30.04  SHANKARA'S SHATA-SHLOKI: SHLOKAS 16 TO 20

16.

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’).

17.

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.

 

18.

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 ...’ .    

19.

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.

 

20

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.

 

 

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