Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kingly regalia,domains and riches are impermanent - mantrA 168

srigurubhyO namahA |
With the 168th mantrA, we come to start the next segment of instruction to the disciple. This is a short sub section with only nine mantrAs and here the sage proceeds to highlight the impermanent nature of wealth. The word 'wealth' here refers to material wealth - one's cattle, houses, land, money, etc.

3.. செல்வம் நிலையாமை
அருளும் அரசனும் ஆனையம் தேரும்
பொருளும் பிறர்கொள்ளப் போவதன் முன்னம்
தெருளும் உயிரொடும் செல்வனைச் சோன்
மருளும் பினையவன் மாதவ மன்றே. I.3.1.168.

Before others seize and away your riches take,
Your elephant and car, your kingship and grace,
Even while life pulses, if you the Lord's asylum seek,
To you thus in fear dazed, the penance true its reward pays. I.3.1.168

ComYour elephant and car, your kingship and grace, Before others seize and away your riches take, Before the time comes where others snatch away the various luxuries; of your kingship, of your enormous army composed of elephant and chariot forces, of your life full of the grace and symbols of ample wealth and comfort Even while life pulses, if you the Lord's asylum seek, and while still possessed of the life force, if one due to clear mind is able to seek out the one thing that is eternal (i.e. siva) and attain to His grace To you thus in fear dazed, the penance true its reward pays. Then he will surely reach a state where there is no more fear, a place where there is no need for any further penance (i.e. liberation).

*After first illustrating the perishable nature of the human body, the sage draws the attention of the student towards the transitory nature of material wealth. We are material beings and all our lives are spent either gathering the various material objects or enjoying their delights. Success in life is measured in terms of the number of cars and the size of the house one owns, by the position of power one enjoys (in public and private life). This is a sorry state of affairs, as in reality neither kingship nor the possession of vast riches is a permanent state. Even if one was fortunate enough to keep away the envious and the devious from one’s wealth and status all through one’s life, surely there will come a time when death will snatch all this in an instant! 
Thus the sage advices the sincere seeker to begin his spiritual evolution at once; while the body is still endowed with life and vitality. All these various material possessions are but temporary in our lives and any idea of ‘ownership’ leads only to sorrow. Instead, if we seek and identify (through the grace of the guru and through the many pointers in this text) the real tattvA known as siva, we will have found the one thing that is eternal. The union with siva is not something that can be limited by time or even place. It is everlasting and even death is unable to snatch this away as the Self is deathless and immortal. This is indicated by the last line of the verse which declares that such a one ‘will not be distracted by even the greatest of penances’ – the meaning is that for such a one (who has realised and attained oneness with siva) there is no further need for penance or prayer, as it is only to arrive at the ground of self realisation that those practises are indicated as methods for. Once we arrive at our destination, there is no further need for the train which brought us there.

thirucchitrambalam |