Durga Shuktam – வேத வழிபாடு – துர்கை – Durgashtami Special

Couple of years ago, I was keen to learn Vedic Chants. At 66, it was not the right age to start definitely; but “desires” do not respect age and I started learning to chant a few Shuktams thanks to my good friend Sri.Viswanatha Raju. Durga Shuktam was one of them. That efforts got stalled due to my travel abroad and getting stuck there due to the pandemic. However my efforts to understand the essence of these Vedic chants continue and hopefully I will make some progress.

There is an argument that goes on inside me that there should be no attempt to translate these Vedic Chants into any other language as it is impossible to get the exact equivalent and the consciousness behind the original words and syllables. There is also a counter that we must go ahead and do even at the risk of breaking tradition and purity of thoughts for the benefit of the “Vedic illiterates and ignorant persons” like me.

So here I am, with my maiden attempt at Durga Shuktam. Please feel free to criticise and offer your perspective on this experiment of mine.

Caution : The chanting is my maiden attempt. The chanting may not be as per the QR (quality requirement). Pl take it as a toddler’s walk and bear with me.

Chanting & Meaning in Tamil – Video Link

Link to the file with Tamil Meaning

Sanskrit Verses with English Transliterations

जातवेदसे सुनवाम सोममरातीयतो निदहाति वेदः ।
स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा नावेव सिन्धुं दुरितात्यग्निः ॥१॥
Jaatavedase Sunavaama Somam-Araatiiyato Nidahaati Vedah |
Sa Nah Parssad-Ati Durgaanni Vishvaa Naave[a-I]va Sindhum Durita-Aty[i]-Agnih ||1||

तामग्निवर्णां तपसा ज्वलन्तीं वैरोचनीं कर्मफलेषु जुष्टाम् ।
दुर्गां देवीँशरणमहं प्रपद्ये सुतरसि तरसे नमः ॥२॥
Taam-Agni-Varnnaam Tapasaa Jvalantiim Vairocaniim Karma-Phalessu Jussttaam |
Durgaam Devii[ngu]m-Sharannam-Aham Prapadye Su-Tarasi Tarase Namah ||2||

अग्ने त्वं पारया नव्यो अस्मान् स्वस्तिभिरति दुर्गाणि विश्वा ।
पूश्च पृथ्वी बहुला न उर्वी भवा तोकाय तनयाय शंयोः ॥३॥
Agne Tvam Paarayaa Navyo Asmaan SvastibhirAti Durgaanni Vishvaa |
Puush-Ca Prthvii Bahulaa Na Urvii Bhavaa Tokaaya Tanayaaya Shamyoh ||3||

विश्वानि नो दुर्गहा जातवेदः सिन्धुं न नावा दुरितातिपर्षि ।
अग्ने अत्रिवन्मनसा गृणानोऽस्माकं बोध्यविता तनूनाम् ॥४॥
Vishvaani No Durga-Haa Jaatavedah Sindhum Na Naavaa Durita-Ati-Parssi |
Agne Atrivan-Manasaa Grnnaano-[A]smaakam Bodhy[i]-Avitaa Tanuunaam ||4||

पृतनाजितँसहमानमुग्रमग्निँ हुवेम परमात्सधस्थात् ।
स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा क्षामद्देवो अति दुरितात्यग्निः ॥५॥
Prtanaa-[A]jita[ngu]m-Sahamaanam-Ugram-Agni Huvema Paramaat-Sadhasthaat |
Sa Nah Parssad-Ati Durgaanni Vishvaa Kssaamad-Devo Ati Durita-Aty[i]-Agnih ||5||

प्रत्नोषि कमीड्यो अध्वरेषु सनाच्च होता नव्यश्च सत्सि ।
स्वां चाग्ने तनुवं पिप्रयस्वास्मभ्यं च सौभगमायजस्व ॥६॥
Pratnossi Kam-Iiddyo Adhvaressu Sanaac-Ca Hotaa Navyash-Ca Satsi |
Svaam Ca-Agne Tanuvam Piprayasva-Asmabhyam Ca Saubhagam-Aayajasva ||6||

गोभिर्जुष्टमयुजो निषिक्तं तवेन्द्र विष्णोरनुसंचरेम ।
नाकस्य पृष्ठमभि संवसानो वैष्णवीं लोक इह मादयन्ताम् ॥७॥
Gobhir-Jussttam-Ayujo Nissiktam Tave[a-I]ndra Vissnnor-Anusamcarema |
Naakasya Prssttham-Abhi Samvasaano Vaissnnaviim Loka Iha Maadayantaam ||7||

ॐ कात्यायनाय विद्महे कन्याकुमारि धीमहि
तन्नो दुर्गिः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Kaatyaayanaaya Vidmahe Kanyaakumaari Dhiimahi
Tan-No Durgih Pracodayaat ||

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

Meaning in English

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
1.1: To that Jataveda (one from whom the Vedas are born) we press out the Soma (i.e. Invoke Her ardently); (We invoke that Jataveda) Who consumes by Her Fire of Knowledge (Veda) all the Adversities (within and without) (And frees us from the bondage of the world),
1.2: May that Agni (Fire of Durga) carry us over this Ocean of the World which is full of Great Difficulties and beset with great Perils; like a Boat (carrying one over a very rough Sea),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
2.1: To Her, Who is of the colour of Fire (Agni Varna) and blazing with Tapas (Tapasa Jwalantim); Who was born of that Fire (of Tapas) (Vairochinim), and Who is worshipped through Fruits of Actions (Karma Phalas) (offered to Her Fire as oblations),
2.2: To that Durga, to that Devi, I take Refuge (Sharanam Aham) by falling at Her Feet (Prapadye); (O Mother Durga, I Prostrate before You) Please ferry me mercifully (over this Ocean of the World full of great Difficulties and Perils),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
3.1: O Agni (Fire of Durga), You Who are eulogized (for carrying one across this Samsara); Please ferry us (too), by carrying us (i.e. our Souls) over Your Auspicious Nature, and make us cross this World full of Great Difficulties (Samsara), …
3.2: … (and also spread Your Auspicious Nature over the) Land and Earth, (so that the Earth) becomes abundantly Fertile and Green (and we feel Your presence in external Nature); And fill us, (We who are) Your Children with Your Bliss (so that we feel Your presence internally),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
4.1: O Jataveda (one from whom the Vedas are born), You remove (grave) difficulties in all the Worlds; Please carry us like a Boat in this very difficult Ocean of the World (Samsara),
4.2: O Agni (Fire of Durga), our Minds are invoking You (ardently) like sage Atri (who continuously chants the mantras), and our beings are (now) filled with Your Consciousness (by continuously invoking You),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
5.1: (She is) the (Great) Fire Who is Invincible in Battle, and charges ahead in a Terrible manner conquering (the Enemies); We invoke Her together from the Highest Assembly (i.e. ardently invoke Her together with the greatest reverence),
5.2: May that Agni (Fire of Durga) carry us over this World full of Great Difficulties, by (charging ahead and) Burning to ashes the very difficult Enemies (within us) with Her Divine Fire,

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
6.1: You are lauded for spreading Bliss in the Sacrifice since ancient times (The Bliss resulting from killing the inner Enemies); You act as a Hota (Invoker of Bliss) by abiding as a New Maiden (Who is eternally young and free of decay) (in the Sacrificial Altar within the Hearts of the Devotees),
6.2: Your own Conscious Form, O Agni (Fire of Durga) is a source of Happiness (Bliss) for us, and a source of Welfare for our Sacrifice,

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
7.1: With Senses (i.e. Mind and Heart) Pleased (by Your Blissful Presence) and becoming Unattached (to the external world), we are Infused with Your (Devotion), O the Highest One; May we Follow (i.e. Immerse ourselves in) Your All-Pervading (Blissful Consciousness) …
7.2: … within the Spiritual Sky (Chidakasha), and dwell here in this Vaishnavi Loka (World of Your All-Pervading Consciousness), being Intoxicated (by Your Blissful Nature),

Durga Gayatri:
1: Om, (Let our mind contemplate) on Devi Katyayani to know Her (Conscious Form); (And then) Meditate on that Kanyakumari deeply (Who is the Universal Mother),
2: May that (Fire of) Durga awaken (our Consciousness).

Om, (May there be) Peace, Peace, Peace (at the the three levels – Adidaivika, Adibhautika and Adhyatmika).

Meaning Courtesy:


Narayaneeyam – Daskam 2 – Sloka 2


When I was trying to understand this Sloka, I was reminded of the introduction that Dr S. Radhakrishnan provided to his commentary on Bhagwad Gita.

“dvaitam mohAya bodhAt prAk. prApte bodhe manIshayA pUjArtham kalpitam dvaitam advaitAdapi sundaram”

“Before the rise of knowledge, duality is misleading but when our understanding is enlightened, we perceive that duality is more beautiful than even non-duality and is conceived so that there might be worship”.

Narayana Bhattathri, an enlightened soul “looked at the Eternal one not so much as the God of philosophical speculation but as the God of Grace such as the heart and the soul need and seek; a God who inspires personal trust, love, reverence and loyal self-surrender”. No wonder he comes out with this poetic description of the Lord’s beauty. Let us enjoy his description.

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse



काञ्चित् काञ्चनकाञ्चिलाञ्च्छितलसत्पीताम्बरालम्बिनीम्

आलम्बे विमलाम्बुजद्युतिपदां मूर्तिं तवार्तिच्छिदम् ॥२॥

English Transliteration

keyuuraangada kankaNOttama mahaaratnaanguliiyaankitashriimadbaahu

chatuShka sangata gadaa shankhaari pankeruhaam |

kaa~nchit kaa~nchana kaa~nchilaanChita lasatpiitaambaraalambiniim

aalambe vimalaambujadyutipadaaM muurtiM tavaartichChidam

Transliteration in Tamil


ஶ்ரீமத்₃பா₃ஹுசதுஷ்கஸங்க₃தக₃தா₃ஶங்கா₂ரிபங்கேருஹாம் |

காஞ்சித் காஞ்சநகாஞ்சிலாஞ்ச்சி₂தலஸத்பீதாம்ப₃ராலம்பி₃நீ-

மாலம்பே₃ விமலாம்பு₃ஜத்₃யுதிபதா₃ம் மூர்திம் தவார்திச்சி₂த₃ம் || 2||

Meaning in Tamil

கடயம் கங்கணம், விரலதனில் அரிய ரத்தின மோதிரம்

கதாயுதம், சங்கு சக்கரம், தாமரை ஏந்தும் நான்திருக்கரம்

ஒளிமிகு மஞ்சள் பட்டாடை பொன் மேகலை அலங்காரம்

எழில்மிகு தூய கமலஉடல் தாங்குமிரு மென்மலர் பாதம்

அடியார் அல்லல் அறுத்தாட்கொளும் வரையறு இயலா உன்

வடிவம்தனை தஞ்சமென சரணடைந்தேன் குருவாயூரப்பனே 2.2

Meaning in English

I take refuge in Your form with ornaments such as) Keyur (epaulets) Angada (armlets) Kankana (bracelets)and finger rings, studded with gems adorning the sacred four arms, holding the mace, the conch, the discus and the lotus, wearing a yellow resplendent silk cloth, fastened by a golden waist band with pure lotuses like lustrous feet. Oh Lord I take refuge in Your indescribable form that removes the woes of the devotees.

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

• केयूराङ्गद- – keyur + angada – shoulder guard, armlet – தோளணி, கடயம்

• कङ्कणोत्तम- bracelet – காப்பு, கங்கணம்

• केयूराङ्गद-कङ्कणोत्तम-महारत्न-आङ्गुलीय-अङ्कित- = (ornaments such as) Keyur (epaulets) Angada (armlets) Kankana (bracelets)and finger rings, studded with gems

• महारत्नाङ्गुलीयाङ्कित-(महारत्न-आङ्गुलीय-अङ्कित) – precious jewel அரிய ரத்தினம், finger ring, மோதிரம், studded/marked பொருந்திய

• श्रीमद्- wealthy, வளமிகு

• बाहु- forearm – முன்கை

• चतुष्क- set of 4

• सङ्गत— integrated/united –

• गदा- mace – தண்டாயதம்

• शङ्खारि- (शङ्ख-अरि) – conch, discuss – சங்கு, சக்கரம்

• पङ्केरुहां – lotus – தாமரை

• श्रीमद्बाहु-चतुष्कसङ्गत-गदा-शङ्ख-अरि-पङ्केरुहाम् = adorning the sacred four arms, holding the mace, the conch, the discus and the lotus

• काञ्चन- golden – பொன் – தங்கம்

• काञ्चि- girdle – மேகலை

• लाञ्च्छित- decorated – அலங்கரி, ஒப்பனை

• लसत्- glitter/shining – ஒளிமிகு

• पीताम्बरालम्बिनीं – (पीताम्बर-आलम्बिनीम्) – yellow clothes, wearing – மஞ்சள் நிற ஆடை அணி

• काञ्चन-काञ्चि-लाञ्च्छित-लसत्-पीताम्बर-आलम्बिनीम्- = wearing a yellow resplendent silk cloth, fastened by a golden waist band

• विमलाम्बुज- (विमल-अम्बुज) pure lotus, தூய தாமரை

• द्युति- lustrous, splendour, ஒளிமிகு,

• पदाम् – feet – பாதங்கள்

• आर्तिच्छिदं – आर्ति. छिदम् – grief, cut, which removes the woes (of devotees) – அல்லல், அறு

• काञ्चित् – indescribable – வரையறுக்க இயலா

• तव – Your – உன்

• मूर्तिम् – Form – வடிவம்

• (अहम्) – I – யான்

• आलम्बे – take refuge – சரண் அடைந்தேன்

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 6 – Part 2 – The Empty Secret – வெறுமையின் வறுமை

Solar Eclipse

“In deep sleep there is an experience of absence and not an absence of experience”.

Swami Sarvapriyananda

This is exactly what our introductory blog to Sloka 6 talked about. Many and in particular the Sunyavadis mistake this as emptiness, says Adi Sankara in this Sloka. Let us get into the Sloka.

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse:

राहुग्रस्तदिवाकरेन्दुसदृशो मायासमाच्छादनात्
सन्मात्रः करणोपसंहरणतो योऽभूत्सुषुप्तः पुमान् ।
प्रागस्वाप्समिति प्रबोधसमये यः प्रत्यभिज्ञायते
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥६॥

Meaning in Tamil

ஆதவ மதி ஒளிமறை இராகு கோளொப்ப

ஆத்மனை மறைத்திடும் மாயை என அறிந்து

ஆழ் உறக்கமதில் ஐயிரண்டு பொறி அடக்கி

முழுமை நிறை தூய ஆத்மனை அடைந்து, பின்

விழித்தெழும் வேளைதனில் தன் உணர்வால்

மீள்எழும் நான் அந்த ஆத்மனே என அறியும்

ஆதி அந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம்

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

Just Like the Sun and the Moon are Eclipsed by Rahu, the Pure Consciousness is Eclipsed by Maya (for a spiritually ignorant person).  A Spiritually Elevated Soul can enter that state of Unborn Deep Sleep (i.e., Pure Consciousness) by Withdrawing His Sense Organs to such an extent that Only the Real Essence remains. That state (Pure Consciousness) is experienced during Spiritual Awakening whereby one clearly Perceives that “Before I was Sleeping” (by being eclipsed by Maya). Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakṣiṇāmurty.

Understanding the Sloka:

राहुग्रस्तदिवाकरेन्दुसदृशो मायासमाच्छादनात् Raahu-Grasta-Divaakare[a-I]ndu-Sadrsho Maayaa-Sama-[A]acchaadanaat

In the first line “divākarendu sadṛśo māyā samācchādanāt”, Adi Śankarācārya quotes the celestial phenomenon of solar & lunar eclipse as an example. He explains that just like the Sun & Moon are eclipsed by Rahu, Pure Consciousness is eclipsed by Maya

“Rahu” in mythological language is a dark snake which swallows the sun/moon; In astrological language, rāhu is only the shadow; that is why it is called chāyāḥ grahaḥ. Therefore, that shadow is eclipsing. We must understand that the eclipsed sun/moon is not non-existent; it is only not-prominent, dominant, pronounced during the eclipse.  However, for the ignorant it appears as though the Sun/Moon is not there during the eclipse.  

Similarly, when the transactions are not there; existence is not prominent. Non prominent existence is not non-existence. Non-transactable existence is non-prominent existence; it is as though nonexistent, but it is not non-existence.And therefore the general existence, in sleep, is as though eclipsed; because of:

  1. maya’s āvanara śakti (veiling power);
  2. resolution of the organs;
  3. end of transactions.

All these three are important; and therefore it is eclipsed as it were. And therefore, Shankaracharya compares this general sattaḥ to the eclipsed Sun and moon.

करणोपसंहरणतो karaṇopa saṃharaṇataḥ; and consequently, because of withdrawal of the kāraṇam. upasaṃharaṇam means withdrawal; kāraṇam means the eleven organs. With the withdrawal of sense and action organs (upasaṃharaṇam of Kāraṇam – karaṇopa saṃharaṇataḥ – करणोपसंहरणत),

सन्मात्रः करणोपसंहरणतो य्योऽभूत्सुषुप्तः पुमान् । San-Maatrah Karanno[a-U]pasangharannato Yo(a-A]bhuut-Sussuptah Pumaan |

अभुत्  the individual Self (abhut – अभुत् – this jīvātma)

सुषुप्ता was in deep sleep (suṣuptāḥ – सुषुप्ता) meaning that without any transactions, in the form of

सन्मात्रा attributeless-unqualified, pure existence (sanmātrahaḥ – सन्मात्रा). This is the essence of the second line.

प्रागस्वाप्समिति प्रबोधसमये यः प्रत्यभिज्ञायते Praag-Asvaapsam-Iti Prabodha-Samaye Yah Pratyabhijnyaayate

Now let us go to the third line. What is the proof for the presence of pure existence in suṣupti? You say it is not available for transaction. That means it is not available for proving also; because proving itself is a form of transaction. So how do you know the pure existence as my true nature?  For this,  we say three प्रमाणस् pramāṇas are there to prove it;

  1. one is Shruti pramāṇas;
  2. another is yukti pramāṇas,
  3. and the third is anubhava pramāṇas.

Of these three pramāṇas, Adi Śankarācāryacharya gives in the third line, the powerful anubhava pramāṇam.

Let us see the Shruti,pramāṇa:

When a person goes to sleep, he is not becoming non-existent; but he is withholding himself into his pure nature called existent; sadā; sat, means existence. He merges into his pure nature of existence. स्वम् अवपतो भवशत svam apito bhavati; The sat which is his svarūpam into that he merges. So the Upanishad does not say he merges into asat. Therefore, Shruti, pramāṇam proves this.

The next one is yukti pramāṇam. Logic; in fact, we need not go to traditional logic; we can go to modern logic; modern science itself; by the law of conservation of energy and matter; nothing can be totally destroyed. An existent thing can never become non-existent. An existent thing can never become non-existent; destruction is what? You are not converting an existent thing into a non-existent thing. When pot is destroyed, what happens? Pot exists in a different form; it becomes what; clay. So, pot never becomes non-existent; then it becomes what; it is existent in a different form. So, there is no destruction, in the form of becoming non-existent. That being so, an existent thing cannot be converted into non-existence and vice versa also. And out of non-existence, an existent thing cannot come out. Out of nothing what comes? Nothing comes;

न सतो ववध्र्ते भावाः, न भावो ववध्र्ते सतः

na sato vidhyate bhāvāḥ, na bhāvo vidhyate sataḥ;

कथम् असतः सत्र् एथः

katham asataḥ satya ethaḥ

Existent-I cannot become non-existent in सुषुशप्त suṣupti and out of the non-existent I, again an existent-I cannot come; and therefore, in sleep I am existent; but not in the form of a qualified-I; I am existing in a different form. When pot is destroyed that potness attribute goes away. Similarly, when I resolve, my individuality goes away, the individuality_less-I. Like the potness_less clay. The attributeless-I am existent. I did not know then. You will not know. Because if you want to know, you have to become a knower. The moment you become the knower, you are no more in sushupthi. It becomes jagrat or swapna. Therefore, what is the second logic; the second pramanam, logic is; an existent thing can never become non-existent;

Then what is the third: अनुभव प्रमाणम् anubhava pramāṇam. And what is the anubhavam pramāṇam. Adi Śankarācārya calls it प्रत्र्शभज्ञा pratyabhijñā; pratyabhijñā means recognition. After waking up, this person says: I slept well; I slept well.  What does it mean? I was very much existent there; as a sleeper. If ‘I’ am not there; the subject (see it as grammatical). If subject is not there; how can you use the verb, ’slept’?. Slept is a verb, whatever be the meaning. So, if you have to use the verb slept, it refers to the locus of the sleep, of the subject of sleep, which is I. And that-I, who slept before, that-I, that-I, am awake now. This is called recognition. and recognition means appreciating the continuity of I, in the sleeping state, as well as the waking state.

Let us take the word recognition itself. Recognition means re-cognition. When I say I recognise you – What do you understand? I have seen you somewhere; I know that you are so and so; and now I am recognising you; That means a continuity of your existence in the past and in the present is indicated. The verb of recognition indicates, the existence of the recognised-object in the past. In the past it existed as what? A cognised-object, and when you see again; it exists as the recognised-object, it existed in the past, as cognised-one, now as a recognised-one, which means continuity. of recognised-object. When I wake up, I am recognising myself. How? I who was sleeper in the past, am the I, which is the waker-in-the-present. ‘I slept well’ means I am recognising myself, which means I appreciate the fact, that I who was a sleeper in the past, am the waker-in-the-present.

Thus, Adi Śankarācārya argues self-recognition is the proof for self-continuity. And self-continuity proves that I existed in sleep also. And that proves in sleep, I am existent; it is not nothingness. Self-recognition proves self-continuity. Self-continuity proves that I am very much in the sleep also. That means sleep is not the state of nothingness.

And therefore, Adi Śankarācārya says प्रभोदसमर्े prabhodasamaye; at the time of waking; प्रत्र्शभज्ञार्ते pratyabhijñāyate; the self is recognised as the what? Self is recognised in what form? प्रागस्वाप्सम् prāgasvāpsam; I slept well before. When does he say? In the waking state; that means how I who am awake; now slept well before, (this is within quote “prāgasvāpsam”, iti pratyabhijñāyate. Self is recognised; therefore, self is continuous; Therefore, jāgrat avastāyām I am, svapna I am; suṣupti I am; I am the existence in all the three states. There is only minor difference. In jāgrat and svapnā, I am the attributed-localised-existence, in suṣupti I am attributeless-unlocalised-existence. And that is why in jagrat avastha, you can refer to your location; once you go to sleep, you do not know the location; and therefore that existence is recognised after waking up. Therefore, through प्रत्र्शभज्ञा प्रमाणम् pratyabhijñā pramāṇam also it is proved that sleep is not a state of nothingness and therefore mādhyamika buddhism is wrong.

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Sloka 1 – எழில் வடிவமும் இறை அன்பும்


Non-duality that is the central core of Advaita philosophy identifies the Supreme Self (that transcends everything) with the innermost Self (that is immanent in every being). If God or the Supreme Reality does not have a separate status other than our Selves, then who is to worship whom? Hence the concept of Bhakti, or Devotion, seems to contradict the Oneness inherent in Advaita. This apparent conflict is easily resolved by Sriman Narayaneeyam. Bhattattiri’s conception of Bhakti emphasizes the nirguNa aspect of the Ultimate in no uncertain terms, even while he expatiates on the worship of the visible form.

That the Ultimate is non-dual there is no question. But to be able to realise it as a fact of experience one has to go through the processes of Bhakti of God with form and content, with name and description, with qualities and adjuncts. Such a God is known by the technical name of saguNa brahman, in contrast to the nirguNa brahman which is the formless and nameless Absolute.

Bhattathri clearly brings out through his spiritual experience that The Absolute Being is not manifest to the senses or the intellect and is difficult to grasp or attain to. But when it is manifest as Guruvayur Krishna it is like the wavy surface of the Ocean of Blissful spirit, definite, clear and easy to grasp. Therefore one resorts to the worship of the Krishna form that is lovable and most captivating by its sweet beauty and other blessed attributes. Slokas in Dasakam 2 depict that beauty. Let us study them.

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse


कारुण्याकुलनेत्रमार्द्रहसितोल्लासं सुनासापुटम्

गण्डोद्यन्मकराभकुण्डलयुगं कण्ठोज्ज्वलत्कौस्तुभं

त्वद्रूपं वनमाल्यहारपटलश्रीवत्सदीप्रं भजे ॥२.१॥

सूर्य-स्पर्धि-किरीटम् ऊर्ध्वतिलक-प्रोद्भासि-फालान्तरम्

कारुण्य-आकुलनेत्रम् आर्द्र-हसित-उल्लासम् सुनासापुटम्

गण्डोद्यन्-मकर-आभ-कुण्डल-युगम् कण्ठोज्ज्वलत्-कौस्तुभम्

त्वत्-रूपम् वनमाल्य-हार-पटल-श्रीवत्सदीप्रम् भजे

Transliteration in English

suuryaspardhikiriiTamuurdhvatilaka prOdbhaasiphaalaantaraM

kaaruNyaakulanetramaardra hasitOllaasaM sunaasaapuTam |

gaNDOdyanmakaraabha kuNDalayugaM kaNThOjvalatkaustubhaM

tvadruupaM vanamaalyahaarapaTala shriivatsadiipraM bhaje ||1

Transliteration in Tamil


காருண்யாகுலநேத்ரமார்த்₃ரஹஸிதோல்லாஸம் ஸுநாஸாபுடம்|

க₃ண்டோ₃த்₃யந்மகராப₄குண்ட₃லயுக₃ம் கண்டோ₂ஜ்வலத்கௌஸ்துப₄ம்

த்வத்₃ரூபம் வநமால்யஹாரபடலஶ்ரீவத்ஸதீ₃ப்ரம் ப₄ஜே|| 1||

Meaning in Tamil

பரிதி இணை ஒளிர்மிகு மணிமகுடம்

நுதலதனில் ஒளிகூட்டும் சந்தன நேர் திலகம்

கருணை பொழி இருவிழியுடன் எழில்வடிவு நாசி

இருசெவியணி மகரகுண்டல எதிரொளிக்கும் கண்ணம்

கௌஸ்துப மாலை அணி நீள் கண்டம்

துளசி மாலைதரி ஒளிமிகு ஶ்ரீவத்ஸம் பதி மார்பகம்

புன்முறுவல் பூத்த திருமுகமுடை உன் இவ் வடிவம்

போற்றிப் பணிந்திடுவேனே யான் அனுதினம் 2.1

Meaning in English

I meditate upon this form of You, adorned with a crown which rivals the sun in its brilliance, whose forehead is made more resplendent by the upright mark (tilak of sandal paste), whose eyes are brimming with mercy, with a shapely nose, with shining cheeks reflecting the brilliance of a pair of fish shaped ear pendants, with the Kaustubh jewel shining on the neck, and bosom resplendent with garlands of flowers (and tulsi) necklaces ( of pearls and gems) and the mark of Srivatsa.

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

• सूर्य-स्पर्धि-किरीटम्- with a crown which rivals the Sun (in brilliance)

• ऊर्ध्वतिलक-प्रोद्भासि-फालान्तरम् by the upright mark (tilak of sandal paste) whose forehead is made more resplendent,

• कारुण्य-आकुलनेत्रम्- whose eyes are brimming with mercy

• आर्द्र-हसित-उल्लासम् (whose face) is lit up with a benevolent smile புன்முறுவல் பூத்த திருமுகம்

• सुनासापुटम् with a shapely nose

• गण्डोद्यन्-मकर-आभ-कुण्डल-युगम् with cheeks shining due to the brilliance of a pair of fish shaped ear pendants –

• कण्ठोज्ज्वलत्-कौस्तुभम् with the Kaustubh jewel shining on the neck

• त्वत्-रूपम् Thy form

• वनमाल्य-हार-पटल-श्रीवत्सदीप्रम् (and Thy bosom) resplendent with garlands of flowers (and tulsi) necklaces ( of pearls and gems) and the mark of Srivatsa

• भजे I meditate upon

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Introduction

Pencil Sketch at the site – Belur Halebidu by my daughter some 25 years ago

The greatness of The Supreme Reality – The Brahma Tatwa, which is dense concentrated Bliss, which is of the nature of the Pure Consciousness, which is without parallel or comparison, and is totally free of time and space limitations, and is always free of Maya is brought out in Daskam 1. That Brahma Tatwa which is not easy to grasp in the beginning, but the realisation of which, is the highest purusharth (i.e. liberation), that very Reality shines right in front in concrete form in the Guruvaayur temple as Lord Krishna.

Through this first Daskam, the transcendent and immanent (Nirguna and Saguna) nature of the Brahman is brought out. Here is a recap of Dasakam 1.

The reality of the Brahman is not a question to be solved by dialectic which the vast majority of the human race will be unable to understand. Dialectic in itself and without reference to personal experience cannot give us conviction. Only spiritual experiences can provide us with proof.

Narayana Bhattathri has brought out his spiritual experience at the Guruvayur Temple for the benefit of ordinary humans like us. Let us try and understand through the Slokas.

In Dasakam 2, the sweetness of the form and the devotion to that form have been brought out clearly.

Each blog will cover the Sloka, transliterations in English and Tamil, the meaning of the Sanskrit words and the meaning of the Sloka in English and Tamil.

The first Sloka of Dasakam 2 will be on next Friday, 24th September.

An important message here: Except for the translation in Tamil which is an expression of my limited and little understanding of the Sloka, everything else is what is available in the public domain.

விநாயக சதுர்த்தி – Ganesh Chathurthi – Ganesha Pancharathnam

Here is wishing all our friends, a very happy Ganesh Chathurthi.

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम्

प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये

வெண்ணிற ஆடையும் நீக்கமற நிறைவும்

முழுமதியொளி வடிவும் கரங்கள் நான்கும்

அருள்மிகு முகமும் நிறை ஆண்டவனை

அனைத்திடர் களைய அடி பணிவோம்

Ganesha Pancharathnam

Here is my humble offering to Lord Ganesh

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 5 – Who am I ? காயமே இது பொய்யடா !

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

द्देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुः
स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः ।
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥५॥

Meaning in Tamil

ஊண் சுவாச பொறிபுலன் சலன புத்தி இவையே

‘நான்’ என முனைவுடன் மடமை கொண்டு வாதிப்பர்,

உணர்வுக்கடிமை மாதரென, முதிரா அறிவுடை பாலனென,

இகபுர இருகண்ணிலா குருடரென, மடமை நிறை மூடரென!

லீலையென மாயை புரி அம்மடமைதனை அழி

ஆதிஅந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம் அருள்மிகு

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

Those who consider the Body or Prana (Vital Force) or Sense Organs or the Changing Mind or the Void (Total non-existence) as the “I”, are Like the emotionally sensitive women or Naive Innocent Girl Child, or Blind, or a Dull-Headed. They are deluded but they vehemently assert their points. The Inner Guru destroys this great delusion created by the play of the power of Maya. Salutations to Him, the personification of Our Inner Guru who awakens this Knowledge through His profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakṣiṇāmurty.

Understanding the Sloka:

देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुःDeham Praannam-Api-Indriyaanny-Api Calaam Buddhim Ca Shuunyam Viduh – The various types of false identifications of Ātman that we discussed above viz., deham, pranam, indriyani, calam buddhim and shunyam

स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति Strii-Baala-Andha-Jaddo(a-U)pamaastv[u-]Aham-Iti – Now let us come to the comparison that Adi Śankarā makes while describing these misconceived people. स्रीबालान्धजडोपमा (strī bāla andha jaḍo pamā). These words should be taken as symbolic of four types of defective intellect, which alone can commit these mistakes:

  1. Stri – an intellect which is suppressed by emotions, which is a hostage of emotions, Emotional thralldom; very typical of womanfolk.
  2. Bāla;- is undeveloped intellect, because a bāla, a child is not capable of thinking; it is not trained; therefore bāla represents undeveloped or untrained intellect. Training through tarka, logical reasoning, he has not gone through;
  3. Andhah – represents unaided intellect; literally the word andhā means blind, and what do you mean by the word blindness here; not using the śāstra pramāṇam, makes a person partially blind. If we have to know the spiritual truth; we require two eyes – external & internal. śāstra cakṣuḥ; buddhi cakṣuḥ, These two should combine for knowledge to take place; If one of them is not there, this person becomes what? partially blind; If both are not there, i.e., no buddhi and no śāstram, totally blind;
  4. The fourth one is jadaḥ; jadaḥa means a retarded intellect, an unintelligent intellect.

भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः Bhraantaa Bhrsham Vaadinah. – All these people with the misconceptions have one thing in common; “braandhaaha”- delusion is the only common feature. And not only they are confused and they have got wrong conclusion, the tragic part of this conclusion is they are not available for correction. Therefore Śankarācārya says that these people are not available for reconsideration. This is what the Upanisahads also have said:

avidyāyām andare vartamānā, svayam dhīrāḥ paṇḍitam manyamānāḥ.

They are steeped in ignorance, and also because of their arrogance and adamancy, “svayam dhīrāḥ paṇḍitam manyante”; they think we are omniscient. Therefore Śankarācārya says that even Bhagavan’s compassion becomes useless, in front of them. They always say “I am always right, the other person is always wrong”, These people are called “bhṛśaṃ vādinaḥ”. Śankarācārya says never waste your time, talking to them; talking to such people, is misplaced compassion. bhṛśaṃ means intensely; not ordinarily argumentators, intensely vādinaḥ;

मायाशक्तिविलासकल्पितमहाव्यामोहसंहारिणे – Maayaa-Shakti-Vilaasa-Kalpita-Mahaa-Vyaamoha-Samhaarinne.
Then Śankarācārya looks at himself; Oh my God, somehow I am not in that group of confusion; I have got an intellect, which is free from all these four-fold defects, I have got an intelligent intellect, intelligent enough to understand Brahman, and also I have got shraddha in vedānta śāstram m, and therefore I have rescued myself and if I could get out of this confusion, it is only because of the external aid I got; and what is that external aid, śāstram pramāṇam. And therefore I am indebted to śāstram; And if śāstram could be meaningful to me, I am indebted to another person; it is purely because of guru; In fact, śāstram is made a pramāṇam by guru alone; And therefore Śankarācārya says I am indebted to śāstram and more indebted to the guru, and that guru who destroyed all my confusions. That confusion-destroyer-guru, I offer my prostrations and therefore Guru. Adi Śankarācārya now defines a Guru and has a new title for Guru; what is the title given to guru? māyāśakti vilāsakalpita mahāvyāmoha saṃhāri; to that guru, who is none other than dakṣiṇāmūrti, my namaskaram. That is said in the third line. Now let us see the meaning of this long Sanskrit Word.

saṃhāriṇi – (my guru) is a destroyer; destroyer of what?
vyāmoha – (destroys) confusion, Delusion with regard to one self; self-delusion is called vyāmoha; how did this confusion come? he says;
kalpitam  - created by/caused by - caused by whom?
vilāsa - ; vilāsa has two meanings, one meaning is the sport or play; so vilāsaha means play; Play of what? maya shakthi, the power of māya; play or operation or sport of māya shakthi.

So thus, what will be final translation; the guru who is the destroyer of the great delusion caused by the play of the power of māya.

And therefore, Hey Guro, who is the destroyer of ignorance and consequent delusion permanently, I offer my namaskaram to you.

திருக்குறள், நிலையாமை அதிகாரத்தில் இக்கருத்தினையே இவ்வாறு பிரதிபலிக்கிறது.

நில்லாத வற்றை நிலையின என்றுணரும்
புல்லறி வாண்மை கடை.

நெருநல் உளனொருவன் இன்றில்லை என்னும்
பெருமை உடைத்துஇவ் வுலகு.

குடம்பை தனித்துஒழியப் புள்பறந் தற்றே
உடம்பொடு உயிரிடை நட்பு.

‘அழிகின்ற ஓர் உடம்பு ஆகும் செவிகள்,

கழிகின்ற காலவ் விரதங்கள் தானம், மொழிகின்ற வாக்கு முடிகின்ற நாடி, ஒழிகின்ற ஊனுக்கு உறுதுணை இல்லையே’

என்ற திருமந்திரம் ‘கண்டதே காட்சி, கொண்டதே கோலம்’ எனும் மடமைமிகு கருத்தினை அழிக்க உதவும்.

Dakshinamurthy Sloka 4 – The Light within – அருட் பெரும் ஜோதி

In the last three blogs as introduction to the Sloka, we understood that the core of all of us viz., the inner consciousness known as the ātmā is compared to a maha deepam அருட்பெரும் ஜோதி (the light like Sun). The ātmā is described or revealed by comparing it to a light principle as the nearest example due to its self-luminous and self-evident nature called svayam prakāśatvam.

We also saw through experiments that in every perception, I, the ātmā, is independently self evident; and anātmā the object is dependently evident. The infinite consciousness by itself never illumines anything by itself. It is a upakaranaa or upadhi. It needs a medium to illumine. The medium borrows the light and reflect on the object. The mind borrows light from “me” temporarily and throws it on the object thro the 5 indriyas thro which it escapes.. That is called perception/gnana. The light of consciousness, when reflected at an inner equipment, reaches the object to illumine them. This process of reflecting light on objects and perceiving them through the atma-mind-indriyas combination is called व्रित्त्त पररणाम vritti pariṇāma, and when that takes place alone, the object becomes known. In other words for the knower to know we need cit (light), mind (anthakarana) and organs (indriyas) otherwise the object is masked or unknown (avidya).

With this understanding let us now study the Sloka

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse:

नानाच्छिद्रघटोदरस्थितमहादीपप्रभा भास्वरं
ज्ञानं यस्य तु चक्षुरादिकरणद्वारा वहिः स्पन्दते ।
जानामीति तमेव भान्तमनुभात्येतत्समस्तं जगत्
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥४॥

Audio Link


Meaning in Tamil

ஐந்துளைக் குடமுள்ளிட்ட பெருவிளக்கின் ஒளியென

ஐம்பொரிவழி அதிரலையென வெளிப்படும் ஒன்றே,

பரம்பொருளின் பேரொளியால், ‘எனை அறிவேன்’ எனும்

ஆன்மாவின் உள்ளுணர்வில் ஒளிவிடும் இவ்உலகம்! அந்த

ஆதிஅந்தமிலா மோனநிலை பரம்பொருளாம் ஆசான்

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி  பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English:

All this world shines after Him alone shining in the consciousness “I know”—after Him alone whose consciousness, luminous like the light of a mighty lamp standing in the bosom of a many-holed pot, moves outwards through the sense-organs such as the eye. To Him who is incarnate in the Teacher, to Him in the Effulgent Form Facing the South, to Him (Siva) be this bow!

Understanding the Sloka:

Here Śankarācārya wants to point out that the ātmā, the existence consciousness is ever evident and therefore does not require any special process to know. Knowing the ātmā is not a special event taking place by your special effort. Any other object in the world becomes known at a particular time by your special effort and becomes an event in time.

First Line

नानाच्छिद्रघटोदरस्थितमहादीपप्रभा भास्वरंज्ञानं यस्य तु चक्षुरादिकरणद्वारा वहिः स्पन्दते ।

Naanaac-Chidra-Ghatto[a-U]dara-Sthita-Mahaa-Diipa-Prabhaa Bhaasvaram Jnyaanam Yasya Tu Cakssur-Aadi-Karanna-Dvaaraa Vahih Spandate |

ज्ञानं यस्य jñānam yasya; yasya means ātmānaha; ātmānaha jñānam. So, the light of ātmā, the light of consciousness of ātmā is भास्वरम् bhāsvaram; is brilliant; because it has to create a long beam; so it can see even the farthest star, I am able to see. Therefore, it is bhāsvaram; it is brilliant. Brilliant like what?

नानात्छिर घटोदर त्स्थत महादीप प्रभा, nānācchidra ghaṭodara sthita mahādīpa prabhā; like the prabhā, brilliance, like the brilliance of maha deepam; a very bright lamp, so that consciousness of ātmā is brilliant like the brilliance of a very bright lamp or big lamp; घट उदर त्स्थत gada udara sthitha; which is placed within a pot;

वहिः स्पन्दते Vahih Spandate Emerges out as a pulse/light

Second Line

जानामीति तमेव भान्तमनुभात्येतत्समस्तं जगत्. Jaanaamiti Tam-Eva Bhaantam-Anubhaaty-Etat-Samastam Jagat

Continuing from the understanding of the first line which means that we presuppose the word तत् tat meaning that bright light of consciousness, that emerges out (वहिः स्पन्दते) through the five apertures, I know that viz. जानामीति Jaanaam-Iiti And then what happens, each beam of light falls on an object, one beam of light falling on sābda, another falling on sparsa; another falling on rūpa, and the moment the light falls on them; what happens, they all become known or bright; the non-luminous one becomes luminous; I know means what; that has become knowable or luminous.

When I say I know (जानामि) the object, the process of knowledge is only one; Verb is single; but on the two sides of the verb, there is a subject and there is an object. The subject reveals self-evidence; object is dependently evident; Depending on whom? Me. Therefore every jānāmi reveals one dependently evident object and independently evident subject. Adi Sankara uses the words; जानामि इति jānāmi ithi – इत्ति iti indicates a process of cognition of the object by the subject which by itself is self evident भानम् bhānam. Since the cognised object is proved only through cognition; it is called dependently evident; अनुभानम् anubhānam.

Thus जानामीर्त तमेव भान्तम् jānāmīti tameva bhāntam, in every jānāmi statement, that ātmā alone reveals itself and sarvam tam anubhāti. Not Sarvam, but yetat samastaṃ jagat. Śankarā uses the same word, bhāntam and anubhāti. yetatsamastaṃ jagat, the whole universe.

Last Line of the Sloka

तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये Tasmai Shrii-Guru-Muurtaye Nama Idam Shrii-Dakssinnaamuurtaye

tasmai – means prabuddha puruṣāya; to that woken-up person, who is a jnāni; who is liberated; who is the knower, the known and the process , to that jnani my namaskaaram. So tasmai prabuddha puruṣāya, jnānine namaha. And who is that jnāni?

Shree gurumurthaye – who alone is a guru, who alone can serve as a guru and who is my guru, gurumoorthaye.

Namaha – my salutations.

Thus we can see again that a complex concept in Philosophy of knower- known, the relationship between “being” and “knowing” and the process of cognition is explained by Adi Sankara in just two lines using a simple experiment using a pot and a lamp.

இதனையே “உயிர் இடைவிடாது சிவனோடு பொருந்தி நின்று நீண்டு செல்லும் மனமும் சத்தம், பரிசம், ரூபம், இரசம், கந்தம் ஆகிய புலன்களின் உண்மையை அறிந்துவிட்டு, சுத்தமாயை அசுத்தமாயைகள் பற்றாவகை எண்ணி, தலைவனாகிய முழுமுதற் பொருளை அடைதல் சித்தாந்த நெறியாகும்” என திருமூலர் திருமந்திரத்தில் உபதேசிக்கிறார்

2373. நித்தம் பரனோடு உயிருற்று நீள்மனம்
சத்தம் முதல்ஐந்தும் தத்துவத் தால்நீங்கிச்
சுத்தம் அசுத்தம் தொடரா வகைநினைந்து
அத்தன் பரன்பால் அடைதல்சித் தாந்தமே.

Dakshinamurthy Stothram – Sloka 3 – तत्वमसि – நான் அவனே தான்

Tat Tvam Asi

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

यस्यैव स्फुरणं सदात्मकमसत्कल्पार्थकं भासते
साक्षात्तत्त्वमसीति वेदवचसा यो बोधयत्याश्रितान् ।
यत्साक्षात्करणाद्भवेन्न पुनरावृत्तिर्भवाम्भोनिधौ
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥३॥

தமிழ் மொழி பெயர்ப்பு

பரம்பொருளின் உளதெனும் அதிர்வலையால்

பண்டமெனும் வடிவர்த்தமுடை தன்மை, உளமதில்

பதியும் ஒளிமய நேருணர்வாய் மெய்யெனவே!

அம்மெய்யுணர்வை “அதுவே நீ” என்று நேர்முகமாய்

அனுபவமெனப் பெற, அண்டிடு அருமறையறி ஆசானை,

அடைந்திடு பிறவிப் பிணி தீர் பேரானந்தம் நிரந்தரமென!

ஆதி அந்தமிலா மோனநிலை அமர் அந்த ஆசானம்

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி  பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

To Him in the Effulgent Form Facing the South, whose light, which is Existence itself, shines forth entering the objects which are almost non-existent—to Him incarnate in the Guru who instructs the disciples in the Vedic text “That thou art;”—to Him who being realized there will be no more return to the ocean of samsâra, to Him (Siva) be this bow!


From the previous blogs, it is clear that the integration or Aikyam happens as the Paramātma gets into an instrument as “Existence” & “Light” (Paramātma/Isvara & Jiva/Consciousness/Self respectively) or otherwise as “being” and “knowing”.

திருமூலர், திருமந்திரத்தில் சிவன் ஒளி வடிவானவன் சீவனும் ஒளி வடிவானவன். சீவ ஒளி சிவ ஒளியில் கலந்தால் பிறவி நீங்கும் என்பதை, #2681 பதியில்

ஒளியும் உருவமும்

ஒளியை அறியில் உருவும் ஒளியும்

ஒளியும் உருவம் அறியில் உருவாம்

ஒளியின் உருவம் அறியில் ஒளியே

ஒளியும் உருக உடனிருந் தானே.

சீவன் ஆன்மஒளியை அறிந்து கொண்டால், சீவனின் உருவம் ஆகிய உடல் ஒளிந்து கொள்ளும். சீவன் ஒளிந்து நிற்கும் தன் உடலை அறிந்து கொண்டால், சீவனின் பிறவிகள் தொடரும். ஆன்மஒளியின் உருவம் சீவன் அறிந்து கொண்டால், சீவன் உருவம் ஒளிமயம் ஆகிவிடும்.சீவன் ஆன்ம ஒளியில் தோய்ந்து நின்றால், சீவனுக்குச் சிவன் அங்கு விளங்குவான் என விளக்குகிறார்.

Now let us see the meaning of the Sloka in detail

First Line: यस्यैव स्फुरणं सदात्मकमसत्कल्पार्थकं भासते साक्षात्तत्त्वमसीति

यस्यैव स्फुरणं (Yasya-Eva sphuraṇaṃ):

Here it means the throbbing/pulsating/vibrations of THAT alone, implying that of the pure Consciousness (Eternal Awareness) which is nothing but paramātmā’s sphuraṇaṃ (Recollect the vibrations from the emptiness when we explore matter as per modern science as explained in the previous introductory blogs)

सदात्मकमसत्कल्पार्थकं (Sadaa-Aātmakam-Asat-Kalpa-Arthakam):

सदात्मकम:  manifestation in the world is sadātmakam is in the form of Existence, in every object. paramātmā‘s manifestion in the world is in the form of ISness in everything. ISness part is paramātmā – the formless; pure, all-pervading ISness is the manifestation of paramātmā.

असत्कल्पार्थकं:    asat means non-existence & kalpa means as good as or almost; artha means object of desire. And where is this manifestation available? – located in/manifested in the medium of artha; artha means every object; And what type of object? असत कल्प asat kalpa; Asat Kalpa means Mithya; an unreal thing is called asat kalpa.

भासते (bhāsate):

bhāsate means is experienceable for all (appear in the mind). It is exactly like the sunlight is experienceable for all of us and upon every object as reflected sunlight; manifest sunlight is experienceable on every body. Similarly, vedāntaḥ says when you say table IS; we are experiencing the formed chair, which is soaked in formless existence.

So, paramātmā‘s sphuraṇaṃ is sadaātmakam in asat kalpa artha bhāsate; i.e., paramātmā’s vibe is always experienced by all in every “otherwise as good as non-existent” object of desire as a reflection of the all-pervading pure ISness, the eternal formless Existence.

साक्षात्तत्त्वमसीति (Saakssaat-Tat-Tvam-Asi-Iti):

We just saw यस्यैव स्फुरणं सदात्मकमसत्कल्पार्थकं भासतेthat paramātmā’s vibe is always experienced by all in every “otherwise as good as non-existent” object of desire as a reflection of the all-pervading pure ISness, the eternal formless Existence

Now the question is: How can I experience that existence in its pure form? I am experiencing the Existence; along with object, adulterated existence; I am enjoying, but I want to appreciate or experience unadulterated pure ISness; the formless, eternal, all pervading existence.

Then the Upanishad says, साक्षात्तत्त्वमसीति (Saakssaat-Tat-Tvam-Asi-Iti): that pure Existence you will never experience. You can experience only adulterated existence; the pure existence cannot be experienced;

त्तत्त्वमसी: Why cant Pure Existence be experienced? ? tat tvam asi; pure existence is none other than you; What type of You? The formless consciousness principle; “You” means not the body, body is also not pure existence; body is adulterated existence with body nama rupa; When I say You, you cannot take the mind also; mind is also not pure existence; it is existence associated with mind nama rupa. You cannot even take the thought because thought is also not pure existence; but it is existence associated with thought form. Then what type of You? You, the pure consciousness, which is the experiencer of the thought, which is witness of the body; witness of the mind; witness of the thought. That I, is the sākṣi caitanyam, am the pure existence; And the sākṣi caitanyam is called jīvātma; and Aham, the sākṣi caitanyam jīvātma eva suddha satta rupa paramātma asmi. This is called Aham Brahma Asmi.

साक्षात्त: And how will it be? the pure existence and consciousness without any nama rupa; how will it look like? I am not able to conceive at all. Better you do not conceive. If we conceive, again it will become an object, associated with some nama rupa. If you need some examples which are nearest to the pure existence-consciousness, we have only two examples:

  1. one is the space; space is not pure existence-consciousness; but it is the nearest example for pure sat chit ātma; that is one example.
  2. The second example is: You in the deep sleep state is the nearest example for pure existence-consciousness without name and form.

And therefore, try to conceive of space; try to conceive of yourselves in deep sleep; And similar to that is I; the pure existence-consciousness. And what is the significance of the word, sākṣāt? It has a very important technical significance, normally when we describe something, the words give only the indirect knowledge; that is called verbal knowledge; indirect knowledge and has to be converted into direct experience later; the book knowledge is converted into experiential knowledge; that experiential knowledge is अपरॊक्ष ज्ञानम् aparokṣa jñānam. Normally, words give indirect knowledge which has to be converted into direct knowledge, by effort. This is our general experience. Here Śankarācārya says in the case of Brahman, these two divisions are not there; because paramātmā is Existence; Existence is consciousness is all the time self-evidently experinced;

वेदवचसा यो बोधयत्याश्रितान् : And Śankarācārya says that this is what is the Guru told through Veda “Veda-Vacasaa Yo Bodhayaty”. The Guru directly reveals to you with the help of Vedas that paramārtha which is nothing but “You”. Guru has the knowledge, he did not get through intuition, वेद वचसा veda vachasa; He got it through the vedas, taught by his guru; And how did he get the knowledge? Not thru intuitution; by śabda pramāṇa handed down by the guru; when did the whole thing start? it started when the creation started; and when did creation start; अनाश्रधः anādi; and therefore as anadi as the creation, is the parampara of teaching. This teaching tradition is also anādi; with the help of this tradition, the guru reveals; that is why in our tradition, always the śāstra or parampara is given more importance than the person; in our tradition, no single आचार्यः ācāryaḥ is given more importance;

So far in the first two lines we have learnt what Adi Śankarācārya was saying. Now what do I get out of this knowledge? Till now I thought that I am the physical body, the formed body, now I have learned that I am not the body with consciousness, but I am the consciousness, temporarily functioning through the body. Not only I am the consciousness, lending sentiency to the body, I am the existence lending existence to the world also. Now where am I? I alone give two things; caitanyam to the body; existence to the world; And having given these two, the body becomes subject, world becomes object, all the transactions takes place, All the transactions are possible because I lend Sat to the world, and I lend Cit to the body;  you imagine dream. In the dream individual, I alone lend consciousness to the dream individual. I alone lend existence to the dream world; Lending Sat and Cit I allow the dream-drama to go on. Similarly, by lending Sat and Cit, I allow the world drama to go on. Remember the first Sloka viśvandarpaṇa dṛśyamāna nagarī tulyaṃ nijāntargataṃ.

The next question that automatically comes to or mind is What is the advantage of this vision? To answer this question, let us see the third line and understand what the Acharya is trying to convey.

यत्साक्षात्करणाद्भवेन्न पुनरावृत्तिर्भवाम्भोनिधौ Yat-Saakssaat-Karannaad-Bhaven-Na Punaraavrttir-Bhavaam-Bho-Nidhau

यत्साक्षात्करणात: Śankarācārya says; yassākṣātkaraṇāt; Yath again means paramātmā, paramātma sākṣātkaraṇāt, by this अपरोक्ष ज्ञानम aparokṣa jñānam, this direct knowledge of paramātmā, that I am the सत्त्चदात्माः satcidātmāḥ, the advantage is:

पुनरावृत्तिर्भवाम्भोनिधौ Punaraavrttir-Bhavaam-Bho-Nidhau): No more Reappearance in the Ocean of Wordly Existence

(Punaraavrtti) = Return, Reappearance, Re-Birth

पुनरावृत्ति न भवेत punarāvrittīḥ na bhavet . There is no question of punar janma itself for that jnani. punarāvrittīḥ is not there for that jnani. Where?

भवाम्भोतनधौ bhavāmbhonidhau. – भव (Bhava) = Worldly Existence; भोस् (Bhos) = A particle of sorrow; निधि (Nidhi) = Sea. It means the ocean of becoming, the ocean of change, the ocean of अत्स्र्, जार्ते, वधयर्े, द्धवपररणमते, अपक्षक्षर्ते, द्धवनिर्तत asthi, jāyate, vardhathe, vipariṇamate, apakṣiyate, vinaśayati; in that ocean of change, this person is not born;

Thus, this Sloka brings out the Maha Vakya Tat Tvam Asi clearly.

Dakshinamurthy Sthothram – Sloka 3 – Part 3 – thou art that – तत् त्वम् असि

Tat Tvam Asi – Painting by Dhruv

From the previous blogs we understood the concepts behind the word Existence and Light viz., “Being & Knowing” – The Tat and the Tvam parts; the Paramatma and Jivatma. We saw with examples of an existing Table and analysis that both are two kinds of emptiness. We can say that there are two kinds of emptiness; one called being and the other called knowing. What is the difference between the substance of vibration (being) and the substance of knowing? Where is the line between these two emptiness.

Initially, we may think that the line between the two emptiness is just outside us. As we contemplate and meditate with the help of a Guru, we will experience that there is no dividing line: It is not there. This is the great discovery of the nondual (advaita) understanding. The reality i.e, the emptiness of the knowledge of pure consciousness (I) called time and the reality of emptiness of the matter as the substance of vibration (you the object) called as space are empty and identical. These are two different shades of water colors on the same paper (like the two parts of the faces in the art work done by my 8 year old grandson in the image shown above). This is an experiential recognition as we meditate on the subject. This is called the Jivatma-Paramatma Aikyam.

So jīvātma is pure Consciousness, paramātma is pure Existence. Then vedāntaḥ says this pure Existence which lends existence to the world, this pure Consciousness which lends consciousness to the body, both this pure Existence and pure Consciousness are one and the same. So, Existence is Consciousness; Consciousness is Existence. And it is this Existence-Consciousness which makes the body sentient; and which makes the world existent. And this recognition of the oneness of the existence and consciousness is jīvātma paramātma êkya jnānam, and Śankarācārya says, whichever Guru manages to successfully communicate, this identity of this pure Existence and Pure consciousness, to that Guru, who is Dakṣiṇāmurty., My namaskarams. This is going to be the essence of this third Sloka which we will see in the next blog.

Here are the pictorial representations of our learning on Sat & Cit (Existence and Consciouness) (Courtesy: vedantastudents.com)