These beloveds are mine; these children are mine; these houses are mine; these cattle are mine. Man is just like a sheep bleating ‘me-‘ ‘me-‘, when caught by the wolf in the form of Time or Death. (‘me’ in Sanskrit means mine, pronounced as “may” like the ‘bleating’ of sheep).
Points for Introspection
Whereas one’s real identity is that he is the immortal, changeless, imperishable soul, out of ignorance man identifies himself with his perishable body (mind, intelligence etc.). He strongly feels ‘I am this body’ and everything associated with him, he considers as ‘mine’.
Even though man is in reality the eternal and unaffected soul, he continuously suffers because of his possessiveness and ‘mineness’ about his wife, children, house, cattle, wealth, name and prestige. Because of the strong sense of identification with everything around him and the subsequent ‘mineness’ generated, he gets affected by anything happening to these objects. He clings to all his possessions as if everything will be present ever and ever. He fails to see that each and every object in this world is transitory and will perish or change sooner or later. Ignorantly, he makes elaborate plans in his own way about everything which he considers as ‘his’. Never does he think that this body itself being transitory, how fleeting are those associated with it!
He spends all the time in the thought of his possessions. Throughout the day, he runs around for acquiring more and more wealth and facilities in order to keep his body as well as other possessions safe and secure. He, with his ‘mineness’, becomes constricted in his outlook and gets more and more involved with the objects related to him.
He holds on to everything and tries to control everything. But, quite often, things happen contrary to his plans and wishes. The son may go astray, wife may die, house may have to be sold out, wealth may be lost. Whenever things do not happen in the way he has planned, he undergoes great agony and despair. Above everything, even though he derives short term joy from the perishable objects of his possession, he is always worried and anxious about losing all that he loves so dearly.
This ignorant man suffers because he identifies himself with the perishable body and not the imperishable soul. He believes that this is the way of life: to be constricted, to be always fearful of death and losing what one wants to hold on to. Such a man has no knowledge of the higher Truth that one is in essence immortal and imperishable; that realizing that Truth, one can transcend fear of death and be every blissful.
Thus is the pitiable condition of the poor ignorant man. By identifying with the body and considering things as ‘mine’, he lives his life in fear and anxiety, to be slowly driven by Time to the jaws of death.
This shloka explains the condition of such a person. Throughout his life, he only knows to say ‘me-me’ (‘mine-mine’). This wife is mine; sons are mine; houses are mine the cattles are mine, etc. Such a man is like a sheep who always bleats ‘me – me’ and nothing else. And, what happens to the bleating sheep? He is subsequently caught by the slaughterer and slaughtered. When caught, what fear of death the sheep undergoes!
This foolish man is just like a sheep who bleats constantly ‘me’ (mine), ‘me’ (mine). And just like the sheep, this man also is caught by the wolf of Time (Death) and is dragged to mortality even though he is essential immortal!
Here, in this shloka, the word ‘me, ‘me’ has been used as a pun because of its similarity with bleating, but describing graphically the sorry state of anybody having intense attachment.
कान्ताः (kāntā:) = women; इमे (ime) = these; मे (me) = mine; तनयाः (tanayā:) = children; इमे (ime) = these; मे (me) = mine; गृहाः (gṛhā:) = houses; इमे (ime) = these; मे (me) = mine; पशवः (paśava:) = cattle; तु (tu) = also; इमे (ime) = these; मे (me) = mine; एवं (evaṃ) = thus; नरः (nara:) = man; मेषसमानरूपः (meṣasamānarūpa:) = like the sheep; मे मे (me me) = mine mine; कृतः (kṛta:) = doing; कालवृकेण (kālavṛkeṇa) = by the wolf in the form of Time or death; नीतः (nīta:) = carried away.
इमे मे कान्ताः । इमे मे तनयाः । इमे मे गृहाः । इमे तु मे पशवः । एवं मे मे कृतः मेषसमानरूपः नरः कालवृकेण नीतः ।
ime me kāntā: . ime me tanayā: . ime me gṛhā: . ime tu me paśava: . evaṃ me me kṛta: meṣasamānarūpa: nara: kālavṛkeṇa nīta: .
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