Nine kinds of Fear

Nine kinds of Fear

The nine kinds of fear

from Bhartri Hari’s Vairaagya Shatakam

भोगे रोग
कुले ्युतिभ
वित्ते ृपालाद्भ
मा दैन्यभ
बले रिपुभ
रूपे तरुण्या म् ।
शास्त्र वादभ
गुणे खलभ
काये कृतान्ताद्भ
र्व्तुभाSन्वितं भुवि
ृणां वैराग्यमेवाSभम्

Bhoge roga-bhayam
kule chyuti-bhayam
vitte nripaalaa-bhayam
Maane dainya-bhayam
bale ripu-bhayam
roope taruṇyaa bhayam
Shaastre vaada-bhayam
guṇe khala-bhayam
kaaye kritaan-taad-bhayam
Sarvam vastu-bhayaan-vitam bhuvi
nrinaam vairagyam-eva-abhayam.

In (excessive) enjoyment, there is the fear of diseases; in family’s pride, there is the fear of ill reputation; in wealth, there is the fear of kings (now, government taxes); in one’s own self-respect, there the is fear of humiliation; in power, there is the fear of adversaries; in beauty, there is the fear of old age; in erudite scholarship of the scriptures, there is the fear of (losing to) the opponents’ arguments; in being virtuous (good-natured), there is the fear of wicked people (misusing, cheating ); in body, there is the fear of death. So, for the humans, everything on this earth has (one or the other) fear associated with it. Therefore, vairagya, (dispassion and nonattachment towards fame, honour, power and sensual enjoyments) alone ensures fearlessness.

This verse is quoted from Bhartri Hari’s Vairagya Shatakam. The nine fears are:

  1. भोगे रोग – Bhoge roga bhayam – Fear of illness leading to fear of not being able to use the body for pleasure and material pleasures.
  2. कुले ्युतिभ – Kule chyuthi bhayam – Fear of losing social status, fear of infamy.
  3. वित्ते ृपालाद्भ – Vitthe Nripaalaat bhayam – Fear of loss those who are in authority; fear of superiors.
  4. मा दैन्यभ – Maane dainya-bhayam – fear of losing prestige of wealth; fear of poverty.
  5. बले रिपुभ – Bale ripu-bhayam fear of enemies, fear of not being strong enough to face enemies.
  6. रूपे तरुण्या म् – Roope taruṇyaa bhayam – fear of getting old (losing youthfulness and beauty).
  7. शास्त्र वादभ – Shaastre vaada-bhayam – fear of contradiction of knowledge.
  8. गुणे खलभ – Guṇe khala-bhayam – fear of being slandered by wicked persons.
  9. काये कृतान्ताद्भ – Kaaye kritaan-taad-bhayam – fear of dying, fear of death.

The only way to overcome these fears is: ृणां वैराग्यमेवाSभम्nrinaam vairagyam-eva-abhayam, that is dispassion or indifference to worldly things except being fearless.

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