योगवासिष्ठम् – वैराग्यप्रकरणम् – सर्गः १४
Fleeting Nature of Life
Rama speaks to Viswamitra and other sages about the
fleeting nature of life in these verses selected from the Vairagrya
of Yogavasishtham.
आयुः पल्लवकोणाग्रलम्बांबुकणभंगुरम्
उन्मत्तमिव संत्यज्य यात्यकाण्डे शरीरिणम् ॥१॥
Life is as
evanescent  and fleeting as a drop of
water hanging from the tip of a leaf.  It
leaves the body, at the oddest of  times,
 like a mad or intoxicated person.
अप्रौढात्मविवेकानामायुरायासकारणम् ॥२॥
Life is the cause of exhaustion for
those whose mind has been weakened  by
attachment to sense objects which are like poisonous snakes and whose self-awareness
is shallow and weak.
ये तु विज्ञातविज्ञेया विश्रान्ता वितते पदे
भावाभावसमाश्वासा आयुस्तेषां सुखायते ॥३॥
Those who have known what is to be known, are
firmly established in the all-pervading Brahman and are equally comfortable
with existence and non-existence, for them only life is full of happiness.
वयं परिमिताकारपरिनिष्ठितनिश्चयाः
संसाराभ्रतडित्पुञ्जे मुने नाऽऽयुषि निर्वृताः
Putting my trust in this limited body, I
do not rejoice in this life of mine which darts like a flash of lightning in
the cloud of samsara (delusion).  
युज्यते वेष्टनं वायोराकाशस्य च खण्डनं
ग्रथनं च तरङ्गाणामास्था नाऽऽयुषि युज्यते
It is
possible to cleave the all-pervading Akasa or clothe the stormy winds or still
the waves that continuously arise on the surface of the (ocean) but one cannot
put one’s trust in this fleeting life.
पेलवं शरदीवाऽभ्रमस्नेह इव दीपकः
तरङ्गक इवाऽऽलोलं गतमेवोपलक्ष्यते ॥६॥
This life is ephemeral  and fleeting like autumnal clouds or an oil-less
lamp or ocean waves. It is as good as extinguished.
तरङ्गप्रतिबिम्बेन्दुं तडित्पुञ्जं नभोऽम्बुजम्
ग्रहीतुमास्थां बध्नामि न त्वायुषि हतस्थितौ॥७॥
I can hope to catch the reflection of
the moon in the waves, or the streak of lightning or the sky-lotus.  But I cannot put my hope in life the
existence of which is already doomed.
अविश्रान्तमनाः शून्यमायुराततमीहते
दुःखायैव विमूढोऽन्तर्गर्भमश्वतरी यथा ॥८॥
One whose mind never experiences quietude foolishly
longs for a long life only to court misery, like the pregnancy of ashwarataree
an animal which  can be delivered
of its offspring only by cutting open its stomach).
संसारसंसृतावस्यां फेनेऽस्मिन्सर्गसागरे
कायवल्ल्याऽम्भसो ब्रह्मन् जीवितं मे न रोचते
I  do not
like this life with a creeper-like flimsy body being tossed about in the foaming
waters of the ocean of samsara.
प्राप्यं संप्राप्यते येन भूयो येन न शोच्यते
पराया निर्वृतेः स्थानं 
यत्तज्जीवितमुच्यते ॥१०॥
That  life by
which is attained whatever is  to be
attained, by which one does not  grieve
again and which is the abode of supreme peace and tranquillity – that alone can
be called life.
तरवोऽपि हि जीवन्ति जीवन्ति मृगपक्षिणः
स जीवति मनो यस्य मननेन न जीवति ॥११॥
animals and birds also live.  But a
person lives only when his mind has stopped running after the senses and is
turned inward and focused  on the Self.

एव जगति जन्तवः साधुजीविताः।
पुनर्नेह जायन्ते शेषाजगरगर्दभाः ॥ १२॥
are only those who take birth in this world and lead a saintly life and are
never again born in this world. Others are pythons or donkeys.
शास्त्रं भारो ज्ञानं च रागिणः
मनो भारो भारोऽनात्मविदो वपुः ॥१३॥

the fool sastra is a burden. 
Knowledge is a burden for those attached to sensual pleasures. The mind
is a burden for those who are never calm. The body is a burden for those
without Self-realisation.

Sri P R Ramamurthy Ji was the author of this website. When he started this website in 2009, he was in his eighties. He was able to publish such a great number of posts in limited time of 4 years. We appreciate his enthusiasm for Sanskrit Literature. Authors story in his own words :

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