Bhaja Govindam – Verse 5

यावद्वित्तोपार्जन सक्त-

स्तावन्निज परिवारो रक्तः ।

पश्चाज्जीवति जर्जर देहे

वार्तां कोऽपि न पृच्छति गेहे

So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see what affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.

  • Yaavat – as long as, as much as. Yaavantam kalam (edhuvaraikum)
  • Vittho – means artha
  • Arjanan meaning earing
  • Saktah – make money or as long as you are useful.
  • Taavan or taavath – as long as (adhuvaraikum)
  • Nija – you
  • Parivara – your family
  • Raktha – your blood relations. Raktha is also a participle of raga which is attachment. Raktha is attached.
  • Paschat – thereafter
  • Jarjara dehe – old body
  • Jivati – living
  • Vaartham kopina – nobody comes to even ask for a single word.
  • Na pruchayati – to talk to old people.

The more money you make, the higher your position. Associating themselves with you makes them secure. If a person is more influential, money power, attracts more interest. As long as you are there to fulfil your needs, you are wanted. If there is a need, they like you or get attached to you. If you are not useful, then even the blood relations, your own family will not be with you at the time of death.

When the body becomes old and you are no longer useful to anyone, nobody comes to you and enquire about you. They don’t want to ignore you but they are finding happiness and security for themselves. How can they feel happy and secure when you at an old age are useless to them.

If I cannot have anything about Artha or Kama with a person then I don’t have anything to do with that person. Here in this person, Sankara says that having concern for children is different from getting attached. Do your duties as your mother or father but leave them at a distance. But depending upon them for your happiness, is attachment. Attachment to anything in this world, is for your happiness only.

According to Shastram, the word I love is not a verb, but a noun. Love is yourself and fullness. Anbe deivam. Means love is god. Love is expression of fullness (Niraivin velipade anbu). Whenever we love somebody, is love for yourself. Love for one’s own self is fullness. Whenever you have attachment, there is demand on your part. But if you have concern, you will not be attached. Attachment is only an expectation of security, pleasures from other people. It can be money, mental satisfaction etc.

Not finding fault with people is expression of fullness or love. When you don’t find fault with others, everyone will like you, and vice versa. In fullness you don’t find fault with others. Anything that attracts the mind is beautiful. What is that which attracts? Anything which attracts is beauty. So here love attracts, therefore love is beauty.

All that you are seeking is fullness, and till such time you find that you will keep seeking happiness and support outside. You will be dependent, attached to others and that will make you unhappy as these will go away. Whereas fullness is part of you and you will be happy. We are attached to people or people are attached to each other and this emotional leaning on each other is attachment. Any relationship must be based on dharma and not dependent upon a relationship just for artha, and Kama. Discover yourself, the truth of lord, discover love wherein you are non-demanding.

There was a great sage called Yajnavalkya. His name occurs in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. He was a master of spiritual wisdom. One day, when he had become aged, he told his wife Maitreyi, and another wife known as Katyayani, that he was retiring; and he said: “Whatever property I have, I shall divide between both of you. I shall take to sannyasa and go for meditation, and you take my property.”

The younger wife, Katyayani was very happy. “Good riddance, now the old man goes,” she perhaps thought; but the other wife, Maitreyi, was very mature. She said, “Sire, you want to offer me all your wealth? May I ask you one question: Can I become immortal through wealth? With all the treasures that you are now prepared to offer to me, can I become immortal?” Yajnavalkya said, “Far from it. You will be a well-to-do person like any other in the world, but there is no hope of immortality through wealth.” To that, Maitreyi said, “Then what for is this wealth that you are offering me? What shall I do with it, if through that I shall not become immortal?”

There is a very important psychological truth hidden in this query of Maitreyi, the consort of Yajnavalkya. Immortality is timeless existence. It can also mean, for our own practical purposes, a very long life that is not going to end easily; and if immortality cannot be gained through wealth, perhaps long life also cannot be assured through wealth; and this would mean that our life can end at any time, even with all the wealth that we may be having. If tomorrow is the last day in this world for a person possessing large treasures, what good is that treasure? If the owner or the possessor of the wealth is not to exist at all, what can wealth do? What is its utility?

Do we love wealth, and what is this love of wealth for? “Your question is a very important one,” said Yajnavalkya. “You are very wise in raising this point. You are very dear to me. Come on; I shall teach you something. Sit down, and I shall speak to you.”

‘Na va are patyuh kamaya patih priyo bhavati, atmanas tu kamaya patih priyo bhavati; na va are jayayai kamaya jaya priya bhavati; atmanas tu kamaya jaya priya bhavati; na va are sarvasya kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati; atmanas tu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati (Bri.U. 2.4.5): ‘

Nobody loves anything for its own sake. Here is a masterstroke of genius from Yajnavalkya, the great sage: Nobody loves anything for its own sake. We are accustomed to this slogan of love, and we consider that as something very pre-eminent in our daily life. We love people, we love wealth, we love land, and we love property. There is such a thing called love in this world, but who does love want, and what is the purpose of this love?

Psychologically, as well as metaphysically and philosophically, there seems to be an error in our notion that anything can be loved at all. The word ‘love’ becomes a misnomer when we investigate into its essences. If by love we mean affectionately clinging to something that is other than our own self, then love does not exist in this world. If love means asking for something other than one’s own self, clinging to something other than one’s self, feeling happy with that which is not one’s self – if that is the definition of love, then love is hypocrisy; it does not exist. But if we say that love does not always mean love for something other than one’s own self – it should be love for one’s own self – who will love one’s own self? That is, again, a psychological problem. Neither does love for another seem to be justifiable, nor does love for one’s own self seem to be meaningful.

For the sake of the Self, everything is dear – is a very precise statement of sage Yajnavalkya. This statement is so precise, so concentrated, that its meaning is not obviously clear on its surface, because it does not appear that people love themselves, and it is difficult to make sense of this statement if you just say you love property because you are loving your Self. Nobody will understand what exactly this statement means. Am I loving myself when I love property? It does not look like that. I cling to something that I regard as my belonging. It does not mean that I am clinging to my own body when I am clinging to something which is my belonging – property, wealth, treasure, relation. Yajnavalkya says: “You do not understand things properly. That is why the meaning is not clear to you.”

Leave a Reply with your comments on the topic of interest to you.