Sanskrit Times – Episode 4

Hi Readers,

Hope you’re doing well, wherever you’re in the world. Today I am going to share a couple of verses from one of the great works of an 8th century Indian Philosopher Sri Adi Shankaracharya – Bhaja Govindam. It is a song/poetry that reminds the sage’s followers to reflect on the Truth (so as to be free from illusions of the mind). It starts like this:

bhaja govindaṃ bhaja govindaṃ
govindaṃ bhaja mūḍhamate |
samprāpte sannihite kāle
nahi nahi rakśhati ḍukriṅkaraṇe

Sing the name of Govinda*, Repeat the name of Govinda,
Serve Govinda, oh deluded mind!
At the time of your death,
Rules of grammar will not save you.

bāla stāvat krīḍāsaktaḥ
taruṇa stāvat taruṇīsaktaḥ |
vṛddha stāvat-chintāmagnaḥ
parame brahmaṇi koapi na lagnaḥ
bhaja govindaṃ bhaja govindaṃ
govindaṃ bhaja mūḍhamate

Childhood flickers by in play;
in youth, one is attached to sense pleasures;
in old age, one is burdened with worry and anxiety.
Life slips by without one ever paying heed to the attainment
of Self-Knowledge, knowing Brahman**
Oh deluded mind, sing the name of Govinda,
Repeat the name of Govinda, serve Govinda.

*Govinda literally means cowherd. Historically, it refers to the God Personality – Krishna. (Replacing this name with Jesus or Buddha – wouldn’t alter the intention of the author).

**Brahman is the Ultimate Reality, commonly referred as “Self”. Advaita Vedanta (Non-duality) philosophy says our Soul is the Self – but this knowledge is hidden because of our identification with body, and mind (which are bound to pleasure and pain). Self-realization is possible through the practices of Yoga.

I hope you find this post useful. Thank you so much for reading.

Sanskrit Times – Episode 3

Hello Readers,

Today I am here to share a verse from the Indian Scripture “Bhagavad Gita” (The Songs of the Absolute/God). It is from chapter 2 and verse number 20.

na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre

Neither born nor ever dies
Nor having been does it ever come not to be
Unborn, Eternal, Perpetual
Not destroyed when the body is

This verse is spoken by the “God” Krishna, who talks about the “Soul” which is never born and not destroyed when the body is.

Personal Remarks: Often times, we forget our true nature – we think we are this body, we think we are this mind, and sadly we think we are the thoughts created by the mind – if we stop and look deeply, it is easier for us to understand that all of these aforementioned phenomenon are prone to change every single moment.

Well, there is nothing wrong in assuming we are this changing phenomenon but we have to be careful about not getting imprisoned by these mental afflictions, so as to live at peace and do our daily duties without anxieties and/or worries.

I am a Soul, and I am ever Free.

Sanskrit Times – Episode 1

As I am learning new Sanskrit words, I sometimes feel inspired to share some of the ancient scripts. I will post them titled “Sanskrit Times” implying my quality time with Sanskrit.

Today, I read the following verse, took from the Vows being chanted during the Wedding Ceremony in India.

oṃ asato mā sadgamaya
tamaso mā jyotirgamaya
mṛtyormā amṛtaṃ gamaya
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

The English translation by Shunori Ramanathan is as follows:


Lead me from the unreal to the real
From the darkness to the light
From death to immortality
Let there be peace, peace, peace

Namasté!