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Bhatrihari Wisdom - 10:

Abusing the Condition of Mendicancy

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Some circumstances create the condition of begging. For that reason, after speaking of goodness and faring auspiciously Bhatrihari, the poet-analyst speaks of begging in ten slokas.

With a low caste shameful face, weeping pitiably in hunger, dressed in a sari that is torn, when children complain and cry being hungry, the sad husband begins to beg. His voice is low and his words tremble. In the condition would any wise man beg? This is to say that a man would not stoop to beg.   (21)                                                                                                                                          
This big pot called stomach removes self-respect. As moonlight makes the lotuses blossom it would squeeze all good qualities. It would cut apart a creeper as an axe. There is no word to make it full. This stomach makes me go to all kinds of begging, the one who takes to begging. (22)

In a village or place there is the flame and smoke, as per custom, with a begging bowl with a white cloth thrown on it one goes around houses to beg, fill his stomach is a little better. For a self-respecting man to beg in the upper caste houses is not proper. (23)

Like places where foam rises from streams like ice showers where vidyadharas (super humans like angels) beautiful areas have disappeared. It is insulting for a n to crave for rice balls offered to the departed souls. (24)

Have sweet potatoes disappeared from valleys? Have rivulets near hills gone dry? Did the trees that give plenty of fruits and fibrous bark of trees for making saries? Eating things like sweet potato and drinking water in the rivulet wearing clothes made of barks of trees would be happy. Anyone desirous of getting rich, making money and for that serving the proud rich is stupidity. The poet says that being independent would be the best way to be really happy.  (25)                                       

Oh! Sweet heart! Cook the holy sweet potatoes for food and lay the bed with tender leaves of trees. We two would find all these in the forest. We wold not even hear the names of the rich who misbehave with the decease of riches. (26)

We can pluck any number of fruits from trees and drink water from the holy rivers. When tender leaves are available to make beds why suffer at the door steps of the headstrong rich?  (27)

Those standing miserably and humbly before the proud and cruel would be desiring only worthless things. I would be seeing bad days of such people, smiling to myself. (28)

Those who feel blissful all the time would be always be so without any dearth of sadness. For those there would be no greed or desire for wealth, or a mountain of gold. For the other type of people none can bring any cheer. When there is no satisfaction, why should any crave for such? The mountain of gold is absolutely useless. (29)

Only yogis who have been detached anything would be delightful for they are carefree. They would just get bikshaanna cooked rice as bhiksha, alms, and no worry or dissatisfaction. Effortlessly they get food as from shambhu satra, Lord Shiva’s choultry. Such places are everywhere.   (30)

Description of the short-living nature of bhogas sensuous living. They are comparable to the unfortunate and helplessness of mendicancy.

There is a falling for ill-health and decease in the enjoyment of sensuousness living. Born in good castes, enjoying name and fame, there is imminent fear of becoming infamous when self-respecting people for fear of death. There is only thing that is fearless. That is vairagya, a kind of philosophical living. For the wise ones what is desirable is the contemplation of Parama Shiva. (31)

All things, birth, youth, joy and lust of wealth, sensuality and the deceit of women. old age and sickness, dangers in forest, fear of bad kings, all these make man sleepless.   There is nothing that is not dangerous.   For that reason, man should apply all this thinking about Shiva, Eshwar. (32)

Owing to pain in thoughts and disease people’s heath deteriorates. When there is money and happiness, there are dangers of ill health and misfortune. Death eats away the living. God is the one who is permanent stable and joy giving. So, vairagya is the happiest state. (33)

Bhogas, joys of living in wealth and comforts like waves going high would also come down. All those are ephemeral. Oh! The intelligent and thoughtful ones, understand that this samsara is without absolute and real value. Make efforts for the everlasting which would be perennial and successful. (34)

Bhogas are like lightning flashes in the dense clouds. Life is short, like a water drops on the lotus life. Desires are not stable or long lasting. Oh! The Learned ones! Quickly shedding desires of samsara, concentrate you mind-heart-soul in samaadhiyoga, the concentration of thinking of absolute bliss. (35)

Life span is brief and unstable. The glamour of youth is short living. Riches and sensuous living are like lightening. The embraces of the sweet heart are never lasting. For the reason, to cross the sea of samsara be prepared and go into the mind-set relating to Parabrahma.(36)

In life one has to go through faeces and urine and go through the hell of being in the mother’s belly. In youth one has to suffer separation of the sweet hearts. In old age if one laughs at woman’s behaviour one has to be a prey to insults. Oh! Humans! Tell me if there is even little real comfort! (37)

Old age is approaching like a tiger. Diseases are ready to invade. As water I am a broken pot; the length of life is dwindling fast. Even then the world is not leaving the wrong routes. (38)

Bhogas are short living. Samsaara is transient. Why bother for this? Listen to me and follow my advice. Stop, at least, from now. Break these shackles and cultivate a mind-set of thinking concentration on Parabrahma! (39)

The experience of brahmananda would be celestial glory. For those floating in that experience coronation and kingships are worthless. Don’t get interested in temporal and short living bhogas. (40)

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More by :  Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.

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