Friday, 31 July 2020

Vairagya Shathakam – Life of Sri Bharthrihari

Vairagya Shathakam – Sri Bharthrihari Virachitham

Chapter -2 – Life of Sri Bharthrihari


There was a highly learned twice-born Govinda, well known for his Dharmic rites, had thorough knowledge in all the scriptures and Vedic texts, the inquisitiveness to learn more and more drove him to follow the Bhramacharyashram meticulously, and visited several preceptors and scholars, finally there was no preceptors to teach him, but his hunger to learn the scriptures and Veda did not stop, he had the feeling that he has not yet completed the quest for learning, hence he conducted an extensive journey through the Aryavartha. Once, he ended up in the dense forest, could not see the trace of human, there he met a Bhramarakshas who was a twice-born, was too happy to meet the Govinda, after several days in the woods. They had a conversation and exchanged their views and opinions on scriptures and Sanskrit, and talked about each other’s life.


The Bhramarakshass explained his life story; he was a highly intelligent twice-born, has vast knowledge in all the scriptures and texts, but he was not willing to teach them to others. He met a Bhramin and got cursed for his arrogance, to become Bhramarakshassa, also came to know that if he shares the knowledge he has learned with others, he would immediately get rid of the curse, therefore he was waiting for a learned person to share his knowledge and get rid of the curse. The twice-born Govinda became too happy to meet the Bhramarakshass, shortly Govinda learned all the knowledge from the Bhramarakshass. The forest they have lived was not fit for human habitation, there were no fruits or fiber roots, or pure water available, Govinda felt extremely disappointed to continue there. Bhramrakshass understood the difficulties of Govinda to live there, he offered an herbal medicine to apply on his body, that could remove the thirst and hunger for several years, with a condition that if the twice-born set foot on the water, the herbal medicine will stop working, and all those tiredness due to the non-consumption of water and meal for the years would come back immediately. Thus, Govinda was strictly forbidden to set foot on the water, in this way, he started learning all those sacred knowledge from Bhramarakshass who throw the notes written on the leaves to Bhramin, if any doubts the Bhramin would clear them on the spot, within  a short period of time, the Bhramin learned all the knowledge from the Bhramarakshass, prostrated before his preceptor and bade-farewell. The Bhramarakshass got rid of the curse and happily returned to his home.


Govinda wandered many places and finally arrived in the glorious city of Ujjain, the King ruled the city had no son; they had a beautiful daughter, were taken care of affectionately. Govinda arrived on the river bank; saw there were a few attractive women in their finest garments arrived to have a bath in the river. Govinda was not interested in material living; he did not pay attention to them. The beautiful woman who was the leader of the group did not take her eyes off from the handsome, youthful Govinda, fallen in love with him instantly. She understood his humility, intelligence, and virtues that forced her to crave for him, she keenly followed him. This woman was born in the wealthiest Shudra clan was stunningly beautiful with attractive physical features, and virtuous. In a moment she forgot the purpose she had arrived and looked at the twice-born with an earnest desire. While she was watching, Govinda slowly got into the water, he was trying to cross the river, hardly moved three or four steps further, he fell unconscious in the water. It was the herbal medicine that was protected hi from the thirst and hunger for several years stopped working, he became unconscious of continuous starvation and immense exhaustion, his body and mind could not take it anymore, as it was predicted by the Bhramarakshass, all the hunger and thirst took a toll on his body and mind.


The woman who was watching the movements of Govinda for a long time, came rushing with her female companions, she carried Govinda along with the bundle of those written leaves to her home. She took great care of him, brought good physicians to consult him, and within two or three days Govinda regained his consciousness, he felt extremely happy to know that he was saved by that woman, spoke to her kindly “Oh! The jewel among woman, there is no Dharma precious than the protection of Prana, you have saved my Prana, and therefore I owe to you all my life. Oh! Devi, how should I repay my debt? Kindly tell me how to pay off my debts to you, if I did not pay off my debts I would become selfish and ungrateful, you need not worry about anything, kindly ask for whatever you want.” The woman was extremely pleased listening to the kind words of Govinda, she came closer to him with folded hands began to speak “Oh! Swami, Oh! Mahathma, you are praising me unnecessarily and portraying yourself as a debtor before me. I did not do anything great as you have praised me, it was my Dharma to protect you, in fact, humans are born to do Paropakara, which is the supreme Dharma. You are highly praising for a too little help I have given, I feel I have made my life fruitful by providing help to you, therefore I do not need anything in return, kindly do not put me in grief. I have nothing to ask other than give me an opportunity to serve your feet all my life, as your sincere wife to you. I want to make my life fruitful by serving your feet, if you permit me to do so, I would be the most fortunate woman in this world.”


The twice-born was stunned to listen to her amiable words, various emotions rushed to his mind. He understood she is from the lowly clan of Shudra, a twice-born cannot marry a Shudra, but she has served him selflessly for the past few days, she took great care of him, brought back his life, so she deserved to be treated fairly. Govinda immersed in various thoughts, a twice-born cannot marry a Shudra and choose the Shudra woman as the first wife. He has to formally marry a woman from Bhramin clan, then Kshatriya, and Vaishya, after that he is permitted to marry a Shudra woman. Govinda decided not to put her in utter disappointment, the woman who has brought his Prana from the danger is deserved to be treated well. Thus, Govinda married a woman from the twice-born; secondly, he approached the King of Ujjain with his desire to marry his one and only daughter. The King was highly impressed at the intelligence and handsomeness of Govinda and readily agreed to offer his daughter as wedded wife, thus he was married to the princess who was heir to the throne of Ujjain.  Later, he married to a Vaishya woman and fourthly he married the Shudra woman formally as a wedded wife.


Govinda built a fortress for his four wives and lived happily with them. He sincerely followed the Grihasthashrama Dharma, in the meantime the King of Ujjain became too old to take up the kingly duties, so he crowned Govinda as the King of Ujjain. Govind performed all the stately duties and responsibilities as a King of Ujjain, people were extremely happy in his regime, shortly the aged King attained Paramagathi. Thus, several years have passed; his four wives gave birth to one child each. The Brahmin woman gave birth to Vararuchi, Kshatriya woman gave birth to Vikramadhithya, Vaishya woman gave birth to Bhatti, and the Shudra woman gave birth to Bharthrihari. These four children were experts in all the art forms, Sarva Shastra, and religious texts. Govinda had a special attachment to his son Bharthrihari, he was the elder one among the children and son of that Shudra woman who sincerely loved all her life. Bharthrihari was a brilliant child, intelligent, attractive, and virtuous as well, he became famous for his contribution to the preservation of the Vedic texts which was disappearing at the beginning of the Kali era. Several intellectuals and scholars appreciated his sincere effort in reviving the sacred texts, he had composed Vyakaran Grantha which was highly admired by the scholars of that period. In the meantime, his father Govinda crowned elder son Bharthrihari as the King of Ujjain and retired to woods to conduct penance.  The reason for Govinda crowned Bharthrihari as the King not because of his intelligence in all subjects and art forms; it was his great fondness to his Shudra wife, who made everything possible in his life. Soon after, Govinda abandoned all the desires and bondage, attained the Mokshasamrajya.


Bharthrihari who has the thorough knowledge of Rajyaneethi, preservation, and utilization of wealth for the welfare of the Kingdom and its subjects ruled the kingdom wisely, the Praja's were extremely happy. Bharthrihari married had a few women, but Anangasena whom he loved the most, was the Queen of Ujjain. Thus, several years have passed; there was a twice-born in Ujjain who was an ardent devotee of Devi Durga was penniless and suffering from poverty. Devi Durga was pleased with the devotion of the twice-born and offered a mango as a boon that would keep the Bhramin free from aging and illnesses. The twice-born was yearning to have some wealth to remove the sufferings of the poverty in the family, he was disappointed to receive the mango as a boon, though it would do no good to remove the distress of poverty in the family, if it was given to the King at least he would live a happy long life without aging and illnesses, that would do good to the Kingdom and its people as well.   Hence the twice-born decided to present the Mango before the King and detailed it. King Bharthrihari received the Bhramin with great respect, was happy to receive the Mango, and in return offered immense wealth that is capable to remove his poverty forever. King Bharthrihari was immersed in various thoughts, whether he should consume it or give to his dearest wife Anangasena. Alas! He offered the Mango to his dearest wife Anangasena who gave this mango to her secret lover in the palace, shortly he gave it his lover,  later she offered it to her servant, in this way, the mango passed through several hands.


Once, the King Bharthrihari was traveling on the majestic pathway of the royal palace, saw a woman carrying a basket full of cow dung and a mango on top of it. It caught the attention of the King, he returned to the palace and called for the twice-born from whom he had received the mango. He explained the matter to him, the twice-born asked the King to who did he give it; he confessed that he has given to his dearest wife. Further, the Queen was questioned scrupulously and came to know that it was given to her secret lover, King Bharthrihari could not control his grief for loving a woman who was not at all trustworthy, decided not to trust family, children or wealth, or fame, that has no permanence and learned that the attachment to it could bring grief only. He pacified the Bhramin and bade farewell, asked his men to bring the Mango, and instructed his wife Anangasena to live like the way she wanted. He called for his brother Vikramadhithya and handed the Kingship and the mango, decided not to intervene in any of the personal or stately matters, attained Vairagya, and discarded the worldly matters and bondage and returned to woods. He undertook penance for some time, soon attained Mukthi.


Bharthrihari after attaining Virakthi in the material life, wrote many poetries/verses, those were from his real life, the hundreds of verses he wrote of  Neethi Shathakam/politics and ethics-related to the period of his ruling as the King of Ujjain, another hundred verses of Shrungara Shathakam/mainly the Grihasthashram life of him, and the final hundred verses of Vairagya Shathakam/after  realizing the real nature of love, life, family, wealth, etc. persuaded him to achieve Virakthi. He described his own life events in the three of the famous verses of Neethi Shathakam, Shrungara Shathakam, and Vairagya Shathakam, has attained great appreciation among the learned.


Note – Father of Bharthrihari was the well known Govindhapadha who was the preceptor of Sri Adi Shankaracharya.


Thursday, 30 July 2020

Vairagya Shathakam – Sri Bharthrihari Virachitham

Chapter -1 – Introduction


The renowned Sanskrit scholar and great poet Sri Bharthrihari was born in a royal family of Ujjain, as a brother to Vararuchi and Vikramadhithya, there is not much clear information about his earlier life, and some have the opinion that he was lived during the period of Mahakavi Kalidasa. The Maharaja Gandharvsen, of Ujjain, had two wives; the first wife gave birth to Bharthrihari, later he was crowned as the King, but he was not interested in the kingly duties, shortly he had attained Vairagya, leaving the Kingdom under the responsibilities of the younger brother Vikramaditya. He has written several Vyakarana Grantha, such as Shrungarashathakam, Neethishathakam, Vairagya Shathakam, and the Bhrihath Grantha ‘Vakyapadheeyam’.


Vairagyashathakam – Raga, and Dhwesha are the two sides of a coin, therefore whoever is relieved out of Raga/impurities, desires, lust, etc./ sudden impulses/emotions/anger/ will not have the sense of Dhwesha/‘hatred’, and it is the law of Prapancha, moreover without getting rid of the Raga and Dhwesha it is impossible to achieve the state of Mukthi.  Therefore ‘Vairagya’ has been defined as the absence of Raga and Dhwesha. Lord Krishna and Jagathguru Sri Adhishankaracharya proclaim that “Kasya Sukham Na Karothi Viraga:”. Vairagya Shathakam put the culpability on the ‘Thrishna’ which is the root cause for the miseries and sorrows of worldly existence.


Bogha Na Bhuktha Vayameva Bhuktha: Thapo Na Thaptham Vayameva  Thaptha: | Kalo Na Yatho Vayameva Yatha:  Thrishna Na Jeernna  Vayameva Jeernna: ||


The Jeeva constantly chases after the material as well as physical pleasure and get depressed before achieving the same. The Jeeva does not perform any Tapas but undergoes the afflictions and get distressed, thus live a life of death while living on Earth, the desires have no end, but the Jeeva is nearing the end of its journey. Finally, while chasing for the material comforts, wealth, happiness, possessions and fame, the Jeeva forgets its real purpose of birth and performs all those unwanted deeds undergo aging, illnesses, and eventually faces pathetic death. In this way the Jeeva persuaded by the ‘Thrishna’ soak in worldly matters and comforts, final moments of life  understands the truth that even though the body has already met its ruin, the pursuance for the desire has not ended, ultimately, gets anxious about how to get rid of that ‘Thrishna’ and achieve the serenity of the mind.


Asha Nama Nadhi Manorathajala Thrishna Tharangakula | Raga Grahavathi Vitharkka Vihaga Dhairyadhrumadhvamsini | Mohavarththa Sudhustharathi Gahana Proththunga  Chinthathati | Thasya: Paragatha Vishudhdha Manaso Nandhanthi Yogeeshwara: ||


The  Mahanadhi of Asha /river of desire has a realm of fancy/illusion like water, has Thrishna/desire/thirst like waves, and Anuraga/passion and love as alligators, adamant nature as birds, courage as tree on the river bank, the powerful water current as desires, redundant thoughts as the river banks which is extremely difficult to traverse. Whoever crosses the Mahanadhi of Asha, are Yogeendra who have won over desires and worldly attachments.


Avashyam YatharashchiratharaMushithvapi Vishaya | Viyoge Ko  Bhedhasthyajathi Na Jano  Yath Swayamamoon | Vrajantha: Swathanthryadhathula Parithapaya Manasa: | Swayam Thyaktha Hyethe Shamasukhamanantham Vidhadhathi ||


In the above verses, the poet describes the significance of ‘Vairagya’, and the ways to achieve permanent peace by abandoning interest in worldly matters and bondage which has impermanent nature, it has to meet ruin in the long run. Therefore it is better to practice the sense of abandonment in the interest in worldly matters, attachment to people, fame, wealth, possessions, and richness before it leaves you. In either way, it will cause the pain of separation, Alas! Even after knowing the ultimate truth of the Viyoga causes grief, the Jeeva is not making an effort to renounce them. If the attachment to worldly matters and people was discarded voluntarily like a Yogi, it would not cause grief, instead, it would multiply the bliss in Jeeva, if it was in the other way round,  it would definitely put the Jeeva into a miserable state of intense pain and grief.


Bhoge Rogabhyam Kule Chyuthibhayam  Viththe Nripaladh Bhayam | Mane Dhainyabhayam Bale Ripubhayam Roope Jaraya Bhayam | Shasthre Vadhibhyam Gune Khalabhayam Kaye Krithanthath Bhayam | Sarvam Vasthu Bhayanvitham Bhuvi Nrinam Vairagyam Yevabhayam ||


In the above verse, the poet describes the advantage of sense of ‘Vairagya’. The attachment to sensual pleasure causes fear of illnesses, possession of huge wealth causes the fear from the King,  the excessive pride causes fear of losing respect before others, the attachment on one’s own prowess causes fear of enemies, attachments on one’s own body causes fear of aging and illnesses, a person who is renowned in Shastras fears the debate with the intellectuals, a virtuous person fear of the immoral people, attachment to the body causes fear of death, hence attachment to each and object causes ‘Fear’ only.  Therefore, is there anything fearless in the Prapancha? Yes, it is the sense of ‘Vairagya’/sense of desirelessness is the only one that could protect the Jeeva from the fears. A Vairagin will not have fear of anything in this world and need not be feared of anything in the Universe.


Ashimahi Vayam Bhikshamashavaso Vasimahi | Shayimahi Mahiprishte  Kurvimahi Kimeeshwarai: ||


The poet describes the freedom of a Yogi who has achieved the sense of abandonment consumes the meal received by begging alms, clothed in directions, sleeps on the ground, has anything to fear of the wealthiest? The Yogi /Yathi who is Viraktha and Bhikshu has nothing to gain from the King or the wealthiest. The ignorant Jeeva consider the life on Earth is extremely suffering and sorrowful, there is only one ‘Royal Path’ to get rid of the miseries of the worldly existence, that’s the achievement of ‘Vairagya’.  Whoever wants to attain that Viveka and Vairagya, the recitation of ‘Vairagya Shathakam would provide an adequate boost to them.


Saturday, 4 July 2020

Sri Guru Padhuka Sthothram – Sri Adishankaracharya’s composition


I shall reverentially prostrate before the lotus feet of the supreme preceptor, which is the safest ferry to cross the unfathomable ocean of worldly existence. The worship of the supreme preceptor, would provide intense devotion and faith at the lotus feet of Guru, it provides the Kingdom of Vairagya/sense of abandonment/renunciation to the worshiper. Hence, I shall repeatedly prostrate before my supreme preceptor. I shall prostrate before the lotus feet of the preceptor, which resembles full moon in the ocean of knowledge, it serves as heavy downpour that put off the fire like misfortune of the people who are surrendered at his lotus feet.  I shall repeatedly prostrate before the lotus feet of my preceptor, whoever prostrates before him would get rid of the sufferings of poverty, and attains immense wealth.  The worship of the supreme preceptor transforms Mooka/speechless into Vachaspathi /who is excellent in speech.  I shall repeatedly prostrate before the lotus feet of the supreme preceptor, which removes the interest in worldly matters and bondage, desires born out of the darkness of ignorance, and it fulfills all the desires of the worshiper. I shall repeatedly prostrate before the lotus feet of the supreme preceptor, that has absolute brilliance, removes the darkness of accumulated sins and it destroys the miseries and sorrows of worldly existence, like the Garuda attack the serpent.  Its brilliance dries up the ocean of ignorance. I shall repeatedly prostrate before the lotus feet of the supreme preceptor, which provides six attributes, beneficial to achieve the supreme state of Samadhi. It provides intense devotion and faith at the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu who is all-pervasive, and consort of Ramapathi. I shall repeatedly prostrate before the lotus feet of the supreme preceptor, which removes all the desires of worldly existence, like the Garuda pounce upon the serpent, it provides Viveka, Vairagya, and knowledge of supreme consciousness, that leads to Moksha.

Anantha Samsara Samudrathara Naukayithabhyam  Guru Bhakthithabhyam| Vairagya Samrajyadha Poojanabhyam Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


Kavithvavarashi Sagarabhyam Dhaurbhagyadhavambhudha Malikabhyam | Dhoorikritha Namra Vipaththithabhyam  Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


Nathayayo Sripathithamsameeyu Kadhachithapyasu Dharidhravarya | Mookashcha Vachaspathithamhithabhyam Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


Naleekanikasapadha Hrithabhyam Nana Vimohadhi Nivarikabhyam | Nama: Janabheeshtathathi Pradhabhyam Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


Nripali Moulibhraja Rathnakanthi Saridhdharajajjashakanyakabhyam | Nripadhvadhabhyam Nathalokapankthe Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


 Papa Andhakara Arka Paramparabhyam  Thapaththrayaheendhra Khageshwarabhyam | Jadyadhi Samshoshana Vadaveebhyam Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


Shamadhi Shaktha Pradha Vaibhavabhyam  Samadhi Dhana Vratha Dheekshithabhyam | Ramaadhavadheegrasthirha Bhakthidhabhyam Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


Swarchaparanamakhileshathabhyam  Swaha Sahayaksha Dhurandharabhyam |Swanthachandhbhavapradha Poojanabhyam Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||


Kamadhisarpavraja Garudabhyam  Viveka Vairagya Nidhipradhabhyam | Bhodha Pradhabhyam Dhrutha Mokshadhabhyam Namo Nama: Sri Guru Padhukabhyam ||