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Bhaja Govindam: Dukrunjkarane


Well-known member
IP1: What is Bhagavan or God known through Vedas and how it is different from the commonly understood definition that God is Omnipotent (limitless power), Omnipresent (pervades space and therefore everywhere), and Omniscient (limitless knowledge)

IP2: If God is considered Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient there is an established contradiction. If God knows what will happen, and decides to differently, he's not omniscient. If he knows and can't change it, he's not omnipotent.

R: The above definition of God is influenced by biblical religions. Bhagavan cannot be viewed through the lens of causality because causality implies God entity is bound by the fabric of space and time. Time itself is known to be an illusion even by the scientific research. For reference see the thread from this post onwards.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=19604&p=312582#post312582

The knowledge portion of Vedas teach, not preach, an understanding (not belief) of Bhagavan that does not have the above contradiction. Vedanta, teaches that Time is not real as well and science has finally come into alignment in such a way that this truth even touches our life almost on a daily basis.

IP3: What does it mean to say time is an illusion and how is it getting validated in my day today life?

R: Time seem to be universal and flows in one direction for all of us. It seems to be a concrete thing that affects all our life from our understanding of birth to death. Even a computer needs a clock for its precise actions. Yet the entire notion of time experienced by us is not real

IP1: How can you say that? If we did not have a common view of time, not a single thing can happen

R: We are all in the same 'reference' and have a common experience of time. But searching for truth via Science in modern times or by Vedantic revelations of Rishis, there are proofs that time is not needed to describe reality in Physics and that time itself is a myth (falsehood) as per Vedantic teaching. There was a discussion about examples from special relativity in this post below. There are Youtube links in that post that may be watched for more clarity.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=28768&page=2&p=323870#post323870

IP2: Is there an example that can be understood more easily?

R: The cited thread was describing how Time as an entity is NOT an absolute entity and is based on what is known as Special Relativity. There is an example from General Relativity that we can understand a bit more easily as to how it touches our lives. Time is known to go faster closer to earth than away from the earth due to the effect of the gravitational pull of earth. In other words an atomic clock will go faster on earth than on a satellite. This has nothing to do with the mechanism of how the atomic or any other clock is designed. It is just that time goes faster. So someone in a space station for 6 months would have aged less by few seconds than a person on earth. The GPS (Global Positioning System) in our phone that helps us to navigate through apps like Google Maps has to take into account the fact that time in the satellite is going slower compared to earth. By receiving signals from these satellites (3 or more) and by triangulation the exact location of a phone is determined that helps to navigate using Google Maps for example.

That is an example where if the correction were not applied the whole maps app cannot work properly.

R: Bottom line is that Time is not absolute and hence not real. Space is related to Time as an opposite according to Sri Sankara. Also in the Pancha Boothas that are defined we have space but not Time. If Time is an illusion, space-time is an illusion , then the whole discussion of causality is an illusion. And Bhagavan cannot be bound by causality since the concept of Causality, Time and Space arises by his/her power. All the more reason it is best not to go by definition of God in terms of biblical beliefs but learn Bhagavan through the teachings of the Sruthi (Vedas) which in this case are the Upanishads

IP3: Are these details based on your attending classes?

R: I did not attend any classes on the topic area such as Bhja Govindam. If one is studying Vedanta with Sri Sankara Bhashyam with qualified teachers for more than a decade and if one has formally studied Physics and Engineering, then it is easy to see the truth of a verse. I present this in my own style but obviously anything I describe as truth are not my own. If I had misinterpreted something despite the training then it will be my fault and I can be corrected. Knowingly I am not stating anything that is not the truth and can be independently verified by qualified experts.

Note: I plan to post once every one or two weeks and it may take several months for the thread to be complete. I have received feedback to keep these relatively short and will try to do so thereby increasing the number of posts. We will examine, misconceptions about seeking Govinda, the meaning of Moodamathe in depth, examine why Bhaja Govindam is described three times and its implications, the meaning of nihite kale, and Dukrunjkarane. I plan to discuss what it means to follow the teachings of this first verse and conclude. So that is the road map.


Well-known member
Dear Mr tks:

I have some questions at this point. We see many books and blogs taking Physics, Puranas, and our scriptures to see parallels. Some seem to want to prove our Puranas & scriptures (like upansishad) are right by trying to use Science to prove its correctness. Is that really a right thing to do? Is that what you are doing when you talk about Time experienced by us is not real?

I do enjoy reading the thread since it is logically progressing


Well-known member
Dear Mr tks:

I have some questions at this point. We see many books and blogs taking Physics, Puranas, and our scriptures to see parallels. Some seem to want to prove our Puranas & scriptures (like upansishad) are right by trying to use Science to prove its correctness. Is that really a right thing to do? Is that what you are doing when you talk about Time experienced by us is not real?

I do enjoy reading the thread since it is logically progressing

Human mind works by seeing parallels and opposites when such things do not exist, all the while missing the very truth, which is the only entity that is real and shines in the mind enabling cognition. It is not surprising that there are books and blogs seeing connection that do not exist and missing the real essence of both Science and Vedanta.

Some of the puranic stories still retain their significance in explaining the basic truths taught in the Upanishads but the content of those stories have nothing to do with Science. Human mind can imagine all kinds of connections which is both a blessing and a curse.

Upanishads are the knowledge sections of Vedas and Vedas as a whole are referred to as Sruthi (श्रुति) since it is heard and passed on. These are considered timelessly true and do not have known origins. The truths can be independently validated by anyone but the method of validation is not what one is used to. The Upanishads not only teach the truths but they include a methodology & process to learn. That is why proper learning with properly qualified teacher is essential,

Smruthi (स्मृति) scriptures are those that are products of human effort and as such as are remembered based on memory. They could be considered as particular application of Sruthi in a given space/time context. Smruthi has to be aligned with Sruthi for it to be considered valid. When contexts change a Smruthi scriptures may get deprecated meaning replaced with newer scriptures that are more fitting the context.

The knowledge portions of the Vedas, names Upanishads, deal with both relative and absolute truths. It is Shruthi.
Science including fundamental search for reality may be considered as Smruthi and as such it cannot be used to validate Sruthi. Besides it only deals with uncovering relative truths and falsehoods only. A group of scientists observe the world, hypothesize a theory, attempt to validate the relative truth with respect to an observer and continually refine the understanding based on results of validation.

The Shruthi deals with the absolute truth which does not have an opposite and it includes the truth of the observer, observed and the means of observation. As such it includes all the relative truths and relative falsehoods and all the pairs of opposites.

The absolute truths cannot be understood by human mind while Smrithis including Science is a product of human intellect and understood by human mind.

For all these reasons it will not make sense to try to explain the truths of Upanishads using science. Such an effort shows lack of comprehension of science or Upanishads or both.

Having said this one may have two questions.

  1. I have cited references of articles from Scientific American in my posts and does that mean I attempted to explain the correctness of Sruthi using latest theories of Science. The short answer is NO.
We live in a world of space, time and causality. Science is in search of truth - relative truth and while Vedanta is NOT science , it is about Science. There is an intersection in understanding by mind when it comes to knowing the nature of Time, Space and relative Reality. In this context, my posts have been to show that Science is getting caught up with some of the teachings of Sruthi at this fundamental level. Time as an appearance or illusion has been long known to ancient Rishis and today's Physics has finally proved it using the best of human intellect. There is a book ( The order of Time) published in 2018 by an Italian Theoretical Physicist by name Carlo Rovelli that is written for lay person. He asks questions such as 'Do we exist in Time or does Time exist in us' etc.

Wave particle duality, as a model of understanding in the study of Quantum mechanics, is but an example of how the reality at the most basic level ( as understood by mind via Science) is Anirvachaneeyam (that is it cannot be described).

  1. Are the teachings of the Upanishads of any use in advancing Science?
Anyone that has understood the truth as expounded by the Upanishads will go into silence. A few out of their Prarabdha may offer some clues but that is rare. There is but one example. For that see the post below


The thoughts expressed in my posts are not my beliefs or opinions unless I preface it so. The levels of Physics may be advanced but the references cited and language used here primarily is at a lay person level. All one needs as a way of prerequisites is incessant curiosity to know, commitment to knowing the (relative) truth and attention span. These posts are not for flybys who will get bored quickly and lose interest.

One that satisfies the basic prerequisites regardless of their educational background can verify and validate what is written here.

Study of science is nothing but an expression of Maya. As one gets an understanding they discover thousand more things that they do not understand.
We have models after models and some contradict the earlier models. There are theories that say there is no blackholes or there was never a big bang. So the study will go on and it has its value.

One must not conclude that study of Sruthi is superior to study of Science. At one level all knowledge is nothing but expression of Isvara and there is nothing low or high about any of these. A given knowledge is correct for a given objective.

There are maps of the entire universe in the study of cosmic radiations pointing to a possible big-bang explosion some 13.5 billion years ago. That map is useless if I wanted to go visit a friend's place in Delhi for example. A map of Delhi is superior for that objective and map of the universe is useless. Similarly the purpose of Sruthi (knowledge section ) is to answer the question of liberation which comes to understanding "what is the knowledge by which every other knowledge is known"

Reference: See this post

For all other studies and for our day today living, we need Science and Technology.

This post is kind of a digression from the original topic but I wanted to answer the reasons behind the questions fully.


Well-known member
IP1: All these discussions about seeking Govinda as revealed in the Vedas is getting complicated. A simple person, say a vendor in the street selling fruits cannot be expected to learn all these in order to worship Govinda.

IP2: Sri Krishna says to simply surrender onto him letting go of all Dharmas and that he will protect us from all the Papas. That is an easier message to understand.

IP3: Going to temple and doing a Puja or recite a sloka or sing a song about the Lord while facing the deity is so much easier.

R: The idea is not about what is easier but what is effective for a given goal. Going to temple and doing various rituals is a wonderful thing and is a great start. But it cannot be the end which will become clear later. As we grow in maturity and wisdom and our third eye of wisdom opens up, our relationships with temple/deities will change and we can still benefit by going to temples.

Surrender is not an emotion or a ritual though those are great first steps. Emotions are short lived, and surrender in its truest sense based on how Sri Krishna describes is timeless which therefore cannot be based on an emotion that is but transient.

Seeking Govinda is not just about an intellectual pursuit. In fact intellect is a major impediment though intellect can help in removing all wrong notions about truth which itself is an outgrowth of this intellect. There is a thread that tried to articulate some of the false notions of truth that are prevalent.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=34594&p=369263#post369263

The idea of helping a vendor who is selling fruits is presumptuous at best. One can help but one must be qualified to help. To be qualified one has to cured of ignorance. Also the same limitless divinity expresses in all beings and hence the vendor is capable of understanding Govinda without any special intellect. The language of understanding Govinda is all about the language of the Hrudayam which is all about 'Love without opposite'. Even Sri Krishna in B. Gita does not advocate emotional Bhakthi and in Chapter 2 itself he introduces the basics of Karma Yoga soon after Sankya yoga which is all about Jnana. Chapter 12 in B. Gita is not about emotional or intellectual Bhakthi.

Let me share a personal story that I may have shared earlier in another thread some years ago. I was waiting to meet someone near Kabali temple at Mylapore. There was a young lady who wanted to sell me flowers and I told her that I had already been to the temple. I told her I can buy some flowers but she has to offer to the lord since I will have no time. I was willing to give her some money and she would not take it since she will not have the ability to go the temple. Also she did not want a handout. She has had a tragic life with a husband who used to beat her and eventually died young due to drinking too much. She had two children to feed and send to school. Yet she was cheerful and explained that selling the flowers was fulfilling to her since it was making people happy. She did not complain about her life at all. She then opened some snack with nuts and she shared half of it with me. I took it and continued conversing as I was learning how she was viewing life. Here is a person who does not know the meaning of Karma yoga but was closer to living the teaching. She had a cheer and love overall even in the tough market of negotiations. She can possibly teach about seeking Govinda by the example of her life to many so called intellectuals who are the real Moodas. A Mooda is not a fool and let us delve into what the word actually conveys

IP1: These discussions require intellect. How can intellect be dismissed as not important

R: The more intellectual we are, more wrong notions we have about truth. All knowledge acquired by perception and conception teaches relative truths. When one has many ideas and have wrong notions of the only thing that matters which is the absolute truth, the best way to dispel wrong notions is by the use of intellect itself. Someone who has studied Science may feel as if there is no Bhagavan. For such a person Science has to be used to show what a right definition of Bhagavan can be and why seeking that Bhagavan is not a choice. In the end human beings lack the knowledge of the language of the heart which is LOVE (one without an opposite). No amount of intellect or lack of intellect can help with learning the language of the heart. Before further discussion along these lines it is important to understand the word Moodamathe in depth.

To be continued..


Well-known member
IP1: Why should one seek Govinda (Bhagavan as taught by the vedas)

IP2: The prescription of seeking / Serving Govinda is addressed to one who is described as Moodmate. So if such a person is not a fool who does it refer to

IP3: Can we all be considered Moddmate since it seem to be addressed to all of us

R: Yes, the word applied to all of us. Let us see the grammatical meaning of this word first

मूढमते (Moodathe) is a compund word (called Samasa). It is special case of भहुव्रीहि: (Bhahuvreehi) Samasa. Breaking the word yields
मूढा मति: यस्य स: मूढमति:. This word when used to address (Sambodhana case - सम्बोधन प्रथमाविभक्ति:) becomes मूढमते (Moodathe)

It describes one who is deluded. Here we are not talking about psychological delusion wherein help of a therapist is needed. Delusion in this context refers to the nature of mind that sees what is not there and does not see what is there as reality. That is but one simple definition.

Delusion may not be the best translation since the word Mooda cannot be properly translated in English. The English dictionary describes delusion as "an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder"

The dictionary definition will mean that a person with deluded mind will need the help of a therapist or a psychiatrist. We will soon see that the entire humanity falls into the definition of Moodamathe. So we are all delusionally normal people and those that are delusionally dilutional will need to see a psychiatrist.

IP1: How do I know I am deluded?

IP2: Are we all born deluded?

R: Yes, we are all born deluded. Sri Krishna explicitly says in Chapter 7, verse 27 as follows.

इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत ।
सर्वभूतानि संमोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप ॥ २७ ॥

(Not providing transliteration)

Essential Translation of the verse is as follows.

Oh Bharatha (referring to Arjuna ), all beings due to delusion (Moha) of the opposites (found in this universe), go into total delusion in this world.

In other words this delusion is there from the birth in this creation. The fact that the world appears with pairs of opposites is not the problem. It is indeed our mind that is deluded by having likes and dislikes to the pairs of opposites. Some may view life as a series of experience of success and failures leading to pleasure and pain.

Without properly understanding this delusion in detail it is not possible to correctly seek the Lord, Govinda.

Again Govinda is not necessarily the name of Sri Krishna but more generally as Bhagavan as understood with the help of the Vedas. As a starting point one can take Govinda as the Sri Krishna of Srimad Bhagavatham and begin the act of worship in whatever form that one can relate to. It is only a starting point and not the ending point. Many of us doing Sandhyavandhanam can relate to this part - (Providing English transliteration only since people reading this can relate to it)

"Akashath Pathitham Thoyam Yatha Gacchathi Sagaram|
Sarva Deva Namskaraha Sri Keshavam Prathi Gacchathi||"

The above was translated by Swami Vivekananda in his first ever Chicago Address - "As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee."

Prayer is a starting point to acknowledge that this delusion, which is also referred to as ignorance, is from the birth. In fact, we cannot take responsibility for this ignorance.

(Next several posts will be about this delusion in detail so that we can understand how we all are under its spell. In other words we do not have to just take the word of Sri Krishna in the verse quoted about but can indeed understand in depth how this ignorance rules our life)


Well-known member
IP3: If this delusion, namely seeing as reality what is not there and seeing what is not there as reality, is basic there must many more references besides B. Gita? Are there more recent examples described by great saints?

R: In Akshara Mani Mala, Sri Ramana Maharishi places the blame of our inherent delusion squarely on the Bhagavan Arunachala ( refers to none other than Govinda when the term Bhagavan is understood correctly). Verse 12 of the Mani Mala says the following.

Oruvanaam unnai olithavar varuvaar,
Un chootheyidhu, Arunachala

ஒருவனா முன்னை யொளித்தெவர் வருவா
ருன்சூ தெயுது வருணாசலா

Meaning: Oh Arunachala, How can I reach you , Appear before me, it is only your deceit, Oh Bhagavan that I am not able to see the reality that is you.

The main point to note is that delusion is inherent in our birth and Ramana Maharishi 'blames' the Lord for this delusion.

There is one more example from Sri Rudram. Anyone that chants or has heard this chanting will recall this line

वञ्चते परिवञ्चते स्तायूनां पतये नमो नमो

The meaning is : Namskaram to the One (referring to Rudra) who is an occasional cheater, who cheats all the time and who is the God of those who steal remaining close by.

Incidentally I realized that I had raised this verse earlier with a set of questions but never answered it. This thread is a good place to do so.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/rudram-and-chamakam.35711/page-2#post-383266

Lord has robbed the truth of our true self from us by giving us this delusion. Hence he is called a cheat. By this cheating act, we are left with suffering as a samsari with worldly and useless desires haunted by insecurities and fear of death. I do not want to get distracted in trying to fully explain my understanding of this verse but the main idea here is that this delusion is not due to our doing. Karma Phala may be due to our doing but all Karma including religious Karmas take place in the web of this ignorance.

A mind that is obsessed with likes and dislikes cannot know the truth even if it is staring right in our face. We cannot get rid of this likes and dislikes just by power of will.
We need to bring Bhagavan into our life to get past this ignorance. This Bhagavan is NOT a concept though initially it is perfectly fine to use an image with an associated Puranic story as a starting point. If it remains a concept even after decades it only show the power of ignorance with its associated delusion. But it need not be daunting task as will be unfolded when we dig deeper into this Bhajagovindam verse.

IP1: If I have to bring Bhagavan into my life, I have to believe in this Bhagavan which is the basic thesis of dualists .
IP2: It is a basis of belief of Visishtadwaithins also.

R: So long one is under this spell of delusion or ignorance then we cannot really understand the Absolute Truth. Calling oneself Advitin (a label) shows lack of understanding. The first step is to acknowledge and understand this delusion which is the key characteristics of a Jiva. To the extent there is an empirical reality of a Jiva who feels limited and caught in the fabric of space & time, there is a reality of Bhagavan also which is limitless in all aspects. In other words, Jiva and Bhagavan appear together much like the two birds in the tree of Samsara described in the Mundakopanishad. For a jiva to overcome this delusion, the jiva has to surrender to Bhagavan. Without brining Bhagavan into one's life it is not possible to fulfill the main objective of a human existence.

To believe in Bhagavan is to deny Bhagavan. So this is not about belief but about understanding as taught in the knowledge portion of the Vedas. How one goes about getting this understanding is beyond the scope of this discussions. The first step is to want to seek and serve Govinda as all costs. On this first step can be more discussions.

IP3: Are you under delusion? How can you talk about getting out of delusion if you have not experienced it? Are you just parroting a handed down idea?

R: I am under delusion like everyone else. The first step of progress is to categorically know about this delusion and its manifestation. That has enabled me to appreciate this vision in deep meditation. Now getting out of delusion is NOT an experience contrary to popular notions. If it is an experience it will be another object of thought which has nothing to do with the power that enabled that cognition in the first place. Words cannot be used to describe the absolute truth which can be referred to as Govinda. If anyone said they know Govinda, that itself would reveal ignorance (Reference: Kenopanishad verses)

नाहं मन्ये सुवेदेति नो न वेदेति वेद च |
यो नस्तद्वेद तद्वेद नो न वेदेति वेद च ||२||

यस्यामतं तस्य मतं मतं यस्य न वेद सः |
अविज्ञातं विजानतां विज्ञातमविजानताम् ||३||

Verse 2: I do not think 'I know it well' . But not that I do not know, I know too. Who among us comprehend It both as 'not known' and as 'known' - he comprehends it

Verse 3: He understands It who comprehends It not! and he understands It not who feels he has comprehended It. It is unknown to the Master of True Knowledge but to the ignorant It is known

With my ignorance intact, I can say that in moments of deep meditation (Nidhindhyasanam) I have basically found myself lost in total dark silence like in deep sleep except that there was total alertness. I do not know if that is progress or my imagination. There is a feeling of love and contentment that I reflected later after meditation much like saying I had slept really well. But these efforts (not experiences) have convinced me of the basic truths that the Upanishad unfolds.
So it started with handed down wisdom and with the help of the texts and properly qualified Guru my conviction is higher. But this is a timeless journey where there is no path but that I am told I already have reached the destination but just do not know that due to ignorance !


Well-known member
IP1 : When did this delusion start?

R: It started when one wakes up in the morning from deep sleep. Before that the delusion was present when we went to sleep. One can trace this delusion all the way to birth

IP2: What about before our birth

R: This ignorance or delusion was present when we were in our mother's womb

IP3: Before that ?

R: If you believe in the Karma model, then it was there in your prior lives. Regardless of the model of birth and death one believes in, this ignorance whose manifestation is delusion has no beginning. It can have an ending though but only in a human birth

IP1: It seems ironic that human being feel superior that only they can get rid of this ignorance

R: This has nothing to do with superiority. Every being in this universe (or multiverse) is blessed with certain attributes. Human body is most fragile and is useless for anyone unless one chooses to donate their organs. Our physical strengths are minimal compared to many beings in the universe. But we are endowed with the faculty of wisdom that can help with ending this ignorance once and for all. But almost all human beings will end up wasting this human life by the effect of this phantom called ego. There is a discussion about this in the forum

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/guru-poornima-an-attempt-to-initiate-a-scholarly-discussion.26369/#post-312626

IP1: Are there examples of delusion in our day today life so one can relate better to what this delusion is

IP2: The examples need to be applicable to all human beings, if this delusion is truly universal

R: This delusion is like the 'Original Sin' of the Christian faith. One has to seek/serve Govinda for Moksha. Going to any loka including heaven or Vaikunta or Sivaloka will not remove this fundamental ignorance. In terms of beliefs Hindus have this idea of many heavens and hells. The highest of the Loka is called Satya Loka. If one were to be fortunate to 'go there' with all the accumulated Punyam one will be taught by Brahma ji the knowledge required to remove this ignorance. Those who are unable to fall when Punya runs out. All Lokas themselves will end before another cycle of seeming creation. So even in this model it is not easy to let go of this delusion. We will see that understanding and Seeking Govinda is the only answer.

IP1 : It is strange from a religious person's point of view that going to heaven is not the ultimate goal of a religious person's life

IP2: In fact all religions including Hindu religion has all kinds of rituals so that one can attain the heaven after death. Some faith may call such a place Vaikunta or Sivaloka.

IP3: Is it not true that seeking and worshiping Govinda is no different than reaching heaven to merge with Bhagavan? Many acharyas may preach this.

R: One has to fully understand what is a Moodmathe to fully understand the antidote of seeking Govinda. One thing that Upanishads teach unequivocally is that heaven is but a temporary place. Mundakopanishad (Chapter 1, section 2, verse 10) verse is as follows

इष्टापूर्तं मन्यमाना वरिष्ठं
नान्यच्छ्रेयो वेदयन्ते प्रमूढाः ।
नाकस्य पृष्ठे ते सुकृतेऽनुभूत्वेमं
लोकं हीनतरं वा विशन्ति ॥ १०॥

Translation: These Pramoodaha (ignorant or deluded) people regard charitable and sacrificial acts (such as Vedic rituals) as most important, while not knowing any other way to Aananda ( Shreyaha), They reach heaven which is the place of pleasure only to enter again into this (earth) or even inferior worlds.

It will require the help of commentaries of Sri Sankara to fully understand the implications of the above verse. For now it is sufficient to say that reaching any Loka cannot remove this fundamental ignorance. Death cannot cure it, and future births cannot help. Only birth of a human form can provide a framework to get past this delusion.

IP1: What are examples of delusion that we can recognize in our lives.

R: Let us go from esoteric delusion to more common form of delusion. An example of esoteric delusion is our delusion about space and time being absolute. Careful examination be it Physics or Upanishads can let us understand these are truly not absolute. One has to think if space and time is in us, meaning in our mind or we are in the web of space-time. A verse in Srimad Bhagavatam makes this esoteric analysis more real to drive home the point that, as human beings we are burdened by our psychological past defined by memory of regrets in our life. We fear psychological future due to our inherent insecurity caused by ignorance of the Truth. We think we are living in the present but our mind only oscillates between psychological past and Psychological future. This was discussed at length.

Reference to this specific post : https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/root-cause-of-human-bondage.27307/#post-263637

Another Reference of prior discussions about time is this specific post: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/veda-as-brief-history-of-time.19604/#post-317247

IP2: Are there less esoteric examples ?

R: Yes, to be continued


Well-known member
IP3: Are there simple questions that upon answering one would know they are deluded?

R: Yes. Ask yourselves the following set of questions. If the answer is Yes to any of them, then you are deluded

Do you think you were born on a given day that you call your birthday?
Do you believe you will die one day?
Are you afraid of anyone or anything in this world and are you afraid of death?
In your mind do you define yourself with attributes like your profession, education and accomplishments? Does it include your gender, national and religious identities?
Do you think you are happy sometimes?
Do you think you are sad sometimes?
Do you have a sense of security or insecurity by your possessions such as your bank accounts, your investments, and your house?
Do you think you are related to select people in your life you call friends and relatives ?
Do you feel attached to your son/daughter, your mother/father

If you answered Yes to any of these you are deluded. Each one of these can be proved to be a delusion but it will take enormous effort. Rather than prove each and every one of the above cases, it is possible to take one example and analyze it fully to show it is delusion.

Our mind, as an instrument, enables cognition of the objects in the consciousness due to the power of Bhagavan. Therefore Bhagavan cannot be one more object that can be cognized by the mind. The entire linguistic world of languages, which can only describe what mind can understand, cannot therefore describe Bhagavan or the absolute truth.

However, the mind is capable of doing one thing well and that is to know what is false. So it is possible to understand a delusion when explained fully.

IP3: It is hard to imagine anyone not saying Yes to any of those questions above.

R: Indeed yes, that is why we are all operating with deluded mind. And the verse when we chant is really addressing our own deluded mind as Moodamathe. The prescription to go beyond this delusion is of course seeking Govinda.

IP1: May be we do not need a prescription. Perhaps I can stay deluded, enjoy life and pass away. If I have another life I will not know my past lives anyway and so who cares?

IP2: Who knows what is going to happen. My religion tells me to surrender and I know I will reach God after death because I have surrendered. But then may be the idea of surrender may be yet another delusion :)

R: The issue of deluded life is that it is filled with sorrow and sadness sprinkled with times of ephemeral pleasures that are transient at best. When a pleasure cycle is over it is followed by sorrow. In fact most of the time there is sorrow dotted with occasional moments of pleasure.

The cycles of birth and death will continue both being painful experience. Going to heaven is like having a temporary vacation. To get the next human birth will require enormous number of births. See one of the references cited in earlier posts for a compelling argument as to why human birth is precious, being that it is the only one that is endowed with Viveka.

Reference to this specific post: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/guru-poornima-an-attempt-to-initiate-a-scholarly-discussion.26369/#post-312626

A person that does not use his/her viveka is called a Krupanaha ( a miser and wretched person) by Sri Krishna.

Reaching Govinda is synonymous with getting past the delusions.

IP3: Can we take one item and do a deep-dive to expose why it is a delusion so our mind can really understand it? I have seen my children being born. I have every reason to believe that I was born in a given day that my parents have said. In today's world it will be possible to have videos of births. So we have concrete evidence of birth beyond the words of one's parents. In what way is that a delusion?

R: Will be continued after taking up few more examples of other kinds of delusions beyond the ones alluded to in the list of questions.


Well-known member
R: Before taking one item for deep dive, let us delve into few more of examples of delusions of slightly different kind. Here are some statements, and see if your answer is Yes in which case you are deluded.

1. Do you believe that there is a God listening and will reward you for what you need and ask. Such a Bhagavan is not possible as expressed in this Brahma Sutra which is

ॐ वैष्यम्यनैर्घृण्ये न सापेक्षत्वात्तथा हि दर्शयति ॐ ॥ २.१.३५॥

The above translates as
Partiality and cruelty cannot be ascribed to Isvara on account of His taking into consideration other reasons (e.g., Dharma, Adharma, etc.). No one can alter the divine order of this phenomenological universe simply because they offered prayer to a deity because even if such a deity existed as one in charge of the cosmos it cannot alter the divine order. Prayer can have a consequence which cannot be attributed to current events necessarily. This is not to discourage prayers because prayers can help calm one's mind that will enable one to deal with a given situation with maturity. But if you believe that there is a God listening to your prayers and rituals in order to provide what you desire that is a form of delusion.

2. Do you believe there is an objective world in place when you were born, that will continue when you die.

3. Do you believe that this universe has things and objects that can be classified as living and non-living

4. Do you believe that there is a place called heaven / hell. Do you feel that you have to keep on earning Punyam by rituals and doing some good deeds to assure your place in heaven after death

5. Do you find happiness, however momentary, in acquisition

6. Do you feel you are here to evolve all the time from prior births? Do you think that this evolution is accomplished by all that you do in this earth?

The above are but more examples of delusions.

The biggest delusion of all is the notion that one is identified as one's body. It is possible to say after reading some notes about Vedanta documents and proclaim that "I am not my body" but our experience and behavior shows that indeed we are committed to our body as our identity. This delusion is so deep and fundamental that it is not possible to shake that off. We see others as bodies too when we notice someone as ugly or beautiful or have any other kind of judgment.

This delusion and ignorance is described repeatedly in all major scriptures. Sometimes one comes across beautiful metaphors such as in Moksha Dharma Parva (Chapter 12 Shanti Parva) of Mahabharatha. One is a tree metaphor not to be confused with the tree metaphor used in Chapter 15 of B. Gita (which comes from Kathopanishad).

In a story within a story, there is a dialog between Shuka and Vyasa. Let me quote a few verses of this metaphor

हृदि कामद्रुमश चित्रॊ मॊहसंचय संभवः
करॊधमानमहास्कन्धॊ विवित्सा परिमॊचनः
तस्य चाज्ञानम आधारः परमादः परिषेचनम
सॊ ऽभयसूया पलाशॊ हि पुरादुष्कृत सारवान

Meaning: The desire in our mind is likened to that of a tree. This tree is born due many types of delusions with deep anger and ego (pride) as its limbs. Coveting is its water source. The entire tree's root is ignorance and inadvertence is the one that sustains it as its water source. Its leaves are jealousy and its sap is strong due to bad deeds of past lives. The metaphor goes on for some more verses to point to the fact that ignorance at its root has to be severed by the axe of knowledge, vairagya and sense of equanimity towards all beings,

There is a vicious cycle here which starts with deep rooted ignorance which is inherent in this birth. That leads to likes and dislikes because one is striving to feel full and complete by trying to chase desires and avoid what we perceive as pain. This reaction gets embedded as memory that can transcend birth and death as Vasanas. These Vasanas determine our reaction to pairs of opposites found in this phenomenological universe.

That leads us to do actions to achieve our desires while dealing with the fear of insecurities. Within the model of Karma our actions are driven by Karma Phala of past karmas which in turn produces new Punya and Papa Karmas. These Karmas which can never be exhausted and hence lead to another life and this cycle of birth and death continues forever. In the meanwhile the delusion remains intact. The vicious cycle can only be stopped by killing the root cause which is what that metaphor above of the tree illustrates.

Due to accumulated Punya one may get human birth after say trillions of lives, only to while it all away getting back to cycles of birth and death. The next birth most likely will not be a human birth unless one is on the right path in this life.

The first step towards Moksha which is synonymous with seeking / serving Govinda is to acknowledge that this deep rooted ignorance has to be killed to kill this vicious cycle. It is not as daunting as it may appear because to kill something it has to be real. This delusion is not real and can disappear very easily.

We do not kill darkness, the light (of knowledge) makes that non-existent.

IP1: How does one shake off the idea that 'I am not this body"

R : Will be continued


Well-known member
Continuing the conversation ..

IP2: What does it mean to say 'I am not my body'. In fact it would be better to say I am this body and mind since it seems so real.

IP3: Is denial the right thing to do. It seems so pessimistic. I see all these people, I see myself and it is all real to me. Telling me that all these is unreal, and I am not this body seems silly to me

R: If one wants to know the truth, we have to set aside our immediate perceptions and have to be objective. The field of Science strives to be objective by insisting on a scientific method that requires full justification by reason and experimentation for any hypothesis that is put forth.

So let us see what Science asserts about what this body is all about. In other words we need a Divya sakshu (divine vision) much like what Arjuna was blessed with by Sri Krishna. Science with its experimentation and models provide us with this divine vision for us leading to better understanding

IP1: Can Microscope serve as an aid to get this vision?

R: We can start with the microscope. When we see any object with our eyes we cannot see what the object is made up of. If we look at our hand we do not see limitless number of bacteria and living cells. These cells are constantly dividing, and old ones die away.

Here is a copy and paste from my post in the thread on Sandhyavandanam and Nitkaykarma thread

"We tend to think that we are exclusively a product of our own cells, upwards of ten trillion of them. But the microbes we harbor add another 100 trillion cells into the mix. The creature we admire in the mirror every morning is thus about 10 percent human by cell count.

Altogether an average adult’s commensal microbes weigh about three pounds, roughly as much as the human brain. And while our 21,000 or so human genes help make us who we are, our resident microbes possess another eight million or so genes, many of which collaborate behind the scenes handling food, tinkering with the immune system, turning human genes on and off, and otherwise helping us function.

In other words, our body and specifically our intestines function as a planet to an entire species of microbes making upwards of several trillions of Jivas. In fact if one were to look at earth, we will not find that many creatures and diversity of creatures. These microbes that help with our survival and our demise call our body as their planet.

Our own DNA variety pales in comparison to diversity of these organisms which may have come from space and have colonized our body from time immemorial. A child in the uterus is not exposed to any of these organisms except during child birth when our mother gifts us with these colonies of microbes. These enter into our system and grow over time and their colony is expanded by our other actions as babies. The microbes that entered and colonized our body enable our very survival.

Even our cells are constantly exchanging atoms with the universe as we eat, breath and excrete. In fact there are some estimates that claims that our body may have replaced all our cells in a span of seven years. In other words the body that we think we possess is but an iteration of what we used to have. "

So imagine, this body if viewed with powerful vision of scientific analysis and direct experimentation. We find that this body is not static. It is buzzing with activity of trillions of other beings (microbes) that call this body their planet.

It is estimated that twice a day our intestinal linings are refreshed and in 7 years every one of our cells are replaced.

When we were 'conceived' in our mother's womb we may think our body was single cell and then with food, water and air we may think this body we call our body is built. But that is not the right model.

In fact the original cell divided and many more divisions and all those cells from childhood are long gone and merged with the rest of the universe. What we have as our body are cells recreated with memory of all the diseases intact within the last several years. Our inability to see what is going on with our eyes is why we are deluded into thinking this body is ours. But it is a system like a planet belonging to trillions of Jivas while this planet itself is violently changing every nano seconds with many jivas dying and new one's born.

So there is this phantom of ego that may say 'this is my body' but it is false.

Let us look at beyond the cellular model of the living organisms.

To be continued


Well-known member
IP2: What is beyond cellular level model of a living organism

R: The cells are made up of molecules. A protein structure may be made up from few to hundreds of thousand atoms. These molecules exchange messages that are both chemical and electrical. It is as if there is an underlying software operating without any control by anyone. In other words chemical messages, production of protein etc. all happen like clockwork without our expressed consent in what we call our body. This is all universal intelligence expressed in this body since body is part of nature

IP1: Is there any difference between the term intelligence and intellect?

R: Indeed, yes. Anything is nature reveals intelligence which includes this body. The intellect is ability of our mind to process information and it is affected by this phantom called 'sense of doer-ship' sometimes translated as ego. Intellect is never perfect and can never lead to reaching Govinda. Intelligence is perfect and it is for us to sense that since it is pervasive in nature. Let us get back to the discussion about other models of this body we call our body.

To go beyond cellular level understanding we need more sophisticated microscopes and models to aid our vision.

So, the body is supposedly made up cells of all kinds including bacteria etc. that are made up of atoms. The cells are not the ultimate building blocks since they are made up of atoms. But cell is a unit that can exhibit signs of life. But that life as we saw earlier is not just our DNA based life form, but this body is made up of trillions of other bacteria as beings. But the body of all these are made up of atoms.

No one has seen an atom directly though between observations and models we have an idea. What is surprising is that most of the atom is empty. In other words, in a simple model, an atom is modeled like a solar system with a nucleus in the center and electrons orbiting around. The distance between the nucleus and the electrons is unbelievably huge measured in the scale of radius of an electron. So, 99.999999% is all empty space in an atom.

This is assuming that the electron is thought of like a particle. However, electron does not behave like a particle and behaves like a wave. But for now, let us stick with the classical understanding of a model of an atom that does reveal that it is empty mostly in experiments.

If we look at our hand or 'our body' it is all empty. For that matter the atoms making up this earth is all empty too. The entire universe is empty and from an atomic perspective there is no boundary (like our so-called skin) between our body and that of outside. It is all in our head!

In fact, the Vedantic model of this body and this universe is that it is all seamlessly made up of this so called Panchaboothas. Somehow our sense organs give this idea of a solid body and solid earth etc. but it is all empty, but we have this illusion of a solid body.

One may want to study Pancheekkaranam by Sri Sankara with Sri Suresvaracharya's Vaarthika to get an idea of the model of Cosmology of the ancient sages. Science is finally catching up to this model of cosmogony in last 100 years or so. It has not fully caught up yet. In fact, the basis for the Vedantic model is sounder that today's cosmology and I am saying all this with formal background in the field.
Our Rishis did not have this model just for the sake of it. The purpose of a creation model if I can use that term is for one to reflect on the source of this seeming creation thereby getting us to meditate towards the ultimate reality that can liberate us from sorrow.

In contrast, the study of stars and galaxies in Science are undertaken just for the sake of mental curiosity. There may resultant technology that may be helpful but the basic reason for study have only to do with addressing mental curiosity.

Now coming back to understanding this body we find it is all empty which is why radio and other waves can pass through us.

Now this empty space of body & universe is not static. It is constantly exchanging the atoms with the universe at every trillionth of a second. In fact, a solid rock is 'melting' which is why one can have radioactive dating of a rock.

So, what is really my body? Does that include all this empty space? Where is the demarcation of my body from the rest of the universe because it is seamless and atoms are flowing back and forth?

When we go to a movie theater in one breath, we may have gathered atoms from every person in the theater and they all have the atoms we used to have.

So, this idea of my body is kind of a Phantom from the atomic model perspective and from the cosmic model of Vedanta as expounded in Pancheekaranam.

These atoms were made by neutron stars billion times bigger than sun over a period of millions of years several billion years ago. In other words, these atoms that make up our body were cooked by massive stars and they do not even remain within one body and shared across all beings including inanimate items.

For a lack of a better model we can say the atoms that transiently keeps the form of this body, we call our body, really belongs to Isvara.

Yet humans alone feel and act as if they are identified with 'their' body.

Our sense organs sense so little of the universe. Here is a set of messages to reflect on

  1. You can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1 % of the acoustic spectrum.
  2. As you read this, what you call your body is traveling at 220 kilometers per second across the galaxy.
  3. 90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you”.
  4. The atoms ¡n your body are 99.99999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star.
  5. Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato.
  6. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So, you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it.
  7. This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colors represent less than I % of the electromagnetic spectrum. The sky appears blue because of the limitations of our sense organs that sees only scattered light.

Next, we will go even deeper at nano and pico levels to understand this body we call our body

To be continued


Well-known member
(These discussions are aimed at a level of non-scientists only.)

IP3: What is beyond atomic level model of our body?

IP1: It was cells and molecules which are made up of atoms. So the next is to see what an atom is

R: Yes, the atom is not really a thing. No one has seen it. We have had indirect experiments and with the help of a model of understanding we are able to manipulate the atoms to the extent permitted by nature's laws. Now the atom in our body and in the universe is made up more fundamental particles like electron, proton, and neutron etc. These are extraordinarily small particles but with one difference. They don’t always behave as particles. The mental image we have of these are extremely tiny particles is that of a sand particle. But that mental image is wrong. It is just a play of the words that they are named particles because in some experiments they seem to behave like particles.

The only way to know about their existence in a scientific sense (not existence in a Vedantic sense) is to use instruments to observe them. But there is a kicker. The very instrument used to observe them interacts with what is being observed and becomes one single system.

In other words the subject (probe) that is used to reveal the object (like an electron) becomes one system and it is not possible to measure many factors precisely. This has nothing to do with limitation of instrumentation itself but dues to nature's laws only. If one can measure the position precisely then one cannot know it speed (momentum). If one can measure the momentum precisely then one cannot know what its position is.

Furthermore, the particle such as an electron behaves as if it is a wave. Again, this is not like a typical wave we see in an ocean where disturbance called wave appear to travel towards the shore. Those types of waves are well understood and have been modeled very well in mathematics in order to explain their behavior.

The act of naming particles as wave is because in some situations a mathematical form appears for its description which is that of a wave. This does not mean they are real waves as we physically understand them. They are waves in a space of probabilities and potentialities.

Just like an electron behaves like a wave, light wave behaves like a particle in some instances.

In other words, the basic building blocks of matter seem to of two kinds One kind is called matter particles (called Fermions which are electron, proton etc.) and the other kind is particles that seem to create appearance of force (called bosons).

Examples of fundamental forces include attraction between electron and proton and repulsion between two electrons. The very force of attraction and repulsion between two particles themselves are modeled as play of yet another particle/wave.

All these particles/waves behave as if they are waves in certain experiments and in others they reveal they are like particles. Nothing can be said definitively about them. This has nothing to do with our ability to model or to create instruments. The limitations are part of the very nature which does not reveal any further and reveals an uncertain status. A Vedantic term for this is Anirvachaneeyam.

This body and this universe which appears so real to us is seemingly made of entities that have no definitive status. This is an expression of what is termed Maya.

Anything that is Maya upon enquiry reveals an uncertain status of existence or altogether disappear on probing. The meaning of the word Maya is that which does not exist!

We started with body which does not exist but made up of cells. Upon analysis we find cells is a name for collection of molecules that are made up of atoms. The atoms is an assembly of wave/particles.

Now these particles as the building block of atom itself is not accurate since they themselves act as if they are made up of other entities called quarks. No one has an ultimate understanding on what is the ultimate building block. Some have claimed the unit may be a string vibrating in a multi-dimensional space like 5 or 26 etc :) But it is not accepted by many in the field.

We live in a three-dimensional space.

So what we call our body is made up of something that is indefinite and undefinable because nature cannot reveal anything concrete on probing. Yet the total assembly seem to be a package that seems very real.

A body of knowledge that deals with study of such small particles/waves is fancifully called Quantum Mechanics.

Here are some quotes from famous scientists who are some of the original architects of Quantum Mechanics.

  1. Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. Niels Bohr.
  2. Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it. Niels Bohr
  3. If you are not completely confused by quantum mechanics, you do not understand it. John Wheeler.
  4. Quantum mechanics makes absolutely no sense. Roger Penrose.
  5. It is safe to say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. Richard Feynman.

What these original architects of Quantum Mechanics are really saying is that the underlying reality of what we take as real is indeed baffling.

So what we take as our body, when analyzed using the Divya-sakshu (divine vision) of Science, reveals that it is made up of something that has no definiteness. Each level of analysis make the prior model non-existent.

We can continue asking what these wave/particles are made up of and it remains baffling so we can stop here.

Yet we take this body as real and 'MY BODY'. There is really no Body and yet we see a Body of our own. This is delusion at the most fundamental level. All other delusions derive from this delusion.

IP2: If “I am my Body and my Mind" is a delusion, so what? How does it affect our life?

R: With our identification of ourselves as this body, we live to worship the body. All our attachments, pleasure and pain are due to this identification. We do not see the truth of what is 'out there' which is indescribable according to Science. Yet we see this body as My body which is seeing what is not there. This is a delusion that is there from birth and cannot be shaken off even after all the analysis.

IP3: I do not want to die, I must feed the body when I am hungry.

R: When one says 'I am hungry' one is referring to the notion that I am the Body which has hunger and so I am hungry. The truth is, it is never your body. There is no body except it is an idea in the mind.

Since body and mind are in nature, the body will always get the food it needs. I often wonder how each of the creatures get their food. But they do because nature provides for the ongoing and seeming sustenance of the bodies of the universe.

Even if one does not understand or agree with these statements, the main point is that this delusion of 'I am my body and mind' is so deep rooted that it is the cause of all sufferings. All of sources of security such as our bank account, our house, our son, our daughter etc. are really concerns of the body and mind. But who we truly are cannot be separated from these concerns due to this deep rooted delusion leading to suffering and countless births and deaths.

IP1: Is there hope?

R: Yes, and it is all about 'Bhaja Govindam'. In the next post we can delve into why this phrase is said three times in the verse.


Well-known member
IP2: So where is the hope

R: Like most kinds of births, the human birth is very rare (one in zillion probability). Human beings are uniquely endowed with a curse and a blessing using language of religion due to lack of better expressions. The curse is sense of doer ship called Ahamkara often translated incorrectly as ego. The blessings is that human beings are endowed with Viveka, the ability for discriminatory thinking that can liberate one forever. The truth is that we all are likely to blow this opportunity. After several trillions births later we will have another chance. We are endowed with thinking faculty and a sense of wisdom. With that we can know false things as false. We can become firm in that understanding that this body I call my body is an illusion.

All other delusions mentioned earlier can all be understood as not real and derive from the basic delusion that we take ourselves as this body. In cremation grounds one may get 'smasana vairagya' or in certain hospitals one may get a 'hospital vairagya'. In those moments one may realize one cannot be this burning and/or this deteriorating body. We realize in those moments as to what is unreal.

Govinda which is Isvara as taught in the Veda is the only reality there is. Hence, we are told to seek and serve Govinda in the Bhajagovindam verse.

IP3: To seek or serve we need power or energy. Nothing can be sought without expenditure of energy.

R: We need power to seek anything. So we have to understand what power we are endowed with. Humans are endowed with the following three distinct powers
  • Power of action which includes speech. Underlying all of this is the universal Prana shakthi
  • Power of emotion - Emotive power. Underlying all this is the universal Icha shakthi (desire) that is considered cause of this universe in some models
  • Power of intellect and wisdom. Underlying this is the universal Jnana Shakthi
Hindu scriptures appeal to each of these powers as follows.
  • Karma / Rituals that leverages the power of action that includes power of speech,
  • Puranic/ Ithihasa stories to develop our emotive power with an initial sense of love and Bhakti towards Bhagavan
  • Upanishad/Gita/Brhama Sutra to develop our power of wisdom and intellect (Jnanashakthi)
This was discussed at length in this specific post below

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/talking-to-a-young-adult-about-ganesha-and-pantheons-of-hindu-gods-goddesses.27541/#post-327705

IP1: So the assertion to Seek & Serve Govinda three times implies leveraging all these three powers of humans?

R: That is one way of understanding the verse. More importantly it is necessary to understand how to leverage these three powers endowed to all humans. It is relatively straightforward to use our Prana shakthi. This means learning to say Bhaja Govindam properly with the right pronunciation. While there are no rules specified here, it is common sense that our body be clean when we choose to meditate the name of the Lord. Impure body cannot be conducive to seeking Govinda with sincerity. Often it is useful to do Pranayama (breathing exercise) to calm the mind and with physical cleanliness we can utter the name of the Lord with reverence.

IP2: Seeking Govinda as defined by Vedas mean, we have to study Vedas? That can be an endless activity

R: It is not necessary to study Vedas since we are at a starting point of study with Bhajagovindam being a Prakarana Grantha. For now we may start with the image of Bhagavan we currently have however it got shaped. It can be refined later but for now seeking has to be with all the powers endowed in us by Bhagavan. For a person who is agnostic, this means recognizing Bhagavan as the whole that enables the life forces to sustain in all beings. For example, it is the realization that none of us can exist without Prana shakthi and we commune with the whole each time we take a breath.

IP3: How does one seek Bhagavan using our emotive power?

R: While Puranic stories may provide a framework to develop an emotional Bhakthi, unfortunately that kind of Bhakthi alone cannot lead to resolving our delusions. This is because what we are seeking is relief from shackles of delusion forever and all emotional acts of Bhakthi being finite can never produce a result that is limitless. However emotional Bhakthi can be a great starting point but it cannot be the ending point.

IP1: If Puranic stories are not the only means, then what does it mean to seek Govinda using our emotive power?

R: Seeking Govinda and reaching Govinda is not about reaching a place called Heaven or be in the presence of a God person. It is about realizing that this delusion is unreal. For this our emotive mind has to cooperate, be available and be focused.

Tattvabodha has prescribed as pre-requisites how the mind can be available to pursue Govinda which is synonymous with attaining Moksha. For mind to be totally available and to leverage our emotive power in our pursuit of Govinda, the following six characteristics of the mind have to be developed.

These are offered as questions and answers. First question is to name the six characteristics.
Anyone with some exposure to Sanskrit will be able to follow the dialog below. Translation of the verses will be described also.

शमादिसाधनसम्पत्तिः का ?
शमो दम उपरमस्तितिक्षा श्रद्धा समाधानं च इति ।

शमः कः ?
मनो निग्रहः ।

दमः कः ?
चक्षुरादिबाह्येन्द्रियनिग्रहः ।

उपरमः कः ?
स्वधर्मानुष्ठानमेव ।

तितिक्षा का ?
शीतोष्णसुखदुःखादिसहिष्णुत्वम् ।

श्रद्धा कीदृशी ?
गुरुवेदान्तवाक्यादिषु विश्वासः श्रद्धा ।

समाधानं किम् ?
चित्तैकाग्रता ।

The above are the six fold characteristics to make our emotive power available fully to seek Govinda. Let us go over each of them.

शमादिसाधनसम्पत्तिः – Six-fold disciplines to attain accomplishments of the mind These are शमः, दमः, उपरमः, तितीक्षा, श्रद्धा, and समाधानम्. Now let us study their meaning.
  • शम - sama - Resolution of the mind, Be firm in our pursuit and not be distracted.
  • दम - dama - Even if our mind is resolved, our sense organs can lead us astray by their focus on sense pleasures. Sometimes one would have to control such distractions. This is about discipline to attain mastery over sense organs by sometimes denying what the 'mind-driven-sense-organs' are dictating. If one has sama of the mind, need for Dama is lessened
  • उपरम - Uparama - Ability to do what must be done which is one's duty. Freedom is not about doing what mind seeks but rather it is about doing what has to be done in alignment with Dharma and duty regardless of what the mind may dictate due to its vasanas
  • तितीक्षा - Titiksha - Even with Sama, Dama and Uparama, the environment may cause us to be distracted. For example, it can be hot or cold weather. Here the endurance to bear difficulties in life without complaining is talked about
  • श्रद्धा - Shraddha - Initial trust in Vedanta and the qualified teacher of these scriptures. It is initial faith to be ratified by understanding later. It is not a blind faith. It means being non-critical, open minded and willing to put in the needed effort until the full meaning is comprehended. It therefore involves humility and absence of arrogance and letting ego take a back seat in order to acquire the needed knowledge
  • समाधानम् - Samadhanam - This means mind is available to focus on one thing at a time.
IP2: How does one acquire these values

R: One can have six threads to discuss how to develop each one of these self-disciplines. That will make this modest presentation unwieldy. The definition gives a hint as to what is needed to be done. The simple thing is to make a commitment to develop them in which case the body, mind and the universe will cooperate in the attaining of these attributes.

One of the hardest things to achieve is developing Shraddha which can be attained by following Nithya Karmas - Daily rituals. Fortunately, there is a reference to a thread for that which goes into extensive detail.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/sandhyavandanam-nithya-karmas-in-the-context-of-modern-living-what-why-how.27035/

IP3: That leaves Seeking Govinda with our Jnana Shakthi (power of wisdom)

R: Yes, to be continued


Well-known member
IP1: What is Jnana Shkathi ? Is there a difference between intellect and wisdom

R: Loosely speaking one is about mental IQ and related often to ego expressions. The other is about the language of the heart which includes unconditional Love.

Jnana Shakthi includes all of the above - IQ, EQ (Emotional Quotient) and Wisdom. Some have loosely termed Spiritual Quotient (SQ) for referring to wisdom. Seeking Govinda and serving Bhagavan using our Jnana Shakthi means three kinds of quests though they are all related.

One can write large essays on each of these characteristics but here we will just deal with just the basic definitions.

Now, level of IQ needed is minimal for one to seek Govinda using their Jnana Shakthi. One need not even have a school education. If they can speak a language and are able to function fine as a human being then they are endowed with the needed IQ. Similarly, if one does not have a mental disease and are able to relate to others with some degree of compassion, they have the required EQ. Intellect in some sense is anti-thesis to reaching Bhagavan.

Intellectuals often suffer from seeing basic truths since their delusion is supported by a strong sense of egoity. Same is the case of those who are into religiosity wherein a religious ego is detriment to reaching Bhagavan since such people cannot relate to the language of the heart.

However, all are blessed by Bhagavan with the ultimate quest of human life if they are sincere in their approach. All impediments are overcome by earnestness and eagerness.

We can now focus on the aspects of Wisdom that Bhagavan has graced us with. They are the following.

  1. Intense desire for liberation - Mumukshatvam
  2. Discriminative thinking - Viveka
  3. Ability to renounce worldly pleasures that are impediments to the quest of seeking Govinda - Vairagya
Tattvabodha has defined each of the above in a cryptic manner in a Q&A format.

What is Mumukshatvam (मुमुक्षुत्वम्) ? - It is an intense desire for liberation. This is liberation is from the delusion we are born with such as strong identification with our body and mind.

What is Viveka?
Answer is : Viveka is the discriminative sense to know the difference between timelessly true entity (Nithya) and time bound entities (Anithya). For example, anything our mind can conceive of or knows including this body & universe are all time bound entities and hence are subject to dissolution.
Viveka leads to genuine Vairagya

What is Vairagya?
इहस्वर्गभोगेषु इच्छाराहित्यम्
Answer: Vairagya (Dispassion) is absence of desire of enjoyments of the world here and hereafter. This includes everything and is not achieved by denying oneself anything. It arises from Viveka and Mumukshutvam to seek that which liberates and not bound by space & time . That truth itself is nothing but Bhagavan Govinda

In summary, here are three ways of seeking Govinda

  1. Bhaja Govindam - with personal cleanliness and practice of Pranayama and seek the Lord
  2. Bhaja Govindam - with attempts to gain Sama etc., which are the six characteristics that make the emotive mind fully available and focused to seek the Lord
  3. Govindam Bhaja - Seek the lord with intense desire for liberation using the discriminative sense of the heart which leads to dispassion of ephemeral, transient and bondage creating worldly pleasures and pain.

The above is the conclusion thus far, for the first line of the stanza.

IP2: Are there other interpretations for the above.

R: That is possible as well. Seeking of Govinda has to be 7X24 Upansana . Our lives transition from wakeful state to dream state to deep sleep state, which are the three states of our existence. We want to seek Govinda in all three states.

In wakeful state how to seek Govinda is already explained. If our every activity in the wakeful state is done as Arpana (offering) to the Lord and if every result is taken as a Prasada from the Lord leading to complete acceptance, then our seeking of Govinda is indeed complete in our wakeful state.

If one pursues Isvara in that manner even our dreams will be about this quest only. I have had dreams about being in a Satsang talking to Mahatmas about liberation when I was spending dedicated time learning some of the materials.

In deep sleep, our sense of individuality is absent. But when we wake up we are able to know we slept well. For a true Bhaktha and seeker when he or she wakes up they realize they were one with Govinda in deep sleep. There is a basis for such an understanding (not belief) as explained in Mandukya Upanishad.

When we have reached Bhagavan that will be the so called 4th state where all seeking comes to an end. The main message of three repetitions of Bhaja Givindam is to then say that one needs to seek Isvara 7X24 to overcome our delusions from millions of past lives.

There is one more Vedantic model highlighted in Bhgavad Gita and elsewhere. It is the "Adhi Bootha, Adhi Daiva and Adhyatma" model of the universe. Seeking Govinda in each of these vision of reality means that
  1. We see Govinda being pointed to by any objects of the universe - Adhi Bootha
  2. We see Govinda in the intelligence of the universe and in all beings (sarvatma bhava) - Adhi Daiva and
  3. We see Govinda in our own true nature - Adhyatma
So when we say Bhaja govindam three times the above are possible ways to understand and relate to Bhagavan. The most important thing that these models provide is a way to visualize Bhagavan and provide a basis for Upasana.

Vedas that teach the meaning of Govinda is not just about a teaching but a powerful process of unfolding the truth. It is because there is a methodology to the teaching, a qualified teacher is emphasized to teach about the truth that cannot be expressed in words and comprehended by the mind.

An interesting fact emerges that Bhakthi and Jnanam are one and the same when one is able to relate to Isvara. Only the language of description changes based on what is emphasized. That is why it is not possible to find a true Jnani who is also not a Bhaktha. And as a Bhaktha, such a Jnani has unconditional Love for all beings and sees Bhagavan in every being and non-being.

IP3: If one seeks Bhagavan as described above, will they succeed? Why does the second line of the stanza talks about 'what will not work'?

R: To be continued


Well-known member
IP1: Govinda is Bhagavan as taught in Vedas. Are there specific texts within the Vedic scriptures that teaches us about Bhagavan

R: All the Upanishads, especially the major ones do have different approaches to unfold the truth of Bhagavan. Sri Sankara has provided commentaries for 10 of the Upanaishads and hence may be considered major upanishads. There are few others that are very useful to study too like Kaivlayopanishad. The key is to have the right attitude to learning and then a right teacher usually will appear with the blessings of Bhagavan. Without the rightly qualified teacher performing that role, it is not possible to get the highest truth since that truth cannot be expressed in words. This highest truth of Bhagavan is unknown and unknowable by the human mind.

One can start with Puranas like Srimad Bhagavatham but need to pay attention to selected verses that are profound in the midst of stories.
There was a discussion of one such verse in the following post.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/root-cause-of-human-bondage.27307/#post-263535

R: Let us review the stanza once again to see what is covered so far

भज गोविन्दं भज गोविन्दं
गोविन्दं भज मूढमते |
संप्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले
नहि नहि रक्षति डुकृञ्करणे

This can be rearranged to make sense in a prose form as follows

मूढमते ! (त्वं) गोविन्दं भज | (त्वं) गोविन्दं भज | (त्वं) गोविन्दं भज |
काले सन्निहिते संप्राप्ते “डुकृञ्करणे” नहि नहि रक्षति |

The first line is an address is to oneself, one's own mind as the deluded mind. One tells one's own deluded mind to seek and serve Govinda. The teaching tradition is never to address anyone as a Fool or do any name calling. We do find harsh descriptions used even in B. Gita but the purport is different.

Sri Krishna calls those who do not use their faculty of discriminative thinking (Viveka) as Krupanaha (a wretched person) afflicted with Karpanya Dosham. Here the name calling has to be understood carefully.

There is a Nyaya (Logic) called Na Hi Ninda Nyaya and it provides the logic to understand 'blames' that occur in some of the scriptures. Without the right interpretation it is possible to miss the essence of a message especially when a 'blame' or 'deprecation' is involved.

The Nyaya is stated as follows.
न हि निन्दा निन्दितुं प्रवर्ततेइति न्यायः

A blame is not meant to censure that which is criticized, but to praise or glorify the other opposing view. In the parlance of this Nyaya/Logic, the key to note is that both the praise and the blame are treated in equal footing but the need to assert a blame is to highlight the one that is praised which is the point.

So Sri Krishna in Gita talks about Krupanaha it is to highlight the importance of a person to use their sense of discriminatory thinking. In any case in this Bhaja Govidam verse there are no name calling pe se.

Now let us look at the next line.

काले (Kale) refers to Time (Lord of Death Yama)

सन्निहिते (Sannihite) means 'in the presence of

संप्राप्ते (Samprapte) means When you have achieved

The above three words refers to a time when one has achieved the nearness to the Lord of Death. The Lord of death is actually hiding between two beats of a heart for any of us.

The falling of the body can happen anytime. It is not as popularly believed that death happens only at an old age. So, the living is in the NOW and death which is falling of the body is also in the NOW.

नहि नहि रक्षति (nahi nahi Rakshathi) means does not protect

The second line of the stanza says that Dukrunjkarane, whatever that means cannot protect at the time of death (which can happen anytime).

So we tell our deluded mind to seek Govinda in order to rid ourselves of the delusion and this directive is followed by what cannot protect us. Human life is precious because of being endowed with Viveka and if this opportunity is lost it may be another 10000000000000 lives or more before one may get a human life.

With death being anytime now we have to know what works to rid ourselves of this delusion and also know what does not work.

IP1 : So what is meant by Dukrunjkarane ?
R: It is a grammatical expression in a text of Panini that described verbal roots.

IP2: So how come a grammar expression being not helpful is being asserted.
R: Some people interpret that expression to mean that all worldly knowledge is useless. While that is true, it is a stretch to use a grammar rule to mean all worldly knowledge. Besides why single out a aphorism and knock on grammar for an example? In fact, interpreting this as a statement of grammar itself may be a mistake.

Let us use a modern example to emphasize this point.

Suppose someone is preparing a legal brief for a lawyer and in that brief, as supporting information that person has inserts a website for reference.

Now will the lawyer say that computer science and networking knowledge is introduced in the brief?

That will be absurd even if the website is cryptic with its own rules like https:// etc. The thing for the lawyer to do will be to visit the website provided as a reference and not just knock that website reference as referring to an entire field of science and engineering.

IP3: OK, so what is the real meaning of Dukrunjkarane ?

R: To be continued. After explaining the above in detail, we can see supporting aspects from Upanishads to make the point clear. It is somewhat surprising what the teaching here is.


Well-known member
IP1: It seems all the models presented thus far to explain the verse are geared towards mediation or upasana of some form. Is that correct?

R: That is true. Govinda refers to Bhagavan as defined in Vedas, that is deemed to be the cause of this entire universe. While it is possible to understand the assertion of the cause, our mind cannot understand the very Bhagavan that causes cognition in the mind and sentience in life forms as expressed.

In the words of Swami Vivekananda, it is like infinite expressing itself in what appears to be finite. Another way to understand this is to know that nature of Bhagavan remains unknown and unknowable to our human mind.

IP2: Then there is no hope of knowing and hence reaching Govinda

R: That is not correct. Each of the Upanishads have a certain approach (Prakriya) to unfold what is seemingly unknown and unknowable.

In religions based on theology and beliefs, there is a postulation of an unknown God and then one proceeds to explain the known universe by more beliefs of the unknown. One may say God created this universe in 6 days and took a break on the 7th day etc.

Every practice of Hindu religion has its own versions of this magical God creating this universe. They all postulate an unknown and explain the known.

Science starts out exactly the opposite and starts with known and unfolds what is unknown. It is a never-ending process.

Upanishads also, like Science, start with what is known and provide a process to reach what is unknowable.

It is only in this context that Cosmogony is unfolded in our knowledge scriptures. Examples include Nasadiyasuktham as well as others

Refer to this post for a discussion: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/veda-as-brief-history-of-time.19604/#post-310243

The first question in Prashnopanishad leads to a great revelation of cosmology. Chandogya Upanishad teaches about Panchagni Vidya. Again, their purpose is to serve such teachings as a basis for Upasana.

The purpose is not to study Cosmology for the sake of studying and in any case, Vedanta has nothing to do with Science per se. It is meta science or about science.

Directionally while some of the findings of nature of space and time under the banner of Physics are finally coming into alignment with the vision of Vedanta, there are also gaps. These gaps point to the limitations of Science in its basic assumptions and hence they will never be able to know the truth all the way.

Science deals with relative truth only (relative to the mind and sense organs and their extensions via instruments). Vedanta deals with relative and absolute truths and as such has the final word that cannot be bested.

Science which is essentially study of matter itself will never reach a definitive conclusion. There will always be new theories challenging the old ones. For example, in the recent few days there is a book by a well-known theoretical physicist challenging the tenets of Quantum Mechanics. There is this book review in a well-respected journal Nature. This is not to endorse that work as having legitimacy but only to point out that the field is forever in discovery mode. Study of Science is study of Maya which is Anirvachaneeyam :). So, there can never be a final word.


One must go through the process of learning under the guidance of a qualified teacher in order to make progress. Then it will be clear that there is a methodology to reaching Govinda.

IP3: How do we relate to the vision of Bhagavan Narayana living in the ocean of Milk

R: There is a symbolism that is in all such visions. A qualified teacher can help transform that vision into a form suitable for Upasana and meditation. Vishnu is a word that means an entity that pervades and interpenetrates everything. Vishnu is considered in the Puranic vision as a protector.

In this imagery of Lord Vishnu being in the ocean of Milk, one can consider Milk as representation of all forms of food. Afterall most human beings survive due to milk from the mother or a cow. Therefore, milk as a representative word for food is realistic. It is a wonderment indeed that every being large or small or tiny find food to exist by and large. Our own body consumes food and may also get consumed when the body falls. So, we can think of Vishnu as Bhagavan being in every form of food and thereby protecting all beings.

Another vision is as follows. If we look at the sky, we see the stars light up entire sky. Our own galaxy is termed milky way with billions of stars in the galaxy. That itself may be imagined as milky ocean with Vishnu pervading the entire cosmos. Again, these are visions only for the purposes of Upasana. The entire effort is to get our mind to help us reach Bhagavan.

Chapter 10 of B. Gita is all about Vibhoothi or glory of Bhagavan in anything that captures and inspires our imagination.

IP3: How can our mind help us in that quest of reaching Bhagavan if our mind can never comprehend the nature of Bhagavan. Is our Mind a problem in our quest?

R: Mind itself has tremendous capacity to know what Govidna is Not. It is this negation that is popularly talked about as Neti Neti. The truth is revealed automagically when false is known as false by the mind. In that sense Mind is helpful.

However, center of all the delusion is in the mind and in that sense Mind is a problem. There is a famous verse from a relatively small Upanishad called Amrita Bindu Upanishad that occurs in Atharva Veda. The second verse that is very relevant to this thread is as follows.

मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः ।
बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्त्यै निर्विषयं स्मृतम् ॥ २॥

Translation: The ONLY cause of bondage of Samsara (due to delusion) is the Mind. Hence it is also cause for Liberation (that allows for reaching Govinda). When the mind is attached to objects of the world (leading to desires and fear) there is bondage. When the mind is free of attachment to objects (due to Viveka leading to Vairagya) there is liberation.

This leads us to what we need to do to reach Govinda.
Dukrunjkarane is not going to help!

IP1: Do we have to know a lot of grammer to understand Dukrunjkarane?

R: Not much but for completeness and clarity we can delve a bit into usage of this strange sounding expression.

R: डुकृञ्करणे is called the “औपदेशिक” form of the dhaatu कृ which means 'to do'. In the औपदेशिक form (which means denoting or relating to an originally enunciated grammatical form), a dhaatu (verbal root) is usually written with meaning. For example, in डुकृञ् करणे, डुकृञ् is the dhaatu and करणे is the meaning.

This particular expression occurs in the Dhathu Pata line 8.10

Normally in Sanskrit we have words of a language and a peculiar characters and words used only in the description of grammar rules. One never uses the Panini created words in normal language. For example, html which is a language used for rendering web pages is not used in English essays. Various key words and tags are unique to HTML . Sometimes, the usage of say twitter hashtags make into regular usage in a language.

It is interesting that a usage for Dhathu Pata (Verb and its usage of Panini) is used as an expression in this Bhaja Govindam verse. To understand the reason let us use a metaphor.

Like how a single seed of say Peepal tree or Banyan tree can help create an entire forest, a single verbal root can help create large numbers of words through a set of transformations using Panini rules.

This includes all the verbs and their forms, namely 6 tenses, 4 moods that may be Atmanepadam or Parasmypadam (discussed in Post #20). There are also active tense, passive tense and one more called Bhave sense.

Noun and their declension are also created through transformations of the verbal root that are basis of relationships to verbs ( Accusative , Instrumental, Dative, Ablative, , Locative, etc).

So, when one says Dukrunjkarane, it refers to verbs and nouns derived from the कृ (Kru Dhathu). It is like using a seed to refer to a forest of trees.

This means Kartha (sense of doer ship), Karma , Karana (instruments) etc., cannot help to overcome death (rather birth and death cycle).

In simple terms, it means no act of doing of any kind (Karma) will lead one to Govinda!

So one can go to temples, do Puja , do charity work and do any number of things which can all allow gaining of Punya but cannot let one to achieve Moskha which is same as reaching Bhagavan.

In other words, all Karmas prescribed in the Vedas are useless if the objective is to attain Govinda. One will certainly achieve Punyam by all such activities like Bhajan, Puja, rituals, going to temples, helping others, being kind to others etc.

But they cannot help attaining Bhagavan because all those activities are limited Karma and they only can produce limited Karma Phala to be fructified in this or future births. Even heaven or hell is a temporary place only.

If Karma can lead one to timeless Moksha, then another Karma can undo that. Hence Karma of any kind in any form cannot help one to reach Bhagavan.

IP2: In all these discussions there were actions recommended like doing Nithya Karma etc.? How can all these Karmas not help?

R: They are all useful as a set of necessary conditions only but they are not sufficient. For example, if a vegetable must be cooked one needs heat. Here heat is the sufficient condition. But heat cannot be applied without vessel to cook and water etc. Those are the necessary conditions.

One can do the Nithya Karmas to prepare the mind and thereby strive to achieve the necessary condition. But it is not sufficient.

This reinforces the reason why Bhaja Govindam is repeated three times to leverage all our powers. That will only satisfy the necessary conditions.

IP3: Is there supporting information from other sources for the above understanding?

R: Yes - to be continued with supporting information from Upanishads.

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