Bhaja govindam is one of the prakarana Grantham and contains 31 shlokas written by Adi Sankara. In this treatise we start the study by repeating Bhaja govindam 3 times and in the last verse he concludes how we can see govinda as our own self and not as another rupam. Activities keep us busy and seldom spend time to understand the very existence of us in this universe. This is because we are so much attached to material aspects (artha), , karma (desires) and dharma (the rituals, austerity, charity etc.).But we do not pursue Moksha as the ultimate choice. In this we also see the importance of yoga, satsangam, gita study, Vishnu sahasranama, Krishna Archanam and the importance of all these. Lastly he concludes by saying that Moksha is available only to the spiritually enlightened person and one who has unflinching belief in the guru. The word Guru also means Gu-ru where GU means remove and Ru-means the darkness. The person who removes the darkness or ignorance is called Guru. `
Bhaja govindam is not a stotram but is a teaching that will convert a non-religious person into a religious, convert a religious person into a spiritual person and will convert a non-ethical person into an ethical person. In the Bhaja govindam, the word Bhaja govindam is repeated many times as repetition is always for emphasis. To stress Bhaja govindam 3 times is for emphasis it means how important it is and is stressed.
Govindam means Go-vindaha. The word ‘Go’ indicates knowledge and ‘Bhaja’ is a verb .May you pray to govinda. May you attain govinda, sing in praise of govinda, may you know govinda is the meaning of Bhaja Govindam. The lord or Bhagavan is jagat and the whole Ishwara and has Ananthanama. Ananthanama is the person with innumerable countless names, because the whole jagat is Ishwara. So any one object is lord. Any language is a constitution of sounds. Vowels and consonants only doesn’t matter whichever language it is. One of the name of the lord is Vishwam. That which is constituted by countless, words, objects is called Vishwam. Nathan is the ruler of Vishwam.
Why Govinda? Everybody will say the person who protects the cows, Go – means cow and also means knowledge. Go also means jiva. Go means knowledge and vindaha means the one to be attained. The one who has to be attained through knowledge is govinda. Knowing the lord is attaining the lord. Arival adiayapada vendiyavan is govindan. This is a fact as you cannot attain the lord because you are non-separate from the lord. Can a wave be separate from the water? Anything that is away from you can be attained? Iraivanai aridhale adaidhal.
Govindam Bhaja keep remembering the lord and pray and don’t waste your time in not knowing this. Aridhu aridhu manidarai pirappadhe aridhu. Human life is precious, the life we are living is precious and we don’t know how long we will live. Let this life be lived by having the proper disposition of the lord. So Bhaja govindam means may you know the lord. He keeps repeating this to make emphasis.
Nahi nahi rakshati (repeated twice) means that no protection is possible until you know the truth.