The Legend of Shankara – 7: Atma Shatakam/Nirvana Shatakam

  1. मनो बुद्ध्यहंकारचित्तानि नाहम्
    न च श्रोत्र जिह्वे न च घ्राण नेत्रे
    न च व्योम भूमिर् न तेजो न वायु:
    चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥१॥

I am not the mind (manah), the intellect (budhhi), the ego (ahamkara) or the memory (chitta),
I am not my ears (shrotra), my tongue (jihva), my nose (ghrana) or my eyes (netra),
I am not this body composed of space (vyom), or earth (bhumi), or fire (tejas), or wind (vayu),
I am that eternal bliss which is Shiva, verily I am Shiva

  • न च प्राण संज्ञो न वै पञ्चवायु: 
    न वा सप्तधातुर् न वा पञ्चकोश:
    न वाक्पाणिपादौ न चोपस्थपायू 
    चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥२॥

I am not the vital breath that keeps me alive (parana sangya), nor the five vital airs (pancha vayuh),
I am not the seven ingredients/minerals that make up the body (sapta dhatu), nor the five sheaths of consciousness (pancha koshah),
I am not my speech (vak’), my hands (pani), my feet (padao), or my organs of excretion (chopasthapayu),
I am that eternal bliss which is Shiva, verily I am Shiva

  • न मे द्वेष रागौ न मे लोभ मोहौ 
    मदो नैव मे नैव मात्सर्य भाव:
    न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो ना मोक्ष: 
    चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥३॥ 

I do not harbour hatred (dweshah), or worldly attachment (ragah), nor any greed (lobhah), or infatuation (moha),
I know not pride (madah), or jealousy/envy (matsarya),
I am not bound by the four duties/purusharthas of dharma, artha, kama, moksha,
I am that eternal bliss which is Shiva, verily I am Shiva

  • न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दु:खम् 
    न मन्त्रो न तीर्थं न वेदा: न यज्ञा:
    अहं भोजनं नैव भोज्यं न भोक्ता 
    चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥४॥

I am not bound by worldly virtues (punyah), or sins (papah), I do not feel worldly joy (sukhah),or sorrow (dukhah), 
I am not duty bound to chant sacred hymns (mantro), going on pilgrimages (teerthah), sacred scriptures (vedah), or sacred ceremonies (yagyah),
I am neither the act of enjoyment/partaking (bhojanam), nor that which is enjoyed (bhojyam), nor the one who enjoys/partakes (bhokta),
I am that eternal bliss which is Shiva, verily I am Shiva

  • न मृत्युर् न शंका न मे जातिभेद: 
    पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्म
    न बन्धुर् न मित्रं गुरुर्नैव शिष्य: 
    चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥५॥

I have no fear of death (mrityu shanka), and am not bound by any distinctions of caste/birth (jaati-bhedah),
I have no father (pitah), no mother (matah), for I was never born (janmah),
I have no brethren (banduha), nor a friend (mitrah), nor a teacher (guru), nor a student (shishyah),
I am that eternal bliss which is Shiva, verily I am Shiva

  • अहं निर्विकल्पॊ निराकार रूपॊ 
    विभुत्वाच्च सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम्
    न चासंगतं नैव मुक्तिर् न मेय: 
    चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥६॥ 

I am non-dual (nirvikalpam), and formless (nirakar),
I exist everywhere (sarvatra) as the substratum of everything (vibhu-tvacca), I pervade all senses (sarva-indriyanam),
I do not get attached to anything (sangatah), and hence I cannot be freed (mukti) since I am not captive,
I am that eternal bliss which is Shiva, verily I am Shiva.

The Atma Shatakam, or Nirvana Shatakam authored by Adi Shankara represents one of the best encapsulations of advaita doctrine till date. It is chanted, recited, and sung daily by millions of people across India and the world. It has been variously modified, interpreted, and passed on to countless generations of yogis, and lay students as a token of India’s rich spiritual and philosophical heritage. Anyone who chants, recites, sings, or even reads the Atma Shatakam on a daily basis, awakens his inner consciousness, and finds the way forward with the blessings of Shankara. 

To be continued……

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