not matter. What matters is your attachment ?

How can you get rid of attachment?

If we feel incomplete and not contended with what we have. We cannot part with anything.

If we feel complete we can give anything to anybody and never bother about anything.

Wealth is not the problem. My wealth is the problem. Remove the My i.e attachment.

If you remove the attachment; you will enjoy things much more.

19: One may take delight in yoga or bhoga, may have attachment or detachment. But only he whose mind steadily delights in Brahman enjoys bliss, no one else. Stanza attributed to Anandagiri.

yogarato vaabhogaratovaa
saNgarato vaa saNgaviihinaH .
yasya brahmaNi ramate chittaM
nandati nandati nandatyeva

Verse 19 – My opinion and comments :

If you are able to keep the mind steadily only on Brahman – then none of your actions matter. Whether you do  yoga or you are always in enjoyment or you have attachment or detachment.

First – he said eliminate desire by non attachment. Now, he is saying if you cannot do that – then think of brahman in mind all the time. This does not mean you will not do any work. You do any work that does not matter just keep the mind in the lord.

20: Let a man read but a little from giitaa, drink just a drop of water from the ganges, worship murari (govinda) just once. He then will have no altercation with Yama. (Stanza attributed to dR^iDhabhakta.)

bhagavad.h giitaa kiJNchidadhiitaa
gaNgaa jalalava kaNikaapiitaa .
sakRidapi yena muraari samarchaa
kriyate tasya yamena na charchaa

Verse 20 – My opinion and comments :

He is explaining bhakti yoga now. Understand the essence of Gita and do some holy pooja. Then, there is no death for you.

21: Born again, death again, birth again to stay in the mother’s womb ! It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh Murari ! Redeem me through Thy mercy. (Stanza attributed to Nityanatha.)

punarapi jananaM punarapi maraNaM
punarapi jananii jaThare shayanam.h .
iha saMsaare bahudustaare
kRipayaa.apaare paahi muraare

Verse 21 – My opinion and comments :

Child is born. Crawl, walk, talk,nursery, school, college, Degree, marriage, relationship,youth, old age.

We are born invalid (animals pupps go to their mother for milk. Mother has to pickup the baby to feed).Then captive of parents till 12 yrs (some parents don’t leave even after 12). Then, little free and in old age again invalid.

Are you not bored of this cycle of Samsara. Just think…What is that which is motivating you to move?

The answer is DESIRE.

22: There is no shortage of clothing for a monk so long as there are rags cast off the road. Freed from vice and virtue, onward he wanders. One who lives in communion with God enjoys bliss, pure and uncontaminated, like a child and as someone intoxicated. (Stanza attributed to Nityanatha.)

rathyaa charpaTa virachita kanthaH
puNyaapuNya vivarjita panthaH .
yogii yoganiyojita chitto
ramate baalonmattavadeva

Verse 22 – My opinion and comments :

Who is a perfect person?

The one who does not give any trouble to the world.

He wears rags off the road. This does not mean we will go and pick the rags from the road and wear.

What he means is standardisation. If you think you need 50 clothes have 50. But, don’t go beyond. You need one watch. If you want to buy the best brand – buy it (if you can afford comfortably). Don’t buy a dozen. If the watch stops working then buy another one. These are examples. You fix your standard.

There is no right and wrong. Standardise and don’t accumulate. Even if you like something and you buy – nothing wrong. Be careful not to accumulate (10 watches, 50 bags etc) and don’t get attached.

The one who does not give any trouble to the world. He wears rags off the road. He performs actions without good or bad desire.

Our actions are prompted by desire. Good desire – result in good actions. Bad desire leading to bad actions. A perfect person will do only action without any good or bad desire. What is ought to be done. He is not doing what he is liking to do. Then, he is a perfect Sanyasi.

He is compared to a child or mad man. Both of them don’t have worry of the past and anxiety of the future.

Do you know what makes you tired and why you don’t have time?

The worries of the past and the anxiety of the future is taking all the time. Calm the mind – you will have all the time and your productivity will improve drastically.

If we are not tired ( no thoughts of worry and anxiety) we don’t need a weekend or a vacation.

23: Who are you ? Who am I ? From where do I come ? Who is my mother, who is my father ? Ponder thus, look at everything as essenceless and give up the world as an idle dream. (Stanza attributed to Surendra.)

kastvaM ko.ahaM kuta aayaataH
kaa me jananii ko me taataH .
iti paribhaavaya sarvamasaaram.h
vishvaM tyaktvaa svapna vichaaram.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

You are born out of imagination. Then you don’t exist. Everything is an illusion. World is like a dream world – no substance.

Think about – who are you? who am I?

24: In me, in you and in everything, none but the same Vishnu dwells. Your anger and impatience is meaningless. If you wish to attain the status of Vishnu soon, have samabhava always. (Stanza attributed to Medhaatithira.)

tvayi mayi chaanyatraiko vishhNuH
vyarthaM kupyasi mayyasahishhNuH .
bhava samachittaH sarvatra tvaM
vaaJNchhasyachiraadyadi vishhNutvam.h

Keep the mind quiet. Then, you will understand there is no desire.

25: Do not waste your efforts to win the love of or to fight against friend and foe, children and relatives. See yourself in everyone and give up all feelings of duality completely. (Stanza attributed to Medhaatithira.)

shatrau mitre putre bandhau
maa kuru yatnaM vigrahasandhau .
sarvasminnapi pashyaatmaanaM
sarvatrotsR^ija bhedaaGYaanam.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Ignorance of the self has created this differentiality. All relations are your imaginations and you have created it. If you lose contact with the self ; you will get attached to everything. Mind will get attracted if you don’t have the intellect.

If you are attached to something – you distance them. You are restrained from your kids because of attachment. This attachment is passed on to the kids. Example : we give the teddy bear to the kids and teach them how to get attached.

Marriages collapse in western countries more than in India – Do you know why?

The big reason attachment and worry.

Marriage is like a temple

Resting on two pillars

If they come too close to each other

The temple will collapse.

In India, the women has her own duties and the husband manages his business. Whereever they go they are not sitting with eachother.

But, in western culture – the women will cook – the man will stir the dish. Both of them will earn. They will sit together eat together. All the time worried of each other. Husband going on tour. The husband will call 25 times from the airport. How are you? Swamiji is asking – is the wife in the ICU – that the husband will have to call so many times to enquire. The moment they reach anywhere they have to inform that they have reached. So much worry and attachment.

This is no more a western culture. Like a virus – it is coming to India.

The women is not doing the household work on their own. She feels tortured. She wants the husband to participate in everything.

Even though some women is doing the household and the man is doing his business for running the family. The world will not leave them. Are you not bored of the household work? Why don’t you take up a job ? Ask your husband to participate in household work – otherwise he will become lazy and it will be difficult in old age? Why are you listening to your husband all the time? Is your husband taking all the financial decisions? you need to participate?

Typical Indian women – please don’t fall a prey to these words. They are somebodies worry.

Division of roles is very important and non interference in others areas is very very vital. This gives freedom for both of them. No attachment . No worries. The wife will run the house and the husband will earn for the living. The wife will not bother about the money and the husband will not bother about the house. In emergencies they will help each other.They will together bringup the kids.

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; – Shakespeare.

Think this world is a stage. Do your role. Don’t get involved and attached. A person playing the role of a king in the play cannot assume that he is a king. Don’t carry your roles. Just play it.

26: Give up lust, anger, infatuation, and greed. Ponder over your real nature. Fools are they who are blind to the Self. Cast into hell they suffer there endlessly. (Stanza attributed to Bharativamsha.)

kaamaM krodhaM lobhaM mohaM
tyaktvaa.atmaanaM bhaavaya ko.aham.h .
aatmaGYaana vihiinaa muuDhaaH
te pachyante narakaniguuDhaaH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Modification of desire is lust, anger, infatuation and greed.

A boy sees a girl from his bedroom window. She is his neighbour. When she is there he is comfortable. Because of attachment you feel comfort. If he sees her more and more – he gets the desire to enjoy. By thinking more and more the thoughts become thicker. The thicker thoughts makes you enjoy and possess. When this thicker thought is interrupted then the deflected thought is anger. If you get anger; you are deluded, arrogant (say – do you think whom are you speaking to).

If we calm the mind life is a heaven. If the mind is worried the life is a hell.

We might be blessed with a life of heaven with our worries in the mind we can make it a hell.

We might be blessed with a life of hell with our calm mind we can make it a heaven.

We can make a hell out of a heaven or heaven out of hell.

27: Regularly recite from the Gita, meditate on Vishnu [thro’ Vishnu sahasranama] in your heart, and chant His thousand glories. Take delight to be with the noble and the holy. Distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy. (Stanza attributed to Sumatira.)

geyaM giitaa naama sahasraM
dhyeyaM shriipati ruupamajasram.h .
neyaM sajjana saNge chittaM
deyaM diinajanaaya cha vittam.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

  • Don’t read gossip – read the scriptures.
  • Physically be with good company.
  • Karma, bhakti and jnana yoga.
  • Don’t accumulate wealth.

What is Karma yoga?

After you. Leave this attitude – you wanting to come first all the time. Can I be of service to you. Give and don’t expect anything. This is the attitude of karma yoga.

What is Bhakti yoga?

Surrender to the areas of ignorance. Eg. We need to surrender to the doctor.

We cannot believe anybody – we cannot surrender.

People reciting slokas and mantras. Taking rounds in temples. Tying very colourful thread on hands and all parts of the body.

If we recite mantras – may be the throat muscle will improve.

If we take rounds in temple – may be the calf muscle will improve.

People have threads tied for years on their hands. Scared to remove. It is full of bacteria.

What is jnana yoga ?

nityaanitya vivekavichaaram – understanding the permanent and impermanent in life is jnana.

Wealth accumulates – men decay – Oliver goldsmith.

This does not mean wealthy men day.

Even the poor can accumulate.

28: He who yields to lust for pleasure leaves his body a prey to disease. Though death brings an end to everything, man does not gives up the sinful path.

sukhataH kriyate raamaabhogaH
pashchaaddhanta shariire rogaH .
yadyapi loke maraNaM sharaNaM
tadapi na muJNchati paapaacharaNam.h

Verse 28 – My opinion and comments :

  • Instant pleasures – junk food – Nectar in the beginning is poison in the end.
  • Exercise – get up early – Struggle in the beginning and it is a nectar later.
  • You will give yourself relief – if you do every act of your life as if it were the last.

Discipline :

Most of the Indian families follows some discipline in life. Like waking up early, eating fresh food, taking the blessing of god and elders etc.

The parents put in all the effort to make their children do it every day.

Poojas are performed regularly.

The son later in life is not performing any of these so called disciplines. The parents are worried. I brought my son with so many disciplines. Where did everything go? May be they will blame his hostel life? or his busy schedule etc.

Do you really know the reason : he was just doing it mechanically and never felt it from within. This is what will happen when we make the kids do it forcefully.

Have you seen parents taking lot of effort to reach a particular place or function on time. The father didn’t use the whip literally. The whole family with great commotion reached the place five minutes in advance. The guest praising the father – that his family always comes on time. There is no smile on the face of the family members.

The kids grow and the mother is asking them to get ready on time. The reply of the child ” Mom – I have come on a holiday – I want to relax – I cannot get ready on time”.

Did you understand ? Your child instead of learning the discipline of reaching on time learned that getting some where on time is a lot of effort. We cannot reach on time in a relaxed way.

Maintaining time is a very important quality to be developed. But this has to be done in a relaxed way. Sometimes, if you are not able to make it up – don’t bother. Never make it a great effort for the kids.

Have you seen Indians later in life settled in abroad coming to India. They will think they are so disciplined and they never throw trash on the road etc. When they come to India they become Indians again. Do you know – why they were disciplined in between.  The rules and restriction of the country. Once, they feel there is no rules they are not disciplined.

In India, we are not bound by any rules and restrictions. There are many Indians who do it from within without any rules and restrictions. If they are doing on their own from within – then they will follow it whereever and whenever.

Most Indians think they are spiritual because they follow some good actions. They are followed because of some habit. They are attached even to those. If they don’t keep the lamp in a particular way in the pooja they are sacred and worried that something will happen.

Please follow discipline from within and with ease. Don’t get attached even to them.

29: Wealth is not welfare, truly there is no joy in it. Reflect thus at all times. A rich man fears even his own son. This is the way of wealth everywhere.

arthamanarthaM bhaavaya nityaM
naastitataH sukhaleshaH satyam.h .
putraadapi dhana bhaajaaM bhiitiH
sarvatraishhaa vihiaa riitiH

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

Electricity is dangerous. It does not mean – Don’t have electricity. If you don’t handle electricity carefully you will be burned.

Wealth is calamatics. It does not mean  – Don’t have wealth.

Wealth can only buy you sense objects. It is not an enjoyment as the light from the moon is not from the moon. We imagine so we believe.Reflect on this truth.

30: Regulate the pranas, remain unaffected by external influences and discriminate between the real and the fleeting. Chant the holy name of God and silence the turbulent mind. Perform these with care, with extreme care.

praaNaayaamaM pratyaahaaraM
nityaanitya vivekavichaaram.h .
jaapyasameta samaadhividhaanaM
kurvavadhaanaM mahadavadhaanam.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

  • Life’s activity must be controlled.
  • Follow discipline.
  • There are people who tell that they do yoga and pranayamam. Swamiji says first – Keepup time.
  • Have a watch on when you sleep and when you wake up?
  • What you eat?
  • Do you read scriptures?
  • When do you read?
  • Jnana is not the degree or fluency or the scholar. It is the understanding of what is permanent and what is impermanent? What is real and what is unreal?
  • Don’t expect death. Prepare for it.
  • Life is impermanent.
  • Contemplate on the Truth.
  • Then Japa.
  • In the silence of meditation – you realise the self.

31: Oh devotee of the lotus feet of the Guru ! May thou be soon free from Samsara. Through disciplined senses and controlled mind, thou shalt come to experience the Indwelling Lord of your heart !

gurucharaNaambuja nirbhara bhakataH
saMsaaraadachiraadbhava muktaH .
sendriyamaanasa niyamaadevaM
drakshyasi nija hRidayasthaM devam.h

Swami Parthasarathy explanation :

  • Feet of the guru is worshiped.
  • Guru stands on foot.
  • He is the representation of the reality.
  • The feet represents the reality.
  • When you prostrate – my head and heart merge with the reality you stand on – This is devotion.
  • shift the suzerainty from the objects to the yourself – that is the scriptures.
  • Senses are governing you. You govern the senses.
  • Control the senses and the mind, show your devotion tot he ultimate reality, you will behold the lord in your heart.
  • You will gain the ultimate state of self – realisation.

Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool ! Other than chanting the Lord’s names, there is no other way to cross the life’s ocean.

bhajagovindaM bhajagovindaM
govindaM bhajamuuDhamate .
nahi pashyaamo bhavataraNe

Traditionally, the first verse is repeated to imply that we are not ending but beginning.

In Bhagavad gita, krishna after telling the entire Gita to Arjuna in the eighteenth chapter. Which is the last chapter says ” Finally it is your life and it is your choice – Do whatever you wish”.

All the very best……………………………………….


2 responses »

  1. Hi Uma, I was wondering why there were no articles posted for long time…now I understand, a wonderful piece…I have just started it, will post my comments once I complete the whole article.

    Appreciate this very much,


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