Bhaja Govindam

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Bhaja Govindam - Adi Shankaracharya[edit]

bhajagovindam bhajagovindam govindam bhajamuudhamate sampraapte sannihite kaale nahi nahi rakshati dukrijnkarane

Sing Govinda[Sing the lord's name], Sing Govinda's name, Sing Govinda's name. Oh fool! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death.


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

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


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. They are just modification of flesh. Reflect upon this again and again in your mind..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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 continuation of birth and death) when the Truth is known?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

kurute gangaasaagaragamanam vrataparipaalanamathavaa daanam gyaanavihinah sarvamatena bhajati na muktim 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.

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

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

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.

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).

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! (Krishna - destroyer of Mura) Redeem me through Thy mercy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

muudhah kashchana vaiyaakarano dukrijnkaranaadhyayana dhurinah shriimachchhamkara agavachchhishhyai bodhita aasichchhodhitakaranah

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

bhajagovindam bhajagovindam govindam bhajamuudhamate naamasmaranaadanyamupaayam nahi pashyaamo havatarane

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.