(Verse No. 1 is not at the beginning). The learned people are jealous; masters are arrogant; and the rest people are ignorant. That is the reason whole of my essence to be told is all digested inside my body (2). Even the good work in this world creates fear in my mind. It’s because the result of good deed will clear the way for further enjoyment which ultimately will create trouble (3).
Salute to Lord Shiva, Salute to Lord Vishnu, Salute to Parabrahma, Salute to the Lord of Trigunatma. I 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 many countries with all difficulties but got no result; leaving apart my pride of belonging to a noble family I served at different offices in vain; leaving apart my pride like a crow I ate at different houses and yet my desire is not satisfied and in fact it grows(4).
In the desire of wealth I did so many things. I dug the earth; melted the metals of the mountains, crossed the ocean and satisfied the kings of other lands with great effort and to become the master of all I also spent nights at crematoriums to become masters of all Tantric worships to win everything but nothing not a single pie has been achieved so far(5).
O’ desire of futile hopes, how much will you make me dance? With a great patience I tolerated all the words of those idiots. I laughed with a great difficulty suppressing my grief inside. I also bowed down before fools for money. All these happened because of one thing that I did not want to lose the desired object in my life. Now please stop all these (6).
In comparison it is found that as we are satisfied in case of face that utter words that are as sweet as honey & ghee but the same is not the case with the belly that consumes all that & after eating all our earnings still remains unsatisfied with more desire/hunger(7).
The life span diminishes by 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 who have a natural tendency of saying ‘no’ 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 is subsided. Pride for being a man is also dropped out. Dear friends, relatives & contemporaries have left the world. Stick also helps a little to rise up. Eyes have been affected 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, in spite of the power offered to man for crossing the ocean of this world why he utilizes it and rather spends his time in search of it (11).
Neither concentrated on the feet of the Lord to overcome the bondage of this world nor we accomplished any 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). One of the legendary verse of Sri Bhartrihari follows: The enjoyment has never been ended but we are at the door/state of old-age, 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 came 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 did all that done by ascetics but are devoid of any result. We tolerated everything just for household works not for forbearance, tolerated the extreme cold etc. but for poverty, meditated day and night upon money but not on the feet of Shambhu (14). Our face is marked with wrinkles; the hairs of our head became grey and falling; our body became loosened but the desire only is still in rejuvenating stage (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 are always temporary and they will leave us sooner or later. In that case why to wait till they leave us, instead we can get out of them and enjoy the enormous tranquillity in our mind (17).
When discriminatory power (Viveka) increases due to maturity of knowledge then the desire for sensual pleasure diminishes otherwise, Indra, the king of deities himself would not have been found in such a helplessness state due to lack of his self-restraint (18).
Cupid, the god of love has won over everybody irrespective of he is thin, one-eyed, lame, deaf, without any proper backbone, man with scars, a man with decomposed posture, a man whose body is affected by worms and bacteria, a hungry man, a man suffering from indigestion, a person with spoils and an injured one. It means all these persons are the desirous of sensual pleasure (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. O my God! The sensual pleasures still do not leave me (20). O’ it is satirical that the poets have placed women’s image/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, urinated (& thus dirty) with the trunks of elephants (21).
A moth falls into the high flame without knowing its highness/greatness; a fish also bites the sharp bait but all these we cannot give up this & become the victim of this trap (22).
There is enough fruit to eat and there are also plenty of drinking water to drink. To sleep there is ground & there are enough barks to wear. In that case why a person should tolerate the misbehaviour and afford to hear any bad language of those instigated by hard liquor (23).
There was a time during which those great kings of great hearts won this world ; some others also won the countries with their heroic valour but offered in donation to others like that of a straw. There were kings who enjoyed the whole fourteen worlds but, why then those administering over a few cities have so burning pride! (24).
Commences a comparison between a king & a poet: You are the king & we, by the grace of our guru reached at a higher stage of knowledge. You are famous for your wealth & we are also poets of par excellence & earned name & fame in all directions. Thus, we are unique in our own pattern. If you have no regard for us then we are also equally disinterested in you (25).
What a greatness of those hundreds of kings who did not even spend a moment without utilizing it for the kingdoms. Such were really respectable. But those kings who are just ruling over the fractions of such kingdoms are incapable of handling them. They really ought to be ashamed (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 on it to enjoy the kingdom. More poor are those who just demand just some penny in return of the kingdom after winning (27).
We are not actors nor the court-jesters. We are also not singers or the experts of dealing with disputes of others. We are also not women having attraction. We are interested in the logic & Vedanta. Therefore, we don’t have any work in the premises of the kings (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 person/king is really great whose skull (after his death) will be adorning Lord Shiva. What is the greatness of those kings who just take pride in bowing down before the Lord just for wealth? (30)
You are the master of wealth of different types & we are the masers of language & logic. You are brave fighter and clever enough in putting down your foes & we are also equally efficient enough in putting our opponents of controversially arguing nature down with our logical pattern of argument. Even wealthy people wait at your doors for service so also the learned wait at our door for various understanding of the texts along with their clarifications. So, if you don’t care for us then we also don’t care for you (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 I came to know whatever I know is just nothing and the arrogance previously I was having started disappearing (32).
We spent a lot of our life time (almost half of our time) moving around a 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 and wealth diminishes & those who wait for favours automatically depart with disappointment. Then the friends also become less and relatives leave you. The youth slowly decays and then wait the caves somewhere at the valleys of the Himalayas whose inside stones have been purified by the water of Ganga for the purpose of your penance to understand who you are (34).
O’ my heart! Why are you so much pleased seeing the people who have been changed in your favour after a great effort? Instead, you better concentrate on your inner soul closing your eyes. The effect of Chintamani stone will start functioning inside and you will be happy & receive your desire. Simply pleasing your soul will give you your desired result (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! Life is just like drop of water in a lotus-leaf (means so unsteady). It is for this only we behaved against our will/dignity to satisfy these wealthy people who are so arrogant in their attitude (39).
O’ my brother, in fact it is very difficult to know that it is because of Time all these have gone to mere memories- all those great kings who were accompanied with great administrators, the association of learned ones, accompanying all those beautiful moonlike nymphs, arrogant princes, all those admirers & all those great things. All these happened because of Time and therefore, I bow down before him (Kala) which is otherwise indescribable (40).
Those to whom we were born passed away long before. They have also left out & remained in our memories with whom we were brought up. Now we are getting nearer & nearer to the day of falling down. It is a journey that can be comparable to a tree standing at the bank of a sandy river side (41).
The Time plays with the creatures like that of a chess player with the draughts. The world is the chess-board & it has two parts i.e. day & night. In the board, draughts available once in plenty become one at the end & the same also disappears at a point of time. This act happens repeatedly in this world (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 lady of high quality or should we prefer reading shastras or relish the nectar of kavyas! We do not know exactly what should we do? (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 Yoganidra the old antelopes will rub their limbs against by body to satisfy their itching sensation? (44)
When can I go to that state of affair when sitting in silence in a peaceful atmosphere on the bank of the river Ganga shinning with the white glow of moonlight can in a louder voice shout Shiva, Shiva & Shiva with all internally controlled tears ?(45)
To me, the Lord Shiva is the only God, Ganga is the only river, caves are my homes & cloths are the directions. Now time is matured enough. Banyan tree is my beloved wife. 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 every chances that he may have to face this situation (47).
Hope is like a river & desires are water in it. Greed is like waves & passion is like crocodiles. Various questions & arguments are like the water birds. Infatuation is like whirlpools which are extremely difficult to navigate. All these forces destroy the tree of patience standing at the shore. Only those pure minds can overcome such situations in life and can enjoy the paramananda or eternal peace in life (48).
O my dear! From the very beginning of this world nothing as such has come out to hear or locate in the three worlds that who could keep his mind which is like a wild elephant, in complete restraint. The mind which is comparable to a rutted elephant is always has a weakness & courting towards the female elephant of the senses or sensual pleasures (49).
I smile today during the intervals of meditation, while on the beds of stones remembering some such of events like how people were reaching to very awkward situations while narrating their situations before the rich due to mere trap of their intellects into the sensual pleasures (50).
Neither the education was acquired with perfection nor there seen any chance to acquire wealth. Furthermore, neither could serve father with dedicated mind nor there any chance to see & embrace the beautiful girls even in dreams. Thus, the whole life time was spent like that of a crow who moves from one door to another and finally gets nothing! (51)
After donating everything (to the poor & needy people), when shall we have chances of concentrating in the feet of Lord Shiva as the only refuge of ours, at a maturity of our mind (and after all sort of enjoyment of pain & pleasure due to sin & merit) in the moonlight nights in the forests besides Ganga ?(52)
We are satisfied with the bark of the trees whereas you are with the silk garments. The contentment is the same for both & there is no comparisons in it as ‘good’ & ‘better’. But, the speciality here is, the one whose desire is vast is a poor beggar. When our mind is satisfied then who is rich & who is a poor? (53) (Here the poet has shown the difference between a King & a Sannyasi).
Freedom to wander, unblemished food (such as fruits etc.), leaving in the company of learned, listening to scriptures which teaches that mental & spiritual peace is the ultimate result, control of mind from sensual pleasures- I do not know, which penance has created all these results !(54)
They are really blessed ones whose hands are their only vessel & wherever they go they get the food full of their vessels. Ten directions are for his cover & the strong earth is their bed. They have no relatives but they are not helpless due to the closeness with their heart by way of continuously cherishing the self-contentment. Thus, they are free from all sort of worldly attachments and soon going to detached from birth & death hereafter this life (55).
These kings are very difficult to be pleased on account of their mind-set which is as unsteady as the unruly horses. But, in spite of that we are desirous that they will do something by way of their better declarations of offers. The old-age has taken away the strength & now death is in the row. Actually, for the old people like us there is nothing better than the penance (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 drops of water in lotus leafs. So, naturally the desire for a long-lasting youth & all sort of enjoyments are momentary. Knowing all these, O’ my dear wise men, please do concentrate in the Yogic meditation which alone can bring steadiness/firmness of your mind to achieve higher goal (57).
A self-respecting person in renunciation when hungry must visit door to door with earthen bowl in hand having its edged covered with white cloths, for alms from pious & religious people residing in the holy places full of smokes with Vedic rituals & Vedic chanting by Brahmins(58).
A real Yogin or mendicant, in spite of hearing on various types of enquires/queries/opinions about him, walk on roads without any resentment. Such enquires about him are like whether he is an out of caste or a Brahmin or a lower caste or a seeker of higher goal or a yogin, par excellence or some other typical man! (59)
O’ friend! They are blessed ones who have given up all sort of material attachments and are not poisoned by the snake of passion. In real sense they are fortunate who spend autumns’ nights in the moon lit forests accumulating true knowledge (merit) through meditation (60).
O’ mind! You better leave away all those material objects. They are the transient ones and certainly cannot bring peace in you. You better follow your own inner self giving up all your fickleness that are like the waves. There is no other way that will lead you to a peaceful state than becoming engrossed in a calmness state. You better enjoy that calmness. That is the ultimate peace (61).
(A servant-friend seeking relief from an arrogant master is consoled by a mendicant-friend as follows :) 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 I am sure you will not hear a single utterance of such name of petty & arrogant master (62).
O’ mind! Give up all the attachments for your near & dear ones and develop interest in Lord Shiva along with a passion for the shores of heavenly river Ganga. Who in fact will believe in the temporary things like waves, water bubbles, lightning, wealth, fire-flame, snakes & the currents of river? (63)
If there are singing of songs going on before you and poets from south are there by both of your sides along with tickling sounds of bracelets coming from your back with the ladies holding chamara-s in their hands then only you enjoy this life otherwise, better you concentrate in the deep meditation (nirvikalpakasamadhi)(64).
O’ Wise Men! Restrain yourself from the pleasure of the company of ladies that is only a transient one. Of course, you may be associated in a higher plain with those noble ones who are full of compassion, friendship & wisdom. It’s because it should help you beyond this life. The attraction of lofty breasts adorned with diamond necklace or the girdle with jingling tinkers won’t help you in hell to come out of it (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 Nitishataka. As per its subject it suits to be under that. )
Mother Luxmi! You may please serve some other who is desirous of you. Those desirous of worldly pleasures are your devotees. But, I have changed my course of life now and decided living on the alms only that too in Palasa-leaves that are rectified through ritualistic process (67).
(The verse no. 68 is a very typical verse normally not found in any other version/manuscript of the text): Previously there was no difference between yourselves & ourselves but now after some outside interference we maintain such difference (68). I do not know what is there in her mind for which this lotus-eyed girl is looking at me every day. Perhaps she does not know that we have overcome the situation of that passionate state where all the feverish stage of youthfulness is over (69).
Is not it a better mansion to live in? Are not the songs we hear are better enough to listen more? Is not the association with your beloved one a prolonged desire? However, in spite of all, the ascetics somehow consider it as temporary & transient like that of many other things and finally decided to go to forests!(70).
Is it that all the roots & fruits from the caves have disappeared? Whether all the streams & their sources of hills have gone away? Or, whether all the fruit-bearing & barks producing trees are destroyed? The reasons for which they face the wretched bosses whose eyebrows are dancing like creepers in the wind but here with a bad reason that is due to arrogance (71).
It is not understandable as to why people, out of disgrace, become heavily dependent upon others just for the sake of their food! Is it that the caves cooled by the cooled breezes of holy Ganga are destroyed for which these people maintain their life in this manner? (72)
When the golden 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 others with this big Earth at the end of a Yuga, then in that situation what about the human body which is like the ears of a small baby elephant! (73)
O Lord Shambhu! Now I am alone having no desire, peaceful inside & hands are the only means of collecting food. I have distributed all my cloths to the people. Please tell me when can I be relieved from all the bondages of karman? (Meaning thereby when can I get salvation?)(74) If you say, you have got all-fulfilling wealth that can satisfy up to your full contentment then I say, “So what”! If you say, you have full control over your enemies in such a way that their heads are below your feet then I say, “So what”. If you say, with your wealth you have got a very good relationship with the neighbouring countries then I say, “so what”. Further, if you say you have acquired a very good health then also I say, “so what”. (75) (What is intended here is still there is a higher goal for human beings that need to be achieved)
When there is devotion in our heart for Lord Shiva; no fear of birth & death, no attachment for family members & no any attraction towards sexual pleasure then we really develop real interest for forest-a place of solitude where there will be no company of any type- good or bad; a state of real renunciation. What better situation than this can be wished for! (76) When our ultimate goal is to renounce, a complete detachment to become one with the Brahman then why not to aspire for that Supreme power which is infinite & timeless. In the presence of such enjoyment, all other worldly enjoyments appear to be fainted one & such enjoyments remain to be desired by the pitiable men only (77).
O’ Mind! Because of your fickleness, at times, you enter into the patala (that is far beneath the Earth) and in other times, you go far away above the sky. At times, you move in all the directions but, even by mistake you do not remember about the Brahman which is our very own and the Ultimate of salvation (78).
We spend nights after nights and same with the days also repeatedly. Those active people remain very busy with their different assignments; sometimes secretly. Many such works are just started & left halfway. Many a times all these works are monotonous, repetitive & purposeless; just prompted by passions & emotions forgetting the very goal of life. O’ God, despite all, we cannot realize the reality behind and just are be-fooled by the illusive nature of this world (79). (Note: Here ends the text. It seems this version is incomplete. There are at least not less than 21 verses found in other versions of the text. Then only it is worth-calling a ‘shatakam’)