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By Adi Sankaracarya
bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
govindam bhaja mudha mate /
samprapte sannihite kale
nahi nahi raksati dukrn karane // 1 //
Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda. Oh fool ! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death.
mudha jahihi dhanagamatrsnam
kuru sadbuddhim manasi vitrsnam /
vittam tena vinodaya cittam // 2 //
Oh fool ! Give up your thirst to amass wealth, devote your mind to thoughts of the Real. Be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past.
drstva magamohavesam /
manasi vicintaya varam varam // 3 //
Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman's navel and chest. these are nothing but a modification of flesh. Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.
lokam sokahatam ca samastam // 4 //
The life of a man is as uncertain as rain drops trembling on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.
stavannija parivaro raktah /
pascajjivati jarjara dehe
vartam ko'pi na prcchati gehe // 5 //
So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even speak one word to him when his body totters due to old age.
yavatpavano nivasati dehe
tavatprcchati kusalam gehe /
gatavati vayau dehapaye
bharya bibhyati tasminkaye // 6 //
When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.
pare brahmani ko'pi na saktah // 7 //
One's childhood is lost by attacment to playfulness. Youth is lost by attacment to woman. Old age passes away by thinking over many past things. But there is hardly anyone who wants to be lost in the Supreme.
kate kanta kaste putrah
samsaro'yamativa vicitrah /
kasya tvam kah kuta ayatah
tattvam cintaya tadiha bhratah // 8 //
Who is your wife ? Who is your son ? Strange is this material world. Of whom are you ? From where have you come ? Brother, ponder over these truths here.
nissangatve nirmohatvam /
niscalatattve jivanmuktih // 9 //
From pure assocaition comes non-attacment, from non-attacment comes freedom from delusion, whic leads to self-realisation. From self-realisation comes liberation.
vayasigate kah kamavikarah
suske nire kah kasarah /
ksinevitte kah parivarah
jnate tattve kah samsarah // 10 //
What good is lust when youth has fled ? What use is a lake which has no water ? Where are the relatives when wealth is gone ? Where is samsara when the truth is known ?
ma kuru dhana jana yauvana garvam
harati nimesatkalah sarvam /
brahmapadam tvam pravisa viditva // 11 //
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.
dinayaminyau sayam pratah
sisiravasantau punarayatah /
kalah kridati gacchatyayuh
tadapi na muncatyasavayuh // 12 //
Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.
kathito vaiyakaranasyaisah /
shrimacchankarabhagavaccharanarih // 12a //
This bouquet of twelve verses was imparted to a grammarian by the all-knowing sankara, adored as Bhagavatpada.
kate kanta dhana gatacinta
vatula kim tava nasti niyanta /
trijagati sajjanasam gatiraika
bhavati bhavarnavatarane nauka // 13 //
Oh mad man ! Why this engrossment in thoughts of wealth ? Is there no one to guide you ? There is only one thing in the three worlds that can save you from the ocean from samsara. Board the boat of pure association quickly. (Stanza attributed to Padmapada.)
jatilo mundi luncitakesah
pasyannapi cana pasyati mudhah
udaranimittam bahukrtavesah // 14 //
There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in saffron, yet others in various colors --- all just for a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish ones see it not. (Stanza attributed to Totakacarya.)
angam galitam palitam mundam
dasanavihinam jatam tundam /
vrddho yati grhitva dandam
tadapi na muncatyasapindam // 15 //
Strength has left the old man's body; his head has become bald, his gums toothless and he is leaning on crutches. Even then the attacment is strong and he clings firmly to fruitless desires. (Stanza attributed to Hastamalaka.)
agre vahnih prsthebhanuh
ratrau cubukasamarpitajanuh /
tadapi na muncatyasapasah // 16 //
Behold the man who sits warming his body with the fire in front and the sun at the back; at night he curls up the body to keep out the cold; he eats his beggar's food from the bowl of his hand and sleeps beneath the tree. Still in his heart, he is a wretced puppet at the hands of passions. (Stanza attributed to Subodha.)
vrataparipalanamathava danam /
muktim na bhajati janmasatena // 17 //
One may go to Ganga Sagara, observe fasts, and give away grains in charity ! Yet, devoid of true knowledge, nothing can give liberation even at the end of a hundred births. (Stanza attributed to Suresvaracarya. )
sura mandira taru mula nivasah
sayya bhutala majinam vasah /
sarva parigraha bhoga tyagah
kasya sukham na karoti viragah // 18 //
Take your residence in a temple or below a tree, wear the deerskin for the dress, and sleep with mother earth as your bed. Give up all attacments and renounce all comforts. Blessed with such renunciation, could any fail to be content ? (Stanza attributed to Nityananda).
sangarato va sangavihinah /
yasya brahmani ramate cittam
nandati nandati nandatyeva // 19 //
One may take delight in yoga or bhoga, may have attachment or detachment. But only he whose mind steadily delights in Brahman enjoys bliss, no one else. (Stanza attributed to Anandagiri.)
bhagavad gita kincidadhita
ganga jalalava kanikapita /
sakrdapi yena murari samarca
kriyate tasya yamena na carca // 20 //
Let a man read but a little from the Gita, drink just a drop of water from the Ganga, worship Murari just once. He then will have no meeting with Yama. (Stanza attributed to
punarapi jananam punarapi maranam
punarapi janani jathare sayanam /
iha samsare bahudustare
krpaya'pare pahi murare // 21 //
Born again, death again, birth again to stay in the mother's womb ! It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh Murari ! Redeem me through thy mercy. (Stanza attributed to Nityananda. )
rathya carpata viracita kanthah
punyapunya vivarjita panthah /
yogi yoganiyojita citto
ramate balonmattavadeva // 22 //
There is no shortage of clothing for a renounced man so long as there are rags cast off on the road. Freed from vice and virtue, onward he wanders. One who lives in communion with God enjoys bliss, pure and uncontaminated, like a child and as someone intoxicated. (Stanza attributed to Nityananda. )
kastvam ko'ham kuta ayatah
ka me janani ko me tatah /
iti paribhavaya sarvamasaram
visvam tyaktva svapna vicaram // 23 //
Who are you ? Who am I ? From where do I come ? Who is my mother, who is my father ? Ponder thus, look at everything as essenceless and give up the world as an idle dream. (Stanza attributed to Surendra. )
tvayi mayi canyatraiko visnuh
vyartham kupyasi mayyasahisnuh /
bhava samacittah sarvatra tvam
vanchasyaciradyadi visnutvam // 24 //
In me, in you and in everything, none but the same Vishnu dwells. Your anger and impatience is meaningless. If you wish to attain the abode of Vishnu soon, have samabhava always. (Stanza attributed to Medhatithira. )
satrau mitre putre bandhau
ma kuru yatnam vigrahasandhau /
sarvatrotsrja bhedajnanam // 25 //
Do not waste your efforts to win the love of or to fight against friend and foe, children and relatives. See yourself in everyone and give up all feelings of duality completely. (Stanza attributed to Medhatithira. )
kamam krodham lobham moham
tyaktva'tmanam bhavaya ko'ham /
atmajnana vihina mudhah
te pacyante narakanigudhah // 26 //
Give up lust, anger, infatuation, and greed. Ponder over your real nature. Fools are they who are blind to the Self. Cast into hell they suffer there endlessly. (Stanza attributed to Bharativamsa.)
geyam gita nama sahasram
dhyeyam shripati rupamajasram /
neyam sajjana sange cittam
deyam dinajanaya ca vittam // 27 //
Regularly recite from the Gita, meditate on Vishnu [ by reciting Vishnu Sahasranama] in your heart, and chant His limitless glories. Take delight to be with the noble and the holy. Distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy. (Stanza attributed to Sumatira. )
sukhatah kriyate ramabhogah
pascaddhanta sarire rogah /
yadyapi loke maranam saranam
tadapi na muncati papacaranam // 28 //
He who yields to lust for pleasure leaves his body a prey to disease. Though death brings an end to everything, man does not gives up the sinful path.
arthamanartham bhavaya nityam
nastitatah sukhalesah satyam /
putradapi dhana bhajam bhitih
sarvatraisa vihia ritih // 29 //
Wealth is not welfare, truly there is no joy in it. Reflect thus at all times. A rich man fears even his own son. This is the way of wealth everywhere.
nityanitya vivekavicaram /
kurvavadhanam mahadavadhanam // 30 //
Regulate the life-airs, remain unaffected by external influences and discriminate between the real and the fleeting. Chant the holy name of God and silence the turbulent mind. Perform these with care - with extreme care!
gurucaranambuja nirbhara bhakatah
samsaradaciradbhava muktah /
draksyasi nija hrdayastham devam // 31 //
Oh devotee of the lotus feet of the Guru ! May you soon be free from samsara. Through disciplined senses and controlled mind, you will come to experience the Indwelling Lord of your heart !
mudhah kascana vaiyakarano
dukrn karanadhyayana dhurinah /
bodhita asicchodhitakaranah // 32 //
Thus was a silly grammarian lost in rules cleansed of his narrow vision and shown the light by Sankara's disciples.
bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
govindam bhaja mudhamate /
nahi pasyamo bhavatarane .// 33 //
Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool ! Other than chanting the Lord's names, there is no other way to cross the life's ocean.