In these verses selected from the Vairagrya Prakarana of Yogavasishtham
Ra ma speaks to Viswamitra and other sages about graying and old age.
अपर्याप्तं हि बालत्वं बलात् पिबति यौवनम्
यौवनं च जरा पश्चात् पश्य कर्कशतां मिथः ॥१॥
Man is unable to do anything in childhood, youth saps
the energy of the young person and then aging, the most difficult period, takes
हिमाशनिरिवाऽम्भोजं वात्येव शरदंबुदम्
देहं जरा नाशयति नदी तीरतरुं यथा ॥२॥
Just like snowfall destroys lotuses, wind scatters the
autumn clouds and river fells trees on its banks, so too old age weakens the body.
जर्जरीकृतसर्वांगो जरा जरठरूपिणी
विरूपतां नयत्याशु देहं विषलवो यथा ॥३॥
Old age wears away all the limbs and makes the body ugly to look at
as a drop of poison would do.
समं पश्यन्ति कामिन्यः पुरुषं करभं यथा ॥४॥
An aged person whose limbs have become loose and body has become
worn out is looked at by women in the same way they look at a donkey.
दासाः पुत्राः स्त्रियश्चैव बांधवाः सुहृदस्तथा
हसन्त्युन्मत्तकमिव नरं वार्धककंपितम् ॥५॥
A man who is shaken by old age is laughed at by servants, sons,
women, relations and friends as if he were out of his senses.
दुष्प्रेक्ष्यं जरठं दीनं हीनं गुणपराक्रमैः
गृध्रो वृक्षमिवाऽदीर्घं सर्वो ह्यभ्येति वृद्धकम् ॥६॥
An aged person is not good-looking, is worn out, miserable and
devoid of good qualities and valour. He
is approached by every one with contempt like an eagle looking at a short tree.
दैन्यदोषमयी दीर्घा हृदि दाहप्रदायिनी
सर्वापदामेकसखी वार्धके वर्धते स्पृहा ॥७॥
Old age is full of misery and shortcomings, long, burns one’s
heart and is the cause all types of accidents and mishaps. Old age also
brings with it increased desire for worldly pleasures.
कर्तव्यं किम् मया कष्टं परलोकेऽतिदारुणम्
अप्रतीकारयोग्यं हि वर्द्धते वार्द्धके भयम् ॥८॥
The man who is old is worried ” what can I do about the other
world?” The fear about the other world which is
imagined as terrible and which cannot be countered increases during old
कोऽहं वराकः किमिव करोमि कथमेव च
तिष्ठामि मौनमेवेति दीनो सीदति वार्द्धके ॥९॥
“Who am I, powerless creature?
What shall I do? How shall I do it? I shall remain quiet only” – thus
worries the person in old age.
वृद्धोऽभ्युपैति सोल्लासमुपभोक्तुं न शक्यते
हृदयं दह्यते नूनं शक्तिदौस्थ्येन वार्द्धके ॥१०॥
The old man approaches with enthusiasm objects of
enjoyment but he is unable to enjoy them. His heart burns at the thought of his
lack of strength for any sort of enjoyment.
जराजीर्णबकी यावत् कायक्लेशापकारिणी
रौति रोगोरगाकीर्णा कायद्रुम शिरः स्थिता ॥११॥
The female crane of old age cries aloud seated atop the tree of the
body surrounded by serpents of diseases giving lot of pain to the body.
तावदागत एवाऽशु कुतोऽपि परिदृश्यते
घनान्धतिमिराकांक्षी मुने मरणकौशिकः ॥१२॥
O Sage! by this time is seen coming the owl of Death which is fond
of dense darkness.
परिपक्वं समालोक्य जरा क्षारमिव धूसरम्
शिरः कूष्माण्डकं भुङ्क्ते कालोऽयमखिलेश्वरः ॥१३॥
Death, master of
everyone, eats up the aged person’s head which has turned white like ash and
looks like a fully ripe white pumpkin.
न जिता शत्रुभिः संख्ये प्रविष्टा येऽद्रिकोटरे
ते जराजीर्णराक्षस्या पश्याऽऽशु विजिता मुने ॥१४॥
O Sage! This demon of aging scores victory over even those who are
not beaten in a fight or who have escaped into the safety of a mountain cave.
अभावोऽग्रेसरी यत्र जरा जयति जन्तुषु
कस्तत्रेह समाश्वासो मम मन्दमतेर्मुने ॥१५॥
Old age scores victory over beings by first snatching every thing of a person ( his
strength, peace of mind, happiness etc). O Sage! How can I, dull headed as I
am, rely on this old age?
किं तेन दुर्जीवितदुर्ग्रहेण
जरागतेनाऽपि हि जीव्यते यत्
जरा जगत्यामजिता समेत्य
सर्वैषणास्तात तिरस्करोति ॥१६॥
What is the use of wanting to live a life overtaken by aging and
full of miseries? The invincible old age
inevitably comes into life and negates all desires of man