February 15th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
गर्भे व्याधौ श्मशाने च पुराणे या मतिर्भवेत्
सा यदि स्थिरतां याति को न मुच्येत बन्धनात्
- गरुडपुराण

Transliteration:
garbhe vyaadhau shmashaane cha puraaNe yaa matirbhavet
saa yadi sthirataaM yaati ko na muchyeta bandhanaat
- garuDapuraaNa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The attitude (disposition) pertinent when in the womb, in sickness, at a funeral and while (listening to) spiritual teachings - if that remains undeterred always, then who will not be freed from bondage!

Commentary:
Moods and temperaments are like monkeys, jumping from one branch to another. It is very hard to predict how they change or what they land upon next. But apathy is inherently engrained in every being. It surfaces occasionally -

1. When in the womb, they say that the soul is filled with detachment. After spending time in the womb, the soul feels like it never wants to come back into the world and go through all that pain ever again. (This is प्रसूति वैराग्य (prasUti vairaagya)).

2. In sickness, automatically, we pray to the Lord and feel dispassion towards the worldly comforts and pleasures. No one wants to deck themselves up and be pompous when unwell. At that time, all vanities look meaningless. (This is आपद्वैराग्य (aapadvairaagya)).

3. At a funeral, when a loved one is being taken away, everyone present there, see the momentariness of life. They see that when a person passes on, he doesn't take with him any of his worldly assets along with him. Although this is a common knowledge, it will aid as a reality check and induce the feelings of detachment in the onlookers. (This is श्मशान वैराग्य (shmashaana vairaagya)).

4. While listening to our mythological teachings or spiritual scriptures, there is a sudden stir in the mind and the mind simulates an aversion to the materialistic indulgences. There is an instantaneous dispassion towards mundane possessions.

All these are situations, bringing out what is already in us - a feeling of apathy (word not as effective as - 'vairaagya'). The verse says, if only this detachment/dispassion attains firm ground and remains unfluctuated always, then there is no stopping from achieving moksha (salvation). It is like - we have in us, what we need to attain nirvaaNa, but only, if we desire nirvaaNa, we need to be consistent!

pada vigrahaH:
गर्भे व्याधौ श्मशाने च पुराणे या मतिः भवेत्
garbhe vyaadhau shmashaane cha puraaNe yaa matiH bhavet

सा यदि स्थिरतां याति को न मुच्येत बन्धनात्
saa yadi sthirataaM yaati ko na muchyeta bandhanaat

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