īśāvāsyamidaṃ sarvaṃ yatkiñca jagatyāṃ jagat |
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasya sviddhanam || 1 ||
Literal Meaning :
All this-whatsoever moves in this universe (and those that move not) is covered (indwelt or pervaded or enveloped or clothed) by the Lord. That renounced, enjoy. Do not covet anybody’s wealth (Or – Do not covet, for whose is wealth?).
My Personal Understanding: The verse starts with the word “Isha”. Isha means ruler, ‘the one who governs’ in Sanskrit.
There is one ruler who governs ‘All’. A being whose essence is oneness, he pervades all, he is infinite is, he can not be conceived of in thought, is a meaning I get out of this line, as thought itself is a subtle form of matter and he pervades that too.
yatkiñca jagatyāṃ jagat
‘All’ has been described here-in detail. Everything that has been manifested is a modification of two elements, Matter(Jagat) and Prana(Jagatyam). “Jagatyam”, one that moves Jagat, and “Jagat”, one that is inert and doesn’t move. In western thought, we can say that the verse is saying there is one ruler that governs and pervades the matter as well as energy. However, sages of those times were advanced enough to experientially understand that energy is a manifested form of ‘Prana’, the vital force that actually moves the matter and mind. Yes, mind, the flow of thoughts is a part of Jagat( inert world) that is moved by Pranic force(Jagatyam).
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
Knowing that there is one indivisible Being who rules the matter and prana and all this belongs to him, the practice of Letting go has been prescribed to a seeker who wants to attain the goal established in the invocation chant. This is the first step.
Letting go of what one may ask?
Letting go of all that gives you grief and fills you with a sense of possession. Now, merely saying that let go will not make us let go in a jiffy. This is an art that one has to slowly learn and master. This comes with meticulous practice. To those who want to learn the Art of Letting Go, I am sharing the practice of Letting Go by our beloved master, Om Swami.
The last word ‘bhunjitha’ has two meanings and both are applicable here. The first meaning is enjoyment. When we learn to let go and rise above our attachments and clinging, a sense of independence arises in us. We start to enjoy things more without feeling attached to them. We enjoy and appreciate everything life provides us with without getting worried about our possession.
We want to possess because we feel insecure and our possessions are a kind of protection that we hold. Our degrees, jobs, money, family, reputation, etc. All we so tightly hold is a kind of protection that we seek, it gives us a comfortable feeling of being protected. When anything that gives us protection is taken away, we feel insecure and grieve. Here, the second meaning of the word ‘ bhunjitha’ is applicable. The second meaning of the word ‘bhunjitha’ is ‘protection’. This gives us the entire meaning of the above line:
Let go of all that gives you grief. Renounce the feeling of possession towards anything. Enjoy whatever comes to you. Know that you are protected. Protected by whom? Protected by Isha, the one who rules and governs all.
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya sviddhanam
The last line is added because Ego, a sense of individuality, and an idea of possession are very difficult to go away. Until one master the art of Letting Go, the seeker is asked to hold only one possession dearest to him, contentment. “Do not covet other’s wealth” refers to discontentment that arises in our hearts when we compare our journey or life with others. Here is our beloved master giving the same message:
A few lines from one of my poetry also come to my mind:
“O’Lord! I am a miser, I want to possess and hold onto the things. Let me possess your name alone, Let me cling to you, O’Lord as you are the greatest wealth! You are Sri and You are Sriman. All Glories to you my Beloved!”
To be Continued…
🌼🌼🌼All Glories to Swamiji Alone🌼🌼🌼