"सून्य भीति पर चित्र, रंग नहिं, तनु बिनु लिखा चितेरे ।
धोये मिटइ न मरइ भीति, दुख पाइय एहि तनु हेरे ॥ "~ गोस्वामी तुलसीदास (विनय पत्रिका)
sūn'ya bhīti para citra, raṅga nahiṁ, tanu binu likhā citērē.
dhōyē miṭa'i na mara'i bhīti, dukha pā'iya ēhi tanu hērē.
What a marvelous and exceptional miracle is this—for, this creation-like painting (or picture) has been painted on the illusionary wall of ‘nothingness’ (sūn'ya bhīti para citra) by a ‘formless’ painter 1+
(“tanu binu likhā citērē”—here referring to Brahm, the Supreme Being, the Lord of creation) without using any paint (or any brush for that matter, and done by a mere wish of the Lord) (raṅga nahiṁ).
An ordinary painting can be washed-off or it would fade away with time on its own, but) This (illusionary) painting created by the Lord cannot be erased or washed-off in any way (i.e. it is very fast, stable & self-perpetuating; it seems to last forever (dhōyē miṭa'i na bhīti).
Further, an ordinary painting is inanimate and lifeless, it has no feelings, so it
has no fear of death either, but the components of this extraordinary picture are constantly afraid of ‘death’ though they do not have a physical body or true existence (mara'i bhīti)
To wit, every single entity depicted in this picture is fearfully aware that over time it would be removed or erased to give place to another entity.
Though the painting represented by this creation as a whole never seems to fade away or come to a natural end because it rolls on and on endlessly, its components seem to perish every now and then, to give place to newer components.
Though the painting seems lifeless because it is simply an imaginary ‘creative painting’ created by the power of the mind of the Lord, it seems alive, real and moving with pulsating life in it.
Then again, one feels glad at seeing an ordinary painting, but one feels sorrowful and pitiful on looking at this world-like picture with its constant sorrows, miseries, strife, discord, sufferings, and torments1+
where no one seems contented and happy, where all are running an endless rat-race, where constant change which never gives rest and certainty is a common denominator, where joy and pain, peace and discord come in endless waves, one after another (dukha pā'iya ēhi tanu hērē)
"रबिकर-नीर बसै अति दारुन मकर रूप तेहि माहीं ।
बदन-हीन सो ग्रसै चराचर, पान करन जे जाहीं ॥" ~~ गोस्वामी तुलसीदास (विनय पत्रिका)
rabikara-nīra basai ati dāruna makara rūpa tēhi māhīṁ.
badana-hīna sō grasai carācara, pāna karana jē jāhīṁ.
The world is like the mirage that is seen in the rays of the sun during hot
days (like in a mirage seen in a hot desert) (rabikara-nīra).
In this water is seen a ferocious crocodile (basai ati dāruna makara rūpa tēhi māhīṁ), 1+
which, though having no physical form or actual jaws (badana-hīna), nevertheless gobbles up (sō grasai) all those, whether animate or inanimate (carācara), that go to drink that water (pāna karana jē jāhīṁ)
Tulsidas says that this world is like that illusionary mirage. Even as a thirsty
man runs behind that illusion in search of water and eventually dies of thirst, 1+
so does a person who is running aimlessly and in futility behind the illusionary pleasures of this world come to all sorts of frustrations and self-inflicted miseries, and finally devoured by the crocodile representing ‘Kaal’ or death.
Just like the water of the mirage goes receding further back from the man running towards it, the charms of the world and the happiness and joy one expects to derive from them go on eluding him and falling farther back from his reach the more he yearns for them, 1+
instigating him to run more and more behind them, till at the end he dies not only without achieving anything but also frustrated, restless and unhappy.
He has lost whatever peace and happiness he had in his never ending quest for material comfort and pleasures of the world, and his foolish desire to seek happiness and peace in them.
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