Bhaja Govindam- Verse 14 with story and essence


Jatilo Mundi Luncitakesah


Pasyannapi Ca Na Pasyati Mudho

Hyudaranimittam Bahukrtavesah

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam

One ascetic with matted locks, one with shaven head, one with hairs pulled out one by one, another parading in his ochre robes – these are fools who, though seeing, do not see.  Indeed, these different disguises or apparels are only for their belly’s sake. O foolish mind; seek Govinda!

Story based on Verse 14

Once upon a time  there was a Sadhu  who lived in a village which was highly populated. Since he was a Sadhu, he was given great respect and many used to come to him to seek blessings and gain spiritual knowledge.  The constant flow of visitors and villagers meant that  the Sadhu was ever busy with their queries and problems. As a result of this the Sadhu was not able to perform his daily spiritual practices and sadhanas,  so he would  get frustrated and angry. He thought if he went away from the village to some far off mountains then he could do his japa-tapas without any disturbance and he would never get angry again.


The Sadhu then proceeded to this far-off mountain which was surrounded by fruit laden trees and a river with sweet water flowing by. He built his hut there and started doing his tapas undisturbed.

Once he got very thirsty and went down the hill to get water in a small container. While getting water, the container slipped and rolled down the hill. He went down again, collected water and got back. This time he, by mistake, hit a stone and stumbled. The container again rolled down. This time the Sadhu got angry and threw his container away.

He suddenly realized — when he was in village he used to think that the people were the cause for his anger, but now there was no one. Even now he could not control his anger. He concluded that his anger was not because of others and it was because of his own nature. It dawned upon him that he was dressed in ochre robes renouncing his family etc for pursuing his spiritual quest where he had to drop his inner enemies like anger, ego, etc and develop the quality of love, patience. People considered him as a respected saint; but alas he could not even control his anger. What was the use of the external appearance when he was not able to practise the noble virtues of patience and control of anger.

Resolving to put into practice those values; he went back to the village and continued his tapas and never got angry again.


Master says that the monks with matted locks, or shaven head may or may not be Self realized. These outer changes  are never indicative of inner being. One should work on the core of one’s inner being by seeking the Lord and seeking the truth.  True change is the inner change. Even though the outer change can impact the inner change, the inner change impacts the outer change  even more. Inner beauty is reflected in the face of the person living those virtues; outer make up lasts only for a while. Hence self observation is very important. Self observation with purity of mind and seeing within will help one in the path of spiritual journey.

For Students

Story based on the above  verse

Students should develop self esteem and self confidence from young age. Self esteem to a great extent comes from external factors like our appearance, our personality, confidence level, being accepted and respected by others. However many of these things are short lived. Appearance, our possessions and external factors keep changing. If we truly want  to develop more lasting self confidence and self esteem, we should start working our inner strength. The values that help to build it are compassion, honesty, duty, discipline, patience, perseverance etc. One will be remembered in a reverence or with respect are people who have made a positive impact in their lives as well as the life of others. This will come only for what you are really within and not your external appearance or demeanour.


Essence adapted from Bhaja Govindam by Swami Sukhbodananda



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