A person who is wise learns from his mistakes but a fool never learns. He keeps on repeating the same mistake again and again and thus keeps suffering on account of his folly. While there is a chance that a sleeping person may be woken up but how to wake up a person who is in state of feigned sleep? Such is the state of ignorant ones. And such is the benevolence of great masters like Sri Adi Shankaracharya who continue to wake up the feign sleeping ignorant ones with their unique ways. Bhaja Govindam is one such awakening call, expressed in a beautiful poetic way, by Sri Adi Shankaracharya and profoundly explained by Sadgurudev Anandmurti Gurumaa. It is a timeless collection of thirty one enlightening shlokas imbued with the essence of Vedanta, supreme wisdom interspersed with the fragrance of devotion.
An interesting backdrop leads this poem. Once Sri Adi Shankaracharya passed by a Sanskrit scholar who was busy memorising the rules of Sanskrit grammar. He looked uneasy and tense. Observing the tension visible all over his face, Sri Adi Shankaracharya out of his sheer compassion responded in his most refined Sanskrit dialect and consequently a poem took shape. This spontaneous poem is aptly titled as Bhaja Govindam wherein Adi Shankaracharya conveys to the scholar that memorising rules will be of no use at the time of death. Thus he says, “O foolish man, sing the name of Govind”. This poem is appropriately applicable to our modern day to day living and offers well reasoned yet simple outlook towards life. The Bhaja Govindam is also aptly known as Moha Mudgara Stotra. Just as mudgal is used to beat the dirt out of clothes, similarly the Moha Mudgara Stotra is meant to ‘beat’ the ignorance out of us! For man is so attached to wealth, youth and prosperity, seldom does he realise that it all disappears in a flash at the time of death. The shlokas illustrate and reiterate that the only way possible to get out of this cycle of birth and death is to hold steadfast to the Divine Name. Here is an excellent opportunity to make every moment of life a blessing, to make every action of our lives divine. Contemplate upon these shlokas and assimilate into your heart the essence of Adi Shankaracharya’s Bhaja Govindam.