Bhaja Govindam 19: Detachment alone gives real happiness (Verse 18)

Suramandira taru mūla nivāsaḥ śayyā bhūtalam-ajinaṃ vāsaḥ |

Sarva parigraha bhogatyāgaḥ kasya sukhaṃ na karoti virāgaḥ || 18 ||

Meaning of the hymn– Reside in some temple or beneath a tree. Let the earth be your mattress. Let the deerskin be your robes. Who will not be happy upon giving up all the comforts? It is detachment (Vairagya) that showers happiness (sukha) upon everyone.

Achieving freedom from mental modifications (mano vikaram) is itself freedom! This is being taught in this stanza.

To escape from the clutches of desires and attachments is no ordinary task. The one who has exited from its clutches will be free from external pomp/ show of any kind. He will be free from all forms of desires, greed and wanting. The life of such a person will be straightforward and steady.

Contrary to this, even a trivial attachment towards desires causes the person to be entrapped within them and brings immense hardships upon him. Just allow the tongue to taste some dish and it will demand to eat loads of it. Due to this over-eating ultimately, the stomach will have to suffer.

An increase in desires only brings pain and sorrow. Entertaining thoughts such as- ‘Oh, how can I live without this? How can I live in the absence of that?’ imply an increase in bondages.

Worldly materialistic comforts should gradually be given up. Attachment towards them should be completely cut off. This is dispassion (vairagya). There are some tricks to achieve this state of vairagya. Reducing inclination towards the materialistic worldly objects, transforming the love that exists within the heart into love towards the Supreme, completely giving up attachment towards relatives, learning to find faults (dosha) in all the worldly materialistic comforts, reading good & holy books and maintaining satsang with Sadguru are the ways to obtain dispassion (vairagya).

To the person who has obtained absolute dispassion, sleeping on the bare floor will be akin to sleeping on a bed of flowers.  Happily and comfortably he will sleep under the shade of a tree. He does not need ironed clothes to wear as he happily wraps himself in deerskin. There will no inclination in his mind to enjoy any desire. Neither will the feelings ‘that is nice. This particular item is not good’ exist in his mind.

To be frank, only detachment (vairagya) bestows real comforts! That is why in the Subhashitam- bhoge roga bhayam, kule cyuti bhayam– the fear (bhayam) hidden within every comfort has been highlighted. For example, in seeking to enjoy every type of enjoyment (bhoga) there is the fear of disease (roga bhayam) ; to those born in high clan always fear that a stigma could attach to their family; in obtaining wealth there is a fear of the king (who checks); honour fears humiliation; a person in power fears his enemy; beauty fears old age;  in reading a lot of scriptures (shastras) is the fear that someone may come for a debate; virtues (guna) fear vices and body fears death. In this manner, in this world, every object/ enjoyment comes with some sort of fear hidden within it. Only detachment (vairagya) can give fearlessness. This is nirbhayam.

Dispassion means not having any desires. Not increasing the desires is the real comfort. This is the real meaning of the word sukha (comfort). Many wrongly assume that comfort (sukha) means to sleep in an air conditioned room, enjoying a great sumptuous meal etc. Not allowing the tongue to enjoy the taste of what it is eating; not allowing the body to feel the heat and cold are the true comforts. This is dispassion.

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.