Monday, April 25, 2016

The Determination of Duty (harabāra): A Translation of a Passage from the Nama Ghosa

harabāra

adhame kewale doṣa lawaẏa madhyame guṇa-
doṣa lawe kariẏā bicāra .
uttame kewale guṇa lawaẏa uttamottame
alpa guṇa karaẏa bistāra ..120..
doṣara sāgara kali tāko parīkṣita rājā
guṇa dekhi karilā rakṣaṇa .
mahāpāpī antyajāti taraẏa kalita sukhe
mukhe kari harira kīrttana ..121..
abidyājanita sukha satyaloka ādi kari
āta nirapekṣa nirantara .
kewale cidaṃśa śuddhi karaṇese mātra jānā
puruṣārtha mumukṣujanara ..122..
bidyā-abidyā janya sukhe nirapekṣa huẏā
karila āpuna mana thira .
sakala jagata iṭo bāsudewmaẏa mātra
puruṣārtha jānibā jñānīra ..123..
samaste sukhaka teji puruṣottamara prema
bhakatika karila āśraẏa .
bhakatasawara ehi puruṣārtha manonīta
āno sukha adhika pāwaẏa ..124..
mumukṣujanara yewe abidyājanita sukhe
birakati bhaila ātiśaẏa .
kewale ātmāta mātra sadāẏa ramaṇa kare
tewe bidhikiṅkara gucaẏa ..125..
jñānaniṣṭhajane bidyā- abidyā janita duẏo
sukhe birakati bhaila yewe .
bāsudewamaẏa mātra dekhaẏa jagata iṭo
bidhira kiṅkara guce tewe ..126..
puruṣottamara prema bhakati sukhaka mātra
niścaẏa karilā yiṭojana .
śaraṇa kālareparā bidhira kiṅkara guci
kare sadā śrawaṇa kīrttana ..127..
bhārata ratnara dīpa manuṣya śarīra naukā
rāmanāma mahāratna sāra .
henaẏa bāṇija pāi yiṭo jīwa nataraẏa
tāta pare dukhī nāhi āra ..128..




The Determination of Duty (harabāra[i])

The worst one takes in only the bad qualities; the middle one takes in
both good as well as bad, but he does examination.
The best one takes in only the good qualities while he who is the best of the best,
he expands and magnifies, as it were, a little good quality. 120

Ocean of faults is kali but, even to him, the king Pariksita,
spotting his great quality, had offered protection.
Even the great sinners and the low-castes, happily secure deliverance in kali,
singing only the name of Hari in mouth. 121             

The happiness that is born of ignorance (avidya)—from the realm of the mind (satyaloka) downwards—
to be indifferent to this always;
Only the purification of the faculty of consciousness, know, is solely
the object of existence (purusartha) for the ones striving after emancipation (mumukṣu). 122

To make one’s mind steady, becoming neutral to happiness
arising from both ignorance (avidya) and knowledge (vidya);
to view this entire creation as Spirit and only Spirit
is the object of existence, know, for the monist (jnani). 123

Rejecting all forms of happiness, they take refuge
in the Supreme Personality’s love-filled devotion (prema bhakti);
this only is the chosen object of existence for all pure devotees (bhakta);
the happiness they obtain exceeds other kinds. 124


When, in the case of the striver after emancipation, towards the happiness born of ignorance,
extreme aversion has come about;
when, only in the self (atman), he remains absorbed at all times,
then, his servitude to the ordained Vedic duties (vidhi kinkara) is removed. 125

When, for the follower of the monistic path, towards both the happiness of
ignorance and knowledge, aversion has come about;
when he sees this entire world as filled with Vasudeva—the Spirit—only,
then, from that time onwards, his servitude to the ordained Vedic duties comes to an end. 126

For that one who has resolved solely on the happiness arising from
the nectar-filled devotion to the Supreme Personality,
from that moment of sole-refuge (sarana) onwards, his servitude to the ordained Vedic duties is gone,
and, from then on, he does only sravana and kirttana—the singing and listening of the names and qualities of the Lord. 127

The space of ‘Bharata’ is, as it were, the island of precious stones; the body of man is the boat
and the Lord’s name is the gem, the great and the best.
Obtaining such a trade, the soul that fails to redeem himself,
there is no other person more unhappy than him. 128


[i] The meaning of the term harabāra is not very clear. I have translated it as The Determination of Duty as that seems to be the primary focus of this section. It seems to be devoted to quashing, once and for all, doubts relating to the forsaking of the Vedic injunctions and duties by the ones taking eka sarana or sole-refuge in the Lord.

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