Sunday, February 22, 2009

The song of the soul - Nirvana Shatkam

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Nirvana Shatkam

मनो बुद्धि अहंकार चित्तानी नाहं
नच श्रोत्र जिव्हे नच घ्राण नेत्रे
नच व्योम भूमि न तेजो न वायु
चिदानंद रूपः शिवोहम शिवोहम ||1||

I am not mind, Intellect, Ego, and Seat of consciousness. Neither I am ear and tongue nor I am nose and eyes. Neither I am sky or earth nor I am power or wind. I am the eternal bliss, I am Shiva, the Auspicious.||1||

नच प्राण संज्ञो न वै पञ्चवायुः
न वा सप्तधातु: नवा पञ्चकोशः
न वाक्पाणिपादौ न च उपस्थ पायुः
चिदानंदरूप: शिवोहम शिवोहम ||2||

I am not the state of being alive or the five type of Vayu. Neither I am the seven elements constituting the body (Dhatu) nor I am the five sheaths which invest the soul. Neither I am voice, hand, or leg nor I am Genitals. I am the eternal bliss, I am Shiva, the Auspicious.||2||

नमे द्वेषरागौ नमे लोभ मोहौ
मदों नैव मे नैव मात्सर्यभावः
न धर्मो नचार्थो न कामो न मोक्षः
चिदानंदरूप: शिवोहम शिवोहम ||3||

I have not envy and passion nor greed and attachment. Neither I am intoxication nor I am jealous. And I am neither Dharma (righteousness,Duty), nor Artha (Material Wealth), Nor Kama (Desire), nor Moksha (Liberation). I am the eternal bliss, I am Shiv,the Auspicious.||3||

न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दु:खं
न मंत्रो न तीर्थं न वेदों न यज्ञः
अहम् भोजनं नैव भोज्यम न भोक्ता
चिदानंद रूप: शिवोहम शिवोहम ||4||

There is nothing Punya (Virtuous deed), Paap (Vicious Deed), Saukhya (Wellbeing/Happiness), or Dukha (Grief) for me. Neither I am Hymns nor any Holy Place nor I am the Veda nor the oblation. I am not the Experience, nor the Experiencer nor the Experienced. I am eternal bliss, I am Shiv,the Auspicious.||4||

नमे मृत्युशंका नमे जातिभेद:
पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्म
न बंधू: न मित्रं गुरु: नैव शिष्यं
चिदानंद रूप: शिवोहम शिवोहम ||5||

Neither I have the fear of death nor I have the difference between Races/Castes. Neither I have [any relation like] father, mother, nor I am born. I am not a relative, nor a friend, a teacher (Guru), or a student (Shisya) of anyone. I am the eternal bliss, I am Shiv,the Auspicious.||5||

अहम् निर्विकल्पो निराकार रूपो
विभुर्व्याप्य सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम
सदा मे समत्वं न मुक्ति: न बंध:
चिदानंद रूप: शिवोहम शिवोहम ||6||

I am eternal and changeless, and lack all the qualities and form. I envelope all forms from all sides and am beyond the cognition of sense-organs. I am always in the state of equality — there is no liberation (Mukti) nor Bondage (Bandha). I am the eternal bliss state, I am Shiv, the Auspicious.||6||

- Adi Shankaracharya (8th century CE)

The depth of each word used in this masterpiece unravels as we go on learning the meanings of the verses. First 5 stanzas, Shankara describes all the attributes of physical and spritual world and says that the "I" of every person is beyond material and spiritual world. In last line of every stanza, poet says, "I" actually is - "चिदानंद रूप: शिवोहम शिवोहम" - "I am the eternal bliss state, I am Shiv, the Auspicious" .

If we look at the meaning of this recurring phrase closely, we face a deluge of information and we grasp the flight of the creativity of this man.

नन्द - Nanda - propitious
- Aa - Towards, from all sides

आनंद - Aananda - Propitiousness from all sides...

चित्त - Chitta - Derived from word root - चित् - Chit - to percieve.
Same word root forms the word - चेतना - Chetana which is power of perception.
चित्त - Chitta becomes faculty/tool of perception. Energy which makes perception possible is Chitta. It should be noted that there are two conditions for this. Perception is only possible in presence of
a) Subject (one who is percieving - self or "I")
b) Object (one which is being percieved - universe)

An energy which makes perception possible is the one which is responsible for existence of both a and b.

Is Chitta (चित्त) same as Maanas(मानस) or mind?
No... it is something which transcends mind... Perception is linked with ego ("I") OR ahamkar(अहंकार) OR aatman(आत्मा)... Without sense of 'I', there can be no perception... So, looking closely, chitta(चित्त) is that feature which enables perception, that is 'I' or the Aatman(आत्मा)... Chetana(चेतना) is power of perception which comes from 'Chitta'(चित्त) and enables us to 'Chit'(चित्) or to percieve.

रूप - Roop - Image

Shiva - शिव - Auspicious.

Thus, चिदानंद रूप: शिवोहम शिवोहम actually translates as "I am that auspicious form of Chitta (Energy) which is surrounded by propitiousness from all sides". In other words, state of complete and perfect equianimity where all duality vanishes and complete Advaita (Non-duality) is established with Kaivalya (Singularity).

One of the greatest philosophical gems ever produced in India and one of the masterpiece of Adi Shankaracharya....

1 comment:

Shashank said...

This is indeed one of the greatest philosophical verses. The 4th one says "na bhojanam na bhokta". Our Shastras say [vide Aruna Prasna] from food we come, food we live and into food we go.
By saying that I am neither food nor the one eating it, Adi Shankaracharya is literally saying that to become Shiva one has to break from this cycle. And that He is the all pervading One.
The way He goes about negating all aspects of maaya starting from mano, buddhi etc gives a step by step path to reach Shiva to become One with Him.
thanks for sharing this amazing sloka sir.