Monday, July 10, 2006

Bhaja Govindam - Sloka 1

Hari Aum

Prostrations to my Guru. Prostrations to All.

According to scriptures, the Ultimate Reality of Brahman is one without the Second. Brahman is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute. The nature of Brahman is same as the nature of the Self. The Self is of the nature of Bliss but because of ignorance the nature of the Self is not known. Ignorance only seems to veil this blissful nature of Self doesn’t really veil the Self, and hence the ignorance is only an illusion. Because of ignorance of ones own nature of Self, he sees the world and the object of the world as different from oneself. On seeing the objects of the world different from oneself, he desires for that object and performs action to possess that object. But soon after he attains it, he desires for another object and thus the desire goes on. Thus because of the ignorance he desires for the object of the world, performs action to possess that object, experiences either pleasure or pain and gets deluded in the world. He thinks that he will get happiness if he possesses that object of the world forgetting his very own nature which is Bliss alone. Ignorance, Desire and Action form three knots in the heart of the person which is responsible for the cycle of birth and death. When the ignorance vanishes, then there will be no desires and hence no actions, such a person will always revel in the Bliss. This illusory ignorance vanishes when the seeker realizes that “I am the non-dual Brahman”. When the seeker thus realizes, all the dualities vanishes and such a person will always revel in the Bliss of the Self.

Shankara was going on pilgrimage to Kasi along with his disciples. While he was going, he saw an old man by-hearting the Sanskrit grammar. Shankara felt very bad on seeing this old man, who is spending his time on mere intellectual knowledge not spending time in contemplating on the Reality. Majority of the people spend their life in enjoying the worldly things and forget to contemplate on the Reality which alone can give the permanent bliss. So on seeing this, Shankara sang Bhaja Govindam.

Bhaja Govidam is also called Moha Mudgara, Hammer of Delusion. Bhaja Govindam has 31 slokas. The first sloka is sang in chorus, the next 12 slokas is sung by Shankara, the each of the remaining slokas is sung by the each of his 14 disciples of Shankara, and Shankara then added another 5 slokas thus 31 verses. The first 12 slokas are called Dvadasa Manjarika and the next 14 slokas are called chathurdasha manjarika.

Sloka 1:


Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool !Rules of grammar will not save you at the time of your death.

Shankara on seeing the old man by-hearting the Sanskrit grammar sang Bhaja Govindam. He says to the old man in stop wasting time on by-hearting the grammar as this grammar will not help him at the time of death. Instead of wasting time in by-hearting, he is telling the man to worship Govinda. He calls the person a fool as he is missing to do what is to be done and doing something else which doesn’t have any worth.

The happiness which we seek is our very nature. But because of ignorance we forget our nature and we seek the happiness in the objects of the world. The objects of the world are not permanent and hence cannot give permanent happiness. Only that which is permanent alone can give permanent happiness.
Shankara says in Tattvabodha,
“Nithya vasthu ekam Brahma thadhanyath sarvam mithyaethi”
Brahman alone is real, rest all are not real.

Brahman alone is Real, all others are not real. Only that which is Real can give the permanent happiness and hence Brahman alone can give permanent happiness. Therefore instead of wasting time in desiring happiness from the objects of the world which will vanish at one point of time which is only an illusion, we should concentrate on Brahman to get that permanent happiness. Any amount of possession of the worldly objects will not help at the time of death and hence the only way is to surrender to Govinda who is nothing but the Ultimate Reality of Brahman.

Prostrations to all

Hari Aum



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