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V.10 part 2. Bhaja Govindam Study Class Notes


SUMMARY: Bhaja Govindam Class 22 - 11/06/23

Chinmaya UK Study Class, Śaṅkarācārya, Swami Chinmayananda (Sw. C.)



Vayasi Gatē Kaḥ Kāmavikāraḥ

Śuṣke Nīrē Kaḥ Kāsāraḥ |

Kṣīṇe Vitte Kaḥ Parivārō

Jñātē Tattvē Kaḥ Saṃsāraḥ || 10 ||


When youth is gone, where is lust and its play?

When water has evaporated, where is the lake?

When wealth is reduced, where is the retune?

When Truth is realised, where is (the snare of) saṃsāra?


Verse 10: where's the effect without the cause?


Nonapprehension = missaprehension = false reality (dellusion!)

A classic Vedantic example to illustrate this idea is the ghost and the post:

On a dark night, say you see a shadow and it seems to be moving. Our mind starts to spin all sorts of stories of what it could be, and subsequent fears arise. Fears that in that moment seem very real. The instant someone turns on a light, you realise the shadow was coming from a post and not a ghost! Once the Truth is revealed where is the fear? Ignorance has gone.

In the same way, it is due to non-apprehension of Reality that misapprehension begins. And this misapprehension provides a host of sorrows.


Why don’t we apprehend Reality and does it matter?

The fumes of our vāsanās form a veil of ignorance that keep us from experiencing the Perfection of Reality. Because we don’t realise this Reality, feelings of imperfection arise within us which we try to fill through fulfilling desires and plans. We work to acquire and possess things/people/situations of the outer world where we hope again and again to seek fuller fulfilment in life. But as we've seen week after week, that fulfilment, and permanent happiness, that all humans inherently seek, isn't in the external world of objects/people/situations. Thus, when the ignorance of Reality has ended, through being in satsang the misconceptions must also end and the clinging sense of ego (me, myself and I and my family/way/country etc) no longer exists. What are Vāsanās? Vāsanās are impressions of the past. They are formed when we first experience something and place a judgement value on it. I like/dislike this, this makes me joyful/sorrowful, this is right/wrong etc… The more we repeat the action, the vāsanā - impression, becomes deeper and deeper. Some vāsanās free us and some bind us into habit patterns and thought patterns that may or may not be helpful.

Eithereway, once these patterns become mechanical, they veil a situation/object’ thing from what it really is. It becomes mechanical and ee see it as per our past impression rather than as it is.

What happens when there are no vāsanās? When the vāsanās have ended, the Truth is realised. Vāsanās are the cause of conditioning of our inner life. They create the chaos of an ego and its meaningless achievements and the madness of individuality. When our inner vāsanā-conditioning/veiling has been removed/exhausted/burnt, the ego ceases. Where there is no ego, the world “perceived, felt and thought of” must necessarily recede into nothingness.

This doesn't mean the world ceases to exist, but our pre-given conditioned interpretation/meaning of it ceases. Then what?? As the phenomenal play of enchantments gets obliterated, the experience of the Infinite Consciousness comes to reveal as the state of Truth, and, at this experience, individuality ends and Universal Consciousness becomes the very nature of the meditator. In the Mundaka Upanishad, it is said The Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman. And satsang, the company of the good--leading to non-attachment which gives freedom from delusion and thus an experience of Reality, we become free whilst living--is the path Shankara recommends here.

We will deep dive into the last section of the verse in the next post...

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