Additional verses of Bhaj Govindam added by disciples of Shri Adi Shankarcharya:
KAA TE KAANTAA DHANAGATA CHINTAA
VAATULA KIM TAVA NAASTI NIYANTAA
TRIJAGATI SAJJANA SANGATIREKAA
BHAVATI BHAVAARNAVA TARANE NAUKAA (15)
Who is your wife? And who is your child?
Strange, indeed is this mortal world!
Who are you? And who is your owns?
Where is the region whence you come?
Brother think upon these truths.
A man walking in the forest has slipped and is falling into a deep pit. He somehow manages to grab a long root of the tree which was hanging from the above ground. Inside the pit, at the deep bottom roars a hungry tiger and is jumping at him repeatedly to snap at his legs. A rat is slowly nibbling the root he is hanging on to. A huge mad elephant is ready to smash him to bits if he ever climbs out of the pit. A deadly snake is slowly climbing down the root to put its fangs on him. The man can never escape his death; he knows it too. At that time a drop of honey drips from a honeycomb from a tall branch of the tree. The man sees it falling and immediately puts his tongue out to lick that drop of the sweet honey! The enjoyment of a human being in this world is equal to the drop of honey with many
forms of death lurking all around. So quickly wake up to the dangers of this worldly existence, seek the guidance of the noble and get yourself safely deposited on the blissful shores of Self-realization.
JATILO MUNDEE LUNCHITA KESHAHA
KAASHAAYAAMBARA BAHU KRTA VESHAHA
PASHYANNAPI CHA NA PASHYATI MUDA-
HYUDARA NIMITTAM BAHU KRTA VESHAHA (16)
Matted locks; clean-shaven heads; plucked out hairs;
Saffron cloths; many are the disguises worn!
Though seeing, the fool does not see;
All types of disguises worn only to fill the belly!
Be careful of the Gurus of this world. Do not get fooled by their flowery speeches and God-like acts. Matted locks do not signify hard penance; hair plucked out torturously does not signify sainthood; Saffron cloth does not mean renunciation; all these are disguises worn by the cheats to fill their belly with sweets made of pure ghee and tasty rice balls. These ignorant ones are surely in a position to really sit and contemplate on the Self; but they consume intoxicating roots and leaves and pretend to be in the trance of the Samadhi state. Beware of these lazy idiots!
ANGAM GALITAM PALITAM MUNDAM
DASHANAVIHEENAM JAATAM TUNDAM
VRDDHO YAATI GRHEETVAA DANDAM
TADAPI NA MUNCHATYAASHAAPINDAM (17)
The limbs are worn out; the head has turned bald;
The gums have become teeth less;
The old man moves with the support of the stick;
Even then he does not leave the morsel of desires!
Look at the old man who wasted his youthful years in the pursuit of wealth and women. He would have been the most handsome and wealthiest man in his youth; girls would have swooned at his very sight. But now look at him! His whole body shivers with weakened nerves; he can not eat any thing much because of the diseases he has incurred by his worries and unhealthy habits of youth; all the black hair which he admired every day standing in front of the mirror has fallen gradually
somewhere in his life’s long journey; his teeth are gone and he can not even speak clearly; even to walk a few steps he needs a stick to support him. His family members give more respect to their pet dogs than him. Everyone is waiting for him to die and leave his wealth to them; even servants do not bother about him; his wife, if still alive has no time to enquire about his welfare even once a day; she has to butter up the next heir by her services so that her position is stabilized in the future; most of his friends are dead or in the same state suffering innumerable ailments; he is alone and truly alone fearing the death lurking in the corner; but look at him eyeing the left over sweets on a child’s plate and trying to pick up the crumbs with his trembling hands for the tiny pleasure sensation that may arise in his tongue for a second! What a pity! What a pity!
AGRE VAHNIHI PRSHTE BHANUHU
RAATROU CHUBUKA SAMARPITA JAANUHU
KARATALA BHIKSHAS TARUTALA VAASAHA
TADAPI NA MUNCHATYAASHAA PAASHAHA (18)
Fire in the front and sun at the back;
At night cuddling up with the chin buried in the knees;
Palm as the begging bowl; and residence under a tree;
Even then the rope of desires does not loosen up!
Look at those fake Gurus and saints filling up every nook and corner of temples and holy places! They also do not have any home or family; true! They too own no property. They wander here and there all through the day; fill their stomach by begging in holy places.As the sun sets, they collect sticks and make a warm fire; sleep on the ground with their bodies so much cuddled up that the chin touches their knees; they do not have much clothes also to call their own; they do not even possess begging bowls; they use their palms to hold the food given as charity; they live under trees; they look like true saints; they look like Sages who have renounced everything; they live under the tree and eat what they get daily as charity.But are they true Gurus? Are they great Sages? Are they fit to be your guides? It is just a lazy life they lead; they did not attend schools in their childhood because they thought acquiring Knowledge was a waste of time; they renounced the family because of laziness, for family meant responsibilities; a family would force them to earn regularly; so they ran away from home; they discovered that acting a saint got them easy food; they live addicted to herbal drugs too.These saffron attired men are not the true Knower’s; they are just lazy beggars and cheats. Beware of these fake saints!
KURUTE GANGAA SAAGARA GAMANAM
VRATA PARIPAALANAMATHAVAA DAANAM
JNAANA VIHEENAHA SARVAMATENA
MUKTIM NA BHAJATI JANMASHATENA (19)
One journeys up to Ganga Sagar;
Performs austerities or charities;
A person without Knowledge in the opinion of one and all,
Does not attain Liberation even in hundred births!
How do you start your spiritual journey - by travelling to sacred places like Ganga Sagar? Kashi, Rameshvaram etc.? How do you plan to get liberation- by performing severe austerities like starving, rolling on the temple floor, eating food from the muddy ground, piercing the tongue and back with spears? What are you going to do become a saint give charity and smile at the downtrodden like a savior? You can try all these in every birth; even after hundred births you will never be near the goal of liberation you want to achieve; as long as you have not gained the true Knowledge of your Self!
SHAYYA BHUTALAM AJINAM VAASAHA
SARVA PARIGRAHA BHOGA-TYAAGAHA
KASYA SUKHAM NA KAROTI VIRAAGAHA (20)
Living in temples and under the trees;
Bare ground as bed and deer-skin as a cover for the body;
Complete renunciation of all attachments and pleasures;
To whom does such a dispassion not bestow bliss!
What is true dispassion like?
This Yogi also has no home or family; he has renounced everything with the only purpose of realizing the Truth; he continuously travels to meet great saints who might guide him in his life and help achieve his goal; he does not care what he eats or where he sleeps; it may be a ruined temple on the roadside or just a tree in the middle of the forest; he does not care. Even a tree is a God given home to him. Any ground is enough to serve him as a bed. Some discarded animal skin is enough for him to cover his body; to such a man of dispassion, dispassion is not an advertisement to attract crowds but the real bliss of freedom.
Once, Swami Vivekananda was passing through a jungle. He felt extremely hungry. It was already late night. He was too tired to enter a village and beg for food. He left
everything to his Mother Kali to take care of and sat off in contemplation. A few hours later he found a villager approaching him with a lantern and a basket full of food. Swami was surprised. The villager confessed that he was sleeping soundly when Mother Kali appeared in his dream and ordered him to give food to a great saint who was in the forest. So he had searched everywhere and brought this food to the Yogi Maharaja. Vivekananda was amazed by the divine act of the compassionate Mother Kali! Dispassion is a unique state of bliss! Only those who have developed it will know the
bliss arising out of it! What is more pleasurable- the sweetness of the sweet or the sweetness of not having the desire to eat it at all? Real bliss is not in obliging the senses
but in controlling them!
YOGARATO VAA BHOGARATO VAA
SANGARATO VAA SANGA-VIHEENAHA
YASYA BRAHMANI RAMATE CHITTAM
NANDATI NANDATI NANDATYEVA (21)
Engaged in Yoga or engaged in pleasures;
With company or without company;
He whose higher intellect is always in the bliss of Brahman;
He is happy; happy; happy indeed!
For a man of true dispassion there is no outward show of renunciation. He need not even wear saffron robes and advertize his saintly nature. After realization, he may continue to live the same way as he lived before; or he may walk out of the family and become a recluse he may sit like an idiot or he may become the most charming personality in the society like
Krishna, or he may become a good administrator like King Janaka. It does not matter how he makes the narrative of his life! It is his random wish, what he chooses to do. Whatever he is doing, wherever he is, he is always in the blissful state of his Self and enjoys any pattern of life that happens to be around him. His bliss never diminishes. He is of the nature of bliss itself and the pleasures of the world even if he chances to enjoy do not affect him at all. He is like the ocean which never increases or decreases by the amount of waters by rivers entering it or evaporating to form clouds.
GANGAA- JALA - LAVA- KANIKAA PEETAA
SAKRDAPI YENA MURAARI SAMARCHAA
KRIYATE TASYA YAMENA NA CHARCHAA (22)
If Bhagavad-Gita is read even just a little;
If even a droplet of the
Ganges water is drunk;
If one has worshipped the Killer of Mura even once;
He has nothing to discuss with Yama!
In millions of births, human birth is a very rare occurrence; to desire liberation in human attire, you need the collection of merits of countless births. So begin your spiritual journey by doing virtuous acts; read now and then Gita a little; do not recite it like a parrot, but read one verse a day at least and contemplate on its meaning the whole day; soon you will know what Krishna tells you about your Self! Visit holy places; not to see the stone idols and watch the color liquids bathing the
taintless God; but maybe in such visits you will chance to see a true Yogi somewhere and he may guide you in the spiritual path! Worship some deity with love; it does not matter which divine form happens to be your chosen deity; all forms of Gods are nothing but the variously shaped sugar cakes with
Para Brahman acting as the sugar in all of them! But do not ask these Gods for wealth, health and solutions to family troubles; do not ask for anything, but cry at the lotus feet of the Lord Oh when will I realize my Self and have dispassion towards the worldly objects? Pray only for Knowledge. When Narendra Nath first met Ramakrishna, his family was in dire financial crisis. There was not even enough food to feed all the family members. Many a times Narendra would go without food for many a days, till Mother Sharada finding out about his starvation fed him whenever he visited Dakshinesvar. Once Narendra argued with his Master and begged him to tell Mother Kali about his family problems and get them removed by her power. Ramakrishna smiled and asked him to go to the
and ask the boon himself. When Narendra went and stood before the statue of the Mother, his mouth would pray to her asking to bestow dispassion and Knowledge on him; he could never ask for material boons at all. He tried for three days consecutively and later gave it up as a futile effort. His prayers were answered. In one magical day, the ordinary Narendra became a world renowned Vivekananda! temple of Kali
PUNARAPI JANANAM PUNARAPI MARANAM
PUNARAPI JANANEE JATARE SHAYANAM
IHA SAMSAARE BAHU-DUSTAARE
KRPAYAAPAARE PAAHI MURAARE (23)
Once again a birth once again a death;
Once again a sleep inside the womb of the mother!
O Murari! Save me with extreme compassion
In this worldly existence which is very difficult to cross over!
Birth follows death; death follows birth; again and again a residence reserved in a Mother’s womb! Who else can save you from this never ending cycle other than the Supreme Godhead Narayan! Pray to him; hold on to his lotus feet; cry out your
inability to grasp the subtle truths; do not lose faith in him; he will surely guide you in your spiritual journey; he is the most compassionate of all Gods! MURAARI means the enemy of the demon MURA;
MUR also means to envelop, to encircle; one who destroys the encircling delusion around us is also MURAARI.
PUNYAAPUNYA VIVARJITA PANTAHA
YOGI YOGANIYOJITA CHITTAHA
RAMATE BAALONMATTAVADEVA (24)
The path of life free of merits and demerits;
Yogi with his pure intellect fully merged in the union of his Self with the Supreme Self;
Is gleeful like a child or a mad person!
How will you identify a realized person? Very difficult!
He may be living right next to you and you won’t know him.
A realized person has no merits to gain; nor any sins to collect! Whatever he does has no connection to him. He is free to live as he likes; he has no duties ordained for him; he is just happy anywhere, anytime, doing anything, and not doing anything also.
KASTVAM KOHAM KUTA AAYAATAHA
KAA ME JANANEE KO ME TAATAHA
ITI PARIBHAAVAYA SARVAMASAARAM
VISHVAM TYAKTVAA SVAPNA VICHAARAM (25)
Who are you? Who am I? From where have I come from?
Who is this mother of mine? Who is this father of mine?
Thus contemplate on everything as of no essence;
Rejecting the entire Universe as belonging to a dream world!
Those great Yogis of yore followed the path of Self enquiry.
You can also reach the same blissful state by asking the same questions to yourself.Who am I? Who are you? Where did I come from? Who is this mother who gave birth to my body? Who is the father? Did I have parents in my last birth? Where are they? I might have parents of many births too! Maybe this donkey standing in front of my house might have been a mother to me in some birth! Why do I not love this mother of my past birth? What is the meaning of this all? Is it all just a dream from which I will wake up one day and laugh at the whole thing?
VISHVA means the ever changing world of perceptions.
TVAYI MAYI CHAANYATRAIKO VISHNUHU
VYARTHAM KUPSYASI MAYYASAHISHNUHU
BHAVA SAMACHITTAH SARVATRATVAM
VAANCHAYSYACHIRAADYADI VISHNUTVAM (26)
In you, in me, and in others too, there is only that One Vishnu existing!
You are getting angry with me being impatient with me!
You just be equal minded everywhere
If you wish to attain the state of Vishnu very soon!
Shankara consoles the eager student who asks for the quickest means for realizing the Self: You want to attain the state of the all pervading Vishnu, is it not so? That Vishnu or Para Brahman or Self is the same Self in everyone: know that first. When you loose all differentiations between every one, the next simplest thing to do is just be equal minded everywhere. Do not get excited by good things; do not get depressed by tragedies; Do not love a person or hate a person. Do not have likes and dislikes. Do not get angry or overly happy. Remain always in the same state of thoughtless quietness. You will soon be in the Supreme state of Self!
(VISHNU means one who pervades everything.)
SHATROU MITRE PUTRE BHANDOU
MAA KURU YATNAM VIGRAHA-SANDHOU
SARVATROTSRJA BEDHAAJNAANAM (27)
Do not make efforts in separating from or joining
With a foe or friend or son or relative;
See them as own self everywhere;
Completely get rid of the ignorant conception of differentiation everywhere!
Do not waste your time in setting right the family narratives. It is a useless effort and wastes your precious time too. Everyone gets provoked by the chemicals acting in their brain and body. There is no meaning in their anger, joy, love or hatred. They just react to outer circumstances and have no purpose in life. Their very existence is to feel anxious and suffer. If you have the goal of realizing your Self, then stop worrying about the life narratives. Watch every event like a witness. Do not feel anxious about everything. See everything as a projection of your own Self. See it as a dream concocted by your mind.
KAAMAM KRODHAM LOBHAM MOHAM
TYAKTVAATMAANAM BHAAVAYA KOAHAM
AATMAJNAANA VIHEENAAH MUDAAH
TE PACHYANTE NARAKA NIGUDAAH (28)
Renouncing completely the emotions of desire, anger, greed, and delusion
Contemplate on the Self and enquire who am I?
Those of dullened intellects bereft of Self-Knowledge
Will bake in the hell fires forever.
Have perfect control over your emotions. Do not have desires for any worldly object. Do not feel annoyed when you do not get what you strived for. Do not try to earn more than your limited needs. Do not give into the deluding nature of the world. Look at the whole world as a picture drawn on space. Always be in the witness state. Every moment observe your own actions as an outsider. Practice watching the continuous array of thoughts. Concentrate on the state of witness and remain as the Pure Consciousness alone! Do not bother about convincing others about the greatness of Self realization. Those ignorant ones, whose idea of I can never go beyond the form and name will never be able to grasp the subtle Knowledge of the Self. They are bound for hells because of their ignorance.
NEYAM SAJJANA SANGE CHITTAM
DEYAM DEENA JANAAYA CHA VITTAM (29)
Bhagavad-Gita and the thousand names of Vishnu have to be recited;
The form of Sri Hari should be meditated upon a million times;
The mind has to be guided towards the company of the noble;
The wealth has to be given off to the poor!
Perform virtuous acts. Study and understand scriptures like Gita and Upanishads. Worship any chosen Godhead with love and devotion. Pray for Knowledge. Seek the company of learned men and clear your doubts. Keep that much wealth alone to fulfill your minimum needs and give away rest of the wealth in charity. By such acts only a desire for liberation will arise in you.
SUKHATAH KRIYATE RAAMAABHOGAHA
PASCHAAT HANTA SHAREERE ROGAHA
YADYAPI LOKE MARANAM SHARANAM
TADAPI NA MUNCHATI PAAPAACHARANAM (31)
O dear! One completely gives himself up to enjoyments when in good health;
Later alas the body is ridden with diseases;
When surely death alone is the final refuge for one and all,
The man does not cease from his sinful actions!
No one is aware of the instability of life. They just believe that life goes on forever in the same way. The first half of their life is spent in accumulating wealth and fulfilling all the sensuous desires. They do not have the least control over their minds. A desire arises and they do all that they can to fulfill it immediately. Life just ebbs away satisfying one desire after the other. The later half of their life is filled with innumerable ailments and anxieties. They slowly tread their way towards death and vanish off like dust blown away by the winds. But the lesson is never learnt. Once Yaksha asked Yudhishthira. What is the most amazing thing in life? The eldest of the Paandavas answered: A man sees some one or other dying every day. Yet he thinks he will live forever. That is the most amazing thing in life!
JAAPYA SAMETA SAMAADHI VIDHAANAM
KURVAVADHAANAM MAHADAVADHAANAM (32)
The regular practice of breath-control;
Keeping the mind withdrawn from sense pleasures;
The discriminative analysis between permanent and impermanent things;
Contemplative practices accompanied by the recitation (of Mantras);
Perform all these with care, extreme care!
Practice the Yoga of breath control regularly. The main purpose of Yoga is Cessation of thoughts (Chitta-Vritti-Nirodaha). Breath and mind are interconnected. You stop the function of one the other automatically becomes still. Those who cannot control the thoughts by Will, must take recourse to Pranayam and control the vibrations in the mind. This practice should be accompanied by control of desires; one should stop hankering after sense pleasures and withdraw the mind from external objects. One should continuously discriminate about the impermanence of the objects in the world. One should practice differentiating all the mine objects from I; the non-Self from the Self. One should turn the mind inwards and contemplate on the great statements of the Upanishads. Recitation of Mantras without the comprehension of the meaning is useless. Knowledge is the only means to liberation and not actions done by mind, body or intellect. One should be very careful not to slip in the path of spirituality. Never give in to temptations even a little. Do not think that one small mistake will do no harm. The spiritual path is akin to walking on the sword’s edge. A smallest slip and body would bleed to death. If even the least of desires gets satisfied thinking it to be trivial, it leads to greatest harms. A desire when satisfied does not end there. It leaves behind a Vasana- a latent desire as a seed which will again sprout at some unexpected time and lead you towards your downfall. So be careful; do not suppress the desires; but eliminate them through proper intellectual process. Take the mind towards nobler things in life like guiding a child towards proper actions with kind and caressing words. Do not force the mind towards sense control. It will burst out breaking the dam with hundred fold force and destroy you. Gradually bring it under control through intellectual prowess. Be careful. Very careful!
DRAKSYASI NIJAHRDAYASTHAM DEVAM (33)
O Devotee holding on to the lotus feet of the Guru!
Be liberated from this worldly existence soon!
By the discipline of the mind accompanied by sense control in this manner
You will visualize the Lord seated in your own heart!
May anyone who reads the instructions of the Great Guru Shankara with devotion attain liberation while living, soon. By treading the path lighted by the kind words of the great Guru, one is sure to gain control over his mind and attain Self-Realization. One will surely get established in the Supreme state of Para Brahman by the grace of Sri Shankara the great Guru.OM TAT SAT.
BHAJA GOVINDAM BHAJA GOVINDAM
GOVINDAM BHAJA MUDAMATE.
SAMPRAAPTE SANNIHITE KAALE
NAHI NAHI RAKSHATI DUKRINKARANE.