Nine kinds of Fear

Nine kinds of Fear

The nine kinds of fear

from Bhartri Hari’s Vairaagya Shatakam

भोगे रोगभयं
कुले च्युतिभयं
वित्ते नृपालाद्भयं
माने दैन्यभयं
बले रिपुभयं
रूपे तरुण्या भयम् ।
शास्त्रे वादभयं
गुणे खलभयं
काये कृतान्ताद्भयं
सर्वं वस्तुभयाSन्वितं भुवि
नृणां वैराग्यमेवाSभयम् ॥

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 रोगभयं – Bhoge roga bhayam – Fear of illness leading to fear of not being able to use the body for pleasure and material pleasures.
  2. कुले च्युतिभयं – Kule chyuthi bhayam – Fear of losing social status, fear of infamy.
  3. वित्ते नृपालाद्भयं – Vitthe Nripaalaat bhayam – Fear of loss those who are in authority; fear of superiors.
  4. माने दैन्यभयं – Maane dainya-bhayam – fear of losing prestige of wealth; fear of poverty.
  5. बले रिपुभयं – Bale ripu-bhayam –  fear of enemies, fear of not being strong enough to face enemies.
  6. रूपे तरुण्या भयम् – Roope taruṇyaa bhayam – fear of getting old (losing youthfulness and beauty).
  7. शास्त्रे वादभयं – Shaastre vaada-bhayam – fear of contradiction of knowledge.
  8. गुणे खलभयं – Guṇe khala-bhayam – fear of being slandered by wicked persons.
  9. काये कृतान्ताद्भयं – Kaaye kritaan-taad-bhayam – fear of dying, fear of death.

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