When I just look around I see so much angst and pain in lives of people. There is rage on roads, people fight at homes, hatred is wide spread and voilence seems to be the answer for everything around us! From these flames of madness that turn everything to ashes rises the big question, what caused all this? Why do people carry so much anger?
On another lever I see people who are neck deep in the ocean of grief. People claim to be in grief and project this grief in the most horrendous way as possible. I see people who abuse others, who molest others and diusturb others to gratify their frustrations. There are others who are lost in fantasies and are usually struck with a huge blow! The cause of all these behaviors are beautifully explained by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya in his great treatise “vivEkachUDAmaNi”
Cause for grief
tirObhUte svAtmAnymalataratEjOvati pumAn
anAtmAnam mOhAdahamiti sharIram kalayati
tatah kAmakrOdhaprabhritibhir amum bhandaka guNaihi
param vikShEpAkya rajasa uruShaktir vyathayati
when the atma which is of supre effulgence is concealed, due to the lack of discrimination between real and virtual, a man considers his BODY to be the ATMA. With this assumption he is trapped by the qualities of desire, anger etc, all of which find their roots in rajOguNa which creates illusions and leads to limitless griefs.
Acharya uses the word VikShEpa – which means wrong projection. Due to tis wrong projection of BODY as the ATMA the person is lost in bondage. He is prey to kaama, krodha and lobha! These people tend to work towards satisfying the needs of their body and are angry when their desires are not met, and become miserly on getting it. Similar sentiment is reflected in the BhagavadgIta
“trividam narakasyEdam dvAram nAshanamAtmanah|
kAma krOdhasthathA lObha tasmAdEtat trayam tyajEt||” – the gate to hell has three doors- desire, anger and miserliness. Hence one should abondon the three.
Nature of grief:
mahAmOha grAhagrasana galitAtmAvagamanah
dhiyO nAnAvasthah svayamabhinayan tadguNatayA
apAre saMsAre vishayavishapUre jalanidhau
nimajjyonmajjayAyam bhramati kumatih kutsitagatihi
The man of peverted intellect is lost in this illusion so deep that it grabs him lika a crocodile and prevents him from realising the real nature of the Atma. He delves in the madness of his BUDDHI and falls into this ocean of samsAra. Rising and falling henceforth unable to attain Brahma-Realisation and drifts endlessly
When one thinks from his body and is neck deep in grief, he becomes a kumati – pervert and hi falls down to hell. He rises and falls in the madness of his sense organs and swims endlessly in the samsara sagara without finding the shore ever!
After discussing the cause, Acharya compares samsara to a tree beautifully
bIjam samsmrutibhUmijasya tu tamO dEhAtmadhirankurah
rAgam pallavam ambu karma tu vapuh skandhOsavah shAkhikAh
agrANindriyasamhatischa vishayah pushpaaNi dukham phalam
nAnAkarmasamudhbhavam bahuvidham bhOktAtra jIvah khagaha
samsAra itself is a tree . . . its seed which is the primal cause for everything is ajnana . . . tu shows that ajnAna is the only cause and nothing else . . the idea that the body is itself the atma is the shoot (amkura) . . rAga(attachment) is the tender sprout arising from ajnAna . . rAga makes opne believe that doing what the body desires will also satisfy the atma . . next is ambu (water) which is the primal element of every tree which is KARMA . . the human body is the Trunk of the tree . . the prANas are the branches that comeout of the trunk . . . the contact of sense with objects are the tendrils . . the sense-objects are the flowers . .suffering is the fruit of this tree . . and the jIva which is trapped in this whole excersise is the bird that eats the fruit ot suffering from the tree . .
After this beautiful metaphor of the tree for samsAra, Acharya talks about the only solution to free oneself from this madness . ..
nAstraIr na ShAstraIr anilEna vahninA
chettum na shakyO na cha karmakOTibhihi
vivEka vijnAnamahAsinA vinA
dhAtuh prasAdEna Shitena manjunA
the illusion caused by ajnana, the illusion that I AM MY BODY – and the perverted desires to satisfy the body cannot be destroyed by any missile or weapon, nor by wind or fire, nor even by doing crores of karmas is this illusion destroyed, except by the great – sharp and attractive sword of sujnAna obtained only by the grace of paramEshwara.
People who are lost in lust and bondages can be cured only by the paramEshwara Acharya says. An attempt to transform them will be futile because people thinking from their bodies will never digest the truth! Only when they take the first step to free themselves from the bondings will god guide them to the path . . otherwise they are forever drifting in this apaara saagara of mysery and grief . . .