30.04 SHANKARA'S SHATA-SHLOKI: SHLOKAS 16 TO 20
tishhTan gehe gRhesho’py-atithir-iva nijaM dhAma gantuM cikIrshhuH
dehastham dukha-soukhyaM na bhajati sahasA nirmamatva-abhimAnaH /
AyAtr-AyAsyat-IdaM jalada-paTalavad-yAtR yAsyaty-avashyaM
dehAdyaM sarvam-eva pravidita-vishayo yashca tishhTaty-ayatnaH //
gRheshaH : The family man
gehe tishhTan api : though dwelling at home,
nirmamatva-abhimAnaH: devoid of any feeling of mine-ness,
atithir-iva : (remains) like a guest,
nijaM dhAma gantuM cikIrshhuH : longing to reach his own destination (moksha, Brahman)
na bhajati : feels not
sahasA : with fervour
dukha-soukhyam : either the misery or the happiness
dehasthaM : belonging to the body or mind (i.e., belonging to the home).
dehAdyaM sarvam eva : Whether it be the body or anything else,
AyAtR : what is bound to occur (or come)
avashyaM AyAsyati : will surely occur (or come);
yAtR : What is bound to be missed (or to go)
(avashyaM) yAsyati : will surely go or be missed,
jalada-paTalavat : like a gathering of clouds.
iti idaM pravidita-vishayaH yaH : He who knows the Truth thus
ayatnaH tishhTati : remains at ease.
Note: Mark this shloka that tells us how to be an advaitin in practice. The Truth “Que sera, sera” is not a fatalistic view, but is a Vedantic conclusion arrived at because of the seeker’s need to ‘reach his own destination’ (‘nijam dhAma gantuM cikiRshhuH’).
shaktyA nirmokataH svAd-bahir-ahir-iva yaH pravrajan svIya-gehAt
chhAyAM mArga-drumotthAM pathika iva manAk samshrayet deha-samsthAM /
kshhut-paryAptaM tarubhyaH patita-phalam-ayaM prArthayet bhaikshhyam-annaM
svAtmA-rAmaM praveshhTuM sa khalu sukha-mayaM pravrajet-dehato’pi //
yaH : He who
shaktyA : by strength of will,
pravrajan : leaving
svIya gehAt : from one’s home
ahiH iva : like a snake
svAt nirmokataH bahiH : out of its slough,
manAk samshrayet : might occasionally attend to
deha-samsthAM : the sustenance of his body
pathika iva : like a traveller
mArga-drumotthaM chAyAM : (resorting to) the shade of a wayside tree;
ayam : (however) he
tarubhyaH prArthayet bhaikshhyam-annaM: should beg of trees (only) that much food
kshut-paryAptaM : as would be enough to appease his hunger.
saH pravrajet : He should go forth
dehataH api : also from his body
praveshhTuM : in order to enter
svAtma-ArAmaM : the garden of his own Self
sukha-mayaM : that is full of bliss.
Note: Recall that when Lord Krishna summarises, at the end of the 18th chapter, the whole of his teaching, his description (in two shlokas : 52, 53) of the behaviour of the Seeker of the Ultimate, includes ‘laghvAshI’ – meaning, the one who eats less, that is, only that much to support the life – as one of the essential qualifications.
kAmo buddhA-vudeti prathamam-iha manasy-uddishaty-artha-jAtaM
tad-gRhNAtI-ndriy-Asyais-tad-anadhi-gamataH krodha Avirbhavec-ca /
prAptA-varthasya samrakshhaNa-matir-udito lobha etat-trayaM syAt
sarveshhAM pAta-hetus-tad-iha matimatA tyAjyam-adhyAtma-yogAt //
iha : In this world
kAmaH : desire
udeti : arises
prathamam : first
buddhau : in the intellect;
manasi : in the mind
uddishati : it directs (the individual)
artha-jAtaM : (towards) various objects
tat gRhNAti : (mind) then grasps the objects
indriyAsyaiH: through the medium of the senses.
tad-anabhigamataH : At the non-obtaining of that object
Avirbhavet ca : there also springs
krodhaH : anger.
prAptau : When the aim is attained
uditaH : there arises
lobhaH : greed (in the form of)
samrakshhaNa-matiH : eagerness for the preservation
arthasya: of that object.
Etat trayaM : These three
sarveshhAM pAta-hetuH syAt: are the cause of every one’s ruin.
matimatA : By the wise
tyAjyaM : it is to be shunned
adhyAtma-yogAt : by constant meditation of the Self.
Note: One would naturally recall the famous ‘dhyyato vishhayAn pumsaH ..’ shloka from Gita Ch.II. But recall also the shloka (XVI-21) ‘trividhaM narakasyedam ...’ .
dAnaM brahmArpaNaM yat-kriyata iha nRbhiH syAt-kshhamA’krodha-samjnA
shraddhA-stikyaM ca satyaM sad-iti param-ataH setu-samjnaM catushhkaM /
tat-syAt-bandhAya jantor-iti catura imAn-dAna-pUrvaish-caturbhiH
tIrtvA shreyo’mRtam-ca shrayata iha naraH svar-gatiM jyotir-AptiM //
nRbhiH iha : By people, in this world,
yat : whatever
kriyate : is done
brahmArpaNaM : as an offering (dedication) to the brahman
dAnaM : is the true charity;
akrodha-samjnA : An action based on absence of anger
kshhamA : is the true patience;
AstikyaM : Beleief in the existence of the Self
shraddhA : is the true Faith;
sat : Absolute Reality
satyaM : is the true Truth.
ataH paraM : And in consequence of these (there are)
catushhkaM : four (opposites)
setu-samjnaM : in the form of barriers.
Tat syAt : That becomes
bandhAya : bondage
jantopH : for the being.
tIrtvA : By transcending
catura imAn : these four,
dAna-pUrvaiH caturbhiH : by means of the four, starting with ‘dAna’ (gift),
naraH shrayate : man obtains
shreyaH : happiness
amRtaM : immortality
svargatiM : heavenward progress,
jyotir-AptiM ca : and, realisation of Light.
Note: ‘dAnaM’, ‘kshhamA’, ‘shraddhA’, ‘satyaM’ are the four pillars on which any spiritual ascent has to be built.
annaM devA-tithibhyo’rpitam-amRtam-idaM cAnyathA mogham-annaM
yasch-AtmArthaM vidhatte tad-iha nigaditaM mRtyu-rUpaM hi tasya /
loke’sau kevalAgho bhavati tanu-bhRtA kevalAdI ca yaH syAt
tyaktvA prANAgni-hotraM vidhivad-anudinaM yo’shnute so’pi martyaH //
annaM : Food
arpitaM : that is dedicated
deva-atithibhyaH : to the Lord and to the guests
amRtaM : is immortal nectar.
anyathA : Otherwise,
idaM annaM : the same food
moghaM : (is) useless (i.e., in vain).
yaH : One who
vidhatte : prepares (food)
AtmArthaM : for just oneself --
Tat hi : that, indeed,
nigaditaM : has been declared as
tasya mRtyu-rUpaM : a form of his death.
Loke : In this world
tanubhRtA : among human beings
yaH kevalAghaH syAt : the person who eats by himself
kevalAdi bhavati : becomes wholly sinful;
yaH sah api : and, he too, who
ashnute anudinaM : eats daily,
tyaktvA : without performing
prANAgni-hotraM :the consecration of food to Fire of Life (prANa)
vidhivat : according to prescriptions,
martyaH : remains mortal.
Note: “kevalAgho bhavati kevalAdI” are exact words from the yajur-veda; probably it occurs in the other vedas also. It is a delight to see how the Acharya dexterously, but effortlessly, handles passages from their original vedic source.