Bhaja Govindam Verse 3 with story and essence


Verse 3

 naariistanabhara naabhiidesham
drishhtvaa maagaamohaavesham
etanmaamsaavasaadi vikaaram
manasi vichintaya vaaram vaaram

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam


Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman’s external appearance and looks. Bodies are made of flesh, fat and blood. Always remember this. External looks and body is temporary. Seek that which is permanent. Chant the name of Govinda O foolish mind.


Story based on Verse 3

Story from Mahabharata- Shantanu and Satyavati


One day as the king Shantanu was wandering on the banks of the river Yamuna, the air was suddenly filled with a fragrance so divinely sweet that the king sought for its cause, and he traced it to a maiden so lovely that she seemed, like  a goddess. A sage had conferred on her the boon that a divine perfume should emanate from her, and this was now pervading the whole forest. From the moment the goddess Ganga, his wife, left him, the king had kept his senses under control, but the sight of this divinely beautiful   maiden   broke the bonds of restraint and filled him with the desire that overpowered him.  Besotted with her beauty, the king asked her to be his wife.

The maiden said: “I am a fisher woman and the daughter of the chief of the fisher folk. You may please ask him and get his consent.” Her voice was as sweet as her form.
The father was an astute man.
He said: “O king, there is no doubt that this maiden, like every other, has to be married to someone and you are indeed worthy of her.  You have to   promise   me   something   before you can have her as your wife.”
Shantanu replied: “If it is a just promise , I agree   .”

The chief of the fisherfolk said: “The child born to this maiden should be the king after you.”
Though almost mad with passion, for the maiden, the king could not make this promise, as it meant setting aside the godlike Devavrata, his son, born for Ganga, who was entitled to the crown, after him. It was a price that could not even be thought of. He therefore returned to his capital, Hastinapura, sick with baffled desire. He did not reveal the matter to anyone and languished in silence.

One day Devavrata asked his father: “My father, you have all that heart could wish. Why then are you so unhappy? How is it that you are like one pining away with a secret sorrow?”

The kind replied: “Dear son, what you say is true. I am indeed tortured with mental pain and anxiety. You are my only son and you are always preoccupied with military ambitions. Life in the world is uncertain and wars are incessant. If anything untoward befalls you our family will become extinct. Of course, you are equal to a hundred sons. Still, those who are well read in the scriptures say that, in this transitory world, having but one son, is the same as having no son at all. It is not proper that the perpetuation of our family should depend on a single life, and I desire the perpetuation of our family, above everything. This is the cause of my anguish.” The father prevaricated,   feeling ashamed to reveal the whole story to his son.


The wise Devavrata realized that there must be a secret cause for the mental condition of his father, and on enquiring the king’s charioteer, came to know of his meeting with the fisher maiden on the banks of the Yamuna. He went to the chief of the fishermen and sought his daughter’s hand in marriage, to  his father. The fisherman was respectful, but firm: “My daughter is indeed fit to be the king’s spouse, then should not her son succeed the king? But you have been crowned as the heir apparent and will naturally succeed your father. It is this which stands in the way of marriage!”

Devavrata replied: “I give you my word that the son born to this maiden shall be king, and I renounce in his favour my right as heir apparent,” and he took a vow to that effect.

The chief of the fishermen said “O best of the Bharata race, you have done what no one else born of royal blood has done till now. You are indeed a hero. You can yourself conduct my daughter to the king, your father. Still, hear with patience these words of mine which I say as the father of the girl. I have no doubt you will keep your word, but how can I hope that the children born of you will renounce their birthright, as you did? Your sons will naturally be mighty heroes like you, and will be hard to resist if they seek to seize the kingdom by force. This is the doubt that torments me.”

When he heard this knotty question posed by the girl’s father, Devavrata, who was bent on fulfilling the king’s desire, made his supreme renunciation. He vowed solemnly  with raised arms to the father of the maiden: “I shall never marry, henceforth I dedicate myself to a life of unbroken chastity.” And as he uttered these words of renunciation, the gods showered flowers on him, and cries of “Bhishma,” “Bhishma” resounded in the air.

“Bhishma” means one who undertakes a terrible vow and fulfils it. That name became the celebrated epithet of Devavrata from that time.

Thus the son of Ganga led the maiden Satyavati to his father; in time two sons were born to  Satyavati  and  Shantanu, Chitrangada and Vichitravirya, who ascended the throne one after the other. Vichitravirya had two sons, Dhritarashtra and Pandu, born respectively of his two queens, Ambika and Ambalika. The sons of Dhritarashtra, a hundred in number, were known as the Kauravas. Pandu had five sons who became famous as the Pandavas.
Bhishma lived long, honored by all in his family until the end of the famous battle of Kurukshetra.




The root cause of most of the problems is wealth and desire. In the beginning of Mahabharata  Devavrata the first son and the rightful heir to the throne of Shantanu had to take a terrible oath of not getting married and giving up the kingdom and became ‘Bhishma’ (meaning one who takes a terrible vow and fulfils it); to satisfy the desire of his father getting married to Satyavati, who in turn  demanded  of retaining the throne to her grandchildren . Wealth and desire were the cause for this unjust demand.

Adi Shankara; reminds us that the body to which we are attracted is  short lived and made of just bones and flesh;  so He questions why  do we crave for things that are temporary and get deluded.

In our lives we do have to pass through the stage of ‘Grihastashrama’ where one has to get married and have progeny and lead a marital life. That is common; but after a certain period of completing our duties; we should not be deluded more and more with all these desires which will not remain with us. So Shankara tells us to chant the Lord’s name which will help us in this life and beyond.


Yet another story worth reading on these lines

For students

Story for students

Many a times as we are growing up we tend to compare ourselves with our peers. We just see the external appearance and get carried away. We feel that people who look beautiful in appearance or those who talk well become popular and we try to imitate them. We are not happy about ourselves. We develop low self esteem. We think what appears outside is the always the truth. It is not necessarily so. From young we should learn to be self confident, develop self esteem and nurture the good qualities within us. We have to be strong from within. Appearances change and wilt away with age but what is within us never ever goes. That is our inner strength and as we grow up building this self confidence within we will try to seek that ‘self’ which is the ultimate truth.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: