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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 "...by expectation of help from others (through indolence caused by dullness)."

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

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