Verses for Introspection

Shloka 57 bhaaro-avivekinah shaastram

Ma Gurupriya

  • Shloka 57 bhaaro-avivekinah shaastram

    Ma Gurupriya

When the Assets become a Load

भारोऽविवेकिनः शास्त्रं भारो ज्ञानं च रागिणः ।
अशान्तस्य मनो भारो भारोऽनात्मविदो वपुः ।।
– योगवासिष्ठरामायणम् १.१४.१३

bhāro’vivekinaḥ śāstraṃ bhāro jñānaṃ ca rāgiṇa: |
aśāntasya mano bhāro bhāro’nātmavido vapu: ||
– Yogavāsiṣṭha-rāmāyaṇam 1.14.13


For one without discrimination, scripture is a burden; for one full of passion, (mere textual) knowledge is a load; for the disturbed, mind is a burden; and for one without Self-knowledge, embodiment itself is a burden.

Points for Introspection:

Our scriptures tirelessly speak about the eternal, imperishable Soul realizing which one becomes contented and blissful, transcending all affectations that life brings in. They point to us that the world is transitory and ephemeral; that one cannot have permanent happiness from this impermanent, changeful world. To have permanent joy one must realize the permanent, imperishable Soul. And for that the scriptures constantly instruct us to discriminate between the real and the unreal, between truth and falsehood, between imperishable and perishable, etc.

Only when one has discrimination (viveka), one understands how, in order to have peace and bliss in life, one must seek ‘That’ which is imperishable and not run behind the perishable objects of the world. Ordinarily, the concept of life is – to get born, grow up, settle down, marry, raise a family, slowly grow old and then die. There is no higher aim. One never thinks how to overcome the miseries, how to be happy and contented always.

Men, who are not given to introspection, restlessly run behind objects of enjoyments. For them, the messages of the scriptures are a burden. They want to pursue only that which will give them immediate pleasure. Looking for joy and peace, they run behind worldly objects, not thinking that enjoyments and pleasures derived from the objects are always mixed with misery and affliction.

Even in affliction, if people who lack discrimination are advised about the message of the scriptures, or suggested to have the holy association of Mahātmās, they don’t heed it. If by chance, they happen to be in the association of some Mahātmā, they find his words meaningless and impracticable.

“There is no relevance of the scriptural truths in my life. I am fine without them.”- are the thoughts of people without discrimination. Lack of introspection and discrimination does not allow them to choose what is eternally auspicious for mankind.

There is another class of people (rāgī) who have a lot of desires. Their thoughts always revolve around how to fulfill the desires. All their activities are driven by desires. Such people are possessive about their objects of desire, and are ready to take any trouble to achieve what they wish to possess. Even if they have theoretical knowledge of scriptures, they are not able to live according to the knowledge, which necessitates desirelessness in the mind.

When it is pointed out as to how one must cultivate purity of mind by sublimating desires, they feel burdened and fearful. They wonder, “How will I live if I have no desire? What will be my motivation for action if desire is not there?” So, not being able to follow, the spiritual knowledge verily becomes a load for them.

For one whose mind is always agitated, his own mind becomes a load. Wherever he goes, he remains agitated and anxious. He may blame people, objects or circumstances for his agitation or non-peaceful state of mind, but the fact is that his own mind is to be blamed. He gets annoyed very soon, gets irritated easily; he is intolerant and impatient. Such a mind is never comfortable to anybody. One having such a mind always suffers from stress and cheerlessness.

Lastly, for people who have not known the Self, the body (body-mind-intelligence) itself is a burden. Out of ignorance, one identifies oneself with the body as well as its fluctuating conditions. One who does not know his real identity – that “I am the eternal, immortal Self” – undergoes a great deal of suffering. Because of the mistaken association, the suffering undergone by the body-mind-intelligence is thought of as one’s own. Whereas, he is in essence the unaffected, unshakable, infinite Soul, he suffers affectation because of wrong identity with the body. For him, the embodiment itself is burdensome.

Repeated chanting of this śloka will remind one that to be free, one should take to constant vich¡ra (discrimination), sublimate desires, discipline the mind, and finally try to know one’s own Self.

Word Meaning:

भारः (bhāra:) = load; अविवेकिनः (avivekinaḥ) = for one who lacks discrimination; शास्त्रं (śāstraṃ) = scripture; भारः (bhāra:)= load; ज्ञानं (jñānaṃ) = (mere textual) knowledge; (ca) = and; रागिणः (rāgiṇa:) = for the passionate (full of desires); अशान्तस्य (aśāntasya) = for one who lacks control and is restless; मनः (mana:) = mind; भारः (bhāra:) = burden; भारः (bhāra:) = burden; अनात्मविदः (anātmavida:) = for one devoid of knowledge of the Self; वपुः (vapu:) = body.


अविवेकिनः शास्त्रं भारः (भवति) । रागिणः च ज्ञानं भारः (भवति) । अशान्तस्य मनः भारः (भवति) । अनात्मविदः वपुः भारः (भवति) ।

avivekinaḥ śāstraṃ bhāra: (bhavati). rāgiṇa: ca jñānaṃ bhāra: (bhavati). aśāntasya mana: bhāra: (bhavati). anātmavida: vapu: bhāra: (bhavati).

Verses for Introspection

Shloka 57 bhaaro-avivekinah shaastram

Ma Gurupriya

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