ashvatthe vo nishadanam parne vo vasatish krita
gobhaja itkilasatha yat sanavatha purusham
Oh human being! You are living in a world, which can come to end at any time, the world is mortal. You exist in a world, which is like the leaf of a tree. Despite that you are engrossed in fulfilling the needs of the sensory organs. At least now you start praying the almighty God. Oh you souls engrossed in attachments and pride, wake up, tomorrow is uncertain?
In this mantra the life and death have been consider to be eternal truths and permanent happenings of the world. The things, which we consider to be stable, are actually the paths towards death. There is no stability in this world. Every person born in this world proceeds towards end like the Sun and the Moon. The following has been aptly said in this context:
mritaschaham punarjato jatascaham punarmritah
nanayonisahasrani mayoshitani yani vai
ahara vividha bhuktah pita nanavidhah stanah
mataro vividha drishta pitarah suhridastatha
avanmukhah pidyamano janmabhishca samanvitah
sankhya yogam ca samabhyasyet purusham panchavimshakam
This means I have died several times, I have taken birth again and again died. I have seen thousands and crores of bodies and I have entered several thousands of births. I have tasted several types of food and seen several types of mothers and drank their milk. I have seen so many fathers and realties. I had to face lot of difficulties and witnessed struggles in the life. How will the difficulties, adversities be resolved without God? It has never happened and would not happen again.
The endless journey of life is very long. There is no starting point or ending point to this journey, there is no limit. The cycle birth, death and rebirth go on continuously. Though the cycle stops for some time during salvation of the soul but again begins after the salvation of the soul. The happiness after the salvation of the soul cannot be described, it cannot be expressed in words, and it can only be experienced. The classical texts have considered it to be the last accomplishment. In other words, the soul plays in the proximity of God during this duration. We all should know about our identity before taking the path of salvation. I is only blood, flesh, marrow, bones, skeleton, nerves and veins, I am a statue not a body. The soul is inside this body to keep it moving. If the body has some needs the soul also has some needs.
The body by nature has external tendency and the soul has internal tendency. Life is in between, which takes you to different ways. One is the path of love and second is the path of contribution. In this article we would limit ourselves to the first path. The path of love is easy, attractive and playful for the needs of the body.
The person following this path gets into the trap of natural desires, material accomplishments because he gets the culture of money, progeny and society since his birth. When the human being takes birth he first comes into the contact of mother, father, and other relatives. He then gets into business and trade, makes his family, he develops a feeling of earning name and fame from his body, wealth and status. He forgets the real goal of his, life after getting engrossed in the materialistic and glittering world. He forgets to know as to who am I? Where have I come from? Why have I come into this world? What should I do and what am I doing? He remembers all these things in his old age but it is too late for realization. The time passes away and the body also becomes inactive, the human is unable to assemble the sources of devotion, he is worried because of his sins. He has nothing but to repent. Swami Shankaracharya has said the following with reference to the people who follow the principle of Eat, drink and be merry.
balastavat kridasaktah tarunastavat tarunisaktah
vriddhastavachchintasaktah parebrahmani ko ‘api na saktah
This means till childhood he was immersed in playing, when he grew big he fell in to the trap of worldly affairs and material subjects and when he grew old then he was surrounded with worries. Nobody ever bothered to pray God, they kept on postponing things for tomorrow and ultimately went to the grave. The human being never remembers the following couplets of Saint Kabir:
kabira garva na kijiye, kala gahe kara kesa
na jane kita marihai, kya ghara kya paradesa
aisi yaha samsara hai, jaise semara phula
dina dasa ke vyavahara me, iute ranga na bhula
The human being keeps on wandering to fulfill his desires, aspirations and due to the attraction towards material things. He becomes crazy of these things, he becomes blind and does not have the knowledge of duty -undutiful, ethical-unethical, humanity- inhumanity, truth -false, wisdom-foolishness. He wanders in the mirage of smell, beauty, taste, touch and voice in order to fulfill the thirst of nose, eyes, tongue, ear and skin. The reason being that the five elements constituting the body – space, wind, fire, water and earth obtain their taste through the medium of these five sensory organs. The human being does not get the culture of relieving himself from the bindings of these five organs and hence he gets into the trap and performs such deeds, which lead him on the path of non-dutiful behavior, the human body wandering on the path of ignorance and lack of knowledge takes the non-dutiful deeds along with it after the death.
Whatever the human being achieves walking on the path of love, not a single portion of it is taken along, everything is left behind.
It has been said that:
dhanani bhumau pashavashca goshthe, bharya grihadvari janah shmashane
dehashvitayam paralokamarge karmanugo gacchati jiva ekah
This means the wealth is left on the ground, the cattle remain in the cattle yard, the wife accompanies you till the main door, people take you till the burial ground and the body remains with you till the grave. What go along with the soul are the good and bad deeds.
The palaces and buildings will remain here, nothing would go with you. You were born with a close fist and would leave the world empty hand Good deeds will remain, it is the invaluable treasure. The beauty obtained from earth will ultimately get merged into the earth. Oh human you could not even think that one-day you have to leave this earth.
The person does not realize this and keeps sailing in the ocean of thirst. His greed does not come to an end, his thirst never quenches. There is small story by Tolstoy in this context. The King told a beggar that you measure the land from dawn to dusk and return before sun- , set, I will donate that much land to you. The king also arranged a horse for the beggar. The beggar sat on the horse and began his journey. The horse kept on running throughout the day hungry and thirsty. The beggar was greedy to take the maximum land and did not give rest to the horse. The tired horse due to hunger and thirst ultimately fell down. The beggar left the horse in the middle and started running. When the Sun was about to set, he realized that he had to go back to the King before sunset. But while returning he was so tired that he fell down and lost his life. This is the result for the person who follows the path of love. He keeps on wandering in the world of thirst and greed. When he realizes his real goal and remembers his objective then his life ends like the poor beggar running for a piece of land. His condition is similar to the honeybee, which remains inside the lotus petals expecting to see a new morning and dies:
ratrirgamishhyati bhavishhyati suprabhatam
bhasvanudeshhyati hasishhyati pankajashrih
ittham vichintayati koshhagate dvirephe
ha hanta hanta nalinim gaja ujjahara
The honeybee thinks that night will end, a new morning will begin then lotus will blossom. In the mean time an elephant comes and plucks the lotus itself. The glittering world is only for few days, so watch the play for few days. Every person has to die because the life is mortal nobody can live more than fate.
Those who do not understand the mortality and perishable nature of this world follow the path of love. They spend their lives to fulfill the desires of the sensory organs, satisfy thirst and greed. Death can come anytime and at any moment. They involve themselves in collecting wealth, property and other resources. The human being is unaware of his death, he collects the things for the whole life whereas he does not know what would happen the next moment.
In the end when the path of love shows its real picture then he repents and cries on his ignorance. He realizes that he has lost his life and did nothing fruitful. He kept on making relations and spoilt the life after salvation. The body becomes so weak and old that he cannot walk on the path of duty even if he wants to. The old clothes have become worthless, the tailor is also now fed up off me, he some how passes his time awaiting the new clothes.