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V.4 Bhaja Govindam Study Class Notes

SUMMARY: Bhaja Govindam Class 9 - 05/03/23

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

nalinīdalagatajalamatitaralaṃ tadvajjīvitamatiśayacapalam |

viddhi vyādhyabhimānagrastaṃ lōkaṃ śōkahataṃ ca samastam || 4

The water-drop playing on a lotus petal has an extremely uncertain existence; so also is life ever unstable.

Understand, the very world is consumed by disease and conceit, and is riddled with pangs.

Verse 4: Don't sweat the small stuff!

Śaṅkarācārya, here, highlights the nature of existence as ephemeral, riddled with painful imperfections and the uncertainty of our embodied lives.

He uses poetic language to compare human life to a minute particle of water trembling at the tip of a lotus petal.

What - we're not going to live forever??

It is uncertain how long any of us will hang on for before the sun dries us up, and even during that time, life is consumed by disease and conceits (how clean is the water of our lives?) and persecuted by a hundred different voiceless pangs (the wind blowing around us, our changing shape and form, the changing nature of the lotus itself, other elements etc)...

If this is the nature of our existence, if it is so uncertain, constantly changing and riddled with ups and downs, why waste time worrying about things that haven't occurred yet or things that don't really short, why do we waste our time sweating the small stuff??

We will unpack this verse in more detail in the next class...

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