Menu Close

Njanappana – The Fountain of Wisdom [Part 10] – Samsara Varnana

I have been busy and have not been writing anything at all due to many other commitments that came along. I hope to update this more often than I do now…

This is the 10th part of the Njanappana series. If you have not yet read the previous parts of this series, please check out Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9… also, please listen to the song over and over, you would really love it, I promise!!

Table of Contents:

സംസാര വര്‍ണന

സ്ഥാനമാനങ്ങള്‍ ചൊല്ലിക്കലഹിച്ചു
നാണം കെട്ടു നടക്കുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍;
മദമത്സരം ചിന്തിച്ചു ചിന്തിച്ചു
മതികെട്ടു നടക്കുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍.

ചഞ്ചലാക്ഷിമാര്‍ വീടുകളില്‍ പൂക്കു
കുഞ്ചിരാമനായാടുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍;
കോലകങ്ങളില്‍ സേവകരായിട്ടു
കോലം കെട്ടി ഞെളിയുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍;
ശാന്തി ചെയ്തു പുലര്‍ത്തുവാനായിട്ടു
സന്ധ്യയോളം നടക്കുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍;

അമ്മയ്ക്കും പുനരച്ഛനും ഭാര്യക്കും
ഉണ്മാന്‍ പോലും കൊടുക്കുന്നില്ല ചിലര്‍
അഗ്‌നിസാക്ഷിണിയായൊരു പത്‌നിയെ
സ്വപ്നത്തില്‍ പോലും കാണുന്നില്ല ചിലര്‍

സത്തുക്കള്‍ കണ്ടു ശിക്ഷിച്ചു ചൊല്ലുമ്പോള്‍
ശത്രുവേപ്പോലെ ക്രൂദ്ധിക്കുന്നു ചിലര്‍;
വന്ദിതന്മാരെ കാണുന്ന നേരത്തു
നിന്ദിച്ചത്രേ പറയുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍;
കാണ്ക നമ്മുടെ സംസാരം കൊണ്ടത്രേ
വിശ്വമീവണ്ണം നില്‍പ്പുവെന്നും ചിലര്‍.

കൃഷ്ണ കൃഷ്ണ മുകുന്ദ ജനാർദ്ദന
കൃഷ്ണ ഗോവിന്ദ നാരായണ ഹരേ
അച്യുതാനന്ദ ഗോവിന്ദ മാധവ
സച്ചിതാനന്ദ നാരായണ ഹരേ…

ബ്രാഹ്മണ്യം കൊണ്ടു കുന്തിച്ചു കുന്തിച്ചു
ബ്രഹ്മവുമെനിക്കൊവ്വായെന്നും ചിലര്‍
അര്‍ത്ഥാശയ്ക്കു വിരുതു വിളിപ്പിപ്പാന്‍
അഗ്‌നിഹോത്രാദി ചെയ്യുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍.
സ്വര്‍ണങ്ങള്‍ നവരത്‌നങ്ങളെക്കൊണ്ടും
എണ്ണം കൂടാതെ വില്ക്കുന്നിതു ചിലര്‍.

മത്തേഭം കൊണ്ടു കച്ചവടം ചെയ്തും
ഉത്തമതുരഗങ്ങളതുകൊണ്ടും
അത്രയുമല്ല കപ്പല്‍ വെപ്പിച്ചിട്ടും
എത്ര നേടുന്നിതര്‍ത്ഥം ശിവ! ശിവ!

വൃത്തിയും കെട്ടു ധൂര്‍ത്തരായെപ്പൊഴും
അര്‍ത്ഥത്തെക്കൊതിച്ചെത്ര നശിക്കുന്നു!
അര്‍ത്ഥമെത്ര വളരെയുണ്ടായാലും
തൃപ്തിയാകാ മനസ്സിന്നൊരു കാലം.

പത്തു കിട്ടുകില്‍ നൂറുമതിയെന്നും
ശതമാകില്‍ സഹസ്രം മതിയെന്നും
ആയിരം പണം കയ്യിലുണ്ടാകുമ്പോള്‍
അയുതമാകിലും ആശ്ചര്യമെന്നതും
ആശയായുള്ള പാശമതിങ്കേന്നു
വേര്‍വിടാതെ കരേറുന്നു മേല്‍ക്കുമേല്‍.

കൃഷ്ണ കൃഷ്ണ മുകുന്ദ ജനാർദ്ദന
കൃഷ്ണ ഗോവിന്ദ നാരായണ ഹരേ
അച്യുതാനന്ദ ഗോവിന്ദ മാധവ
സച്ചിതാനന്ദ നാരായണ ഹരേ…

Njanappana- English Transliteration

Sthaana maanangal cholli kkalhichu
Naanam kettu nadakkunnithu chilar;
Mada malsaram chinthichu chinthichu
Mathi kettu nadakkunnithu chilar.

Chanchalaakshimaar veeduakalil pukku
Kunchi Raamanaai aadunnithu chilar;
Kolakangalil sevakaraayittu
Kolam ketti njeliyunnithu chilar;
Saanthi cheythu pularthuvaanaayittu
Sandhyayolam nadakkunnithu chilar;

Ammaikkum punarchhanum bhaaryakkum
Unmaan polum kodukkunnilla chilar
Agni saakshini aayoru pathniye
Swapnathil polum kaanunnilla chilar

Sathukkal kandu sikshichu chollumbol
Sathruveppole krudhikkunnoo chilar
Vandithanmaare- kkaanunna nerathu
Nindichathre parayunnithu chilar;
Kaanka nammude samsaaram kondathre
Viswameevannam nilpuvennum chilar.

Krishna Krishna mukuntha janardhana
Krishna Govinda Narayana Hare
Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava
Sachithananda Narayana Hare…

Brahmanyam kondu kunthichu kunthichu
Brahmavumeni kkokkayennu chilar
Ardhaasaykku viruthu vilippaan
Agnihothraathi cheyyunnithu chilar
Swarnangal navaratnagale- kkondum
Ennam koodaathe vilkkunnithu chilar

Mathebham kondu kachavadam cheythu
Uthamathuragangala thukondum
Athrayumalla kappal vechittumethra
nedunnithardham siva! siava!

Vrithiyum kettu dhoortharaayeppozhu m
Ardhathe kothichathre nashikkunnu
Ardhamethra valareyundaayaalum
Thripthiyaakaa manassinoru kaalam.

Pathu kittukil nooru mathiyennum
Sathamaakil sahasram mathiyennum
Aayiram panam kayyil undaakumbol
Aayutha-maakil- aascharya- mennathum
Aasayaayulla paasamithin- keennu
Ver pidaathe karerunnu melku mel.

Krishna Krishna mukuntha janardhana
Krishna Govinda Narayana Hare
Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava
Sachithananda Narayana Hare…

Njanappana – Part 10 Meaning and Comments in English

We have already looked at how beautifully the poet Poonthanam Nambodiri describes various aspects of life and how difficult it is to attain moksha / liberation in previous Yugas compared to attaining moksha in the Kaliyuga, which is now.

In this section, we will see how the poet makes fun of different kinds of people we come across in our daily lives, including our own primitive ways of thinking. As we read this part of Njanappana, it is time for us too to ponder upon and wonder, if we fall into any of these categories of men he is describing…

Shri Poonthanam Nambodiri says, some people go around quarrelling and ridiculing each other about their status (sthanam) and their ill-founded pride (maanam). There are some others who are so stuck in their egocentric mind, unable to move beyond, losing their mind and turn into utter madness. And then there are some others who gets lost in promiscuity and keep wasting their time with women who are not sincere in their affection but use them for their benefits (Chanchalaakshimaar – coquette) and dance to their tunes like monkeys…Then there are some others who boasts about serving their King and the palace and thus claiming to be great people, and there are some others who does Pooja (various religious rituals) all day without fail for a survival.

Then there are other kinds of people who does not even provide food to their own mother, father and wife. And some others who do not think of their wife – (Agni saakshini aayoru pathniye – the one they married having the fire as the witness) – even in their dreams!

We come across all these kinds of people on a daily basis these days! Some are so conscious about their social status, title, the family they were born into, etc. etc. and look down on everyone else, and think so highly of themselves. They end up fighting with everyone else and make life miserable, for themselves and everyone around them!

When one becomes proud of their status and material achievements, with the lack of spirituality and devotion in them, leads to the birth of arrogance and rivalry in their minds. Poet says, “Mada malsaram chinthichu chinthichu, Mathi kettu nadakkunnithu chilar…” – “mathi” means intelligence. Intelligence keeps us level-headed and balanced. Because of their arrogance and rivalry, their intelligence which helps them differentiates between what is right and wrong, gets clouded, and eventually leading them to darkness and utter madness.

The poet makes fun of those people who use pooja / worshipping gods and prayers as a means only to make money with no devotion at all! Some of these people, as the poet beautifully explains, performs various poojas, homams, and other rituals while the only thing that is running in their mind is about how much money they would be getting out of it, but not with devotion! In other words, to them, worshipping gods is like a business. Shri Sankaracharya explains this very beautifully in Bhaja Govindam:

jaTilo muNDii luJNchhitakeshaH
kaashhaayaambarabahukRitaveshhaH .
pashyannapi cana pashyati muuDhaH
udaranimittaM bahukRitaveshhaH…

Meaning, “One ascetic with matted locks, one with shaven head, one with hairs pulled out one by one, another parading in his ochre robes – these are fools who, though seeing, do not see. Indeed, these different disguises or apparels are only for their belly’s sake.”

The poet goes on, “Sathukkal kandu sikshichu chollumbol, Sathruveppole krudhikkunnoo chilar…” Watching all these people behaving in an immature way, ignoring their own parents and wife, with ill-founded pride and fighting with everyone, creating miserable lives for themselves and people around them, the wise people (sathukkal) makes an attempt to guide them to the right path…but with their arrogance and pride, some people get angry and fight even with those wise people!

Then there are some others who completely disrespects those learned people, the people worthy of respect! Some of them are even worse, they think that it is because of all their talk that the whole universe is having a stable existence! The poet says, “Kaanka nammude samsaaram kondathre, Viswameevannam nilpuvennum chilar…” Then there are some others who think that they are even higher than Lord Brahma because their arrogance of being born as a Brahmana!

Caste System in Sanatana Dharma was not corrupted as it is today. It was actually called Varna Shashtra, more on which you can read it here. According to Sanatana Dharma, everyone is born as a Shudra / Sudra – an ignorant person. By spiritual training and studies of the vedas (acquiring knowledge), anyone can eventually become a Brahmana / Brahmin – someone with highest form of spiritual knowledge or someone who realizes the Supreme.

The poet says, “Brahmanyam kondu kunthichu kunthichu, Brahmavu-meni- kkokkayennu chilar…” Here, the poet is making fun of those who claims to be Brahmins simply because they were born into a Brahmin family, but does not possess any qualities of a Brahmin. Such people act as if they are even higher than the Lord Brahma himself!

Like it was mentioned earlier in this article, no one becomes a Brahmin simply because they’re born into a Brahmin family. Similarly, no one is Shudra or Vaishya or Kshatriya by their birth. Only those who possess the qualities of Brahmin becomes a Brahmin.

Then there are some others who performs sever Yajnas like Agnihotram simply to make more money and titles! Then there are some others who sells away copious amount of gold and gems only to make even more money than they have, out of their greed.

Someone who performs Yajnas are eventually adorned with various titles, depending how knowledgeable they are. The poet says, some of those people, as they gain more titles, out of their ignorance and greed, misuse these titles only to make more and more money and gifts from the devotees. Their desire to make more and more money out of performing Yajnas defeats the whole purpose of performing Yajnas!

The poet continues,

“Mathebham kondu kachavadam cheythu
Uthamathuragangala thukondum
Athrayumalla kappal vechittumethra
nedunnithardham siva! Siava!”

There are some people who sells or even exploit elephants and horses only to make more money, creating a whole new unethical business out of it. We now see it even more visible than during Shri Poonthanam’s time, of the exploitation of animals, like how some people use elephants to transport heavy woods and other items, and how horses are used for gambling, etc. The poet wonders, “Siva Siva…”, how much money do these people want to make! In their desire to make more money and power, they completely forget their own duties and social responsibilities…

Poet continues by saying, “Ardhamethra valareyundaayaalum, Thripthiyaakaa manassinoru kaalam…” Here, poet wonders, where are these people heading to with their extreme greed for material wealth! Those who have money never stops seeking for more money and even more money, till there is no end to their greed!

As we all know, the greed to make more money never stops for those who are already wealthy, to an extent that so many such people go to any possible ways, even unethical and illicit, to make money and attain more power.

Shri Poonthanam is trying to tell us that, in our greed for money and power, what is most important – our happiness and peace of mind – goes for a toss! We can never buy happiness with all the wealth in the world! The only way to attain true happiness, as the poet explains in Jnanappana, is to surrender to the Ultimate Truth, the God, the Brahman, or whichever word you like to call that One Ultimate Truth, and to sing his praises – Naama sankeerthanam!

Krishna Krishna mukuntha janardhana
Krishna Govinda Narayana Hare
Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava
Sachithananda Narayana Hare…

baby krishna

The poet then goes on singing, “Pathu kittukil nooru mathiyennum, Sathamaakil sahasram mathiyennum…”

“Pathu kittukil nooru mathiyennum…” – meaning, if one gets 10, he wants 100, when he gets 100, he wants 1000! And if he finally gets the 1000 he wanted, would he stop there! No, he want more, more and more! “Aasayaayulla paasamithin- keennu
Ver pidaathe karerunnu melku mel…” – With his greed, he keeps wanting more money than he already has, the desire for more money goes higher and higher with no end, like one would climb on an endless rope!

The poet is trying to tell us that, even though the rope could be endless, it is never stable. Even if one holds on to that rope of desire tighter and tighter, one day, he would fall flat. That is why, somewhere in the beginning of Jnanappana, the poet sings, “Malika mugalileriya mannante, Tholil marappu kettunnathum Bhavan”, meaning, If God wishes, the king living in a palace (malika) today may lose everything and end up carrying a dirty bag on his shoulders and walk around homeless.

The poet is simply trying to show us how greedy the whole world has become, completely being withdrawn from our very own spiritual nature, but attached to all the material pleasures of the world, not realising that one day, we will just disappear from this beautiful earth before we could even realize it!

Shri Shankaracharya says this beautifully in the Bhaja Govindam,

aNgaM galitaM palitaM muNDaM
dashanavihiinaM jataM tuNDam.
vRiddho yaati gRihiitvaa daNDaM
tadapi na muJNcatyaashaapiNDam…

Meaning, The body has become worn out. The head has turned grey. The mouth has become toothless. The old man moves about leaning on his staff. Even then he leaves not the bundle of his desires.

How can we escape from this never ending cycle of attachment to desires? Shri Poonthanam’s solution to this is to whole heartedly sing the praises of the Lord Krishna…

Krishna Krishna mukuntha janardhana
Krishna Govinda Narayana Hare
Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava
Sachithananda Narayana Hare…

Thus by constantly praising the God, the Paramatman, we purify our minds and help us have control over Arishadvargas – the six emotions or the six passions – as prescribed in Sanatana Dharma / Hinduism. They are, kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (attachment), mada (pride), and matsarya (jealousy).

We will continue the next part some time soon…I hope you would listen to the Jnanappana with devotion and ponder up on its meaning and fall in love with it the way I do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *