Religion, Spirituality

Cluster of 12 blossoms – द्वादशमञ्जरिका (13) – Sankara summarizes life…

There is a book called the Avadhuta Gita – the “Song of the Ascetic” that describes the futility of material existence, laments how humans while away their time, and exhorts everyone to realize the divinity within each individual – Authored or rather sung by an Avadhuta called Dattatreya it is a long poem with a single message – You are born free, but are caught up in this world. All it requires is for you to realize who “YOU” actually are, then you shall be “TRULY FREE”

The Avadhutas are of many types and have been classified as the “Sky-Clad Yogis” or “Eccentric-Mystics” Generally, Avadhutas are mystical saints who do not conform to what we would call normal social etiquette, often speak in riddles, and live with no consciousness of their body. Almost all religions have had Avadhutas – the mystical sufi bards,  the digambar jains, some Tibetan monks, the Naga sadhus, and some “Nath-Panthis” Recent examples could include the Sai Baba of Shirdi (who is believed to be a Nath-Panthi), Sadasiva Brahmendra (Who authored Pibare Rama-rasam, Manasa-Sancharare), and the first true feminist-saint of the world – Akka Mahadevi (author of the “Vachanas”).

One day Dattatreya while addressing his disciples (whom he called his “children”) used a “metaphorical-simile” of a TREE to show how human beings get caught up in materialism and give up their freedom and before they know it, it is already too late…


If your ignorance is the tree, then ego is its sprout, from ego springs the trunk of attachment, branches are the relationships, leaves and twigs are the attachments and material wealth you accumulate, virtue and vice are the bitter-sweet flowers and fruits of your actions – Desire for more wealth is the buzzing of the bees which casts a hypnotic spell on your mind which keeps you going morning and night, season after season, and year after year – watering the roots of this tree of desire with no hope of freedom…

In this, the last shloka Sankara talks about how night follows day, and winter follows spring – Time plays its tricks on us even as we keep running on the treadmill of life… When the time comes for the life-breath to leave, we are still trying to run after  trivial things because the winds of desire are too strong… When will you pause to live your life?

The shloka, transliteration, and translation below:

दिनयामिन्यौ सायं प्रातः
शिशिरवसन्तौ पुनरायातः ।
कालः क्रीडति गच्छत्यायु-
स्तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशावायुः
Dinaya-minyau Sayam-Prataha
Shisra-Vasanthau Punarayathaha
Kala-kreeditha Gacchath-vayuhu
Sthadapi Na Munchata-aasha-vayuhu

दिनयामिन्यौ (Everyday) सायं प्रातः (Evening follows night)
शिशिर (Winter) वसन्तौ (Spring) पुनरायातः (Repeat, come-and-go)
कालः क्रीडति (The play of time) गच्छत्यायु- (End of life)
स्तदपि (Then) न (No, Not)  मुञ्चत्याशावायुः (Winds of Desire)

Day follows night and night the day; Winter and Spring come and go. Time plays its tricks on us even as life itself ebbs away… but the winds of desire keep blowing… blowing…

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