Learning and reflections from V29-31.
In the verse, Adi Sankara is dealing with the delusion with respect to wealth. We often think that money is the cause of happiness. However, money often becomes a source of unhappiness, distrust and pain. I a rich man’s family, when he becomes old, the children start talking about dividing his wealth and quarrel with each other.
Money should be used for noble work that will give chita sudhi, punyam and Jnanam. By this way, money can give happiness. Directly, it cannot contribute to permanent happiness. We need to understand the role of money in our life properly and should give right value to it. If Mother Lakshmi comes alone to our home without Lord Narayana ( Dharma, Jnanam), she can create havoc.
The various inner exercises are discussed in this verse
1 Pranayama – This exercise simultaneously improves the physical and mental health. This is a unique two in one sadhana.
2 Pratyahara – Mastery of senses. We need to avoid addiction and dependence on finite sense objects. It is risky since they are insecure and impermanent. If we depend on insecure things, we will increase our insecurity and there will be constant strain.
3 Enquiry – Nitya anitya vastu vivekam – What is the goal of life, is it fulfilling sense pleasures or increasing the false ownerships?. Constant discrimination of what is available for me to permanently own and not get trapped in anitya vastus is the sadhana advised.
4 Japa – purifying discipline with a mantra which leads to absorption
5 Samadhi – Absorption in the mantra.
One need to be alert, committed to the above sadhanas with great dedication and hasten slowly in a natural manner.
Two important things are highlighted in this verse.
1 Necessity of a Guru to guide us through spiritual pursuits – To identify an address in a large colony, we ask for directions. In the vast infinite world, in a short given time with lots of obstacles, we need a teacher to direct us in our spiritual pursuits. Otherwise it will be like searching a needle in bundle of haystacks. We need to receive his teachings with great devotion and shradha.
2 To be fit and qualified to receive the teachings – through discipline of sense organs and mind. We need to keep our body mind sense complex fit to discover the truth which is the very core of us.
Atman, Truth, Satyam is what we are as witness consciousness. Whatever we chase in life such as immortality and fulfillment are with us already. We don’t have to go to the world with a begging bowl for love and fulfillment. We can give them to the world as we have them in abundance. Our emotional dependence on the world is not a necessity. Self management and guidance from Guru will lead us to the freedom from emotional dependence.