Life of Vision by Pujya Guruji – Part 3 (Day 4)
Life of Vision is a compilation of Sanskrit verses that mark important occasions in our lives. These have been composed by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda ji. The book is available in Chinmaya publications and a must to own. Below are notes taken from talks by Guruji on these very pertinent topics on how to lead one’s life. The songs from the book and their literal meanings have not been included in the notes below.
Life is not just full of happy moments. There is another side to life. Vedanta teaches us how to look at life wholly and not in parts. In Gita CH 11, first Arjuna was happy to see only divine forms of Lord and later on was agitated and scared to see the fiery forms.
Shoka sAntvanA – Condolences
“May the jiva reach noble destination by God’s grace. May God bless the departed with Sad gati/ shubha gati and his relatives with patience, peace and strength to bear the sorrow of separation.” Stating we are with them even at this time of bereavement is important.
JAtasya hi dhruvo mrityu| Death is inevitable but the suspense is when, how and where the jiva goes next? We should not keep on worrying about something in which we have no control. In Yaksha prashna, Yudhishtira says ‘everyday so many die and yet others don't realize their time too will come and this is the strangest thing’. So we must Wake up!!!
Na hi kalyanakrit kaschit durgatim tAta gacchati | if one has lived a good life, then no need to worry. Gurudev says ‘The important question to ask is not how one died but how one had lived before dying’.
Whether or not we want or put effort, aging happens happen automatically.
Disgraceful aging is described in Bhaja Govindam:
balas tAvat kreeda-Asaktah, tarunas tAvat tarunIsaktah,
vriddhas tAvat chintAsaktah, parame brahmani kopi na saktah||
Guruji humorously describes the plight of an old indulgent man, eating pakoda at night and unable to digest, reading newspapers from atha to iti, worried about onion price, India China relationship, so on and so forth endlessly. The man’s biggest worry is that no one else seems to worry about these worldly matters. Guruji quips if by division of labour when one has taken it upon himself to worry, what could others do.
ShAlinavArdhakyam Graceful Ageing
Balas tAvat shiksha sakta
Tarunas tAvat dhIksha nishtah
Vriddhas tAvat bhiksha vrittah
Sa eva brahmani sadAnuraktah
We must create love for learning in children. Childhood must be spent in learning and not merely play. Besides education, youth should have some altar in life to dedicate his knowledge and service. Youth should vow to serve others. One must not only think what one can get but what he can give at least for some hours per day to the society.
In old age, one must minimise worldly needs and comforts and be content with whatever comes one’s way. YadrichhA lAbha santushtah. More time must be dedicated to Spiritual growth. Such a person alone remains ever absorbed in Brahman.
To summarise in childhood you LEARN, in youth you EARN (righteously), in retirement you TURN (within) and ultimately NEVER RETURN (to samsara). Such a person enjoys Bliss alone (Nandati Nandati Nandati eva) and others only suffer and weep in life (roditi eva).
Attitude towards illness
Diseases cause lots of pain and discomfort and are therefore disliked by many. Yet one should not look upon diseases as enemies but treat them as friends. Although they are unwanted and unliked guests, they are also our well-wishers. Firstly, they give us many symptoms before their arrival. That is a signal for us to rectify. For instance, before we get even a common cold or flu, there is body pain turning our attention towards our body and a potential risk. But we either neglect or avoid doctor, hospitals and tests out of fear.
Don't have worry, fear or hate diseases. But go to some doctor and get it treated. A patient must have lots of patience and go through proper examination, diagnosis and treatment. Good health is the greatest gain of life.
We love and follow all wrong eating habits and lifestyle that cause diseases but hate illnesses. Aushadhi is that which removes toxins/ weaknesses from body and bestows good health. Therefore we must look upon medicine as mother and God as doctor.
aushadham jAhnavItoyam vaidyo nArAyano harih | Bhishaje bhava roginAm|
According to Dharma shastra, our own past evil deeds (papa karma) manifest as diseases and hence our sins get exhausted through our suffering. So, should we not rather be happy and welcome any illness that comes our way as a blessing? Without any complaints or anxieties, we should just go through the illness taking all measures to get cured.
From spiritual standpoint, diseases enable us to introspect our attachment to body. There was once a Mahatma who would go into Samadhi to forget his bodily pains. Leaving body attachment, one must turn one’s attention from body to the Lord within.