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Adi Shankaracharya’s Nirvana Shatakam, which was composed over 1200 years ago, is an embodiment of the “not this, not this” (neti, neti) teaching…which, when understood, can lead to the state of enlightenment, freedom, happiness and peace of mind. In these verses, Adi Shankaracharya explains how one should investigate and understand the true nature of the Atman (self) by rejecting the Anatma’s. (Non-self)
These verses are a powerful demonstration of the breadth and range of understanding which when truly practiced, leads to enlightenment. Some of them are easy to comprehend whereas others challenge the depths of our very own identity and challenges our very understanding of all we have taken for granted.
In these verses, every attachment – material, emotional, spiritual or any other, every belief, every experience, sensation, bodily function and our very existence is examined and negated.
When we realize that we cannot be both the subject and the object, the each of these elements in our existence is “not me”, we realize that we are only the observer, and then we are motivated to refocus on the self as the observer. And when the observer is found to be not separate, then the entire dualistic structure collapses and everything is found to be That, One, or that Being-ness.
Our Guruji Swami Veda Bharati taught of Oneness with Universe, Oneness with Nature and Oneness with God!
And as he has taught us, this is the realization which leads to the true feeling of Oneness with Universe, Oneness with Nature and Oneness with God!
Mano-Buddhi-Ahankaara Chittaani Naaham Na Cha Shrotra-Jihveh Na Cha Ghraan-na-Netre Na Cha Vyoma Bhoomir-Na Tejo Na Vaayuh Chid-Aananda-Roopah Shivoham Shivoham
Neither am I the Mind nor Intelligence or Ego, Neither am I the organs of Hearing (Ears), nor that of Tasting (Tongue), Smelling (Nose) or Seeing (Eyes), Neither am I the Sky, nor the Earth, Neither the Fire nor the Air, I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva, The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness.
Na Cha Praanna-Samnyo Na Vai Pancha-Vaayuh Na Vaa Sapta-Dhaatuh Na Vaa Pancha-Koshah Na Vaak-Paanni-Paadam Na Chopastha-Paayu Chid-Aananda-Roopah Shivoham Shivoham
Neither am I the Vital Breath, nor the Five Vital Air, Neither am I the Seven Ingredients (of the Body), nor the Five Sheaths (of the Body), Neither am I the organ of Speech, nor the organs for Holding ( Hand ), Movement ( Feet ) or Excretion, I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva, The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness.
Na Me Dwesha-Raagau Na Me Lobha-Mohau Mado Naiva Me Naiva Maatsarya-Bhaavah Na Dharmo Na Cha-Artho Na Kaamo Na Mokshah Chid-Aananda-Roopah Shivoham Shivoham
Neither do I have Hatred, nor Attachment, Neither Greed nor Infatuation, Neither do I have Pride, nor Feelings of Envy and Jealousy, I am Not within the bounds of Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desire) and Moksha (Liberation) (the four Purusarthas of life), I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva, The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness.
Na Punnyam Na Paapam Na Sukhham Na Duhkham Na Mantro Na Teertham Na Vedaa Na Yajyaah Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhoktaa Chid-Aananda-Roopah Shivoham Shivoham
Neither am I bound by Merits nor Sins, neither by Worldly Joys nor by Sorrows, Neither am I bound by Sacred Hymns nor by Sacred Places, neither by Sacred Scriptures nor by Sacrifices, I am Neither Enjoyment (Experience), nor an object to be Enjoyed (Experienced), nor the Enjoyer (Experiencer), I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva, The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness.
Na Mrityur-Na Shangkaa Na Me Jaati-Bhedah Pitaa Naiva Me Naiva Maataa Na Janmah Na Bandhur na Mitram Gurur-Na-Iva Shishyah Chid-Aananda-Roopah Shivoham Shivoham
Neither am I bound by Death and its Fear, nor by the rules of Caste and its Distinctions, Neither do I have Father and Mother, nor do I have Birth, Neither do I have Relations nor Friends, neither Spiritual Teacher nor Disciple, I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva, The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness.
I am Without any Variation, and Without any Form, I am Present Everywhere as the underlying Substratum of everything, and behind all Sense Organs, Neither do I get Attached to anything, nor get Freed from anything, I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva, The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness.