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The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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The river called desire, with imaginations as water, agitated by waves of greed, frequented by the crocodile of attachment, and with doubts and uncertainties hovering around like birds, destroys the tree of poise and fortitude. Such a river with deep and unconquerable whirlpool of delusion, flanked by tall and insurmountable banks of anxiety, the pure-minded great yogis cross over, and revel in beatitude.

Audio

आशा नाम- Make Your Mind Pure by Removing Desires

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आशा नाम नदी मनोरथजला तृष्णातरङ्गाकुला
रागग्राहवती वितर्कविहगा धैर्यद्रुमध्वंसिनी ।
मोहावर्तसुदुस्तरातिगहना प्रोत्तुङ्गचिन्तातटी
तस्याः पारगता विशुद्धमनसो नन्दन्ति योगीश्वराः ।।
- वैराग्यशतकम् १०
āśā nāma nadī manoratha-jalā tṛṣṇā-taraṅgākulā
rāgagrāhavatī vitarka-vihagā dhairya-druma-dhvaṃsinī |
mohāvarta-sudustarātigahanā prottuṅga-cintātaṭī
tasyā: pāragatā viśuddha-manaso nandanti yogīśvarā: ||
- Vairāgyaśatakam 10

Translation:

The river called desire, with imaginations as water, agitated by waves of greed, frequented by the crocodile of attachment, and with doubts and uncertainties hovering around like birds, destroys the tree of poise and fortitude. Such a river with deep and unconquerable whirlpool of delusion, flanked by tall and insurmountable banks of anxiety, the pure-minded great yogis cross over, and revel in beatitude.

Points for Introspection:

In human life, it is inevitable that one courses through joy and sorrow. Although nobody wants to face unhappiness or suffering, it cannot be avoided in the journey of life. The question is what is the root cause of suffering and sorrow?

If we go deep into the question, we will understand that the root cause of all suffering is desire and expectation. The mind is always full of desires. We expect our life to go on in a certain manner. Not only we desire gross materials and objects in order to be more and more comfortable in life, but we also desire subtle things like consideration, understanding and good behaviour from people around. If our expectations and plans are not fulfilled we get upset, disturbed.

This shloka describes the nature of our mind. The mind has been compared to a river called desire. As a river consists of water as its main component, the subtle mind is composed mainly of various ideas and imaginations. Just as the waves agitate the water, greed agitates the mind. If the desires are not fulfilled, these waves cause great disturbance and agitation in the mind, putting man into lot of affliction.

The hidden attachments in the mind are like crocodiles in the river. When a crocodile bites, it is extremely difficult to get rid of its grip. Similarly, when the mind desires something – may be an object, name, fame, prestige, etc. – it gets intensely attached to the objects of desire and is not able to get rid of its tight grip.

The mind also passes through great doubts and uncertainties regarding whether the desired object would be achieved or not. As long as the desire is not fulfilled, the mind remains agitated with the thoughts of adverse possibilities. If fulfilled, the mind wants to cling to the desired object eternally. So, like birds hovering around the river, these thoughts hover around the river of desire.

Just as the gushing current and vortices in a river uproot the trees on its bank, agitations caused in the mind by unending intense desires destroy the fortitude of the mind. As a result, courage and confidence are completely uprooted.

There are deep and unconquerable whirlpools in a river where if caught, one may even lose his life. So are there in the mind, whirlpools of delusion which are deep, strong and inescapable. When desire is very strong, delusion results. One is not even able to discriminate what is good and what is bad. Also one becomes oblivious of the consequences and the suffering it may cause eventually.

There are tall and high banks in a river. In the mind-river, these banks are anxieties – tall, high and unconquerable. Anxiety as to whether desired objects will be achieved – when and how? Even if achieved, how to protect and preserve them.

In short, when the mind is overtaken by desires, it has no peace because it makes the mind agitated, weak and fearful.

So, to have peace and joy one must remove the dross of desires from the mind and make it pure. The great Yogis whose mind is absolutely pure, who have transcended the agitating-effect of desires completely, are the ones who enjoy eternal peace and delight.

When we chant this shloka fervently we too feel inspired to attain that purity which makes us confident and blissful.

Word Meaning:

आशा (āśā) = desire; नाम (nāma) = named; नदी (nadī) = river; मनोरथजला (manorathajalā) = water of imaginations ; तृष्णातरङ्गाकुला (tṛṣṇā- taraṅgākulā) = agitated by the waves of greed; रागग्राहवती (rāgagrāhavatī) = crocodile of attachment; वितर्कविहगा (vitarkavihagā) = birds of doubts and uncertainties; धैर्यद्रुमध्वंसिनी (dhairya-drumadhvaṃsinī) = destroyer of the tree of poise/ fortitude; मोहावर्तसुदुस्तरातिगहना (mohāvarta-sudustarātigahanā) = whirlpool of delusion which are deep and unconquerable; प्रोत्तुङ्गचिन्तातटी (prottuṅga-cintātaṭī) = tall, unsurmountable banks of anxiety; तस्याः (tasyā:) = their; पारगताः (pāragatā:) = those who have crossed over; विशुद्धमनसः (viśuddhamanasa:) = pure minded; नन्दन्ति (nandanti) = they revel; योगीश्वराः (yogīśvarā:) = great yogis.

अन्वयः

आशा नाम नदी मनोरथजला, तृष्णातरङ्गाकुला, रागग्राहवती, वितर्कविहगा, धैर्यद्रुमध्वंसिनी, मोहावर्तसुदुस्तरातिगहना, प्रोत्तुङ्गचिन्तातटी । तस्याः पारगताः विशुद्धमनसः योगीश्वराः नन्दन्ति ।

āśā nāma nadī manorathajalā, tṛṣṇātaraṅgākulā, rāgagrāhavatī, vitarkavihagā, dhairyadrumadhvaṃsinī, mohāvartasudustarātigahanā, prottuṅgacintātaṭī. tasyā: pāragatā: viśuddhamanasa: yogīśvarā: nandanti.

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