Key to Cheerful Living
This Universe created out of five sense-elements, is basically an unreal phenomenon. O Rama, will one who knows the Truth ever run after the untrue? You are one who knows the Truth and whose mind is set at rest from all worldly imaginations and troubles. You are ever aware of the Self. Therefore, O graceful Rama, transcend grief.
Points for Introspection:
The whole Creation is fleeting. Everything in the Universe is changeful and perishable. The Real does not change. But the world undergoes change every moment. Steeped in ignorance we consider the world to be real, and run behind the perishable thinking that it is permanent. We hold on to the fleeting objects of the world expecting happiness and joy from them.
Man thinks all his possessions and achievements will remain with him forever. When it does not happen so, he undergoes torment and affliction. In order to avoid affliction, one must not run behind the changeful world but should hold on to that which is real, eternal and imperishable. That is, one must seek to know and realize the Self or Soul – which is real, eternal and immortal; which is the changeless imperishable substratum on which dances this unreal and perishable world.
When a seeker has realized the Self, he transcends grief and afflictions. His mind attains supreme bliss and peace. As long as mind gets affected and tormented by worldliness, it does not shine with its full brilliance. When all agitations subside, the mind attains its pristine lustre.
This shloka from Yogavāsiṣṭha is an instruction from Sage Vāsiṣṭha to Sri Rama. Sri Rama, at the age of sixteen, went around the country to learn about life in general. During his wanderings, observing the futile and hollow nature of the world, he became very depressed. After returning to the palace, he left all his duties and remained confined in his room deeply absorbed in thoughts, completely immersed in grief. He was disinterested in meeting anybody or doing anything.
In a assembly consisting of Sri Rama’s brothers, King Dasaratha, the Queens, ministers, scholars, celestial beings and others, Sage Vāsiṣṭha instructed Sri Rama for eighteen days, about the ultimate Reality – the changeless, immortal Self – by knowing which one enjoys the state of non-doership and non-enjoyership even while engaged in intense activities.
In this shloka, Sage Vasishtha inspires Sri Rama by imparting the knowledge of the Self, telling him again and again, and reminding him repeatedly: “O Rama! This Creation is unreal in essence. One who knows this Truth, and has the knowledge and experience of the eternal Self, does not run behind the allurements of the unreal world considering them to be real. Remembering this, do not get overpowered by worldly imaginations and affectations.”
“O brilliant Rama, you are a Knower of the supreme Truth. By virtue of your knowledge of the Supreme, your mind is ever at peace and freed from all torments. You are ever shining with the beauty of supreme brilliance. Being so, O Rama, continue to live in this world transcending grief and torments.”
While chanting this shloka, we should identify ourselves with the beautiful qualities, which have been mentioned. We should try to feel that all these qualities are in us. While chanting if we focus on the meanings, we will imbibe the qualities effortlessly. How beautiful are the words तज्ज्ञः (tajjñaḥ), शान्तकलनः (śāntakalanaḥ), निरामयः (nirāmayaḥ), नित्योदितः (nityoditaḥ), etc.. Rumination on these words while chanting makes the mind purer and purer, full of brilliance and profound peace. Slowly we get the touch of the state where the mind becomes शान्तशोकः (śāntaśokaḥ) – i.e., where all agitations arising out of grief have been put to full rest.
विश्वप्रपञ्चरचना (viśva-prapañca-racanā) = the Creation made of five sense-elements; इयं (iyam) = this; असत्यरूपा (asatya-rūpā) = unreal form; न (na) = not; असत्यरूपं (asatya-rūpam) = unreal form; अनुधावति (anudhāvati) = run after; राम (rāma) = O Rama; तज्ज्ञः (tajjñaḥ) = knower of Truth; तज्ज्ञः असि (tajjñaḥ asi) = you are one who knows the Truth; शान्तकलनः असि (śāntakalanaḥ asi) = you are one whose mind is set at rest from worldly imaginations; निरामयः असि (nirāmayaḥ asi) = you are free from all troubles (worldliness); नित्योदितः असि (nityoditaḥ asi) = you are ever aware (of the Self); सुन्दर (sundara) = O beautiful; शान्तशोकः भव (śāntaśokaḥ bhava) = be one who has transcended grief.
इयं विश्वप्रपञ्चरचना असत्यरूपा । तज्ज्ञः असत्यरूपं न अनुधावति । सुन्दर राम । (त्वं) तज्ज्ञः असि, शान्तकलनः असि, निरामयः असि, नित्योदितः असि । शान्तशोकः भव ।
iyaṁ viśva-prapañca-racanā asatyarūpā. tajjñaḥ asatya-rūpaṁ na anudhāvati. sundara rāma, (tvaṃ) tajjñaḥ asi; śānta-kalanaḥ asi; nirāmayaḥ asi; nityoditaḥ asi. śānta-śokaḥ bhava.
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