भज गोविन्दं भज  गोविन्दं
गोविन्दं भज मूढमते    ।
संप्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले
न हि न हि रक्षति डुकृञ्करणे ॥१॥
O Fool! Take refuge in Govinda, take refuge in Govinda, in Govinda take refuge. When your time comes (for leaving this earthly body) the rules of grammar (which you are learning by rote) will not come to your rescue.
[Note: the refrain in all the following stanzas is
भज गोविन्दं भज  गोविन्दं
गोविन्दं भज मूढमते]
मूढ जहीहि धनागमतृष्णां
कुरु सद्बुद्धिं मनसि वितृष्णाम्
यल्लभसे निजकर्मोपात्तं
वित्तं तेन विनोदय चित्तम् ॥२॥
O Fool!  Abandon this thirst for acquiring wealth. Cultivate the good character of non-greediness in your mind. Whatever you earn by your work, be contented at heart with that only.  
दृष्ट्वा मा गा मोहावेशम् ।
मनसि विचिन्तय वारं वारं ॥३॥
Don’t be deluded and allow yourself to be carried away by passion at the sight of the breasts and the navel of young women. Repeatedly think in your mind that these are only flesh and blood and fat inside (though superficially beautiful and tempting)
तद्वज्जीवितमतिशयचपलम् ।
विद्धि व्याध्यभिमानग्रस्तं
लोकं शोकहतं च समस्तम् ॥४॥
A drop of water on a petal of the lotus is extremely unstable. In the same way life is also extremely transient. It is in the grip of disease and conceit.  All the world is destined to suffer pangs of (poverty, disease, old age, death, separation etc) 
स्तावन्निजपरिवारो रक्तः।
पश्चाज्जीवति जर्ज्जरदेहे
वार्तां कोऽपि न पृच्छति गेहे ॥५॥
As long as a man is capable of earning money his family members will have love and affection for him.  But when he survives and his body becomes frail and weak (with the onslaught of old age) no one in the house will talk to him or ask about his welfare. 
यावत्पवनो निवसति देहे
तावद्पृच्छति कुशलं गेहे ।
गतवति वायौ देहापाये
भार्या बिभ्यति तस्मिन् काये ॥६॥
So long as there is life breath in the body people in the house will enquire about the welfare of the person.  When the life breath has gone out (i.e. when the man is dead) his very wife will be frightened by his dead body. 
तरुणस्तावत्तरुणीसक्तः ।
परे ब्रह्मणि कोऽपि न सक्तः ॥७॥
Man is interested in play when he is a boy.  He is interested in women when he is young.  When he grows old he always thinks of his past life and his future. No one is interested in the Ultimate Reality, the Brahman.
का ते कान्ता कस्ते पुत्रः
संसारोऽयमतीव विचित्रः ।
कस्य त्वं वा कुत आयात-
स्तत्त्वं चिन्तय तदिह भ्रातः ॥८॥
Who is your wife? Who is your son? This samsar is really quixotic and difficult to understand.  Of whom are you? Fro m where have you come.  O brother, ponder over this Truth here.
सत्संगत्वे निस्संगत्वं
निस्संगत्वे निर्मोहत्वं।
निर्मोहत्वे निश्चलतत्त्वं
निश्चलतत्त्वे जीवन्मुक्तिः ॥९॥
Company of good people leads to detachment which again leads to non-delusion. When one is not deluded, the  Ultimate Immutable Reality dawns on him leading to liberation in this very life. 
वयसि गते कः कामविकारः
शुष्के नीरे कः कासारः
क्षीणे वित्ते क्व परिवारो
ज्ञाते तत्त्वे कः संसारः ॥१०॥
When one becomes old where is lust and its play? When water is dried up where is the lake? When wealth is lost where is the family? When the Truth is realised where is samsara?
मा कुरु धनजनयौवनगर्वं
हरति निमेषात्कालःसर्वम्।
मायामयमिदमखिलं हित्वा
ब्रह्मपदं त्वं प्रविश विदित्वा ॥११॥
Don’t ever be conceited about your wealth, your relatives and your youth.  Time will snatch from you all these things in the wink of an eye.  Recognizing that all these things are only illusions (Maya) abandon them and realize Brahman the ultimate Reality and enter into it  (in samadhi)
दिनयामिन्यौ सायं प्रातः
शिशिरवसंतौ पुनरायातः।
कालः क्रीडति गच्छत्यायु-
स्तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशावायुः ॥१२॥
Days and nights, mornings and evenings, autumn and spring come in cycles.  Time is playing and life ebbs out. In spite of this desires do not leave man.
का ते कान्ताधनगतचिन्ता
वातुल किं तव नास्ति नियन्ता।
त्रिजगति सज्जनसंगतिरेका
भवति भवार्णवतरणे नौका ॥१३॥
What is the use of worrying about your wife and wealth?  Don’t you have some one who is the controller of all this. In all the three worlds only the company of good people will serve as a boat to enable one to cross the ocean of samsara
जटिली मुण्डी लुञ्चितकेशः
काषायांबरबहुकृतवेषः ।
पश्यन्नपि च न पश्यति मूढो
उदरनिमित्तं बहुकृतवेषः ॥१४॥
There are ascetics who put on several guises. Some one is having matted hair, some one else is clean-shaven,  yet another has his hairs pulled out,  still others  don ocher robes and there are those who pretend that they are blind though they can see.  All these different guises are only for the sake of the stomach.  
अंगं गलितं पलितं मुण्डं
दशनविहीनं जातं तुण्डम् ।
वृद्धो याति गृहीत्वा दण्डं
तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशापिण्डम् ॥१५॥
The limbs have become weak, the hairs on the head have turned white, the mouth is devoid of teeth and the old man walks with the support of a staff.  Even in this wretched condition he does not abandon the bundle of his desires.
अग्रे वह्निः पृष्ठे भानुः
रात्रौ चिबुकसमर्पितजानुः।
स्तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशापाशः ॥१६॥
There is fire in front of the person and the sun is at the back.  During the nights he is huddled in such a way that his chin rests on his knees.  He receives alms in his cupped hands and lives in the shade of a tree.  Even in this condition he does not leave the bondage of his desires.  
कुरुते गंगासागरगमनं
व्रतपरिपालनमथवा दानम्।
ज्ञानविहीनः सर्वमतेन
मुक्तिं भजति न जन्मशतेन ॥१७॥
A person may go on pilgrimage to where the Ganga joins the sea or he may observe vows and make gifts in charity.  But all these things will not lead to liberation in a hundred births without the experiential knowledge of the Truth. This is accepted by all schools of thought.
शय्याभूतलमजिनं वासः ।
कस्य सुखं न करोति विरागः ॥१८॥
Taking shelter in temples or under the trees, sleeping on the bare ground, clothing oneself in deer-skin, renouncing all gifts or charity and the pleasures of the senses – How can this dispassion (vairagya) fail to give one happiness?  
योगरतो वा भोगरतो वा
संगरतो वा संगविहीनः
यस्य ब्रह्मणि रमते चित्तं
नन्दति नन्दति नन्दत्येव ॥१९॥
Irrespective of whether one is engaged in yogic practices or interested in enjoying the objects of the senses, attached to family and friends or living in solitude, if his mind revels in Brahman he is happy, he alone is happy.    
भगवद्गीता किञ्चिदधीता
सकृदपि येन मुरारिसमर्चा
क्रियते तस्य यमेन न चर्चा ॥२०॥
A little study of the Bhagavadgita, drinking a drop of the water of Ganga, Worshipping Murari (Krishna) even once – these things in a person will cause Yama to leave him alone.
पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं
पुनरपि जननीजठरे शयनम्।
इह संसारे बहुदुस्तारे
कृपया पारे पाहि मुरारे ॥२१॥
Birth again, death again, lying in the mother’s womb again- O Murari! have mercy and help cross this samsara which it is difficult to cross.  
योगी योगनियोजितचित्तो
रमते बालोन्मत्तवदेव ॥२२॥
The yogi who clothes himself by stitching together pieces  of cloth discarded on the road, who has taken the path which is beyond punya(merit) and papa(demerit) and whose mind is united with the indwelling Atman revels like a child  or like a mad man.  
कस्त्वं कोऽहं कुत आयातः
का मे जननी को मे तातः।
इति परिभावय सर्वमसारं
विश्वं त्यक्त्वा स्वप्नविचारम् ॥२३॥
Who are you? Who am I ? Where have I come from?
Who is my mother? Who is my father?  Contemplate on the transient nature of all this world which is just like a dream and renounce all these things.  
त्वयि मयि चान्यत्रैको विष्णुः
व्यर्थं कुप्यसि मय्यसहिष्णुः।
भव समचित्तः सर्वत्र त्वं
वाञ्छस्यचिराद्यदि विष्णुत्वम् ॥२४॥
Vishnu, the One Reality, is in you, in me and everywhere else.  There is no point in being angry with me because you cannot bear with me. See every thing with an equal  mind, a mind which is not differentiating, if you want to attain the status of ‘Vishnu’, the all-pervading.  
शत्रौ मित्रे पुत्रे बन्धौ
मा कुरु यत्नं विग्रहसन्धौ।
सर्वस्मिन्नपि पश्यात्मानं
सर्वत्रोत्सृज भेदाज्ञानम्  ॥२५॥
Do not strive to create fights or establish peace between enemies, friends, sons or relatives.  See the same Atman
in all beings and forsake the notion of differences arising out of ignorance.
कामं क्रोधं लोभं मोहं
त्यक्त्वात्मानं भावय कोऽहम्।
आत्मज्ञानविहीना मूढा –
स्ते पच्यन्ते नरकनिगूढाः ॥२६॥
Renounce desire, anger, greed and delusion and inquire ’Who am I’.  Those who do not realise the Atman will burn in the fires of hell (i.e. they will be exposed to the trials and tribulations of this samsara)
गेयं गीता नामसहस्रं
ध्येयं श्रीपतिरूपमजस्रम् ।
नेयं सज्जनसंगे चित्तं
देयं दीनजनाय च वित्तम् ॥२७॥
Sing the Bhagavadgita and Vishnu Sahasranama.  Meditate on the form of Vishnu, consort of Lakshmi.  Engage your mind in the company of the good and give alms to those who are poor.
सुखतः क्रियते रामा भोगः
पश्चाद्धन्त शरीरे रोगः ।
यद्यपि लोके मरणं शरणं
तदपि न मुञ्चति पापाचरणम् ॥२८॥
One enjoys the carnal pleasures but it is followed by diseases in the body.  Though in the end Death will lay its icy hands on all, no one renounces committing of  sinful actions.  
अर्थमनर्थं भावय नित्यं
नास्ति ततः सुखलेशः सत्यम्।
पुत्रादपि धनभाजां भीतिः
सर्वत्रैषा विहिता रीतिः ॥२९॥
Always think that riches will lead to unpleasant and troublesome consequences.  There is really no happiness from riches.  For the rich there is fear even from one’s own son.  This is the way of riches everywhere.
प्राणायामं प्रत्याहारं
नित्यानित्यविवेकविचारम् ।
कुर्ववधानं महदवधानम् ॥३०॥
Still the mind by the control of breath(pranayama).  Draw your senses inward and focus on the atman. Discriminate between the eternal and the ephemeral. With Japa enter into samadhi.  Do these things with care, great care.
संसारादचिराद्भव मुक्तः।
द्रक्ष्यसि निजहृदयस्थं  देवं ॥३१॥
Being devoted to the lotus-feet of your guru, be liberated from this cycle of births and deaths without delay. By thus controlling your mind and the senses you will realise God within your own heart.   

Click here for an audio rendering of this stotra. 

Sri P R Ramamurthy Ji was the author of this website. When he started this website in 2009, he was in his eighties. He was able to publish such a great number of posts in limited time of 4 years. We appreciate his enthusiasm for Sanskrit Literature. Authors story in his own words :

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