Bhaja Govindam- Verse 2 with story and essence

 

Verse 2

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

Oh foolish one; give up the passion to possess wealth and understand the reality. Be content with what you get through your honest actions. Seek Govinda, Seek Govinda

shankara-1

Story based on Verse 2

Monkey and the peanuts

There is story about how a monkey catcher catches the monkeys. A monkey catcher saw lot of monkeys on a tree and came up with an idea how to catch those.

He got a lot of peanuts and stored them in a long but narrow necked jar and left it below the tree. The monkeys were watching this. Monkeys love the peanuts and were waiting for the monkey catcher to leave.

monkey-and-peanut

As soon as he left; the monkey jumped down and slipped its hand through the mouth of the jar to grab the peanuts. It was happy to have so many in its hand and quickly tried to pull up its hand to eat the peanuts. Try as much as it may; it couldn’t pull its hand out. The hand had got stuck in the narrow neck of the jar.

The monkey was so attached to the peanuts and had closed them in its fist and refusing to let go of them. As a result of this; it couldn’t remove its hands from the jar. It got stuck and soon the monkey catcher came happily and took the monkey away.

If only the monkey had let go of the peanuts; it would have escaped. But the attachment and greed to the peanuts did not allow it to do that and as a result it got stuck and ultimately became miserable having been caught in the hands of the monkey catcher.

Essence

Adi Shankara tells us to bring understanding and awareness in our lives; to develop love and will for detachment. One can earn money which is very essential; but earn it with honest means. Be contented with what we earn this way. One should give up the delusion, illusion and attachment towards wealth. The more we are attached and refuse to let go; we will be caught in the trap like the monkey.

It is said, “There is enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed”. Greed makes one earn through wrong means and not parting our wealth to help the needy. When money is earned out of love, honesty, sincerity; it is more fulfilling. So Shankara exhorts; Oh foolish mind; develop the sense of detachment and live through honest means and seek Govinda.

Further discussion

This is not only true for money but for relationships also. Parents are so attached to their children; many times they stifle the growth and progress of the very own child who they love. Attachment blinds them. Once the child has grown up; parents should learn to let go of them but always being supportive and loving. Then there will be good relationship between the parents and child. Both will have a sense of mutual respect and love rather than being burdened by too much love and possession.

For students

Students should develop the qualities of honesty and hard work. They should do their best and hope for the best. Some things are not in our control and despite our best efforts we may not get the results we expect. If we keep holding on to such situations which we cannot help; it will only lead to unhappiness. We have to learn to let go; then we have a sense of freedom and mind will be open to receive other things which may be very good for us.  For eg in case of children who are possessive of their sweets, toys, gadgets etc; they keep holding on to it without sharing with others; such children will not be able to receive anything new unless they free their hands of their possession. Similarly greed can blind us from being concerned for others; we keep storing our things and in the process we lose relationships and our happiness.

Adapted from Bhaja Govindam by Swami Sukhbodananda

 

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