Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bhaja Govindam - Sloka 2

Hari Aum

Prostrations to my Guru. Prostrations to All.

Before we start learning the next sloka, let us analyze the meaning of Govinda which Shankara used in the first sloka. The word Govinda has many meanings, the first or the literal meaning is cow-herd. Govinda is one who bestows joy to the earth. Sathya Sai Baba says in his discourse on Bhaja Govindam that Govinda means one who has control over the animal nature of man, and who can change this animal nature to divine nature.
When we split the word ‘Go’ means Shabdha which means Veda and Govinda means one who can be known through Vedas thus pointing only to the Ultimate Reality of Brahman. ‘Go’ can mean Sense Organs and ‘Vind’ means master and hence Govinda means Master of Sense organs. Master of sense organs means the controller of the sense organs. The Ultimate Reality of Brahman is beyond the reach of the sense organs and the mind. Guru or Isvara who is established in the Ultimate Reality of Brahman can control the mind and the sense organs. According to scriptures, “a knower of Brahman verily becomes Brahman”, which means the Guru or Isvara is nothing but Brahman alone. Thus we can see that the word Govinda refers only to the Ultimate Reality of Brahman and not the Vishnu alone.

Let us now proceed to the next sloka

mooDa= Oh fool!
jaheehi= jahi+iha, leave/give up+here(in this world)
Dhana= wealth
Agam:= coming/arrival
thrishnaam= thirst/desire
kuru= act;
satbhuDhim= sat.h+buddhiM, good+awareness
manasi= in the mind;
vithrishnaam= desirelessness;
yellaBhasae= yat.h+labhase, whatever+(you)obtain;
nijakarma= nija+karma, one's+duty(normal work);
upatham= obtained;
vitham= wealth;
thae na= by that; with that;
vinodhaya:= divert/recreate(be happy);
chiththam= mind;

Oh fool ! Give up your thrist to amass wealth, devote your
mind to thoughts to the Real . Be content with what comes
through actions already performed in the past.

In this sloka, Shankara talks about giving the passion towards the acquisition of wealth. Everyone wants only happiness which is nothing but our own very nature. Because of ignorance this nature is forgotten and hence the person desires for the happiness from the objects of the world. The person thinks that on possessing the wealth he will be happy. The happiness of that person never becomes complete and though he possesses lot of wealth, he thinks to possess little more to get that happiness. But the wealth one possesses or desiring to possess doest have happiness at all. If it has happiness then it should provide happiness on all periods of time. But it is not so. When a person loses wealth he becomes sad. Thus we can see that wealth doesn’t have happiness. It is only the mind which desires for the wealth feels happy on possessing it and feels sad on losing it. Also it is not sure that the wealth that one possesses will last forever, there is a chance of losing possessions at any point in time. Such a wealth which neither has happiness in it nor guaranteed to stay forever is not really worth to desire for. Therefore Shankara here says to give up the thirst for possessing more and more wealth.

Because of ignorance of ones own nature, the mind goes outside and desires for the objects of the world. Everyone is seeking only happiness, but that happiness is not there in any objects of the world. That happiness that we seek is nothing but our very nature of Self. Therefore we have to turn the mind inward towards the Self and have to contemplate on the Self which is the Ultimate Reality to get that permanent happiness. Here Shankara tells to stop the extroverted mind and turn the mind inward and concentrate on the Ultimate Reality and always have the thought of the Reality.

In the end of this verse, Shankara says to be contended to what we have. As happiness is the only goal for everyone, one has to constantly contemplate on the Reality to get that permanent happiness. When this is forgotten and desires for the objects of the world, there will be no end to the desires and in the end there will no happiness also. So whether one is rich or poor, when he has the thought of the Reality all the time, he is the happiest person on the earth. To get that permanent happiness, Shankara says worship Govinda who is the Ultimate Reality.

Prostrations to all

Hari Aum



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