For a saadhaka both viveka and vairagya together are most important. They are like the two wings of a bird. As for a bird it is impossible to fly if it has only one wing, so is the case for the saadhaka. The saadhaka will not be able to progress in the path of liberation and will not be able to climb to the peak called moksha, if he has only viveka or only vairagya. He must have both of these in ample measure.
09 - वैराग्यबोधौ पुरुषस्य
Dispassion and Discrimination to Ascend
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वैराग्यबोधौ पुरुषस्य पक्षिवत्
पक्षौ विजानीहि विचक्षण त्वम् ।
ताभ्यां विना नान्यतरेण सिध्यति ।।
- विवेकचूडामणिः ३७४
O’ learned one! Like the two wings in the case of a bird, so are dispassion and discrimination in the case of a seeker of Truth. Know this. In order to ascend to the top of the mansion of liberation, both dispassion and discrimination are required and not either one.
Points for Introspection:
In this shloka it is mentioned how for a saadhaka both viveka and vairagya together are most important. They are like the two wings of a bird. As for a bird it is impossible to fly if it has only one wing, so is the case for the saadhaka. The saadhaka will not be able to progress in the path of liberation and will not be able to climb to the peak called moksha, if he has only viveka or only vairagya. He must have both of these in ample measure. If he does not have these two qualities, by no other means he can attain Supreme Reality. On the other hand, if both these qualities are there, the progress towards the supreme goal of liberation will be very fast because both together cultivate strong mumuksha – yearning for liberation in the mind.
What is viveka? This is actually nityaanitya-vastu-viveka – the discrimination between what is Real and what is unreal, what is Eternal and what is transitory, what is Imperishable and what is perishable, and what is Immortal and what is mortal.
The saadhaka who wants to achieve the Supreme Truth should use his discrimination in all his thoughts, words and actions. He should associate with those which lead him to Supreme Reality and dissociate from those which take him away from that goal. Constant discrimination is necessary every moment so that the mind withdraws from the perishables and focuses on the Imperishable Soul.
The discrimination power will become deeper and subtler as and when the saadhaka is graced in the mind by dispassion for the world. When dispassion graces the mind, the saadhaka feels absolute disinterestedness towards any enjoyment in this world here and is also not interested in anything hereafter. This dispassion on the other hand helps to strengthen viveka. The saadhaka is able to see the futility of life and is able to choose what is supremely good for him. Similarly when viveka is strong, vairagya also gets strengthened because the real nature of life is understood and the saadhaka looses interest in worldly affairs.
Chanting of this shloka again and again gives a resolve to the mind that we must try to reach the Supreme goal which has been compared to climbing to the top of a mansion. It also makes the mind see the importance of cultivating both viveka and vairagya.
वैराग्यबोधौ (vairāgyabodhau) = vairaagya (dispassion) and bodha (discrimination, the experience of the true nature of the Self); पुरुषस्य (puruṣasya) = of man (human); पक्षिवत् (pakṣivat) = like that of a bird; पक्षौ (pakṣau) = a pair of wings; विजानीहि (vijānīhi) = know; विचक्षण (vicakṣaṇa)= O’ learned one; त्वम् (tvam) = you; विमुक्तिसौधाग्रतलाधिरोहणं (vimuktisaudhāgratalādhirohaṇaṁ) = (विमुक्ति – liberation, सौधाग्रतल – top of the mansion, अधिरोहणं - ascending) Ascending the top of the mansion of liberation; ताभ्यां (tābhyāṁ) = those two; विना (vinā) = without; न (na) = not; अन्यतरेण (anyatareṇa) = by either of the two; सिध्यति (sidhyati) = attain the aim or object;