Monday, April 25, 2011

Kaliyuga

About thirtheen centuries ago, a young boy named Sankara left his widowed mother taking sannyaasa, much to her dissatisfaction. After many years, he composed the immortal ‘Bhaja Govindam’ where he calls all of humanity Fools! (Mooda mathey!) lost in the illusory world of matter. He went on to say, unapologetically,

“O Fool! Give up your thirst to amass wealth now…
Be content with what comes through actions of the past…
Take no pride in your possession, in the people at your command or in your youth. Time loots away all these in a moment…
Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya…
Sheltering in temples, under the trees…. And sleeping on the naked ground, thus renouncing all ideas of possession and attachment, to whom will this dispassion not bring happiness?...
Take delight in being with the noble and the holy, distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy…
Wealth is calamitous, thus reflect constantly: the truth is that there is no happiness at all to be got from it…


‘Pious Hindus play this song over and over in their homes, as if loving to be called ‘fools’ over and over again! They worship Sankara, seemingly with a lot of dedication.

Today, if one did the same thing that he did (left home in search of the truth, following one’s calling), I wonder if one could escape being called irresponsible, selfish?

If one said the same things that he did, even if in a much softer tone without calling anyone names, I wonder if one could escape being called crazy, naïve, ignorant, foolish, crack-pot, arrogant?

May be this is why they call this the kaliyuga!

In any case, M.S.Subbulakshmi’s rendition of Bhaja Govindam is nothing short of divine. If we can actually listen to it everyday, contemplating its deep meaning, there is our prayer to the Lord!

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