Bhartrhari should be mandatory study for all students! (Just as Tirukkural should be for all Tamils) There is something applicable for every situation in our lives in it. The messages are sharp and incisive but nobody can argue about the stark truth in them.
Due to a personal situations, this shloka from his Vairagya shatakam hits the nail on the head! We see elders going through this, but very few of us learn from their mistakes!
yāvatsvasthamidaṁ śarīramarujaṁ yāvajjarā dūratō,
yā vaccēndriya śaktikara pratihatā yāvatkṣayō nāyuṣa:|
ātma śrēyasi tāvadēva viduṣā kārya; prayatnō mahāna|
sandīptē bhavanētu kūpakhananaṁ pratyudyama: kīdr̥śa:||
So, we have to prepare for old age, disease or death – not at the time of old-age, but much ahead in all ways – physically, logistically, financially and most important – emotionally.
If you are trying to prepare after old age sets in, it is like “sandīptē bhavanētu kūpa khananam” meaning “the house is on the fire and he is digging the well”!!! Especially, like a super deep bore well in Chennai!
So, where is the question of getting the water and quenching the fire! Therefore, be prepared, don’t be complacent, and don’t take things for granted. This is the slogan of life. Therefore, for a prepared person, nothing comes as a shock.
Adapted from Swami Paramarthanandaji