Author Topic: Sri Adi Shankaracharya's Jaagrata Jaagrata  (Read 2892 times)


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
    • View Profile
Sri Adi Shankaracharya's Jaagrata Jaagrata
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:07:54 PM »
This is a simple poem which is supposedly by Sri Adi shankracharya. We can make see the Truth of these verses as we journey through our lives. Every moment, every instant, we can really see how True this teaching is.

There are several such works attributed to Sri Adi Shankaracharya which may not have been actually by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself. May be some of these were by another acharya of the shankara parampara. However in this context the content of the verses is more important than the person who wrote them.

Elsewhere I heard a story related to this song. There used to be a watchman. In olden days the watchman used to roam around singing "Jaagrata! " to mean "Be Alert/Mindful" to everyone. That was the job of the watchman , besides ofcourse the obvious task of taking care of the security. Once this watchman had to go on a vacation and so he asked his son to do the job. The next day morning the king himself came down to the watchman's house to meet his son. The watchman felt really frightened that his son might have done something wrong --- but actually he comes to learn that the king was impressed by his son's style of singing "Jaagrata ! Jaagrata!" , his son sang these slokas and evoked a sense of Truth in the people of the kingdom. These verses are really useful for contemplation as I see them.


Verse 1:

माता नास्ति पिता नास्ति नास्ति बन्धुः सहोदरः।
अर्थँ नास्ति गृहँ नास्ति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

There is no mother, no father, no relationships nor any siblings.
No money or house. Therefore be alert, Wake up!

Mother, Father, relations and siblings are really sojourners in this journey of ours.
When the time of death draws near, we leave these all and move away.
We cannot carry a single object from here.
Thus, lets value the time we stay together.
when we are together, and we know its a short time we are together ... lets love each other.
love every experience we chance upon, because these experiences are not going to last.
and at the same time , lets first experience these moments because we seem to be almost
sleep walkign through life unmindful of most of the things. Lost in our ambitions, desires,
feelings, attachments etc, we miss "This Moment" where life really is. Attachment is an attempt
to stop things from moving and in this eagerness to stop things from moving, we miss the Present
and things move anyways.

Vedanta is about : being Relaxed and at the same time being Alert -- but not sleeping
Vedanta is about: being Loving and yet seeing the world as only a dream -- love without attachment.


Verse 2

जन्म दुःखँ जरा दुःखँ जाया दुःखँ पुनः पुनः।
सँसारसागरँ दुःखँ तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Birth is sorrow, aging is sorrow, spouse is sorrow !
Samsara itself is sorrow, therefore remain awake! be alert!

Sorrow is when we try to stop things from moving. We tend to get into conflict with what is, because
we think this is going to be a long stay. But the reality is, things are constantly moving.
when i look at myself as being born and aging , and do not like this whole process of aging etc
then there is a conflict. when I look at a woman as "my spouse" and try to control or possess there is
conflict, because its against the nature of things. one cannot make a dream changeless.
its movement cannot be stopped.
things change
things will not be as we plan.
instead of getting into conflict, how about experiencing them as they are ?
This is a transformation. Spouse is not sorrow ... but when i try to hold onto someone as "me and mine"
that causes sorrow. expectations, attachments, aversions ... these make life into a hell.

In this short sojourn, lets not take things to seriously ... lets do what is needed and move on with love,
friendliness and joy. These experiences, which we call samsara are transient and going to change.
Lets bring in acceptance and love -- thus make this journey more joyful.

Verse 3:

कामक्ष्च क्रोधक्ष्च लोभक्ष्च देहे तिष्ठन्ति तस्कराः।
ज्ञनरत्नापहाराय तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Kama (desires), Krodha (Anger), Lobha (Greed) are like thieves in this body who steal the jewel called "Jnana" [Self Knowledge]. Therefore be alert! Be Awake!

Desires etc are thieves  because they rob us of the present moment. We miss this moment and keep seeking something else. we miss these experiences of life and God is "Here, Now", not in the dead past nor in the future that never is!
We might have knowledge that all this is a dream and yet we often fall into the trap of these thieves and suffer.

verse 4:

आशाया बध्यते जन्तुः कर्मणा बहुचिन्तया।
आयु क्षीणँ न जानाति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

We are [The animal -humans are also addressed as animals here]  bound by Expectations: various activities and excess thinking. so much so that we do not recognize the ebbing away of life. Therefore be awake! Be Awake!

:) Acceptance is the solution to expectations. Self Knowledge allows for acceptance.

verse 5:

सम्पदः स्वप्नसँकाशाः यौवनँ कुसुमोपम्।
विधुच्चन्चचँल आयुषँ तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

All possessions are like what are seen in a dream, youthfulness is only for a short time , like a flower's lifetime. Life passes away like a lightening therefore be alert!

Life passes away like a lightening, and this journey is over.
and we suddenly realize towards the end of life that we have not truely lived
and perhaps we do not even "Truely Die"
So now is the time to live our understanding, now is the time to become more and more mindful.


Verse 6:

 क्षणँ वित्तँ क्षणँ चित्तँ क्षणँ जीवितमावयोः।
यमस्य करूणा नास्ति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Money, memory and life are all momentary.
Lord Yama, the lord of death, does not show any mercy. Therefore be awake!!

Yama has no karuna, meaning he does not wait even a moment ... when our time is up, we do not get a choice.
Thus, when the time is still available, lets live a life of liberation and love rather than a life of strife and struggle.

verse 7:

यावत् कालँ भवेत् कर्म तावत् तिष्ठन्ति जन्तवः।
तस्मिन् क्षीणे विन्श्यन्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

As long as their karma lasts so long we see the animal here, the moment the karma is over, the animal is gone. what is there to brood over this ?

verse 8:

ऋणानुबन्धरूपेण पशुपत्निसुतादयः।
ऋणक्षये क्षयँ यान्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

as per the debts of prarabdha karma, relations are developed in this world. animals, wife or children, they are all forms of debts of previous life. when the debts exhaust temselves, all these pass away, what is there to brood over this ?

What is there to brood over these , tatra ka paridevana ? Brooding or expressing sorrow over these is really an attempt to stop
the dream from changing .. it will change none-the-less and we need to inculcate the habit of seeing all this as a dream
nothing shall remain.
it shall pass away !


Verse 9:

पक्वानि तरूपर्णानि पतन्ति क्रमशो यथा।
तथैव जन्तवः काले तत्र का परिदेवना॥

As Even the ripe leaves of a tree drop one after the other
even this animal shall drop off, what is there to brood over this ?

verse 10:

एक वृक्षसमारूढा नानाजाति विहङ्गमाः।
प्रभते क्रमशो यान्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

Assembled on the same tree, birds of differed feathers.
as it dawns, they all leave one by one, what is there to brood over this ?

All stages are thus. This forum is also like this. Our house is thus. Our family is like those birds that have come together.
every group , every coming together is of this very nature.

verse 11:

इदँ काष्ठँ इदम् काष्ठँ नध्यँ वहतिसँगतः।
सँयोगाक्ष्च वियोगाक्ष्च का तत्र परिदेवना॥

This and that corpse are flowing together in a river.
They remain together for some time and then separate, what is there to brood over this?

This body is a corpse ... it does not fear aging or death, neither does the Awareness within ..
its but a few thoughts that create a fear in a fictitious entity ... a notion of I
dropping this one remains absolutely calm and relaxed,
neither the body nor the awarenss have any problem.

thus , in fact : who is there to brood over ?

« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 10:15:53 AM by srkudai »