Meditate For Attaining Your Own Self
What is the use of this wealth, the horses and elephants, the acquired kingdom? What is the use of son, wife, friend, animals, the house and even the body? O mind, knowing all this to be instantly perishable, and therefore to be kept far away, meditate upon Lord Shiva for attaining your own Self, following the teachings of the Guru.
Points for Introspection:
In this life, most people feel that the aim of life is to acquire more and more of wealth and property; to acquire name, fame and prestige. They feel that contentment and happiness lie in all these.
They fail to see that these achievements which they feel proud of and which give them a sense of security in life, are transitory and perishable; that none of these will remain for ever to give ever-lasting joy. Most people fail to understand that permanent happiness cannot be had through objects which themselves are impermanent.
After gaining the desired possessions, man finds that possessions themselves being transitory, the joy that he experienced initially, disappears after some time. Say, one has the wish to buy a car. When he is able to buy the car, he is extremely happy. But as days pass, the same car does not give him joy. In fact, to be happy again, he wishes to acquire either a new car or something else which he feels will give him happiness.
Although man suffers misery looking for happiness from the impermanent objects of the world, he still fails to realize that he must attain “that “ which does not change, does not decay, but is eternal. He does not look for something by possessing which he would not have any more craving to possess anything else; by attaining which he would get permanent peace and happiness.
There are very few fortunate ones who see the impermanence of life itself and the impermanence of possessions and acquisitions gained in this life. This shloka is the dispassionate cry of such a seeker who has realized that permanent happiness cannot be had through any object of this world including one’s own body.
So, such a seeker who has developed strong dispassion towards the world, cries out: “What will I gain by riches, elephants and horses (these were considered to be the greatest possessions in olden times), or even a kingdom? What will I gain by having sons, wife, friends, cows, house or even the body?’’
He pours out like this because he sees the transitoriness and perishability of all these objects. He has understood that every worldly object including one’s own body, mind and intelligence is perishable and that it is useless to seek everlasting peace and happiness in these.
He realizes that to attain ever-lasting peace and happiness one must seek and realize within himself his own Self, which alone is eternal, immortal and imperishable. He must seek that ever-present joy in himself which does not depend on any object.
So, the seeker tells his own mind, which runs to various objects of the world and clings to them in vain seeking joy: “Dwell not in the thoughts of sons, wife, house, property etc. What happiness will you get in these momentary fleeting objects? Throw the thoughts about them far away, immediately. Instead, reflect upon your Guru’s instructions regarding how to realize the eternal, imperishable Self and enjoy supreme Bliss”.
This shloka when read, chanted, and reflected, should generate strong dispassion towards worldly life and possessions. It should inspire one to seek the Self immediately. The shloka also emphasizes upon the fact that one must go to a Guru, seek his instructions on Self-realization and ruminate over the words of the Guru.
किम् वा (kim vā) = what (is the use)? अनेन धनेन (anena dhanena) = by this wealth; वाजिकरिभिः (vājikaribhiḥ) = by horses and elephants; प्राप्तेन राज्येन (prāptena rājyena) = by the acquired kingdom; किम् (kim) = what? किम् वा (kim vā) = or what? पुत्रकलत्रमित्रपशुभिः (putra-kalatra-mitra-paśubhiḥ) = by son, wife, friend and animals; देहेन (dehena) = by the body; गेहेन (gehena) = by the house; किम् (kim) = what? ज्ञात्वा (jnātvā) = knowing; एतत् (etat) = this; क्षणभङ्गुरम् (kṣaṇabhaṅguram) = instantly perishable; सपदि (sapadi) = immediately; रे मनः (re manaḥ) = O mind; त्याज्यम् (tyājyam) = to be abandoned; दूरतः (dūrataḥ) = at a distance; स्वात्मार्थम् (svātmārtham) = for attaining one’s own Self; गुरुवाक्यतः (guruvākyataḥ) = according to the teachings of the Guru; भज (bhaja) = worship; मन (mana) = O mind; श्रीपार्वतीवल्लभम् (śrīpārvatī-vallabham) = the beloved of Parvati (i.e. Lord Shiva);
किं वा अनेन धनेन, वाजिकरिभिः, प्राप्तेन राज्येन किं, किं वा पुत्रकलत्रमित्रपशुभिः, देहेन, गेहेन किं । रे मन ! एतत् क्षणभङ्गुरं मनः सपदि दूरतः त्याज्यं ज्ञात्वा, स्वात्मार्थं गुरुवाक्यतः श्रीपार्वतीवल्लभं भज ।
kiṁ vā anena dhanena, vājikaribhiḥ, prāptena rājyena kiṁ, kiṁ vā putra-kalatra-mitra-paśubhiḥ, dehena, gehena kiṁ. re mana! etat kṣaṇabhaṅguraṁ manaḥ sapadi dūrataḥ tyājyaṁ jnātvā, svātmārthaṁ guruvākyataḥ śrīpārvatī-vallabhaṁ bhaja.
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