Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
The text under study is BHAJA GOVINDAM, song of despair of time-wasting, by Sri Adi Shankaraachaarya.
The Guru now presses home the importance of recognising the fleeting nature of all things…
Laaek< zaekht< c smStm!.4.
Lokam shokahatam cha samastam ||4||
The water drop playing on the lotus petal has an extremely uncertain existence; so also is life ever unstable. Understand, the very world is consumed by disease and conceit and is riddled with pangs.
Again, the teacher is not holding back! Having attempted in the opening stanzas to get the student to focus on more correct and meaningful thinking, stating that money and lovers are transient and, in the end, pointless, he rams home the plain facts of the matter. We are here today and gone tomorrow. Which tomorrow, we cannot know and much depends on the quality of the biological matrix in which we sit. At some point or other it is likely to be compromised by disease or accident.
The important message, then, is that there is no time for anyone to waste. Death rarely announces its visit.
The use of the image of the lotus petal and the water drop goes beyond the obvious too. Those who study advaitic philosophy for any amount of time will recognise the symbolism.The lotus grows out of muddy water, exists in that water, is nurtured and nourished by that water. The flower is therefore nothing but an expression of the waters in which the seed, deep in the mud is at home. When it fades, it returns to that very water and forms part of the nourishment for the seed bulb to re-emerge at another time. Brahman, the Infinite, expresses as the 'lotus' of the subtle body (sukshma shariira). Existing in the Consciousness Divine, a minute ray of It (Aatman), functioning in and through the biological equipment, is the jiva, the individualised personality. Aatman, expressing through the lotus of the intellect is the unsteady, over-agitated soul which, when it is released by death, merges back into the 'waters' of Consciousness.
The return of the drop back to the waters and the merging are suggestive of the mahaa vaakya "tattvam asi"… That thou art.