THE CENTURY ON RENUNCIATION
The learned people are jealous; masters are arrogant; and the rest are ignorant. That is the reason the essence is digested inside me (2). I do not find any course of wild life to be pleasurable. When I reflect on the result of good deeds, I am seized with fear. Because the material enjoyment secured for a long time by the performance of numerous meritorious acts assumes greater proportions to prove as it were a source of pain to those who attached to the objects of senses. (3)* The verse number 1 here is normally found under Nītiśatakam.
Salute to Lord Śiva, Salute to Lord Viṣṇu, Salute to Parabrahman, Salute to the Lord of TriguṇātmanI have my special tribute towards that blissful & peaceful light that cannot be delimited by Time & Space and is endlessly expanding and something that can be comprehensible only through one’s own perception (1) *The verse No. 1 has come in the page No. 3 after the verse No. 3. This is due to the misplacement of pages.
I travelled across several regions with all difficulties but got no result; leaving apart my pride of belonging to a noble family I served in vain; leaving apart my self-respect, and like a crow I ate at different houses and yet, O’ desire! You are not satisfied and keep on growing. (4)
In the desire of wealth, I did so many things. I dug the earth, smelted the metal-ores of the mountains, crossed the ocean and satisfied the kings with great effort and spent nights at crematoriums with my mind fully bent upon the acquisition of charms but got nothing, not even a single pie has been achieved so far. O’ desire! Be satisfied now (5).
O’ desire of futile hopes! how much will you make me dance? With great difficulty I tolerated all the words of those idiots. I laughed with a blank mind with great difficulty suppressing my tears inside. I also bowed down before fools for money and thus, suppressed my feelings. Why are you troubling me now! (6)
In comparison, it is found that as we are satisfied in case of face that utters words that are as sweet as honey & ghee but, the same is not the case with the belly that consumes all that and after eating all our hard earnings still remains unsatisfied with more hunger (7).
The life span diminishes with the movements of the Sun. Time also is not known because of the heavy engagements of workload & responsibility. Fear does not arise in the mind seeing all these birth, old-age, dangers & deaths. The people of this world as if in a drunken state of infatuation & delusion (8).
Who, with any self-respect would have begged to the rich people to satisfy his own hunger, had it not been to meet the dire need of his wife having the babies crying for food dragging her torn cloths? (9)
Desire for sensual pleasure has subsided. Pride of being a man has also dropped out. Friends who were our equals and whom we loved as our very life, have all gone to heaven. Stick also helps a little in rising up. Eyes have been obstructed by cataract. But the foolish body still is afraid of catastrophic death (10).
God has created a non-violent food i.e. air for the serpents. Made the cattle live on the sprouted grasses and sleep on ground happily. However, man, who is endowed with talents capable of carrying him over the ocean of life, has been assigned a mode of living, in pursuit of which all his good qualities are invariably brought to an end. (11)
Neither we concentrated on the feet of the Lord to overcome the bondage of this world nor did we accomplish any religious merit that will lead to break the doors of the heaven. We had also no chance even in dream to embrace the lofty breasts & heavy thighs of these women. Thus, we are like the axes who just cut the lovely gardens of youths of our mothers (12). We have not enjoyed any pleasures but have ourselves been made the objects of enjoyment. we could not practice any penance but our body became too weak, we could not follow the time but time has surpassed/overpowered us, though the desires are not relished we became too old or in a state of not being able to relish. Thus, everything surpasses & human beings are too small in this Universe to overpower any cosmic Law (13).
We have performed all the actions which are performed by ascetics but are devoid of any result. We pardoned but not through forgiveness, we abandoned the pleasures of home but not voluntarily. We endured the pains of extreme cold, wind and heat but not for austerities with suspended breath we devoted ourselves day and night to wealth but not to the feet of Śambhu. (14)Our face is marked with wrinkles; the hairs of our head became grey and are falling; our limbs have become languid but the desire only, is still remains in full vigour. (15)
What tragedy will happen if the Sun tries to occupy the part of the sky where the Moon appears in night? (16). The sensual pleasures even after staying for a long time will leave us sooner or later. In that case why to wait till they leave us, instead a man should voluntarily give them up. When they themselves depart, they give terrible pain, but when abandoned by one’s free will, infinite happiness is the result in consequence of the peace of mind. (17).
When self-restraint illuminates in a man by the development of discriminatory power, the firm hold which desire has on the human mind is relaxed, then there appears a perfection, in which even the lord of Gods becomes an object of greed, since he is wretched on account of the strong distraction of the enjoyment of greatness worn out by age. (18)
A dog, even emaciated, one-eyed, lame, crop-eared, and without a tail, covered with sores and with purulent matter, with his body covered with hundreds of worms, exhausted with starvation and worn out by age and with the brim of an earthen jar round his neck, runs after a bitch. Cupid, the god of love wins over everyone, even him which already sufficiently tortured. (19)
Living on alms that too with tasteless food; floor is the bed & there are no relatives except the body; the cloth is torn & the bed is in hundreds of pieces. Alas! The sensual pleasures still do not leave me (20). O’ it is satirical that the poets have placed women’s appearance in a high place. They have described & compared their body parts as follows: the breasts made up of a lump of flesh is with the golden pots; the mouth, habitation of phlegm with Moon; buttocks with the effusing urination with the trunks of elephants. (21)
A moth falls into the high flame being ignorant of its power; a fish also bites the sharp bait because of ignorance but even endowed as we are with the power of discernment, we do not stay away from the sensual pleasures circumvented as they are with a network of troubles. Alas! How inscrutable is the force of infatuation! (22)
Fruits for food, fresh water for drinking, bare ground for a bed, barks for clothing are acceptable (to me) but, I cannot tolerate the rudeness of wicked persons whose senses have been maddened by the enjoyment of newly acquired wealth which has proved to be like wine to them. (23)
There was a time when some large-hearted great kings created this world; some others conquered the countries with their heroic valour and offered in donation to others as if it were a blade of grass. There are kings even now who enjoy the fourteen worlds. What burning pride is it in men having supremacy over a few decades? (24)
You are a king; we are also high enough through the strong confidence of our wisdom acquired from our preceptor whom we served. You are celebrated through your wealth and our success is celebrated by poets in all directions. O’ mortifier of enemies! The difference between both of us is not at all great if you are insensible towards us, we are also indifferent towards you.
What extraordinary glory is it to kings in gaining that earth which was not left unenjoyed even for a movement by hundreds of kings. The senseless owners of a particle of a part of a portion, instead of grieving, they are on the contrary, delighted. (26)
This world is nothing but a lump of clay circled by a ring of water. In a larger scale of it is just a particle but those kings have fought hundreds of wars over it to enjoy the kingdom. These very insignificant and poor fellows might or might not give anything. But fie on those miserable ones who yearn for a piece of coin from them. (27)
We are neither actors nor the court-jesters. We are neither singers nor the experts in dealing with disputes of others. We are also not women bent under the weight of their bosoms. What work do we have in the premises of king. (28). Those were the days when there were kings to remove your difficulties. But those days are gone. Seeing all these situations of the kings who have turned down their faces from shastras today, I feel pity. Further, the situation is downgrading (29).
Such a person is really great whose white skull (after his death) is placed high on the head as an ornament by Lord Shiva. What is the greatness of those kings who have the feverish pride in bowing down before the Lord just for the protection of their lives! (30)
You are the master of wealth in fullness and we are the masters of words in all the senses. You are a brave fighter in battles and clever enough in putting down your foes and we are also equally efficient in subduing the pride of our opponents with our logical pattern of argument. Wealthy people wait at your doors to serve you and the learned wait at our door who are intent upon listening to me with a view to sharpen their intellect. So, if you don’t care for us then we also don’t care for you if so, you are gone then (31).
When I was knowing a little, I was full of arrogance like that of an angry elephant and thought that I know everything. But slowly when I came in contact with learned people and started learning from them then came to know that whatever I know is just nothing and the arrogance I had before started disappearing (32).
We spent a lot of our life time moving around beautiful women and now at this age we find the river of life is too long & yet to cross. Therefore, with a great force we utter the mantra of Shiva, Shiva and Shiva (33).
When honour fades, wealth diminishes, those who wait for favours automatically depart with disappointment; the friends also become lesser, relatives leave and the youth is also faded away. There is only one thing appropriate at this point of time for a wise to reside somewhere in a cave on the banks in the valley of the mountain whose rocks have been purified by the waters of Ganga, the daughter of Jahnu. (34)
O’ my heart! Why do you enter into great difficulties for the purpose of winning over the minds of others by propitiations in various ways every day? Instead, you better concentrate in your inner soul closing your eyes. The effect of Chintamani will start functioning inside you and you will be happy to achieve your desired result simply pleasing your inner soul. (35)
Time passes & never returns. The exact calculation of events is difficult. Faced & tolerated all those difficult situations that came in life time. How much can we describe? Anyhow we have to pass time ahead doing our duty (36).
In fact, why should one bow down before this person extremely arrogant for the little- money he has when plenty of alms are available at every nook & corner and there are monasteries, guest houses & rivers are there everywhere? There are fruit bearing trees, gardens & also skins of deer for meditation and sustainability of life (37). The situation in the forest is known. I have to live life on fruits spending time with deer. The caves are same everywhere. The most important thing is the devotion towards Lord Hari. It that is there the rest can be managed whether it is in the forest or home (38).
What have we not done for our life’s sustainability which is unstable just like the drop of water on a lotus-leaf. Shamelessly, we have even committed the sin of boasting our own qualifications Infront of those rich people whose minds are senseless through the intoxicating power of wealth. (39)
That charming city, that powerful king, the circle of feudatory princes, the assemblage of the learned at his side, the moon-faced women, the group of naughty princes, the bards and the conventions have become the subject of mere recollection through Time. Therefore, we bow down before Time. (40)
Those to whom we were born have passed away long before. Those with whom we were brought up have become objects of mere recollection. Now, we are with our decaying condition approaching near day by day that is comparable to a tree standing at the bank of a sandy river. (41)
Kāla and Kāli play a game in this world using a dice-board with living beings as the pieces being tossed night and day as if they were the dice. In a certain house where at one time there were many, there is now only one; where there was one, came in many; and at the end their remained not a single one. (42)
Should we dwell upon the banks of the Ganga, the river of gods while practicing penance? Or, should we spend a happy married life with a virtuous wife? Or, should we drink the currents of the philosophical thoughts or, relish the nectar of kavyas! We do not know what should we do since the life of man is no more than a few twinkles of the eye. (43)
Will those happy days approach me in my life when I shall be sitting on the lotus posture on a piece of stone in the Himalayas on the bank of Ganga meditating upon higher reality and in a state of Yoganidrā the old antelopes will fearlessly rub their limbs against by body to satisfy their itching sensation? (44)
When can I go to that state when sitting at peace on the banks of the river Ganga shining with the white glow of moonlight can in a louder voice shout Shiva, Shiva, Shiva with copious tears of joy, as a result of being wearied of the troubles of this world? (45)
To me, the Lord Shiva is the only God, Ganga is the only river, caves are my home and the directions are my cloths. Time is my friend; this rule of life is free from humiliation. Banyan tree is my beloved companion. What more should I require & what more should I say in this regard? (46) A man must restrain himself failing which there will be a state/situation like that of Ganga which begins from heaven, then slowly comes down on the head of lord Shiva & then to the Himalayas & from there to the earth and finally into sea. If one loses his discriminatory power then there are chances that he may have to face this situation (47).
Desire is like a river and plans are waters in it which are agitated by greed that is like waves. It has passion that is like crocodiles. Various doubts & arguments are like the water-birds. It is the leveller of the trees of firmness. Infatuation is like whirlpools which are extremely difficult to navigate. It is very deep and has anxiety for its steep banks. Happy are the pure-hearted ascetics who have successfully crossed this river. (48)
Oh friend! While searching the three worlds during a lifetime, none has come within the range of our eye-sight or within hearing, who can readily be the tying post in the shape of self-restraint for his own mind which resembles an elephant intoxicated by the deep-rooted attachment for the female elephant in the shape of sensual objects. (49)
I smile today during the intervals of meditation, seated on a stone in the hollow of a mountain, remembering those days, which appear to be long to one suffering the troubles of supplicating before the rich, but which, however, are felt to be short by one whose mind is distracted by the temptations of worldly objects. (50).
Neither education has been acquired with perfection nor is there a chance to acquire wealth. Neither could serve parents with dedicated mind nor damsels with sparkling eyes have been embraced even in a dream. The whole life time was spent like that of a crow yearning to snatch food meant for others. (51)
Our hearts being stirred with tender compassion after donating every belonging, we, who have set our minds at the feet of shiva as the only refuge, bringing to mind the course of destiny which has an adverse ending in this world, shall pass in a holy forest, the night which beams with the full autumn moon. (52)
We are satisfied with barks of trees whereas you are with the silk garments. The contentment is the same while the other difference is of no importance. He may be called a poor whose desire is boundless. When the mind is content, who is rich and who is poor? (53)
The freedom to wander, the food without any humiliation, the company of learned people, listening to scriptures which teaches the rule of controlling the passions, control of mind from sensual pleasures- I do not know, to what grand penance is this condition to be described. (54)
They are really blessed ones whose hands are their only vessel, alms acquired by wandering and begging for an unlimited supply of food. Ten directions serving as a large garment & the earth is their spacious bed. Those fortunate people who are satisfied with the above, the result of whose contemplation is renunciation, who contented with themselves, and who have cast away a number of difficulties- they root out Karma. (55)
These kings are very difficult to be pleased whose minds are as restless as the unruly horses. But, in spite of that we are desirous and our minds are set upon a lofty goal. The old-age has taken away the strength and now death is in the row. Oh friend! there is nothing better than penance that leads to happiness of a wise man. (56)
The pleasures in this world are like the fleeting of the lightning in the canopy of sky covered with clouds. Life is also as transient as the water in a small collection of clouds scattered by winds. The desire for a long-lasting youth and all sorts of enjoyments are momentary. Knowing all these, O’ my dear wise men, fix your minds at once on concentration, which can be easily secured by a firm meditation of the supreme. (57)
A self-respecting person in renunciation when hungry would wander in a large forest or visit in a door to door with earthen bowl in hand whose edge is covered with a white cloth, for alms from pious & religious people residing in the holy places full of smokes with Vedic rituals & Vedic chanting by Brahmins. But he will never be a constant suppliant among his equals in his own country. (58)
Is this a Cāṇḍāla or a twice-born, is this a Śūdra or an ascetic or is he some great devotee whose mental powers are skilled in the discernment of the true essence of things. Real ascetics(Yogins), when talked of by men in the utterances of their doubts in this manner, are neither irritated nor pleased, but keep walking on their way. (59)
O’ friend! There are some fortunate ones who have crushed calamities in the shape of ties for this world and set their heart only on the acquisition of merits without minding the course of worldly objects which are like dangerous snakes, spend in a forest the night which is beautiful due to the refulgent light of autumnal moon bathing the expanse of the sky. (60)
O’ heart! Be pleased now, do not go after perishable worldly happiness. Stop from entering this troublesome mazy forest of material objects. Take up the way to final absolution. Give up your course which is as unsteady as the waves and adopt a peaceful attitude which is capable of putting down all the miseries in a moment. (61)
O’ friend! Let’s go to forest where you can satisfy yourself with sacred roots & fruits adopting thereby an enjoyable & peaceful state of life. You will love to lie down on earth with newly germinated plants/grasses where even the name is not heard of the narrow-hearted rich whose minds are blunt through coarseness and whose speech is agitated by the effects of malady of ill-money. (62)
O’ mind! Give up the delusion and be devoted to him who bears the crescent of the moon as an ornament on the head and reside on the banks of the heavenly river. Because, what reliance can be placed in waves and bubbles, in streaks of lightening and in women, in tips of flames, or serpents, or the currents of streams? (63)
Oh mind! Be engrossed in the enjoyment of worldly pleasures, if you have singing of songs in front of you, sweet poets from the Deccan by your sides and the tinkling of moving bracelets of women holding cāmaras behind you. Otherwise plunge yourself at once into devout concentration freeing you all consciousness. (64).
O’ Wise Men! Restrain yourself from the pleasure of the company of ladies that is transient. Cultivate (the company of) compassion, friendship and discernment. The attraction of lofty breasts adorned with diamond necklace or the girdle with jingling tinkers won’t help you in the nether world. (65)
The guidelines of welfare provided in the scriptures are as follows: Abstaining from killing, not committing theft, speaking truth, charity towards poor & needy, refraining from abusing the wives of others, controlling of one’s own greediness, politeness towards teachers/elderly persons, kindness towards living beings. This is the path of welfare as prescribed (66). (*This verse is normally found under Nītiśataka. As per its subject it suits to be under that.)
O’ Mother of Wealth (Laxmi)! You may please follow someone else. Do not be longing for me. We have no eagerness for enjoyment what are you to us who are free from desires? Now we wish to live on barley grains collected by begging in a purified vessel made of Palāśa leaves joined together on the spot. (67)
Previously there was no difference between yourselves & ourselves now what has happened by which we maintain such difference that you are yourselves and we are ourselves (68). I do not know what is there in her mind for which this lotus-eyed girl is looking at me every day. She must refrain as her effort is in vain. Now we are changed, youth has departed and a desire for the deepest part of the forest is strong in us. The delusion of attachment has subsided and we look upon all this world as if it was a blade of grass. (69)
Is the place not pleasant to live in? Are not the songs we hear are better enough to listen? Is not the pleasure of the company of one’s own life, to one’s great taste? However, in spite of all, the ascetics somehow consider it as unstable as the shadow of a taper flickering through the wind produced by the wings of a bewildered month falling on it and have gone into a forest! (70)
Is it that all the roots & fruits from the valleys have disappeared? Whether all the streams & their sources of hills have gone away? Or, is it that all the fruit-bearing & barks producing trees have been destroyed? That the faces, wherein the eyebrows appear to dance through the wind of arrogance of the small wealth earned with trouble, of the extremely mannerless wretched(masters) are seen. (71).
It is that the retreats of the Himalayas, which are cooled by the spray of the waters of Ganga and wherein the splendid stone-slabs have been used as seats by the Vidyādhara-s have ceased to exit, that men to their own disgraces remain content with the food from others? (72)
When the majestic mountain like Meru is supposed to be burnt down and the big waves of oceans are going to dry & vanish along with the big creatures like alligators and the earth, though sustained by feet of the mountains comes to an end, then what about this mortal body as unsteady as the end of the ears of a young elephant! (73)
O Lord Shambhu! Now I am alone having no desire, peaceful inside and using hands as a cup and directions as my cloths. Please tell me when can I be relieved from all the bondages of karman? (74) What, if wealth capable of bringing every desired object is gained, what, if the foot be placed on the head of the enemy. What, if the suppliants are honoured by granting wealth and what if mortals continue to live for several millions of years? (75)
When there is devotion in our heart for Lord Shiva; no fear of birth & death, no attachment for family members and no excitement of passions, possession of solitary and pure depths of forests; and a state of real renunciation. What better situation than this can be wished for! (76) Then contemplate that Brahma which is boundless and imperishable, is supremist and brilliant, and on which depend all mundane things such as the sovereignty of the world and its pleasures which are highly esteemed by thoughtless people. Why these idle fancies. (77)
O’ Mind! Because of your fickleness, at times, you enter into the pātāla (that is far beneath the Earth) and soar above the sky and wander through the ethereal regions. How then is it that even by mistake you do not remember that Brahman which is pure and beneficial for us and through which one gains the pleasure of final emancipation. (78) other versions of the text. Then only it is worth-calling a ‘shatakam’)
Looking upon the same night and the same day to repeating, busy ignorant people run in the same course, steadily engaging themselves in their diverse occupations. Alas! How is it that under the influence of infatuation, we do not feel ashamed at being put in a despicable position by this course of life where the undertaking comprises only of a recurrence of worldly objects. Note: (Here ends the text. It seems this version is incomplete. There are at least not less than 21 verses found missing from this version of manuscript)