The importance of the Bhartrihari traya Shataka is nothing less than Ramayana, Geeta or Mahabharata. This Shatak unites the complex knots of life and directly captivate the human heart. People could feel divine acquiring inspiration from the Shataka. One can seldom find anything comparable to Bhartrihari Shatak, especially with relation to philosophy of life.
The Vairagya Shataka, Neeti Shataka and Shringar Shataka are related to spirituality, social life and personal life respectively. But on the whole the benefits of this Shataka encompass every sphere of life.
The ultimate aim of human life is attainment of the state of bliss, which is impossible until the mind is vagrant, aimless and instable. It is because of this reason that one needs love and eroticism in youthhood. Every person is endowed with some aesthetic sense. Detachment is simply impossible without aesthetic sense. The philosophy of Satyam Shivam Sundaram is rightly based on the above-mentioned concept. What is true, that only is welfare-oriented and what is welfare-oriented is undoubtedly beautiful. The Shringar Shataka adheres in totality to this concept.
Man attains the highest state of bliss eventually, only after he initially treads on the path of beauty, understands the concept of morality and finally renounces desire, hatred, sensual-pleasure etc.
Bhartrihari was not only a king but was a distinguished scholar, a gifted poet, a philosopher, thinker, and a religious person.
He expressed all those feelings through poetry, which he imbibed through different experiences of life. Technically speaking the art of Bhartrihari’s poetry is inexplicable. No amount of discursive writing can ever encompass the uniqueness of style, the benevolence of emotions, the structure of words, all these sublime factors simultaneously.
Bhartrihari was the king of Malwa whose capital city was Ujjain. The famous emperor Vikramaditya was the younger stepbrother of king Bhartrihari.
After being throned as a king, Bhartrihari became so physically attached to his wife that he spent most of the time with her. Vikramaditya tried to make him realize his foolishness, but all in vain. On the contrary on the command of Queen Pingala, Bhartrihari, threw Vikramaditya out of the city.
So does the story goes that Bhartrihari got such a fruit from a Brahmin that would increase his life span. The king did not eat the fruit himself but gave it to Queen Pingala, because he was madly obsessed with her.
Queen Pingala took the fruit and pretended that she was very happy and said that she would eat the fruit after having a bath. The king agreed to this and happily returned. The Queen Pingala was in love with a horse keeper. She gave the fruit to him. The horse keeper was in love with a prostitute. He presented this fruit in turn to her. The prostitute was a pious women and she decided that she would gift the king with this fruit. Thinking this she proceeded towards the king’s palace.
King Bhartrihari was busy along with his councilors in the court. The prostitute came and gifted the fruit to the king and told him about the greatness of the fruit.
Seeing the same fruit in the prostitute’s hand the king was confused. He immediately, took it and ate it. Realizing the insincerity of the Queen, Bhartrihari felt very sad.
This event had such an impact on Bhartrihari that he became detached to this world and starting abhorring material life. He renounced the palace and all the physical pleasures and went to the forest.
The results of his renunciation are these 3 Shatakas.Whatever it may be these three Shatakas shall always guide mankind for ages to come.