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Bhaja Govindam

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Item Code: IDK896
Author: Siddhantha Thulasi
Language: Text, Translation and Detailed Commentary
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 8180851869
Pages: 188
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.4" X 5.4”
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Book Description
If only we keep awake, we can keep all evils away. Ignorance is but darkness Dispel it with light, light of knowledge. And let’s then reign supreme in the kingdom of wakefulness.

Inertia and egoism, attachments and ignorance are all due to our insufficient alertness.

Adi Sankara exhorts us, therefore, to be ever wakeful.

Bhaja Govindam
(Adi Sankara’s Bhajagovindam)
Ganapathi is God of caution and good counsel and giver of Gnana or wisdom. He causes obstacles, if we are on the wrong path; removes impediments, if we are on the right path.

Once, he was approached by all the devas with a request. They all begged him to interfere with and foil Ravana’s plan to take Siva’s Atmalinga to Lanka. He, according to them, does not deserve to own the deity exclusively for himself in his place for the worship of his mother kaikasi.

Siva is generous. He has already allowed himself to be carried away to Lanka. Siva in the form of a linga is already in the hands of Ravana. If Ravana succeeds in installing Siva in Lanka, the denizens of Mt. Kailas will be deprived of Siva for worship. Therefore, they all have requested of Siva for worship. Therefore, they all have requested Vinayaka to prevent Ravana from taking the Siva Linga.

The lord of obstacles, Ganapathi agreed to do the needful. He, in guise of a young boy proceeded to Ravana who is on his way to his kingdom.

It was Sandhya time. The sun was setting. Ravana, the ritual ridden Brahmana wanted to offer his tweilight prayers to the deities. He wanted to bathe in the sea and later do his evening worship. But suddenly he remembered Siva’s warning while giving him His Siva linga: “Ravana, remember to take this linga safely to the place of installation. If anywhere, on the way, you place this linga on the ground, it will get fixed to the floor. You cannot, then, take it out from there. All your efforts will be futile. Therefore, until you reach your place, keep the linga in your palms. Never place it on the earth anywhere until you reach your destination.” Now Ravana was in dilemma. He could not place it on the floor; nor could be skip the evening’s ritual. God the goal of all was in his palm. But the ritual could not leave his mind. To hold on to the goal or to have them both. Therefore he was looking for somebody who could hold Sivalinga until he completed his evening vespers. He saw Ganapathi as a boy nearby. He called him and told him “My boy, you are young, handsome and divine. Please hold this linga until I complete my bath and worship. Don’t, for heaven’s sake, keep the linga on the ground.”

Ganapathi agreed to help him on the condition that Ravana should come and receive the linga back in case of necessity even if he is in the middle of the prayer. He, further said that he would call ‘Ravana’ thrice and if Ravana would not come by then, he would keep the linga down. Ravana agreed to the condition; handed over Sivalinga, the fruit of this tapas to Ganapathi and proceeded to the sea to perform the ritual.

As soon as Ravana stepped into the sea for bathing, Ganapathi in quick succession called ‘Ravana’ thrice. It was impossible for Ravana to return so suddenly. Ganapathi, therefore, placed the Sivalinga on the floor and disappeared. The linga got transfixed to the ground. Ravana could not take it out. All his energy was useless to lift the linga from the ground. The denizens of heavens are happy – Siva is available to all. He is not imprisoned anywhere in any place.

Ravana, no doubt is a devotee. But his devotion is selfish, possessive and Rajasic. And, he has evolved to wisdom on account of his egoistic assertion even while and after worshipping Siva. Devotion should help us evolve to the horizone of all embracing love and infinite wisdom. Ravana, because of his egoism, was unable to be generous kind and unselfish. Above all, he was unable to break the barriers of ritualism even after attaining the highest, even after reaching the destination. Rituals are like a fencing to facilitate the growth of devotion, the plant of devotion. When the tree has grown big enough to give the fruit and when there is no need for a fence, if we still hold to the rituals, it means we do not still deserve the fruit. Do we sit in the transport even after reaching the destination? Rituals are but fencing or transport or a spiral staircase only to facilitate our onward or upward march towards perfection. When once we reach the zenith or peak or goal, we no more need the ritualistic means. However, it is to show the way to posterity that we may keep the path open by performing the demon. Ravana, because of certain deficiencies, had the slip between the cup and the lip. He, perhaps, did not deserve what he had desired. We should deserve what we desire.

Ganapathi grants us the deserts for the fulfillment of our desires, if we are really devoted to the ideal.

After long years of austerity and prayer. Dasaratha was blessed with the children Rama. Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughana. The blessed king’s happiness knew no bounds. Placing Rama the eldest of the four babies in the arms of Sage Vasishta, Dasaratha requested the rishi to bless the child Rama. At the very sight of the divine child, the sage was transported to raptures of ecstatic bliss. He was unaware of everything including himself. But the king was repeatedly requesting the rishi to recite the Vedic hymns to bliss the child. Vasistha returning to the ground realities told the king “Raja, Vedic recitation is to elevate us to Vedantic height. The former is the way and the latter is the goal. Now I have the fruit of all Vedic wisdom in my palms, should I revert to recitation of the psalms. We hold on to the means to reach the Goal. Road is not needed after you reach your abode. Sri Rama is Vedanta, Ramayana is Veda. You are indeed blessed to have them both as your child”. Vasishta the wise are able to distinguish between the means and the end.


Bhaja Govindam1
1.Be Rich23
2.See Prudent31
3.Seek the Lasting Remedy38
4.Be Prudent45
5.Be Realistic50
6.Be a Master55
7.Wake up Soon60
8.Think Well65
9.Find the Wayout72
10.Be Unbound77
11.Enter the Altar82
12.Drop all Desires87
13.Believe in God91
14.Beware of Cheats97
15.Outgrow the Hurdles102
16.Break the Fetters 107
17.Be a Pilgrim112
18.Be Peaceful118
19.Play Well123
20.Clear the Way128
21.Drive out Monotony132
22.Reveal in Yoga136
23.Drop it as a Dream142
24.See the Self148
25.Give up Duality153
26.Mediate Well158
27.Sing God’s Glory163
28.Learn by Observation169
29.Transcend All173
30.See God177
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