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Re: caring for body: sAttvic?

From: Chandrashekaran Venkataraman (VCHANDRA_at_ambernetworks.com)
Date: Thu Nov 25 1999 - 11:16:41 PST

Dear Sri Sampathkumaran,
   Personally I think your question is a vibharItham. But still these kind
of questions sometimes help to rake up related dormant doubts in the inner
minds. 
   In this context, it would be good to turn our attention to a verse in
"Bhaja Govindham" which reminds us of the transitoriness of all this around
us. The verse goes thus.

   " mAkuru dhana jana yavvana gharvam
          harathi nimEshAth kAla sarvam"

   This verse is really powerful in inspiring wisdom in us. This means
"one's pride based on his/her wealth, kith and kin, and youth will be all
eventually destroyed by time." So it's not worth to consider it happiness if
it is derived from something transitory. We know anyway we are going to lose
it in the end. It only leaves us with more longing and ensuing agony and
hence sorrow.
   As to the muscle flexing youth :) are you sure they are truly happy all
the time. They can't be. Because they have developed a notion that they have
to look handsome in this world to live. So they will be constantly thinking
about how they look etc., This leads to fear of loss of beauty which leads
to sorrow when they do lose it (I am sure you will agree with me that they
will at some point in time in their life). It comes very naturally to say
that if we live simple there is nothing to lose and nothing to worry about.
This is very true if we realise the truth that our mind is a "kONal" one. If
you expose to some comfort it will hook onto it and would never be happy if
it loses it. So definitely the vibharItha idea of body-centric religion
etc., would be only an effect of avidhya. To really appreciate what is said
above, one should realise that we are all bound to lose everything at one
time. This is a bare Truth and the wise respect the Truth. Even the one
that's closest to us, this body, is going to be carried to the pyre in the
end and will be let to burn there till the blood (which WAS young and hot)
becomes tar and vapourizes, and the bones of which we FELT our strength and
youth breaks in heat and becomes ash. The jIvA which was all so active and
body-conscious till its sojourn in the body - the body that has by now fully
burnt on the pyre, now is left with nothing but itself and its vAsanAs. Now
is the moment of Truth; the Truth that the jIvA was either ignorant of or
was neglecting to abide by.

   This leaves out one question unresolved. I will place this to the forum.
One basic observation I have made so far in many instances is that generally
people don't seem to be really afraid of rebirth even after so many agonies
in this mundane life. Only the people who are exposed to vEdantha texts
(even the slightest) talk about prevention of rebirth etc., But a layman for
example would say in some context "let me see at least in my next birth I
will achieve this .." etc., not really fearing the rebirth. Do the members
see this a valid observation? Especially since the modern life has brought
in unbelievable amount of comforts, people have forgotten that
transitoriness is worthless and don't really see that this life in itself is
worthless to live in the way we do.

  There is a beautiful tamizh krithi by Ambujam Krishna in this regard (sung
by Smt. MS)

  "kuthagaiyAi eduttha pala piRavi kODAnu kODi inum 
   etthanaiyO thunbham allAdhu inbham thAnum eLLaLavum 
   idhu varai yAn irukka kANEn".

  adiyEn,
  chandrasekaran.