Om janmamrytyujaravyadhivarjitaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who removes the miseries associated with birth, death and ageing.
varjitāḥ—are devoid of; to be free of; to completely take away
vyādhi—disease Bg 13.8-12, SB 5.14.27, Madhya 15.126
vyādhi—diseases SB 9.10.53
janm Hin. m. janman, janma– San. n. birth; time of human birth; origin; human life; lifetime; existence. ‘Birth is the consequence of desire.’
mrityu Hin. f., San. m. (marana, mar) death; hence mrityunjaya (mrityu+jaya) San. M. the conquerer of death – epithet of Shiva,
jarā—old age Bg 2.13, Bg 7.29, (and more…)
jarā—old age, invalidity SB 9.18.36
jara-jara—tottering Madhya 3.128, Madhya 3.128
jarā-grastam—very old and invalid SB 9.3.20
jarā-mṛtyu-harām—which can counteract invalidity, old age and death SB 8.9.21
Though many welcome birth in a family as a loving and love-filled event, for some, it is misery again. This world is filled with scintillating variety of experiences and rasa, tastes, to slake the mind, body, the senses. Of what benefit is birth, old age, death and birth again? What truly is the goal of life? Some would say it is taking care of one’s own, family and friends, and taking satisfaction from fulfilling needs. What if there is a glimpse of immortality? What if there is a glimpse of being-awareness-bliss, sat-chit-ananda? What then do we live for? Bhakta Mirabai captures this sense of emptiness of living, this misery of birth:
praise the lotus feet that don’t perish!
Consider all things
on heaven and earth – and their doom.
Go off with pilgrims, undertake fasts,
wrangle for wisdom,
trek to Banaras to die,
what’s the use?
Arrogant body just withers,
phenomenal world is a coy parakeet
that flies off at dusk.
Why throw a hermit robe over your shoulders-
yellow rag yogins
are also bewildered,
caught every time in the birth snare.
Dark One, take this girl for your servant.
Then cut the cords and
set her free.
None can avoid old age. First the sight goes, then the hearing, and then the teeth. Man is attached to the world mainly through three types of bondage; namely: to one’s wife, children and property. This world is permeated with these three types of bondage which we readily take into our hearts and consequently suffer. Adi Sankara prayed to God as “Kaalathithaya.” (The one who is the cause of time and who also transcends time). We should not be wasting time, for it leads to old age. Time is our life; time is our soul; time is divinty.
Birth and death, hunger and thirst are common to all. Life is indeed full of miseries like old age, disease, and death. Family members are not born with us; we acquire these relationships only in the middle between birth and death. At birth we do not even come with clothes and we also do not know where we are going at death. If we post a letter, it must have a “to” and “from” address or it will go to the dead letter box. Likewise, you should know where you are coming from and going to. As we have come from the world of light, so also, we should know we return to the world of light, the paramjyoti (the fulness of light, the highest light, the light of all the worlds).
The Sun as embodiment of self-effulgent light fills us with light, daily, like the divine, the light falls upon all as the same light, whether the souls are good or bad, corrupt or pure, dedicated or slovenly. The Sun without mirrors the light within the human, the light of the soul called Atma. This soul is the witness, the watcher of all that is seen, heard and felt. It is not born, it cannot die, it cannot burn, it cannot be drowned. Living between the 9th and 12th vertebrae of the human, it is highly sensitive and will leave the body instantly if their is great harm or injury to that place. The Sun as eternal witness mirrors this self-effulgent light of the Soul within. As it neither experiences misery, birth, death nor old age, as the witness, the Sun stands witness to the human journey to the Divine: we must become this witness and not get entangled in this world of maya which causes birth-death-birth-again.
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