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January 29, 2013

Bhajagovindam - Meaning

Bhajagovindam Bhajagovindam
Govindam Bhaja Moodhamathe
Samprapte Sannihite Kaale
Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrinkarane

Bhaja Govindam Shankaracharya

Bhaja - Seek, Govinda - The Lord Govinda, Moodhamathe - O Fool, O Ignoramus, Samprapte - (When) comes, Sannihite - appointed, Kaale - Time, Nahi - Surely never, Rakshati - Saves, Dukrinkarane - Grammar rule.

Seek or Worship Govinda, Seek Govinda, Seek Govinda, O Fool or ignoramus. When the death comes at the appointed time, grammar rules will not save or rescue you..


By repeating the words "Bhaja Govindam" thrice in the very first two lines of the first sloka itself, Jagatguru Sri Adi Sankaracharya is trying to bring home the point that human being has no other escape except immersing oneself in the thoughts of Lord, and praying with utmost sincerity, reciting the Divine Namas of the Lord rather than getting engrossed in anxieties to possess wealth or acquire social status or achievements. Here the rules of grammar mean all secular knowledge and earthly acquisitions or possessions. The one who runs after materialistic gains is Moodhamathi.
The purport of these words is that any amount of knowledge cannot save the soul when death knocks at the door of this limited body. At that time, one has to leave behind one's material benefits and social status. These acquisitions will not help one gain the knowledge of the Soul, which is permanent, when the impermanent body withers, it turns out to be a dead-wood.

It does not mean that one should shun away the pursuit of living for knowledge, but, at the same time, one should understand its limited capacity, and one should seriously try to acquire that knowledge which alone can save a person from the slavery of imperfections. We should remember the truth that it is a manifested world and it is impermanent. Other than God or Soul, everything else is temporary. Death will snatch away the existence of the body and the manifested world. What is the use of all the acquisitions and secural knowledge then? So, while living in this secular world, or materialistic world, one should endeavour to understand and master the secret of purposeful life. One should identify oneself with the Lord, who can only give solace to the parched materialistic lives. One should progress spiritually after each death, instead of getting deeper and deeper into mundane pleasures. It is rather sad that quite a few of us are of the opinion that spirituality is for those who retired from employment or aged people. The intellect, which has not been trained to remember God till one attains sixty years, will never resort to spirituality after that. Even if it does, for argument sake, what is guarantee that the cruel hands of death will not embrace one before that. So, one should understand the fallacy of this argument and train the mind from the childhood itself to start practicing recitation of the Lord's name with every breath that one inhales and exhales, otherwise it is just impossible to remember God's name at the time of death. It is, therefore, imperative that one should keep repeating the Divine Namas of Lord at every possible moment.

Bhaja does not mean monotonous and routine ritual with mechanical chanting of some selected Namas or Mantras. It is rather much deeper than that. The true Bhajan of Lord is to offer True Seva or Service to Lord with Love and devotion and in that sense, every human being is a Lord. Bhagavan is Bhava Graahi. He does not get enamoured or attracted by the pomp and show of the devotee. He looks deep into the heart of the devotee to see how much sincere one is while worshiping Him or serving the needy, treating them as (the) God Himself (i.e., Manava sevahi Madhava seva).
There are Nine types of Service to be offered at the feet of Lord. A devotee can adopt any one, according to one's choice and temperament.
They are :
(1) Sravanam (listening to the stories or glory of Lord),
(2) Keertanam (Singing the glory of the Lord),
(3) Smaranam (Constantly thinking about the nature and beauty, divine qualities and characteristics of the Lord,
(4) Paadasevaram (Adorning the sacred feet of Lord in a spirit of self-obliteration),
5) Archanam (Worshiping the Lord with rituals, mantras and with self-less love),
(6) Vandanam (Salute or to pay obeisance to the Lord),
(7) Dassyam (Serving the Lord),
(8) Sakhyam (Invoking an affectionate friendship with Lord, and
(9) Aatmanivedanam (To offer oneself with complete dedication or total surrender to the Lord as a humble gift at His altar). Every devotee has the liberty to choose a path that is convenient and appealing to one to realise the God.

In all the above modes of worship, the spirit of Bhaja is visible. With this bhava, the devotee has to worship the Govinda, who is the knower of each atom of this universe. He is the very essence of all animate and inanimate beings in this universe. So, Govinda is the Atman, Govinda is the Brahman, Govinda is the Highest Reality and the very Essence of this Universe. Each devotee should seek one's identity with that Spirit, Force, Reality, Truth and Supreme Braman or God, instead of wasting one's time in materialistic pursuits of secular knowledge for worldly possessions, name and fame...!!!


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