bhaja govindam (was Re: question)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Thu Feb 27 15:06:39 CST 1997

sadananda wrote:

> The Hare Krishanas think that Sankara preached advaita first and then in
> his later years he realized his mistake and wrote Bhajagovindam saying that
> surrender to Govinda is the ultimate.  This theory is being propagated in
> all ISKCON books.

However even the story of bhaja govindam, viz the one about someone memorizing
rules of grammar etc cannot be found in any of the sha.nkara vijayams. This
utterly ridiculous story of sha.nkara on his death bed composing bhaja govindam
is yet another of the usual lies propagated by people who have no clue of
anything in particular.

That apart, the bhaja govindam is an excellent piece of poetry+philosophical
work. Of course, the whole poem is completely advaitic and this fact is unknown
to the people who spread these lies. Telling them that and quoting parts of it
doesn't seem to help either. It's probably a useful tool to bamboozle
non-indians into thinking that sha.nkara "repented" in his death-bed and became
a vaishhNava. The technique seems to be "we can't beat sha.nkara by presenting
any solid arguments, so let's fool gullible people into thinking that he was
one of us". It would go very well with the christian concept of repentance +
being forgiven also.


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