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Thread: Bhaja Govindam

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    Bhaja Govindam

    Namaste all.
    There is a story attached to the composition of this Hymn. It is said that Shankara was walking along a street in Varanasi one day, accompanied by his disciples. He heard an old scholar teaching his grammatical rules. Taking pity on him, he went up and advised him not to waste his time on grammar at his age but to turn his mind to God in worship and adoration. The Hymn to Govinda was composed on this occasion. Besides the refrain of the song beginning with the words "Bhaja Govindam", Shankara is said to have sung twelve verses, hence the hymn bears the title "Dvadasamanjarika-Stotra" (A hymn which is a bunch of twelve verse-blossoms). The fourteen disciples who were with the Master then are believed to have added one verse each. These fourteen verses are together called "Chaturdasa-manjarika-Stotra" (A hymn which is a bunch of fourteen verse-blossoms).

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    TEXT 1



    bhajagovindam bhajagovindam
    govindam bhajamuudhamate
    sampraapte sannihite kaale
    nahi nahi rakshati dukrijnkarane



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



    TEXT 2


    mudha jahiihi dhanaagamatrishhnaam
    kuru sadbuddhim manasi vitrishhnaam
    yallabhase nijakarmopaattam
    vittam tena vinodaya chittam



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



    TEXT 3


    naariistanabhara naabhiidesham
    drishhtvaa maagaamohaavesham
    etanmaamsaavasaadi vikaaram
    manasi vichintaya vaaram vaaram



    Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman's navel and chest. Bodies are flesh, fat and blood. Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.



    TEXT 4


    naliniidalagata jalamatitaralam
    tadvajjiivitamatishayachapalam
    viddhi vyaadhyabhimaanagrastam
    lokam shokahatam cha samastam



    Uncertain is the life of man as rain drops on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.



    TEXT 5


    yaavadvittopaarjana saktah
    staavannija parivaaro raktah
    pashchaajjiivati jarjara dehe
    vaartaam koapi na prichchhati gehe



    So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.



    TEXT 6


    yaavatpavano nivasati dehe
    taavatprichchhati kushalam gehe
    gatavati vaayau dehaapaaye
    bhaaryaa bibhyati tasminkaaye



    When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.



    TEXT 7


    baalastaavatkriidaasaktah
    tarunastaavattaruniisaktah
    vriddhastaavachchintaasaktah
    pare brahmani koapi na saktah



    Childhood is lost in play. Youth is lost by attachment to woman. Old age passes away by thinking over many past things. Alas! Hardly is there anyone who yearns to be lost in Parabrahman.



    TEXT 8


    kaate kaantaa kaste putrah
    samsaaro.ayamatiiva vichitrah
    kasya tvam kah kuta aayaatah
    tattvam chintaya tadiha bhraatah



    Who is your wife? Who is your son? Strange is this samsara. Of whom are you? Where have you come from? Brother, ponder over these truths.



    TEXT 9


    satsangatve nissngatvam
    nissangatve nirmohatvam
    nirmohatve nishchalatattvam
    nishcalatattve jiivanmuktih



    From Satsanga comes non-attachment, from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion, which leads to self-settledness. From self-settledness comes Jivan Mukti (liberation).



    TEXT 10


    vayasigate kah kaamavikaarah
    shushhke niire kah kaasaarah
    kshiinevitte kah parivaarah
    gyaate tattve kah samsaarah



    What good is lust when youth has fled? What use is a lake which has no water? Where are the relatives when wealth is gone? Where is samsara (the continuaiton of birth and death) when the Truth is known?



    TEXT 11


    maa kuru dhana jana yauvana garvam
    harati nimeshhaatkaalah sarvam
    maayaamayamidamakhilaM hitvaa
    brahmapadaM tvaM pravisha viditvaa



    Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.



    TEXT 12


    dinayaaminyau saayam praatah
    shishiravasantau punaraayaatah
    kaalah kriidati gachchhatyaayuh
    tadapi na mujncatyaashaavaayuh



    Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.



    TEXT 13


    dvaadashamajnjarikaabhirasheshhah
    kathito vaiyaakaranasyaishhah
    upadesho bhuudvidyaanipunaih
    shriimachchhankarabhagavachchharanarih



    This bouquet of twelve verses was imparted to a grammarian by the all-knowing Shankara, adored as the bhagavadpada.



    TEXT 14


    kaate kaantaa dhana gatachintaa
    vaatula kim tava naasti niyantaa
    trijagati sajjanasam gatiraikaa
    bhavati bhavaarnavatarane naukaa



    Oh mad man! Why this engrossment in thoughts of wealth? Is there no one to guide you? There is only one thing in three worlds that can save you from the ocean of samsara. Get into that boat of satsangha (knowledge of the Truth) quickly.



    TEXT 15


    jatilo mundii lujnchhitakeshah
    kaashhaayaambarabahukritaveshhah
    pashyannapi cana pashyati muudhah
    udaranimittam bahukritaveshhah



    There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in saffron, yet others in various colors --- all just for a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish ones see it not.



    TEXT 16


    angam galitam palitam mundam
    dashanavihiinam jatam tundam
    vriddho yaati grihiitvaa dandam
    tadapi na mujncatyaashaapindam



    Strength has left the old man's body; his head has become bald, his gums toothless and leaning on crutches. Even then the attachment is strong and he clings firmly to fruitless hope.

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    TEXT 17


    agre vahnih prishhthebhaanuh
    raatrau chubukasamarpitajaanuh
    karatalabhikshastarutalavaasah
    tadapi na mujncatyaashaapaashah



    Behold there lies the man who sits warming up his body with the fire in front and the sun at the back; at night he curls up the body to keep out of the cold; he eats his beggar's food from the bowl of his hand and sleeps beneath the tree. Still in his heart, he is a wretched puppet at the hands of passions.



    TEXT 18


    kurute gangaasaagaragamanam
    vrataparipaalanamathavaa daanam
    gyaanavihinah sarvamatena
    muktim na bhajati janmashatena



    One may go to the Ganga, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity! Yet, devoid of jnana, nothing can give mukthi even at the end of a hundred births.



    TEXT 19


    sura mandira taru muula nivaasah
    shayyaa bhuutala majinam vaasah
    sarva parigraha bhoga tyaagah
    kasya sukham na karoti viraagah



    Take your residence in a temple or below a tree, wear the deerskin for the dress, and sleep with mother earth as your bed. Give up all attachments and renounce all comforts. Blessed with such vairagya, could any fail to be content?



    TEXT 20


    yogarato vaabhogaratovaa
    sangarato vaa sangaviihinah
    yasya brahmani ramate chittam
    nandati nandati nandatyeva



    One may take delight in yoga or bhoga, may have attachment or detachment. But only he whose mind steadily delights in Brahman enjoys bliss, no one else.



    TEXT 21


    bhagavad giitaa kijnchidadhiitaa
    gangaa jalalava kanikaapiitaa
    sakridapi yena muraari samarchaa
    kriyate tasya yamena na charchaa



    Let a man read but a little from the Bhagavad-Gita, drink just a drop of water from the Ganga, worship Murari (Krishna) just once. He then will have no altercation with Yama (the lord of death).



    TEXT 22


    punarapi jananam punarapi maranam
    punarapi jananii jathare shayanam
    iha samsaare bahudustaare
    kripayaa apaare paahi muraare



    Born again, death again, birth again to stay in the mother's womb! It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh Murari! Redeem me through Thy mercy.



    TEXT 23


    rathyaa charpata virachita kanthah
    punyaapunya vivarjita panthah
    yogii yoganiyojita chitto
    ramate baalonmattavadeva



    There is no shortage of clothing for a monk so long as there are rags cast off the road. Freed from vice and virtue, onward he wanders. One who lives in communion with God enjoys bliss, pure and uncontaminated, like a child and as someone intoxicated.



    TEXT 24


    kastvam ko.aham kuta aayaatah
    kaa me jananii ko me taatah
    iti paribhaavaya sarvamasaaram
    vishvam tyaktvaa svapna vichaaram



    Who are you? Who am I? From where do I come? Who is my mother, who is my father? Ponder thus, look at everything as essence-less and give up the world as an idle dream.



    TEXT 25


    tvayi mayi chaanyatraiko vishhnuh
    vyartham kupyasi mayyasahishhnuh
    bhava samachittah sarvatra tvam
    vaajnchhasyachiraadyadi vishhnutvam



    In me, in you and in everything, none but the same Vishnu dwells. Your anger and impatience is meaningless. If you wish to attain the quality of Vishnu soon, have Sama Bhaava always.



    TEXT 26


    shatrau mitre putre bandhau
    maa kuru yatnam vigrahasandhau
    sarvasminnapi pashyaatmaanam
    sarvatrotsrija bhedaagyaanam



    Do not waste your efforts to win the love of or to fight against friend and foe, children and relatives. See yourself in everyone and give up all feelings of duality completely.



    TEXT 27


    kaamam krodham lobham moham
    tyaktvaa atmaanam bhaavaya ko aham
    aatmagyaana vihiinaa muudhaah
    te pachyante narakaniguudhaah



    Give up lust, anger, infatuation, and greed. Ponder over your real nature. Fools are they who are blind to the Self. Cast into hell they suffer there endlessly.



    TEXT 28


    geyam giitaa naama sahasram
    dhyeyam shriipati ruupamajasram
    neyam sajjana sange chittam
    deyam diinajanaaya cha vittam



    Regularly recite from the Bhagavad-Gita, meditate on Vishnu in your heart, and chant His thousand glories. Take delight to be with the noble and the holy. Distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy.



    TEXT 29


    sukhatah kriyate raamaabhogah
    pashchaaddhanta shariire rogah
    yadyapi loke maranam sharanam
    tadapi na mujnchati paapaacharanam



    He who yields to lust for pleasure leaves his body a prey to disease. Though death brings an end to everything, man does not give up the sinful path.



    TEXT 30


    arthamanartham bhaavaya nityam
    naastitatah sukhaleshah satyam
    putraadapi dhana bhaajaam bhiitih
    sarvatraishhaa vihiaa riitih



    Wealth is not welfare, truly there is no joy in it. Reflect thus at all times. A rich man fears even his own son. This is the way of wealth everywhere.



    TEXT 31



    praanaayaamam pratyaahaaram
    nityaanitya vivekavichaaram
    jaapyasameta samaadhividhaanam
    kurvavadhaanam mahadavadhaanam



    Regulate the pranas (life airs within), remain unaffected by external influences and discriminate between the real and the fleeting. Chant the holy name of God and silence the turbulent mind. Perform these with care, with extreme care.



    TEXT 32



    gurucharanaambuja nirbhara bhakatah
    samsaaraadachiraadbhava muktah
    sendriyamaanasa niyamaadevam
    drakshyasi nija hridayastham devam



    Oh devotee of the lotus feet of the Guru! May thou be soon free from Samsara. Through disciplined senses and controlled mind, thou shalt come to experience the indwelling Lord of your heart!



    TEXT 33


    muudhah kashchana vaiyaakarano
    dukrijnkaranaadhyayana dhurinah
    shriimachchhamkara bhagavachchhishhyai
    bodhita aasichchhodhitakaranah



    Thus was a silly grammarian lost in rules cleansed of his narrow vision and shown the Light by Shankara's apostles.



    TEXT 34


    bhajagovindam bhajagovindam
    govindam bhajamuudhamate
    naamasmaranaadanyamupaayam
    nahi pashyaamo bhavatarane



    Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool! Other than chanting the Lord's names, there is no other way to cross the life's ocean.

  4. #4
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    My questions is:what did the old scholar do after Sankara and his disciples told him the previous words?

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    Namaste all.
    Please could someone reply to my question?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhakta of God
    Namaste all.
    Please could someone reply to my question?
    The old scholar was not teachng any texts.

    Actually he was trying to byheart dukrinjekarane in the process repeating the words.

    Actually the first verse was sung before the old scholar. As Shri Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada was moving around, all peoms were not rendered before the old scholar. Only the first verse was rendered before him. The other verses were rendered on Streets of Varanasi, recorded and given to us by the disciples.

    Under all permutations you can assume, Old scholar has decided to divert his attention. Did he stoped reciting Dukrinjekarane, yes, immediately he was taken by surprise, hence a moments he has stopped. However, as every activity is started with a vow to complete you can also assume that he had completed his by-hearting and then diverted his attention to Lord.

    All these are assumptions, as I am yet to see a record of what happened to see to that old scholar

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    Thanks for your answer.

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    Re: Bhaja Govindam

    I have a question: is verse 34 a later interpolation?

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