The Hammer for Delusion
By Śrīpād Śaṅkar Āchārya
bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ
govindaṁ bhaja mūḍha-mate
samprāpte sannihite kāle
na hi na hi rakṣati ḍukṛñ-karaṇe 
Serve Govinda, serve Govinda,
serve Govinda, O fool!
When the time of death arrives,
rules of grammar do not save you.
mūḍha jahīhi dhanāgama-tṛṣṇāṁ
kuru sad-buddhimaṁ manasi vitṛṣṇām
vittaṁ tena vinodaya cittam 
O fool! Give up the desire to amass wealth.
Be virtuous and free from desire within your mind.
Whatever wealth you receive, acquired through your karma,
satisfy your mind with that.
manasi vichintaya vāraṁ vāram 
Seeing a women’s bosom and waist,
do not sink into delusion.
These are transformations of flesh, fat, and the like.
Within your mind, deliberate on this again and again.
tadvaj jīvitam atiśaya-chapalam
viddhi vyādhy abhimāna-grastaṁ
lokaṁ śoka-hatañ cha samastam 
Water on the leaf of a lotus is extremely unstable.
Similarly, life is extremely uncertain.
Know that the whole world is stricken
with disease, pride, and grief.
stāvan nija-parivāro raktaḥ
paśchāj jīvati jarjara-dehe
vārtāṁ ko ’pi na pṛchchhati gehe 
When you are able to earn wealth,
then your companions are attached to you.
Later, when you live on in a decrepit body,
no one asks about your well being, even at home.
yāvat pavano nivasati dehe
tāvat pṛchchhati kuśalaṁ gehe
gatavati vāyau dehāpāye
bhāryā bibhyati tasmin kāye 
When breath remains in your body,
then your companions ask about your welfare.
But when the breath withdraws and your body decays,
then even your wife fears your body.
bālas tāvat krīḍā-saktaḥ
taruṇas tāvat taruṇī-saktaḥ
vṛddhas tāvach chintā-saktaḥ
pare brahmaṇi ko ’pi na saktaḥ 
As a child, one is absorbed in play.
As a youth, one is absorbed in young women.
As an elder, one is absorbed in worry.
No one is absorbed in the Absolute.
kā te kāntā kas te putraḥ
saṁsāro ’yam atīva-vichitraḥ
kasya tvaṁ kaḥ kuta āyātaḥ
tattvañ chintaya tad iha bhrātaḥ 
Who is your wife? Who is your son?
This world is extremely perplexing.
Whose are you? Who are you? Where do you come from?
Contemplate these truths now brother.
niśchala-tattve jīvan-muktiḥ 
From the association of the virtuous comes detachment.
From detachment comes freedom from delusion.
From freedom from delusion comes immovability.
And from immovability comes liberation in life.
vayasi gate kaḥ kāma-vikāraḥ
śuṣke nīre kaḥ kāsāraḥ
kṣīṇe vitte kaḥ parivāraḥ
jñāte tattve kaḥ
When youth has gone, what is the excitement of lust?
When the water has run dry, what is a lake?
When wealth is gone, what is a family?
When the truth is known, what is the world?
mā kuru dhana-jana-yauvana-garvaṁ
harati nimeṣāt kālaḥ sarvam
māyāmayam idam akhilaṁ hitvā
brahma-padaṁ tvaṁ praviśa viditvā 
Do not take pride in wealth, companions, or youth.
In a moment, time takes them all away.
They are all illusory. Leave them,
understand the nature of the Absolute, and enter it.
dina-yāminyau sāyaṁ prātaḥ
śiśira-vasantau punar āyātaḥ
kālaḥ krīḍati gachchhaty āyuḥ
tad api na muñchaty āśā-vāyuḥ 
Day and night, dusk and dawn,
winter and spring revolve.
Time plays on, and life passes away,
but the disease of desire never lets go.
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