Cultivate Discrimination to Progress in Spiritual Path
Scriptural knowledge is a burden for one who lacks discrimination; spiritual wisdom is a load for one who clings to worldliness; the mind is a burden for one who is restless and lacks control; and the embodiment itself is a burden to one devoid of knowledge of the Self.
Points for Introspection:
Our scriptures tirelessly speak about the eternal, imperishable Soul realizing which one becomes contented and blissful, transcending all affectations that life brings in. They point out to us that the world is transitory and ephemeral; that one cannot have permanent happiness from this impermanent, changeful world. To have permanent joy one must seek to realize the permanent, imperishable Soul. And for that the scriptures constantly instruct us to discriminate between the real and the unreal, between truth and falsehood, between imperishable and perishable, etc.
Only when one has discrimination (viveka), one understands how, in order to have peace and bliss in life, one must seek ‘That’ which is imperishable and not run behind the perishable objects of the world. Ordinarily, man considers life to be: to get born, grow up, settle down, marry, raise a family, slowly grow old and then die. He has no higher aim in life. He never thinks how to overcome the misery one faces in life, how to be happy and peaceful always.
Men, who are not given to introspection and restlessly run behind objects of enjoyments, consider the pronouncement of the scriptures as a burden. They want to pursue only that which will give them pleasure easily. To gain joy and peace, they run behind the worldly objects that are apparently enjoyable, but the enjoyments and pleasures derived from objects are always mixed with misery and affliction.
Even in affliction, if people who lack discrimination are advised about the message of the scriptures, or suggested to have the holy association of Mahatmas, they don’t heed. Even if by any chance, they happen to be in the association of some Mahatma, they find his words meaningless and hardly find any application in life.
“There is no relevance of the scriptural words in my life. I am quite O.K. without them.”- are the thoughts of men without discrimination. Lack of introspection and discrimination does not allow them to choose what is eternally auspicious for mankind. If they are forced to listen to scriptures, then they feel burdened.
There is another class of people (raagi) who have a lot of desires. Their thoughts always revolve around how to fulfill the desires. All their activities too are driven by desires. Such people are possessive about their objects of desire and are ready to take any trouble to achieve what they wish to possess. Even if they have theoretical knowledge of the scriptures, they are not able to live according to the knowledge which necessitates desirelessness in the mind.
When they are pointed out how one must cultivate purity of mind by sublimating desires, they feel burdened and fearful. They wonder, “How will I live if I have no desire? What will be my motivation for action, if desire is not there?” So, not being able to follow, the spiritual knowledge verily becomes a load for them.
One whose mind is not peaceful, whose mind is always restless, for that person his own mind becomes a burden. Wherever he goes, he remains agitated and anxious. He may blame people, objects or circumstances for his agitation or non-peaceful state of mind, but the fact is that his own mind is to be blamed. He gets annoyed very soon, gets irritated easily; he is intolerant and impatient. Such a mind is a burden for anybody. One having such a mind always remains stressed and cheerless.
Lastly, for people who have not known the Self, the body (body-mind-intelligence) itself is a burden. Out of ignorance, one identifies oneself with the body as well as its fluctuating conditions. When one does not know his real identity – that “I am the eternal, immortal Self ” – one undergoes a great deal of suffering. Because of the mistaken association, the suffering undergone by the body-mind-intelligence is thought of as one’s own. Whereas, he is in essence the unaffected, unshakable, infinite Soul, he suffers affectation because of wrong identity with the body. For him, the embodiment itself is burdensome.
Repeated chanting of this shloka will remind one that to feel free we should take to constant vichaara; we must sublimate desires, discipline the mind and finally must try to know our own Self.
भारः (bhāra:) = burden; अविवेकिनः (avivekinaḥ) = for one who lacks discrimination; शास्त्रं (śāstraṃ) = scripture; भारः (bhāra:)= burden; ज्ञानं (jñānaṃ) = (spiritual) wisdom; च (ca) = and; रागिणः (rāgiṇa:) = for one who clings to worldly likes and dislikes; अशान्तस्य (aśāntasya) = for one who lacks control and is restless; मनः (mana:) = mind; भारः (bhāra:) = burden; भारः (bhāra:) = burden; अनात्मविदः (anātmavida:) = for one devoid of knowledge of the Self; वपुः (vapu:) = body.
अविवेकिनः शास्त्रं भारः (भवति) । रागिणः च ज्ञानं भारः (भवति) । अशान्तस्य मनः भारः (भवति) । अनात्मविदः वपुः भारः (भवति) ।
avivekinaḥ śāstraṃ bhāra: (bhavati). rāgiṇa: ca jñānaṃ bhāra: (bhavati). aśāntasya mana: bhāra: (bhavati). anātmavida: vapu: bhāra: (bhavati).
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