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Bhaja Govindam


Simple, free translation of the original by Shri Adi Shankaracharya.



1) Seek Govind ! Oh fool, knowing the rules of grammar won’t save you from death !


2) Be content with what you have gained by your own karmas. Give up greed and passion.  Be at peace by controlling your mind.


3) Beauty is but skin deep, don’t be deluded by lumps of meat wrapped in skin !


4) Nothing lasts ! Life is as uncertain as dew / drop-of-water on a lotus leaf. Everyone here is consumed by death, disease, desire, sorrow and ego.


5) People will attach to you while you are able to financially support them. Everyone will abandon and ignore you are in need of their support (in your old age).


6) While the soul dwells in the body, people care to interact with you. Once the soul departs, the body will decay and even your loved ones will ask for “it” to be disposed.


7) Childhood is lost in “play”, youth is lost in “love”, old age is lost in “worries”. Sadly no one is lost in thoughts of the “ParaBrahman – God” !


8) Who are you ? Where have you come from ? Who is your wife, son etc ? Seek answers to these fundamental questions.


9) Only through the company of the wise do we understand how to escape from attachment to this delusional world and become liberated.


10) What use are desires without youthfulness to enjoy them ? Why call it a “lake” once the waters have dried up ? Why have servants and a large family without adequate wealth to support them ? Similarly, once you know the “truth”, why be attached to this illusionary samsara ?


11) Don’t be vain ! Youth, wealth, power, possession can all be lost in the blink of an eye. Leave this illusionary Maya and attain the eternal reality of the Brahman – God.


12) Day & night, dawn & dusk, spring & winter come and go. With time, life ebbs away, yet our desires never seem to end !


13) God takes care of the entire universe, wont he take care of you and yours ? Only in the company of the wise will we understand how to overcome attachment to this samsara.


14) Some monks have dreadlocks, some shave their scalp, yet others pluck out their hair. Some dress in ochre robes others in cloaks of varied hues. Yet, most do this to simply fill their belly and not really to understand the “Truth” that stands revealed before them.


15) Hairless, toothless, worn and grey, the old man leans heavy on his staff, still full of hope !


16) Passion and desire rules even those impoverished to absolute penury !


17) Endless pilgrimages, faultless rituals, countless charities, all these are useless without wisdom ! Only through wisdom and knowledge can you hope to escape this endless cycle of samsara.


18) True contentment can only happen once you give up all attachments and desires. Devoid of desires, shade of a tree, bare earth for bed, deer skin for clothing will also suffice !


19) Once your mind is filled with the awareness of Brahman – God, it does not matter where you are or what you do, you will always be in a permanent state of divine bliss.


20) Death has no fear for one who has studied the SMB Gita, or sipped the waters of the Ganges, or worshiped the Lord Murari. 


21) Oh Krushna, rescue me from this endless cycle of births and deaths in countless wombs of countless species.


22) Yogi, madman and a child may look alike, wondering at will, wearing what they find on the road. But the yogi is distinguished by the bliss he / she radiates as a result of their divine consciousness.


23) Ask yourself, “Who are you ? Who am I ? Where am I from ? Who are my parents ?” Seek answers to these questions and you will find that attachment to samsara is as pointless as a dream !


24) God is omnipresent – He resides everywhere, equally and all at the same time. Develop equivinamity if you sincerely wish to develop divine consciousness.


25) Don’t waste your energy on fighting or loving others, but rather, see your “self” in everyone and give up all sense of duality of “me and them”.


26) Give up desire, anger, greed and attachment. Ponder on your true, divine nature and release yourself from this hell of endless suffering.


27) Everyone should do the following four things – 1) Study the SMB Gita and chant the 1000 names of the Lord; 2) worship the Lord of Shri (Vishnu); 3) keep company of good and wise people; 4) be charitable and give money to the poor and needy.


28) It is amazing that knowing how unrestrained pursuit of pleasure leads to death and disease, people still follow such sinful behaviour !


29) Sadly, wealth does not bring happiness to anyone, as the wealthy fear even their own children, thinking they are only after their wealth !


30) Control your breath, your mind, your thoughts, chant God’s name and meditate upon God who dwells within you.


31) With discipline, devotion and dedicated follow through on instruction from your Guru, you will experience the divine that dwells within you.



© Bhagwat   
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