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Narsinh Mehta Poem #1

One of the greatest saints of Gujarat of the 14th-15th century, Narsinh Mehta, a poet from the Vaishnav tradition. He is famous for his devotion to Krishna and has written many poems regarding the different aspects of the Lord’s life. He portrays them in a very simple and lucid manner so that even a commoner like us can understand the deepest meanings of the philosophy of the Vedant.

The poetry that I share here is called as the “Prabhatiya” (the morning songs). He has written many such poems which are sung even today in most of the Gujarati households. A very deep meaning is attached to the each and everyone from which I share one here.

જાગીને જોઉં તો જગત દીસે નહીં, ઊંઘમાં અટપટા ભોગ ભાસે;
ચિત્ત ચૈતન્ય-વિલાસ-તદ્દરૂપ છે, બ્રહ્મ લટકા કરે બ્રહ્મ પાસે.
પંચ મહાભૂત પરિબ્રહ્મથી ઉપજ્યાં, અણુ અણુ માંહી રહ્યા રે વળગી;
ફૂલ અને ફળ તે તો વૃક્ષનાં જાણવાં, થડ થકી ડાળ નવ હોય અળગી.
વેદ તો એમ વદે, શ્રુતિ-સ્મૃતિ સાખ દે : કનકકુંડળ વિશે ભેદ ન્હોયે;
ઘાટ ઘડિયા પછી નામ-રૂપ જૂજવાં, અંતે તો હેમનું હેમ હોયે.
જીવ ને શિવ તે આપ-ઈચ્છાએ થયો, ચૌદ લોક રચી જેણે ભેદ કીધા;
ભણે નરસૈંયો ‘એ તે જ તું’, ‘એ તે જ તું’, એને સમર્યાથી કંઈ સંત સીધ્યા.

Attempt at translation :

From the moment I wake up, I see nothing but illusion (Maya)

And in sleep too, I dream of fulfilling my materialistic desires;

Actually both the subject* and God are exactly the same, identical,

And life is the “Brahm” trying to dance to the tunes of “Brahm”…

The five elements have been derived from the Divine Soul;

And they are omnipresent in every atom of this Universe;

It is just like the flowers and fruits belong to the plant;

And one cannot distinguish the branch from the tree it grows on….

It is the Vedas which say thus and the SmritisShrutis^ concur,

That there is no difference between the Gold and the earring;

It is only after it were moulded has it been named thus,

All and otherwise, it is made of Gold and no different…

Hence both the Jeev and the Lord exist because of Your wish,

And it is You who has made the 14 Lokas and differentiated them;

And so Narsinh educates the world saying “Thus Thy thou art“;

And when a noble person understands this, he is liberated

{(* subject – Jeev. Any alive thing)

(^ Smriti – Shruti – we believe that knowledge has been transferred in the earlier days in the above two ways. One by hearing and passing it on (Shruti) and the other by remembering and writing it down (Smriti))}


There might be a difference of understanding and it is purely mine. I, as a small devotee of Krishna have tried to translate with His help. I offer my translation to His feet.


Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale

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