A desolate or depressing situation becomes lively and full, an incidence of bereavement gets transformed into an elevating “festive” occasion, and a calamity or misfortune appears to be enriching, on the arrival of a wise person.
Points for Introspection
Our life in this world is full of happiness as well as misery, We are happy when everything goes on well according to our wishes and expectations. If we introspect a bit, we understand that moments of unhappiness, disappointment and dissatisfaction are more in our lives.
Very often, we find that we are immersed in great tension, anxiety and fear. We do not know how to transcend such moments which make us feel absolutely hopeless, purposeless and directionless. There are moments when having everything in life which should make one happy and fulfilled, we feel lonely and forlorn; there seems to be a void which cannot be filled by anything whatsoever.
Then there are moments when death strikes and snatches away a near and dear one. How does one face such a situation when one is not able to harmonize with the reality of life? Any day, any moment, a near and dear one may leave forever! Darkness engulfs the mind; all happiness seemingly disappears and everything seems to lose its importance and value.
How does one face calamities and difficulties in life? Where does one turn to? Who can give solace to the afflicted mind? We are not able to overcome affliction by ourselves. Even when one has enough riches and people around, neither the riches nor the people can wipe off the tears of affliction, the darkness that surrounds the mind, the heaviness the heart feels!
Most people try to forget their affliction by focusing the mind on various kinds of activities, by which in essence they try to forget themselves and the accompanying misery, anxiety or fear. But as soon as they are alone facing themselves, the affliction, fear etc. grip them more intensely. This is the condition of the ordinary human beings in general.
But, what happens when one is in the company of Great Souls who have realized the Ultimate Truth? Our scriptures say that wherever the men of wisdom go, they purify the place by virtue of their own purity and knowledge. A Wise saint, having realized Brahman – the all-pervading, eternal Truth – experiences a fullness everywhere. He does not miss anything; wherever he is, he is filled with the presence of Brahman, the One and the Absolute.
Since he is identified with the every-brilliant Brahman, for him, there is no darkness anywhere; everywhere is brightness and brightness alone. Because, he is merged in the ever-free Brahman, he is beyond all possessiveness and attachment. He thus, remains unaffected in every situation. Even when calamity strikes, by virtue of his universal, Braahmic knowledge, he finds enrichment alone in such events and episodes.
Because a man of wisdom is always anchored in Brahman and is ever immersed in Supreme bliss, wherever he goes, he radiates joy and bliss alone. He spreads into a vastness encompassing and enveloping everything whatsoever. That is why, in the presence of a Wise man, a mind which is filled with a fathomless void or misery, becomes full and complete. Even where death has struck with fierceness, the presence of a Saint turns loss and grief into an elevating festivity. Loss and the subsequent grief arise because of the feeling of mortality.
He, who has realized the immortal, imperishable Soul, by his very presence and interaction is able to radiate the knowledge that the body alone is mortal and the soul is essentially immortal; that with the death of a body, the ever-present soul is never lost. Even when a death has taken place, a realized Saint who lives in the Truth of immortality, is able to wipe off the darkness around and turn the grief into joy, courage and confidence.
In short, in the association of a realized man of Wisdom, every difficulty turns into an opportunity for enrichment through which one can become more and more joyful and stable.
Chanting of this verse generates a great yearning to be in the company of realized saintly people. If one is already in such an association, one feels extremely grateful to have had such an opportunity and fortune.
शून्यम् (śūnyam) = deserted, desolate; आकीर्णताम् (ākīrṇatām) = crowded, full; एति (eti) = becomes; मृत्युः (mṛtyu:) = death; अपि (api) = also; उत्सवायते (utsavāyate) = feels like a festival; आपत् (āpat) = calamity; संपत् (sampat) = wealth, enrichment; इव (iva) = like; आभाति (ābhāti) = appears ; विद्वज्जनसमागमे (vidvaj-jana-samāgame) = on the arrival of the Wise.
विद्वज्जनसमागमे शून्यम् आकीर्णतां एति, मृत्युः अपि उत्सवायते, आपत् (च) संपत् इव आभाति ।
vidvaj-jana-samāgame śūnyam ākīrṇatām eti, mṛtyu api utsavāyate, āpat (ca) sampat iva ābhāti.
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