janma karma nivaranam,
Jnana vairagya siddhyartham
To obtain knowledge and detachment, sip the water of the guru’s Feet, which destroy ignorance and ends karmas, which is the cause of rebirth. Lord Shiva in the preceding conversation with mother Parvathi proclaims that spirituality is an essential part of our life. He says that it is best to blend spiritual tenets or commandments of enlightened living as laid down by our guru into our lifestyle. If not, we will end up being caught in the vicious cycle of samsara, which is nothing but leading a life based on pain and suffering caused due to our own state of ignorance.
In the Kathopanishad it is said that he who has no understanding and whose uncontrolled mind is never firmly held, his senses are unmanageable, like the vicious horses of a charioteer. He who has no wisdom, who is always impure never reaches the soul (which is the core of his being) but enters into another round of births. But he who has understanding, who holds the reins of his mind, who is mindful with wisdom and is always pure reaches indeed his soul therefore not born again.” If we recall an incident from the ancient days of the Mahabharata, after the war was over, Sri Krishna said to Pandavas, Kauravas and all others- “ It is time for me to return to Dwarka. But before I leave, tell me if there is anything that I can do for you?” The blind king Dhritarashtra said to him “I have been good to everyone. I have not been cruel or unjust to anyone. Why is it that I am blind and have lost all my hundred children?” Sri Krishna said to him, “I wish that you get the answer from your own self. Meditate, go deep within yourself until you touch your astral self, and you will know!”
Following the words of Lord Shri Krishna, Dhritarashtra went into deep meditation and contacted his astral self. Dhritarashtra discovered that the astral self keeps the record of our earlier incarnations. In an earlier incarnation, he had been a tyrant king. One day, as he walked by a lake side, he saw a swan bird surrounded by a hundred signets. He asked his people to remove the eyes of the swan bird and kill all the hundred signets just to please his passing fancy!.He then understood why he was blind and had to suffer the loss of his hundred sons. That is how ignorance is deep-rooted in us. We are blinded by our own ignorant and deluded mind. We are going through a lot of turbulence due to this. To obtain tranquility we must get rid of our ignorance once and for all. As long as we are ignorant we will not know what we must do and what we must not. We are so ignorant to the extent that we are not able to discriminate between good and bad. We are unable to differentiate between divine qualities and demonic qualities in us only. Even when we visit the temples we are looking at god or the presiding deity as a stone idol because we are totally unaware of the power of divinity present there.
Today, we feel we are leading a comfortable life if we have money, if our own kith and kin are well settled in life we feel relieved from tension and stress, however, Lord Shiva in this sloka says that if we have to experience peace, we have to vanquish our ignorance.
In the state of ignorance we feel we are always right, whatever we do is right and others are always at fault and are wrong. On the contrary, many a times ignorance also creates such a hallucination that we may feel we are wrong and others are right due to lack of confidence. Both kind of feelings are wrong and only depict ignorance.