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V.10 part 3. Bhaja Govindam Study Class Notes

Updated: Mar 30

SUMMARY: Bhaja Govindam Class 23 - 18/06/23

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

Verse 10 cont. When the Truth is realised, where is saṃsāra?

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?

Nonapprehension = misapprehension = false reality (delusion!)

Last week we spoke about the nonapprehension of Reality leading to misapprehension and thus not seeing things as they are.

This ignorance of the Self is caused by a veil of ignorance made up of vāsanās. Thus, the scriptures may declare Tat Tvam Asi (That Thou Art or You Are That) and we may nod because it sounds nice and gives us some peace in the moment, but much of the time we don't truly believe it because we haven't consciously experienced and aren't established in That.

As we've been asking the question 'Who Am I?' for a while now, and intellectually we've understood we are not our names, relationships, professions, bodies, minds, intellects etc (we may have them - but they all change, are not fixed, impermanent - yet 'I' was always there - in the changes, across time and space, in the ups and downs). We've come to understand that 'I' am sat-chit-ananda (existence-consciousness-bliss). However, having a logical, intellectual understanding of this does not equal experience of that Self.

So, how do we begin to know who 'I' am?

By removing some of the veils of ignorance that cause us to forget and by becoming aware of our inner worlds that drive our external actions.

A visual of how saṃskāras (latent impressions), vāsanās (manifest tendencies), vṛṭṭis (thought), and karma (action) work will hopefully make this clearer:

How do we remove these veils?

The purpose of spiritual sādhanās (practices) and disciplines is to remove these veils. All the different paths or yogas help us to do this. So veils are removed by:

- Acting in the spirit of yoga.

- Doing our 100% best and leaving the rest.

- By BEING present to the moment, - being present to every object/person/situation in front of us right here, right now.

- By not making assumptions/jumping to conclusions.

- Questioning.

- Sublimating habits that no longer serve our growth.

- By always remembering the bigger picture or higher purpose: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

- Dedicating our actions to a greater universal - be that the universe, a god we believe in, humanity, future generations, earth etc...

What happens then?

As these veils are removed moment by moment, we start to see things as they are. We start to be more present.

- FOMO vanishes. Comparison disappears. Searching for happiness externally dissolves.

- We realise what we are looking for has been inside of us all along.

- We can remain calm in the most funky of situations and respond to them rather than react.

- We realise we are exactly where we are meant to be as per our past actions (karma).

- We lean into this moment, here and now, realising the awesomeness of what had to have happened for this precise happening to occur.

- Love, compassion, understanding and joy become our normal.

- We can serve wholeheartedly.

- We can see when we've fallen, and we can get up quicker.

- The universe flows through us...we allow Life.


When the cause of ignorance (vāsanās) are removed, where is ignorance?

When the Truth is realised, where, my dear, is saṃsāra?

Thoughts? Reflections? Questions?

We'll start verse 11 next...

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