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Adi Sankaracharya’s Bhaja Govindam

Translated by P. R. Ramachander

Charpata Panjarika Stotra
(The eighteen gems of wisdom)

Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam,
Govindam Bhaja Mooda Mathe,
Samprapthe sannihithe kale,
Nahi nahi rakshathi dookrunj karane.

Pray Govinda, Pray Govinda,
Pray Govinda, You fool,
For all the ken with you,
Will not be there,
When your end is near.

Dhinamapi rajani, sayam pratha,
Sisira vasanthou punarayatha,
Kala kreedathi gachat yayu,
Sthadapi na munjathyasa vayu

Daily comes the night, eve and morn.
The autumn and spring,
Comes again and again every year.
Time forever plays with life,
But desire does not desert this body forever.

Agre Vahni , prashte bhanu,
Rathrou chibuka samirpitha janu,
Karathala biksha taru thala vasa
Sthadhapi na munjathyasapasa.

The sun in the back,
And the fire behind,
Prevents biting cold during the day,
Knees meet the chin during the night,
To keep one warm.
And food comes by the daily begging,
Life is spent below a tree,
But desire does not desert this body forever.

Yavadvitho parjana saktha,
Sthavannija parivaro raktha
Paschat jeevathi jarajjara dehe,
Varthaam prucchathi ko apina gehe.

Till you are able to earn,
The wealth that everybody yearns,
All the family you love,
Will love and care.
But when the cage of your body gets old,
They would not even ask you,
“How are you?”

Jatilo mundee lunchitha kesa,
Kaashayambara bahu krutha vesha,
Pasyannapi cha na pasyathi lokaa
Hyudhara nimittam bahu krutha soka.

Men with hairs overgrown,
Men with a shaved head,
Men with a well-cut hair,
Men with ochre robes,
See the world,
But pretend they don’t,
And suffer all the way,
To fill their belly forever.

Bagavat geetha kinchid adheetha,
Gangaajalalava kanikaa peetha,
Sukrudhapi yasya murari samarcha,
Tasya yama kim kuruthe charchaam.

Read and imbibe Bhagavat Gita,
Drink a drop of the holy Ganga,
At least once salute the Lord,
Then the God of death,
Will not bother you forever.

Angam galitham palitham mundam,
Dasanaviheenam jatham thundam,
Vruddho yathi gruheetha dhandam,
Tadapi na munjathyaasa pindam.

The limbs have become weak,
The head has become fully bald,
There are no teeth in the mouth,
And the old man totters with an aid of a stick,
But desire does not desert this body ever.

Balasthavat kreedasaktha,
Stharunasthavath tharunee saktha,
Vrudha staavath chintha magna,
Parame brahmani kopi na lagna.

The child’s mind is engaged in play,
The youths mind is engaged in his lasses charms,
The old man’s mind is full of worries,
But no one thinks of the Ultimate Truth.

Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam,
Punarapi janani jatare sayanam,
Iha samsaare khalu dusthare,
Krupayaa pare pahi murare.

Again and again one is born,
And again and again one dies,
And again and again one sleeps in the mother’s womb,
Help me to cross,
This limitless sea of Life,
Which is uncrossable, my Lord

Punarapi Rajani, punarai divasa,
Punaraip paksha, punarapi maasa,
Punarapyayanam, punarapi varsham,
Tadapi na munjityasaamarsham.

Again and again this dark nights,
Again and again this luster full days,
Again and again these months and years,
But pride and desire never leaves you forever

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