Sunday, July 4, 2010

three hurdles to happiness - लोभ-मूलानि पापानि

if only life was perfect! in the mortal world, what comes between us and the statement - 'life is beautiful'?

after a mantra, there are three shAntiH, shAntiH, shAntiH. why three?

our troubles are three fold - self, others and nature. of mind, body and soul. and with three shAntiH we ask for peace and balance of all three forces that can go wrong and cause us troubles. there are three basic pains in life - crime/sin (others), disease (body), sorrow (mind).

what are the roots of these?

why does someone do crime? out of greed. when we want more than we deserve, we take wrong means to the end. in the process of taking more than our share, we deprive someone else of theirs. and sometime, or many times, others' greed deprives us of our share of things. be it road space, taxpayers' money, respect, dignity, or even life. the greatest of crimes of largest of corporations have been due to greed of a few. last few years have thrown up a whole bunch of such ugly truths, be it the oil spill of BP, citibank, AIG, enron.

or be it small crimes. at the root of it, is greed, small or large.

disease or ailments of body is next. even after being the costliest health care system in the world, the american society is yet to accept that most of the health problems are due to bad food choices in the market (due to corporate greed aka fast food industry lobbying) and due to people's inherent desire for taste rather than nutrition.

ayurveda maintains that you are what you eat. and mind you, even your skin eats, yes! that is why it is advised not to put anything on your skin, what you won't put in your mouth. there goes the whole cosmetic bag! why do all the expensive body care products claim aloe vera and milk cream and herbal this and herbal that, mud packs! the mass consumes synthetic, cheap products and the class consumes expensive organic products! the same products that you could procure easily at home!

even in times before synthetic food, the problem of bad food choices had arisen! sugar, fat and starch in access were never available to humans in nature. we have made them easily available through agriculture and production. and hence, our body has the problem of easy access to sugar, fat and carb! and the mind doesn't help even a bit! who doesn't like french fries, pizza and a bucket of chocolate!

that is where most diseases start. ayurveda again says that most diseases start in the stomach. i.e. by the food we eat, and the lack of digestion (due to lifestyle etc). another saying in india (in hindi) goes - daanta kaa kaam aanta se mat lo, i.e. don't let the intestine do the teeth's job. i.e. chew with your teeth and not with your intestines! eat good and chew properly.

so where does the disease come from? bad food, bad chewing, bad digestion. and the root for that? taste! taste makes us choose less nutritious food, makes us gulp it down quickly to eat more, and ends up with less absorption of nutrients.

and how about sorrow? where does that come from? sorrow comes from liking something/one. only when we like someone and s/he departs we are sad. we love our home and comes tsunami, katrina, and comes sorrow. when we are involved as first party, it hits us more. when we have no control over the situation and we can become third party (observer), we can overcome sorrow and be back on our thinking feet.

if we leave greed, taste and desires, we can be free from sins, diseases and sorrow. in the rajas world we live in, it is not possible totally to do this, but it is a life long process. the more you can leave these, the happier you will be. how much? that, you decide!

and so goes the shloka,

lobha-mUlAni pApAni, rasa-mUlAni vyAdhayaH |
iShTa-mUlAni shokAni, trINi tyaktvA sukhI bhava ||

लोभ-मूलानि पापानि, रस-मूलानि व्याधयः ।
इष्ट-मूलानि शोकानि, त्रीणि त्यक्त्वा सुखी भव ॥

lobha-mūlāni pāpāni, rasa-mūlāni vyādhayaḥ ।
iṣṭa-mūlāni śokāni, trīṇi tyaktvā sukhī bhava ॥

sins have root in greed, diseases have root in taste.
sorrows have root in desire, leave the three and be happy

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

lobha-mUlAni = that which has greed at its root
lobha = greed
mUla = root, base
lobha-mUla = one who base is greed
lobha-mUlAni = plural

pApAni = sins (crimes)
pApa = sin
pApAni = plural

rasa-mUlAni = that which has taste at its root
rasa = chemical (rasAyana-shAstra = chemistry), juice (Amra-rasa = mango juice), taste (rasika = connoisseur)
mUla = root, base
mUlAni = plural

vyAdhayaH = diseases
vyAdhi = disease (singular)

iShTa-mUlAni = that which has liking at its root
iShTa = desired, liked as in iShTa-deva = one's own desired (preferred, family) deity.

shokAni = sorrows (shoka = singular)

trINi = three

tyaktvA = after leaving
tyAga = act of leaving, sacrifice, giving up

sukhI = happy, comfortable

bhava = be
i.e. be happy after leaving the three, the greed-based sins, tastes-based diseases, desires-based sorrows.

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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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  1. Good explanation! Though there may be only two roots where the basics of a problem is related i.e. disease (body) or sorrow (mind). The sins/crime made by others either affect individual either physically or mentally or both.

    Whats say?

    Amitabh from Varanasi


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