Bhaja Govindam- Story 28- Verse 25

Verse 25

śatrau mitre putre bandhau

mā kuru yatnaṁ vigrahasandhau,

sarvasminnapi paśyātmānaṁ

sarvatrotsṛja bhedājñānam

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam

Strive not; waste not your energy to fight against or to make friends with your enemy, friend, son, or relative. Seeking the Self everywhere, discard the sense of division, born out of ignorance. Seek Govinda

Story based on Verse 25



Attachment and ego are the two main reasons in our lives which controls our emotions. It clouds our mind. We are unable to think clearly. We judge people easily and take some as our friends and some as our enemies. We develop certain expectations, certain pattern of thinking to which we hold on and this causes unhappiness. We get deluded and go about the same pattern of life. Hence to wake us up from this slumber, Shankara cautions us not to waste energy in the worldly pursuits and relationships. Once a Master gives us this knowledge to see ‘oneness in all’; we should atleast start working towards this direction. If we just bring about a little awareness in each day of our lives, one day we will be able to understand the purport of this calling.

For students, develop clarity of thought. Refrain judging others. Be focussed in your goals. Work with determination and achieve your goal. Once you follow this path in your education, work life, family life etc, this will become your nature and later you will be able to understand the significance of Shankara’s statements and work towards your spiritual goal as well.



Bhaja Govindam- Story 27- Verse 24



Verse 24

Tvayi Mayi Canyatraiko Vishnuh

Vyartham Kupyasi Mayyasahisnuh

Bhava Samacittah Sarvatra tvam

Vanchasyaciradyadi Visnutvam

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam

In you, in me and in other places too there is but one all pervading reality. Being impatient, you are unnecessarily getting angry with me. If you want to attain enlightenment (Vishnutvam), be equal minded in all circumstances. Seek Govinda

Story based on Verse 24


There are various facets in each one of us. For eg there is a superficial ‘me’ and there is an essential ‘me’. There is a social ‘me’ and a spiritual ‘me’.  There is a circumference and a centre. We are lost in the circumference, in the superficial world and hence miss the essential. The whole search of a spiritual person is for this essential ‘me’.

The center in oneself, the core of oneself is all pervading. If this oneness is seen all around, the differences will not create chaos. For eg the body has eyes, ears, nose, hands, legs and each function differently, each look differently but the total individual is one.

It is like the phenomenon of electricity which is one entity called as energy but it manifests in a bulb, in a fan, in a refrigerator differently but the source is one entity of electrical energy. The soul in all of us is one reality.

It appears as if there is duality in form and shape. If such duality is perceived in life with misunderstanding, one is bound to be in illusion. But if one sees non duality in all of them, one sees the reality of Vishnutwam.

Hence if one wants to attain enlightenment one must train ourselves to consciously look everything as one and face every situation without disturbing our state of mind. This requires a lot of sadhana and practice.

For students

Cultivate the habit of tolerance and forgiveness from young. Always put yourselves in others shoes. Think how would you have reacted in a situation; ie in a similar situation where other’s reaction or behaviour is affecting you. Even if you feel that you would have reacted rather responded to that situation in a better manner; give benefit of doubt to the other person; try to understand them before impatiently judging and criticising them.

At a younger age when you develop the habits of patience, love, forgiveness, compassion; at a later age it will become your nature and one day it will lead you to understand the actual purpose of life and also attain it.

Essence adapted from Bhaja Govindam by Swami Sukhbodananda

Bhaja Govindam- Story 25,26- Verse 23


Verse 23

Kastvam Koham Kuta Ayatah

Ka Me Janani Ko Me Tatah

Iti Paribhavaya Sarvamasaram

Visvam Tyaktva Svapnavicharam

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam

Who are you? Who am I? From where did I come? Who is my mother? Who is my father? Thus reflect, leaving aside the entire world, essence-less and a mere dream born out of imagination. Seek Govinda


Story based on Verse 23

Story of Sage Ribhu

There is a puranic story of Sage Ribhu and his disciple Nidagha. Although Ribhu taught his disciple the supreme Truth of the One Brahman without a second, Nidagha, in spite of his erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction to adopt and follow the path of Jnana (Wisdom), but settled down in his native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of ceremonial religion. But the Sage loved his disciple as deeply as the latter venerated his Master. In spite of his age, Ribhu would himself go to his disciple in the town, just to see how far the latter had outgrown, his ritualism. At times the Sage went in disguise, so that he might observe how Nidagha would act when he, did not know that he was being observed by his Master.

On one such occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise of a village rustic, found Nidagha intently watching a royal procession. Unrecognized by the town-dweller Nidagha, the village rustic enquired what the bustle was all about, and was told that the king was going in procession.

“Oh! it is the king. He goes in procession! But where is he?” asked the rustic. “There, on the elephant,” said Nidagha. “You say the king is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two,” said the rustic, “but which is the king and which is the elephant?” “What!” exclaimed Nidagha. “You see the two, but do not know that the man above is the king and the animal below is the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you?” “Pray, be not impatient with an ignorant man like me,” begged the rustic. “But ‘you said ‘above’ and ‘below’ — what do they mean?”

Nidagha could stand it no more. “You see the king and the elephant, the one above and the other below. Yet ‘ you want to know what is meant by ‘above’ and ‘below”’ burst out Nidagha. “If things seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone can teach you. Bend forward, and ‘ you will know it all ‘ too well”. The rustic did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders and said: “Know it now. I am above as the king, you are below as the elephant. Is that clear enough?” “No, not yet,” was the rustic’s quiet reply. “You say you are above like the king, and I am below like the elephant. The ‘king’, the ‘elephant’, ‘above’ and ‘below’ — so far it is clear. But pray, tell me what you mean by ‘I’ and ‘you’?”

When Nidagha was thus confronted all of a sudden with. the mighty problem of defining a ‘you’ apart from an ‘I’, light dawned on his mind. At once he jumped down and fell at his Master’s feet saying: “Who else but . my venerable Master, .Ribhu, could have thus drawn my mind from the superficialities of physical existence to the true Being of the Self? Oh! benign Master, I crave thy blessings”.


This verse highlights the importance of questioning in our lives. We have unconsciously been thinking continuously of the body, mind and intellect being in this world. We usually never remember the presence of a fourth entity – the Self. It is only the Self that is immune to the influence of the world and only those who think incessantly of Atman become It. Thereafter they become one with that supreme Power, completely free and independent of the world.

The waking world that seems so real now is as real as the dream which we now understand to be a mere projection and dismiss. Any state appears real as long as we are in it. The moment we move to another plane it appears a meaningless projection. The waking state is also similar. So, the Master urges us to contemplate on ‘Who am I? ie The self by seeking Govinda and come out of the illusory world.

For students, from young they should be guided in this path through practise of silent sitting and in realising their inner potential which is not based on external factors. Once they develop the inner strength; their self confidence increases and they start believing in themselves ie their core rather than getting influenced by external factors limiting them. If they start practising this in their lives; in their later years it will be easier for them to understand the above concept of ‘Who am I?’

The story for students for this verse



Bhaja Govindam- Story 23,24- Verse 22




Verse 22

Rathyā carpaṭa viracita kanthaḥ

 Puṇyāpuṇya vivarjita panthaḥ,

Yogī yoganiyojita citto

Ramate bālonmattavadeva

The yogin who wears only the rags made of old cloth, who walks the path that is beyond merit and demerit, whose understanding mind is joined in perfect yoga with its goal, revels (in truth) and lives thereafter-as a child or as a madman. Seek Govinda !!

Story based on verse 22

monk 1

There was a monk leading a simple life. The people of the town respected him for his simplicity as they considered him to be a wise man by all his actions. In the town a young unwed woman became pregnant which was an embarrassment. In order to save her boyfriend she declared to the elders of the town that this monk was responsible for her pregnancy.

When the monk was encountered he only answered, “Is that so?” He was shunted out of the town with the pregnant woman.

The monk went along with the pregnant woman but did not make her wrong for her untruth utterance and the shame she brought upon the monk. He continued to beg in the neighboring village not only for himself but for the pregnant woman who sullied his character.

After a few days the woman felt guilty, realised her folly, went back to her town and revealed the truth of who was really responsible for her pregnancy. The elders of the town who banished the monk were repenting for humiliating the monk. They came and profusely apologised. The monk only answered, “Is that so?”

A wise person has no image, thus is inwardly free. In such a case, he will be viewed as a child without any internal image as he is free. Such an inner freedom is unheard by the ignorant.


An important aspect of the wise man is that by wisdom, as he discovers fulfilment from within himself, he becomes a non-demanding person. He is happy with whatever comes his way.  He is walking along a path that is devoid of merit and demerit or virtue and vice. These are there only when there is an ego or a sense of doership behind an action.

He is focused upon yoga, one whose mind is focused upon the Lord, and one who abides in the knowledge of the Self. He is always happy. He is intoxicated with the happiness in his own heart. Like a child, he is free from all worries and anxieties. A mind without ego reveals in yoga. Ego divides and thus one feels it is other than oneself.

When we read and try to understand this one feels it is quite difficult to follow this and be egoless. For a start we can atleast start reflecting at our actions and see if we need to react or respond to a situation. When we start practising this reflection, we will start contemplating and improve bit by bit day by day. When we focus our attention to a larger good than looking and reacting to satisfy our ego; we will start moving forward in the path. Also when we start offering all our thoughts, actions and words to the Lord taking Him as the doer we will progress faster in this path.

Story relevant for students

For students; first thing to develop is the inner strength. Life will give you lot of challenges and opportunities to learn. If you learn and develop these values at a younger age, you will be able to face life courageously. Students have to enjoy and face life. You have to go through the experiences. Only when one has faced the situation and seen the pros and cons one will realise the values of these teachings. It will come in handy at the most important phase in your lives. So listen to this; you may not be interested or change now but these are the seeds of values being planted which will blossom one day when it is needed the most.

Story adapted from Swami Sukhbodananda’s  Bhaja Govindam



Bhaja Govindam- Story 22- Verse 21

Verse 21

Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam

Punarapi Jananijathare Sayanam

Iha Samsare Bahudustare

Krpaya pare Pahi Murare



Again birth, again death, and again lying in mother’s womb – this samsara process is very hard to cross over … Save me, Murari (O destroyer of Mura) through Thy Infinite Kindness.

Story based on Verse 21

One man was going through lot of difficulties in his life. He was the only bread winner of the family supporting his old parents, sisters as well as his wife and children. One day he fell very sick and couldn’t go to work for almost a week. The man was fired from the job. Not knowing what to do and how to support his family; he became very dejected. He saw all other people around him comfortable and happy. Why was he only suffering? As he sat brooding over his fate; there was an announcement in the village that a great saint was visiting the village and he would stay there for a month. He would be conducting some prayers in the village and also be giving spiritual discourse. During this period, a rich merchant has arranged for free meals the entire month for all the village people and all are welcome.

When this man heard the announcement, he felt relieved that atleast for a month the food issue of his home will be taken care and in the meanwhile he can start looking for another job and also avail the opportunity of listening to the Guruji.

Next morning as the Guruji arrived in the village, this man was ready to welcome the guruji and told him that he would like to serve him daily till he was here in their village. Guruji was pleased with this man and asked him to take care of his daily needs for prayers etc. This man sincerely served the Guruji daily most enthusiastically and with lot of love and devotion. Every evening he would listen to the Guruji’s discourse. However in his mind he was worried about his future and why was only he suffering so much. The Guruji was a realised Master and one evening he gave a discourse on Karma. He beautifully described Karma as follows

There are 4 types of Karma namely

Prarabdha, matured, Karma

apple tree

Imagine a fruit, an apple, on a tree. It has come of its age, it is ripe. Either it be plucked in time or it detaches itself from the tree and lands on the ground. It cannot remain on the tree forever. Similarly, prārabdha is ripe karma. At some point in time, you planted a tree and the fruit is ready to drop today. Regardless of your desire or your preference, it has taken its own course, much like the arrow that has left the bow. Once you perform any karmic act, it is registered in the universe, it will come to fruition in due course. There is no escape. Whatever you are going through in life presently, note the word presently, that you have no control over, it is your prārabdha. Whatever you have sown in last or many previous births you are reaping the good or bad accordingly. So if you think why you are suffering so much; it is the result of your past actions. One has to undergo the consequences of their past actions. But it does not mean you cannot change your future. Prārabdha is that which has matured. Any karma that may mature in the future is not prārabdha, it falls under the second category:

  1. Sanchita, stored, Karma

This is your store of karma. Not all fruits on the tree will mature the same day, it will be laden again in the next season and the next and so forth. It is for this reason that life is greatly cyclical for an overwhelming majority of people. Why? If you planted apple trees, when the season comes you will have plenty of it, and, if you planted wild berries, however attractive, thorny bushes, however protective, they will flourish too during their seasons. It is often the case why problems rarely come singly, they come in hordes, so do good times. There is something unique about sancita karma, it can be changed! If you can go to the source of your apples or baneberries, you can choose to nurture them or destroy them altogether. The key is going to the source.

  1. Agami, forthcoming, Karma

Imagine you entered the apple garden. You performed a karma, you exercised a choice, forced or voluntary, regardless. Based on this karma, you are bound to perform certain such other karmas as sighting of the apple trees, experiencing the fragrance, and a definitive karma of exiting the orchard is also waiting to mature. The importance of this karma cannot be underestimated or overstated. The choices you make today have a direct bearing on your future tomorrow, what you do in the present moment determines what unfolds in the nextĀgāmī karma is a mandatory karma, you have little choice, if any. If you have entered the orchard, you will have to perform the action of exiting as well, sooner or later. However, if you could either change the store of your sancita karma or exercise due care in the present one, this one changes automatically.

  1. Vartamana, present, Karma

It is also known as kriyamāṇa, actionable, present karma, the one that is being done. There is another term, perhaps better, called puruṣārtha, effort, karma. Let us assume you no longer want apples. You can chop the trees, you can have them uprooted. You will still have to find a way to manage or dispose off the wood, rotting apples, green waste and the rest of it, but it is a one off, albeit intense, effort. Thereafter, there will be no more fruits waiting for you year after year. You may simply choose to sow wheat and harvest after a few months, clearing your karmic field on a regular basis.

A pertinent question is how do you know if you are creating new karma or going through the results of your past karma? The answer is quite simple, when you do something out of choice, you are creating new karma, and, when you are forced to do something, you are simply repaying your karmic debt. The former will have the consequences, good or bad, drawn up for you, the latter can be tended by managing your karmic store or sanchita karma in other words. If you don’t want to have any fruits; good or bad; do all acts selflessly surrendering all your actions to the Lord. This will happen only when one has exhausted the fruits of all their previous actions.

The choices you made yesterday, voluntary or otherwise, have landed you where you are today, and the choices you are making today will dictate your tomorrow. Hence, it is paramount that you pay attention to your present actions, your present thoughts, the range of choices available in the future is a direct function, a derivative of your present actions, your future, well, your life in fact, depends on it.

Thus the Guruji concluded his discourse. This man was so happy to receive the answers to his questions and started practising good thoughts and actions. Soon it was time for Guruji to leave the village. He was very happy with the man who served him with so much faith. He blessed him profusely. The rich merchant who had sponsored the event also observed this man’s dedication and sincerity and offered the man a good job in his company and the man was relieved of all his difficulties.

So the man realised that it was his bad karma that made him suffer and his good karma that gave him the opportunity to meet and serve the guruji. He took the lessons learnt to heart and started leading a meaningful life being fully conscious of his actions.



One takes birth again and again to exhaust one’s vasanas or tendencies. Due to our ignorance of the way and the goal, the extrovertedness in us compels us to get ourselves attached to the objects, which have a beauty and a charm created by the imaginations of our minds! The trick is to exhaust them through actions undertaken without ego and egocentric desires. Sometimes, we become comfortable with bondage.  If we don’t get the knowledge, we are stuck. If we get it but don’t have the strength to come out of it, we are stuck again So if we sincerely invoke the Supreme’s grace, it will descend on us.

Again for students; when you are explained such philosophical concepts through simple stories and experiences which drive the point; you are more empowered to choose how to think, how to act, you become aware of your actions and you act accordingly. These values and teachings when imbibed from young will definitely blossom when it is needed most in your lives during your education, working and for life. Such people will have a balanced life and enjoy both the material and spiritual life with a clear understanding.

 Story adapted from Om Swami’s discourse

Essence- Swami Chimayananda’s expounding on Bhaja Govindam

Bhaja Govindam- Story 21- Verse 20

Verse 20


Bhagavadgita Kincidadhita

Ganga Jalalavakanika Pita

Sakrdapi Yena Murarisamarca

Kriyate Tasye Yamena Na Carca


To one who has studied the Bhagavad Gita even a little, who has sipped at least a drop of Ganges-water, who has worshipped at least once Lord Murari, there is no discussion (quarrel) with Yama, the Lord of Death.


Story based on verse 20



One must live the verse. When we start practicing even one value of the Geeta uncompromisingly, slowly other values will come to us. One must make a conscious decision to practice what we have learned.

For students, it is important to develop the human values from a young age so that it is ingrained in them and they start leading that value based life from their young age. Children should be taught from very young to have faith first in themselves and also faith in God. The children who are brought up in such a manner tend to be more resilient and face life boldly with inner strength and conviction.

As one grows and is in the path of spirituality he realises that the joy of Vedanta is in its practice.  When we run after other pleasures, they only leave us wanting more but in Vedanta, when we learn to practice, it is a joy that is very fulfilling and makes one peaceful. Taking a dip in the river, people resolve not to go back to their old ways of living; they are ready to start fresh.  Though the water touches only the body the attitude within also changes.

Worship the Lord with sincerity. To those people with complete faith and surrender death comes with acceptance.  To those who live intelligently and practice what they learn, there will be no fear of death.

Story adapted from Sathya Sai Speaks

Essence adapted from Chinmaya Chyk blog

Bhaja Govindam- Story 20- Verse 19




Verse 19

Yogarato Va Bhogarato Va

Sangarato Va Sangavihinah

Yasya Brahmani Ramate Cittam

Nandati Nandati Nandatyeva



Let one revel in Yoga or let one revel in Bhoga.  Let one seek enjoyment in company or revel in solitude away from the crowd.  He whose mind revels in Brahman, he enjoys … verily, he alone enjoys.

Story based on Verse 19


There is an outer world and inner world. We focus on the outer world but what impacts our lives are the inner world of thoughts and feelings. To change the inner world is most important. One can show outwardly that he is at peace; but can be miserable when mind is not at peace. We do not live in the world. We live in our minds and our minds are reliving in our past. So, our present is but an extension of our past. Such a mind cannot see anything new or the timeless Brahman.

Explaining this concept to students; one should have a strong inner conviction, faith which will not be disturbed by outer circumstances. This should be developed from young by inculcating the right values and faith. When the inner engineering is good; the outer will be taken care. The core is important. When the students start practising this during their education and in life; slowly they will develop the clarity of mind and realise the inner strength and when ready they will work towards realising the ultimate.

For those who are already in the spiritual path; we must realise that time is an expression of thought and between thoughts there is thoughtlessness which is timelessness. When we enter into that gap between thoughts; we will see a state beyond the mind which will liberate us; so, seek Govinda O foolish mind.

Essence- Adapted from Bhaja Govindam by Swami Sukhbodananda

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