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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Parasites in the Bhāgavata

In Śrīmad Bhāgavata (11.25.15) a person in tamo guṇa is described as being a parasite -

yujyeta śoka-mohābhyāṁ nidrayā hiṁsayā'śayā

"Such a person is characterised by lamentation, delusion, sleep, violence and hope."

"Why is hope tamo-guṇa?" I wondered. Śrīdhar Swāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartī explain:

udyamābhāvena kevalam āśayā yujyeta

"There is an absence of endeavour and only expectation."

C.L. Goswami of the Gita Press translates the word āśayā as " expectation of help from others (through indolence caused by dullness)."

Monier Williams on āśā: "wish , desire , hope , expectation , prospect".

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