As water on a lotus leaf is very unstable, life is extremely unsteady. Know that the whole world is stricken with disease and arrogance and afflicted with sorrow.
The Pratipaksha Bhavana continues. Look at life afresh and you see an uncertain future. Shankara says life is as unsteady as a drop of water on a lotus leaf. A slight breeze is enough to tilt the leaf and the drop of water falls in the pond. Similarly life is unpredictable. At any age, however healthy or strong you may be, there is no security against death. It takes away anyone, at any time.
There is no time to waste. We have a tendency to procrastinate, postpone investment in the spiritual field. This verse conveys the urgency of the situation. Now you have the health, mental and intellectual faculties to develop the spiritual quotient. Who knows what the future has in store? The same facilities may not be available later. So use this precious time for self-enhancement.
Even during this uncertain tenure life is beset with all kinds of problems. There is disease at the physical level, sorrow at the emotional plane and arrogance at the intellectual stage. All of which create agitations. But we have got accustomed to them and do not feel the need to rise above them. We cannot visualise a life free from these hardships. Hence there is no attempt to rid ourselves of them. Bhaja Govindam tries to awaken us to the truth that as human beings we are meant to experience a hassle-free life, one full of cheer and joy.
This does not mean we should take the approach that we might die any moment. The point of this verse is that we must utilise our time judiciously. Invest in our spiritual growth and make our life worthwhile. We seem to think the study of the scriptures is for retirees, but the truth couldn’t be farther from that. Every one of us must set aside a little time for spiritual study everyday, think about it and strive to put it into practice.
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Lance Armstrong took it easy on the cycling track. As a result, he didn’t cycle as well he should have. It was only during his fight against cancer that he realised he wasn’t performing to his potential. He decided to commit himself to giving his best everyday. From then on, Lance Armstrong has gone on to win a world-record six Tour de France titles. Unlike Lance, we shouldn’t wait for cancer or some disease to hit us before we start giving our best. So take affirmative action NOW. Refuse to pamper your body. Desist from pandering to your whims and fancies. Make a concerted effort to abide by your own deeper aspirations. Entertain the thought of the higher always. And see the difference.