Bhaja Govindam - M.S Subba Lakshmi
Govindam Bhaja Moodhamathe
Samprapte Sannihite Kaale
Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrinkarane
Moodha Jaheehi Dhanaagamatrishnaam
Kuru Sadbuddhim Manasi Vitrishnaam
Vittam Tena Vinodaya Chittam
Vaartaam Kopi Na Prichchati Gehe
Maa Kuru Dhanajanayauvanagarvam
Harati Nimeshaatkaalah Sarvam
Brahmapadam Tvam Pravisa Viditvaa
Sayyaa Bhootalamajinam Vaasah
Kasya Sukham Na Karoti Viraagah
Sakridapi Yena Muraarisamarchaa
Kriyate Tasya Yamena Na Charchaa
Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam
Punarapi Jananeejathare Sayanam
Iha Samsaare Bahudustaare
Kripayapaare Paahi Murare
Neyam Sajjanasange Chittam
Deyam Deenajanaaya Cha Vittam
Arthamanartham Bhaavaya Nityam
Naasti Tatah Sukhalesah Satyam
Putraadapi Dhanabhaajaam Bheetih
Sarvatraishaa Vihitaa Reetih
Drakshyasi Nijahridayastham Devam
Bhaja Govindam By Aadi Shankara
Sri Adi Shankaracharya Bhagavadpada has composed the Bhaja Govindam during his famous pilgrimage to Kashi (Benares). The fourteen disciples are said to have accompanied him. The story goes that when he was walking along the streets of Kashi, he was pained to observe an elderly man trying hard to learn Sanskrit grammar. At his advanced age, the remaining valuable little time of his life should have been used for worshipping the God, instead of wasting on learning a language. This prompted Sri Sankara to burst out this composition, a sort of rebuke to foolish way of living.
The Acharya urges the man to turn towards God and sing His glory instead of wasting on mundane things. A censure is implied when the Acharya calls the man a fool (Moodhamathe). It may be added here that the tone of Bhajagovindam is somewhat striking, in spite of its exotic poetic beauty and perfection of composition. This is no wonder, because such a treatment is required to wake up man from his slumber. A milder approach would delay the matter. The matter is urgent, as the Acharya explains in the next verse, for, when the hour of death approaches without any forewarning, the hard-learned verses of grammar are not going to save the poor soul. Hence the song rightly starts without any preamble:
govindaM bhajamuuDhamate .
saMpraapte sannihite kaale
nahi nahi rakshati DukRiJNkaraNe .. (1)
Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda.
Oh fool! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death.
mUDha jahiihi dhanaagamatRishhNaaM
kuru sadbuddhiM manasi vitRishhNaam.
vittaM tena vinodaya chittam. .. (2)
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.
manasi vichintaya vaaraM vaaram. .. (3)
Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild
with passions and lust by seeing a woman’s navel and chest.
These are nothing but a modification of flesh.
Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.
lokaM shokahataM cha samastam .. (4)
The life of a man is as uncertain
as rain drops trembling on a lotus leaf.
Know that the whole world remains
a prey to disease, ego and grief.
staavannija parivaaro raktaH .
pashchaajjiivati jarjara dehe
vaartaaM ko.api na pRichchhati gehe .. (5)
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 .. (6)
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.
pare brahmaNi ko.api na saktaH .. (7)
The childhood is lost by attachment to playfulness.
Youth is lost by attachment to woman.
Old age passes away by thinking over many past things.
But there is hardly anyone who wants to be lost in parabrahmam.
kaate kaantaa kaste putraH
saMsaaro.ayamatiiva vichitraH .
kasya tvaM kaH kuta aayaataH
tattvaM chintaya tadiha bhraataH .. (8)
Who is your wife ? Who is your son ?
Strange is this samsara. Of whom are you ?
From where have you come ?
Brother, ponder over these truths here.
nissaNgatve nirmohatvam.h .
nishcalatattve jiivanmuktiH .. (9)
From Satsangh comes non-attachment,
from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion,
which leads to self-settledness.
From self-settledness comes Jeevan Mukti.
vayasigate kaH kaamavikaaraH
shushhke niire kaH kaasaaraH .
kshiiNevitte kaH parivaaraH
GYaate tattve kaH saMsaaraH .. (10)
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 when the Truth is known ?
maa kuru dhana jana yauvana garvaM
harati nimeshhaatkaalaH sarvam.h .
brahmapadaM tvaM pravisha viditvaa .. (11)
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 .. (12)
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.
kathito vaiyaakaraNasyaishhaH .
shriimachchhankarabhagavachchharaNariH .. (12a)
This bouquet of twelve verses
was imparted to a grammarian
by the all-knowing Shankara,
adored as the bhagavadpada.