Nama Article 20th November 2015
Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji on 17th November, 2002
Adi Sankara sings, 'Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam, moodamate!' - Sing/Chant 'Govinda', Oh! foolish mind!
Once Sankara found an old man on the banks of the Ganges trying to learn some sutras in grammar in Sanskrit. Sankara wondered, 'He appears to be around ninety years old. Death can strike him any moment. Why is he trying to learn grammar at this juncture of his life? Of what use is this to him? What is he going to attain through this?' and questioned him about it. The old man explained, "The king has announced a gift of a golden shawl to one who can recite this. I am learning this so that I can get the golden shawl."
Sankara thought, "Should he not sing the praises of Tirumãl (Lord Vishnu) and attain a birthless state? When the 'prãna' (life force) leaves his body will this grammar save him? Is it this grammar that will save him at the time of his death?"
A man may be holding a high office. A man may be very wealthy. A man may be highly learned. But, when he dies none would speak of him as 'the collector' if he had held that high office but pointing to his body only refer to it as 'the dead body'. The respect that he had received when holding the high office holds no more. He is referred to merely as 'the dead body'.
It was at this time that Sankara wrote the lyric,
'Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
Bhaja govindam moodamate!
Samprãpte sannihite kale
Nahi nahi rakshati dukrn karane!'
Sankara pointed out to him that at that age when death was so close at hand it was only the Lord's Name that would support him and not some Sanskrit grammar and advised him to take up the chanting of the Lord's Name. 'Keep saying Govinda! Govinda! Only the Name of the Lord will save you and not this grammar; 'nahi nahi rakshati dukrn karanae' - This grammar will not save you.'
Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji