indriyaartheshu vairaagyamanahankaara eva cha |
janmamrityujaraavyaadhiduhkhadoshaanudarshanam || 8 ||

 
Dispassion towards sense objects, absence of ego, as well as constant perception of sorrow towards birth, death, old age and disease.
 
indriyaartheshu : sense objects
vairaagyam : dispassion
anahankaara : absence of ego
eva : also
cha : and
janmamrityujaraavyaadhi : birth, death, old age, disease
duhkhadoshaanudarshanam : constant perception of sorrow
 
Shri Krishna continues listing the attributes that help us reduce the importance of the kshetra or the field. Here he lists dispassion of sense objects, absence of ego and investigation into the modifications of the human body as three further attributes in addition to the nine mentioned in the previous shloka.
 
We have five sense organs that can contact the world and perceive objects. They have raaga (attraction), dvesha (hatred) or viraaga (indifference) towards objects. If we see a lump of clay, for example, we have neither attraction or hatred towards it. The mind is not disturbed when the senses remain free of the labelling of raaga or dvesha. When our senses develop indifference towards every object that they perceive, it is the state of vairagyam or dispassion towards sense objects. So, regardless of whether the object in question is in front of us or someone reminds us of that object, our mind remains unaffected by its presence.
 
Previously, we came across the term “abhimaan” which meant a sense of mine-ness towards external attributes such as wealth, power, position and so on. “Ahankaara” in this context is a stronger form of abhimaan where we develop a sense of mine-ness towards our own body, mind and intellect. If one has pride about a gold medal in mathematics, that is abhimaaan. But if one is proud about one’s intelligence, that is ahankaara. Anahankaara is the absence of such pride, and it is born out of constant dispassion or vairagya towards the body and its temporary nature. Moreover, even a simple bit of contemplation will reveal that for the majority of the population, there is always someone who will eventually overtake us with a better body, mind and intellect.
 
So far we came across pleasure derived out of sense objects, as well as pride in the functioning of the body, mind and intellect. Both these notions stem from the assumption that our body will remain healthy and fit eternally. But, even if we walk the corridor of any hospital for five minutes, we see the silliness in holding on to that assumption. “Dosha-anudarshanam” is the constant, repeated perception of sorrow in all of these states of the body, not just when we visit the hospital. Now, although we consider disease, old age and death as sorrowful, Shri Krishna adds birth to this list as well. It is full of suffering for both the child and the mother. In the Dasbodh of Swami Ramdas, as well as the Shiva Apraadha Stotram of Shankaraachaarya, there is an elaborate description of the painful process of birth.

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