Seek True Inner Bliss – Not Paltry Pleasures
Which wise man having had the experience of the Supreme Bliss would discard that and indulge in trifling delights ? When the exhilarating moon is shining, who would wish to look at a painted picture of the moon?
Points for Introspection:
We generally seek petty happiness in worldly objects. However, that happiness is always short-lived and is followed by pain, suffering and even agitation. Is there not a happiness that is eternal and unbroken? When a seeker realizes the supreme Truth that “I am not the changeful body; I am the eternal, changeless, imperishable Self”, then alone he enjoys supreme Bliss which is continuous and unbroken.
Why is it so? When a seeker realizes the Self, he is identified with the Self in all conditions, and beholds the Self alone in all circumstances. No situation in life torments him or elates him then, as he remains Self-seated always; he knows that deep within himself he is the unconditioned, unaffected Self which is not touched by the worldly waves.
When such a realization or Knowledge is had, the seeker experiences supreme Bliss, unbrokenly and continuously as he remains unaffected in any situation whatsoever. This bliss is independent of any object or situation and wells forth spontaneously from within.
This shloka raises the query: Will a wise person, having experienced the supreme Bliss, ever discard this delight and dwell instead on hollow worldly enjoyments which are useless, petty and short-lived?
Here Shankaracharya draws a comparison. When the beautiful moon, which gives pure delight to every heart, shines in the sky in full brilliance, which fool will leave that sight to look at a painted picture of the moon instead? The picture, however beautiful, will never radiate the cool shine of the real moon.
Similarly, when a Wise seeker has tasted the supreme unbroken Bliss of the Self, he will ever remain Self-seated and would never dwell in ephemeral, transient and useless matters which are ultimately the source of misery and agitation.
This shloka is an eye-opener. As we chant it repeatedly, we are able to understand how foolishly we hold on to things in spite of knowing that joy out of these is only short-lived. As repeated chanting points to परानन्द-रसानुभूतिः (parānanda-rasa-anubhūtiḥ) – the experience of supreme Bliss – the yearning to realize the Self becomes more and more intense.
कः (kaḥ) = who; ताम् (tām) = that; परानन्द-रसानुभूतिं (parānandarasānubhūtiṃ) = experience of the Supreme Bliss; उत्सृज्य (utsṛjya) = having discarded; शून्येषु (śūnyeṣu) = in unsubstantial things; रमेत (rameta) = delight; विद्वान् (vidvān) = wise man; चन्द्रे (candre) = in the moon; महाह्लादिनि (mahāhlādini) = exhilarating; दीप्य-माने (dīpyamāne) = shining well; चित्रेन्दुम् (citrenduṃ) = painted moon; आलोकयितुं (ālokayituṃ) = to look; कः (kaḥ) = who; इच्छेत् (icchet) = would wish.
तां परानन्द-रसानुभूतिं उत्सृज्य कः विद्वान् शून्येषु रमेत? महाह्लादिनि चन्द्रे दीप्यमाने चित्रेन्दुं आलोकयितुं कः इच्छेत् ?
tāṃ parānanda-rasānubhūtiṃ utsṛjya kaḥ vidvān śūnyeṣu rameta? mahāhlādini candre dīpyamāne citrenduṃ ālokayituṃ kaḥ icchet?
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