Bhaja Govindam – Adi Shankaracharya Verse – 31

HariH Aum Gurubhyo NamaH |

Bhaja Govindam Verse – 31


गुरुचरणाम्बुज निर्भर भक्तः, संसारादचिराद्भव मुक्तः।
सेन्द्रियमानस नियमादेवं,द्रक्ष्यसि निज हृदयस्थं देवम् ॥३१॥
Gurucaranambuja nirbhara bhaktaH samsaradaciradbhava muktaH,

sendriyamanasa niyamadevaM drakhyasi nija hridayasthaM devam – 31


  • Explanation of Pujya Swami Viditatmananda Ji

O devotee of the lotus feet of the teacher! May you become liberated soon from the samsara through the discipline of the sense organs and the mind. You will come to experience the Lord that dwells in your own heart.

BhaktaH means a devotee. Nirbhara is completely. Nirbhara bhaktaH is one who is completely devoted. Devoted to what? Gurucaranambuja. Ambuja means lotus. Carana ambuja is the lotus feet. Gurucaranambuja is the lotus feet of the teacher. Now the teacher is addressing us, Oh seeker, you who are ardently devoted to the lotus feet of the teacher, Oh bhaktaH samsarad acirat bhava muktaH. Acirat is soon. May you soon become free from samsara. Here, in the last verse, having told us so many things, Sri Sankaracarya wants to tell us of one more thing that we may want to do. Everything else will follow from it.

What is that one most important means?

It is the ardent devotion to the lotus feet of the teacher. He is suggesting that this is an outstanding means for the pursuit of knowledge, for becoming free from samsara.

Why this devotion to the teacher is emphasized so much?

Devotion to the teacher also includes devotion to what the teacher stands for. I cannot be devoted to a teacher unless I am devoted to what the teacher stands for. A teacher represents the scriptures. He represents the tradition, he represents the knowledge. In being devoted to him, there is devotion to the knowledge, devotion to the scriptures, devotion to the tradition, and devotion to God.

Devotion means love with respect and reverence. It is a love in which there is reverence and surrender. There are different kinds of love, but the love between a teacher and student is altogether different. There is a willing submission or willing surrender to the teacher out of a sense of reverence, and an implicit trust or faith in him.

Sendriyamanasa niyamadevam draksyasi nija hrdayastham devam. Evam, in this manner. Niyama means control, of the indriya and manasa, the sense organs and the mind. With the devotion to the teacher, the scriptures and the Lord, and with the sense organs and mind under control, meaning focused upon the self, draksyasi nija hridayastham devam. Draksyasi, you will see.

What will you see? Devam, the Lord.

Who is the Lord? That very self. Where is he?

Nija hridayastham, in your own heart. Thus, by a control of the mind along with the senses, and with a heart in which there is total devotion for the teacher and the Lord, you will see the Lord who is in your own heart. Thus, you will soon become free from this samsara.

This is the last verse and Sri Sankaracarya gives us his blessing, “May you soon become free from samsara!” May you discover that devotion in your heart for the teacher, for the scriptures, for the Lord, and for the knowledge of the Self. Devotion is a very important thing to have. Without devotion, nothing can be achieved.

Some people believe that there are different paths, that there is a path of devotion and a path of knowledge. They believe that sages such as Caitanya Mahaprabhu followed the path of devotion, and wonder what path Sri Sankaracarya is following.

Do you think he is not a devotee? Sri Sankaracarya who is the champion of knowledge is equally a devotee.His devotion is evident everywhere. The devotion for the teachers, devotion for the scriptures, and devotion for the Lord is evident in everything that Sri Sankaracarya writes.

Therefore, whatever you are pursuing, the first requirement is that the heart must have devotion. Devotion comes as a result of the grace of the Lord. We pray that we may have devotion. Bhakti is the element that always goes along with the pursuit of knowledge, or the performing of an action. It is the one common feature in all that we do to achieve our goal of self knowledge.

Here, Sri Sankaracarya says, may you discover in your heart, a devotion for the teacher, and soon may you become free from samsara. Thus, we also pray that by his blessing, we discover the same emotion and also become free from samsara.

HariH Om __/\__
Courtesy : Sri Subramaniyam Balaji
Credit : Swami Viditatmananda Saraswathi Ji

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Sujata D says:

    Dhanyavadah Acharyavar for the beautiful explanation of the sloka . I am unable to see any other categories OR months. Regards.

    Liked by 1 person

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