Bhaja Govindam- Verse 11 with story and essence

Maa kuru dhana jana yauvana garvam
Harati nimeshhaatkaalah sarvam
MaayaamayamidamakhilaM hitvaa
BrahmapadaM tvaM pravisha viditvaa

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam

Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth. Seek Govinda!


A great master had a big monastery with five hundred monks and they were all practicing the path of self-remembering. Self-remembering is one of the paths Buddha has recommended. One man entered into the monastery as he wanted to become a disciple. The master accepted him, but he was a very simple man from a village, almost uneducated. The master told him,”Your job is cleaning the rice in the kitchen.”


It was a big kitchen which had to feed 500 monks. The poor man was cleaning the rice before sunrise and late into the night. He had no time to go to the sermons, to go to the prayers; he had no time to read the scriptures or listen to the wise talks. Those five hundred monks were great scholars, and the monastery was known all over the country. Twenty years passed and the man continued just cleaning the rice and doing nothing. He forgot even to count the years – what was the point? He forgot the days, the dates, and finally he became suspicious about his own name.

For twenty years nobody had used it, nobody had called him by his name – perhaps it was his name, perhaps it was not. For twenty years continuously he was doing one small thing: cleaning the rice, from the moment he woke up until he went back to bed again. The master declared that his time to depart from the body had come. He wanted to choose his successor, and the way he did it was this: ”Anybody who thinks he has succeeded in self- remembering should write on the wall of my hut some insight which shows that he has seen the truth.”

One person, who was thought to be the greatest scholar in the commune, tried. But he was so afraid to write that sentence there, because it was not his insight. He knew it was not his insight, it was just borrowed from scriptures. It was not his experience and it was difficult to deceive the old man. In the morning the old man came out, asked the servant to erase what had been written, and said, ”Find out who this idiot is who has spoiled my wall.” It is said that the great scholar had not even signed, out of fear that he would be caught.

If the master appreciated that this was really a great insight, then he would come out and say, ”I have written it.” Otherwise he would remain silent… who knows? Out of five hundred people anybody could have done it!

Almost one dozen great scholars tried, but none of them had the courage to sign his name. And the master behaved in the same way; he erased the line and said, ”None of you has come to the point of self-remembering. You have all been feeding the ego in the name of self. I reminded you again and again, but having a big ego is such a joy. And a spiritual ego, the otherworldly ego, the divine ego, becomes even more delicious.

Now I will have to find the person myself.” In the middle of the night the master went to the man who had come twenty years ago. For twenty years the master had not seen him, he had simply been cleaning rice. He woke the man up. The man asked the master, ”Who are you?” Because twenty years… he had just seen him once for a few seconds when he was initiated – ”And what is the idea of disturbing my sleep?”

The master said, ”I am your master. You have forgotten…? Do you remember your name?” The man said, ”That is the difficulty. The work you have given me is such that it needs no name, no fame, no scholarship, no austerities. It is so simple that I have forgotten everything. I cannot be certain that this is my name. A few names come to my mind and I cannot decide which one is mine, but I am grateful to you.” He touched the feet of the master. ”Please don’t change my job. I have forgotten everything, but I have also achieved everything.

I know a peace that I had never dreamed of, a silence that no word can express. I have known such moments of ecstasy that even if I had died there would not have been any complaint that life has not been fair to me. It has given me more than I was worthy of. Just DON’T change my job. I am doing it perfectly well. Has somebody complained about my work?”

The master said, ”No, nobody has complained, but your job has to be changed because I am choosing you as my successor.” The man said, ”I am only a rice cleaner. I don’t know anything about being a master or a disciple. I know nothing. Please forgive me, I don’t want to be your successor because I cannot handle such a big job, I can only handle this rice cleaning.”

The master still insisted, ”You have achieved that which others have been trying to achieve but have failed. You have achieved it because you were not trying. You were simply doing your small work.

Slowly, slowly there was no need for thinking, no need for emotions, no need for anger, no fight, no comparison, no ambition – your ego died. And with the ego died your name. You are not born with a name. It is the ego that is given a name – that is the beginning of the ego. With the death of the ego, you even forgot your own master, because it was the ego that brought you to me. ”Up to that moment you were on a spiritually ambitious trip. You are absolutely the right person, so take my robe, my hat, my sword, which have always been given by the master to the successor.

But remember one thing: take them and escape from this monastery as far away as you can, because your life will be in danger. All these five hundred egoists will kill you. You are so simple and you have become so innocent that if they ask you for the robe, the sword, the cap, you will give them.

You simply take them and go as far away as you can into the mountains. ”Soon people will start arriving to you just as bees start finding their way towards the flowers when the flowers blossom. You have blossomed. You need not bother about the disciples, you simply remain silently in a faraway place. People will come to you; you simply teach them whatever you have been doing.”

”But,” he said, ”I have received no teaching and I don’t know what to teach them.” The master said, ”Just teach them to do small things, silently, peacefully, without any ambition, without any motivation to gain something in this world or in the other world, so that you can become innocent like a child. That innocence is real religiousness.

Adapted from Chinese story on attaining enlightenment


One must treasure each moment of life and not while it away. Alertness and awareness to the goal should be there. That will keep us focused to the ultimate truth. One must not be proud or get deeply engrossed and attached to wealth, relationships, power or beauty. These are but temporary. They are changing on a daily basis. The whole world is filled with illusion. So instead of entangling ourselves with temporary rather than seeking the permanent is foolishness. So we must seek the eternal which is the ultimate truth and for this the elimination of ego is very important.

For students

Some stories to explain the above verse to children

Values are very important to be inculcated at a young age. Young minds can be molded in right direction to distinguish between right and wrong. Children should be taught to take pride and feel good about their achievements but not be arrogant about it. How bloated ego can bring down people can be explained to children through various stories. Importance of cultivating humility should be stressed through inspiring stories from great people’s lives.




Who is a great devotee?


Sub value-Faith


Once upon a time Sage Narada who always greets people by saying “Narayan,Narayan” visited the heavenly abode of Lord Vishnu and asked him who he thought his greatest devotee was?

Lord Vishnu pondered for a while and then told Narada that his greatest devotee was a poor farmer who lived in a small village of India.

Narada was surprised and he reasoned with the Lord that none chanted the lord’s name more than he did…( he is known to chant “Narayan,Narayan” every second of his life)

The Lord smiled and told Narada that this might take a while but before that he had an errand for him. Narada agreed to run lord’s errand half heartedly.

Lord Vishnu gave him a bowl full of oil….it was filled up to the brim….and as the lord handed Narada the bowl he told him that he wanted him to take the bowl around the whole world making sure that while he did so not a single drop dripped out of the bowl. Narada carefully took the bowl and left for his journey around the world.


Narada returned with the bowl after having taken it around the world as the Lord had directed….proud of his accomplishment of not having spilled a single drop of oil.

As he handed lord Vishnu the bowl the Lord questioned him…..”Narada,thank you for running this errand for me… many times did you chant my name as you went around the world with this bowl?”

Narada was left speechless…..he had been so engrossed in making sure that not a drop of oil spilled out of the bowl that he had completely forgotten  to chant/remember god’s name in any way….

“But Lord…”he argued”it was your errand…..I was doing the work you wanted me to do….it was your work…..”

“Narada…..that farmer is also doing the work I have picked for him….he is living the life I gave him…..dealing with all the circumstances that I give….and inspite of all this…..he takes time out of his busy routine to remember me and that is what makes him my greatest devotee!”


We have to learn to chant the Lord’s name in all situations in our life. Every work that we do we must offer to the Lord; if we do that sincerely with faith and devotion; He will always be there for us.


Bhaja Govindam Verse 10 with story and essence

Verse 10

Vayasi Gate Kah Kamavikarah

Suske Nire Kah Kasarah

Ksine Vitte Kah Parivaro

Jnate Tattve Kah Samsara.

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam


When the age (youthfulness) has passed, where is lust and its play?  When water is evaporated (dried up), where is the lake? When the wealth is reduced, where is the retinue?  When the Truth is realized, where is the samsara? Seek Govinda o foolish mind.

Story 11- Verse 10

In a village in southern India there lived a rich merchant who had a son after many years of his marriage. The merchant had so much wealth that the son was pampered and raised,  every possible whim or fancy indulged and best things money could buy. He also loved his son very much. In time  as the son grew up he was surrounded by many friends who would enjoy all the gifts and parties given by him. When he came of a marriageable age he received proposals from the most beautiful and rich brides; everything was going great for him.  He went on spending his father’s fortune and one fine day he became bankrupt. He turned to his friends for help. Now all his friends started avoiding him. When money left; the friends also left him. His wife and children also didn’t want to stay with a man who had nothing. The man was left alone with bad health with all his bad vices. His body gave way and he became bed ridden;  he started reflecting on how he had wasted his life by getting attached to the material objects and didn’t do anything to develop himself, realizing that he  was a failure in both the material as well as spiritual life.


He became very depressed, but fate intervened  and wandering saint came to him.  Saints coming to ones life is by the grace of God. He saw the sorry state of this man and took him to his ashram. His disciples took good care of this man. When he was feeling much better; the man asked the saint’s permission to stay in the ashram and serve him. He also wanted the  saint or Master to impart some knowledge to him. The Master was kind and advised the man; “My child, Be a Lion, not a dog.” This man did not understand what the Master meant by this statement. The Master then explained; “When you throw a ball in front of the dog, it will run after the ball. When you throw something at the Lion its attention is still on you, not on the object you throw. It will be waiting to grab hold of you. All these years you were like a dog running about the temporary pleasures of life like your wealth, youth, wife, children and you didn’t ever try to focus on the real and permanent truth of life. Now at least realise this and seek and focus on that what is permanent. You will be much happier.”


The man was grateful to the Master and by serving , living a spiritual life at the ashram; he became healthy, happy and contented. He soon realised that this world is impermanent and that he has to seek something higher which is the ultimate. He was a diligent and devoted disciple and the Master on seeing the man’s transformation declared him as his successor for the ashram. This man was then initiated to monkhood by the master and he took charge of the ashram and its duties imparting the knowledge of truth and wisdom to all his disciples.


The worldly things are temporary. It is not the Truth. What we experience daily is the relative truth. That is the cause of our ups and downs; joys and sorrows. This is because it is not permanent. Once we realise the Truth which is permanent; that we are the Brahman then the samsara will not affect us. This can be achieved only when we contemplate ,  look within ourselves and be guided to the real self.

For students

Story for students

Be focussed on the goal like the lion. Do not get distracted by other things which take you away from your goal. When one has to achieve something, one should develop concentration and work towards achieving the goal. It is easy to get distracted with so many external factors around us; but if we are clear about our goals we will get back to work towards it after some temporary distractions. For this we have to develop clarity of thought and inner strength which can be developed by regular practise of the human values.

%d bloggers like this: