Bhajagovindam was composed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. In this composition, Adi Sankaracharya talks about the importance of devotion to God and how it can make our lives happy and fulfilling. In this series we would be explaining the meaning of each sloka through a story. This month we highlight the importance of devotion and how it can make a difference in our lives.
गङ्गाजललवकणिका पीता ।
सकृदपि येन मुरारिसमर्चा
क्रियते तस्य यमेन न चर्चा ॥ २०॥
“Bhagavad Gita Kinchita Dhita Ganga Jalalava Kanika Pita Sahrdapi yena Murari Samarca Kriyate Tasya Yamena na carca”Translation Those who study the Gita, drink the water of the Ganges and worship Murari(destroyer of demon Mura), will not be approached by Yama (the god of death).”
It would not be fair to write a commentary on the Ganga and ask you to taste the waters by merely reading it. It is a request that each one of you go and take a holy dip in the Ganga. Right from her source, Gomukh, Ma flows in different moods. She is a baby, an enlightened baby in the Himalayas and then she becomes a ferocious conqueress down in the plains.
Now, let us look at a story illustrating the second half of this sloka. There are different versions of this story but the essence remains the same.
Once Lord Krishna goes to meet Bheema (of the pancha pandavas in the Mahabharata). He tells Bheema that he wishes to take a bath before discussing strategies of the war and asks Bheema to boil water in a vessel. Bheema, being very strong, takes a large vessel and dips it in the river. He puts the vessel on the fire and goes away for a while. He comes back to check if the water has boiled but it is cold. So he goes away, thinking that he will come back after a while. After a few minutes, when he comes back, the water is still cold. He tries to blow on the fire so that it will burn hotter. He checks again after sometime, but is surprised to find that the water is still cold! Now he is angry, terribly angry. But it also occurs to him that since Krishna is here, this could very well be his leela. He asks Krishna what was happening and Krishna asks Bheema to take a look inside the vessel. When Bheema carefully looks inside, he finds a tiny frog in the vessel!
Krishna explains to Bheema that as soon as he had put the vessel in the river, the frog had gotten into it and had prayed, “Oh Krishna! Save me!” Krishna says that he considered it his duty to save any being that asked for help and that is why he had prevented the water from boiling.
A simple story yet it says so much about Bhakti towards the Lord. Simply take His name and misery will just vanish. Adi Shankara says that death will not come to those who chant His name. Does it mean that we would live in the body forever if we chant His name? Well folks, think about it and we shall get back to you in the next sloka!
Translation: Those who study the Gita, drink the water of the Ganges and worship Murari(destroyer of demon Mura), will not be approached by Yama (the god of death).