Bhaja Govindam- Verse 2- Story 2


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


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.


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.


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.

Adapted from Bhaja Govindam by Swami Sukhbodananda



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