Nirvana Shatakam

Nirvana Shatakam
Sri Adi Sankaracharya

Nirvana Shatakam also known as Atma Shatkam is a six-level compilation of verses recited by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Sri Adi Sankaracharya had composed several hymns on Lord Shiva and other Gods and Goddesses. It was believed that He Himself was the manifestation of Lord Shiva.

Nirvana Shatakam is based on the concept of Advaitha (non-dualism). It means that Jeevathma (Personal soul) and Paramathma (Divine soul) are not two different aspects but one and the same. The aim of Jeevathma shall be to attain the level of Paramathma.  This is the manifestation of self realization.

Nirvana Shatakam – origin

Sri Adi Sankaracharya had travelled the entire length and breadth of Bharath (Hindusthan) seeking and spreading the knowledge.

As believed, Sri Adi Sankara as a young boy of eight years was strolling in the neighbourhood of the banks of river Narmada.

Sri Sankara was in search of a spiritual teacher (Guru) for himself. He met Seer Sri Govinda Bhagavat Pada. On spotting Sri Sankara, the seer simply asked ‘’Who Are You?”.

It is believed that Sri Adi Shankara had recited the six stanzas known as ‘Nirvana Shatakam’ or ‘Atma Shatkam’. After listening to these recitations, the Seer had accepted Sri Adi Sankara as his disciple.

Nirvana Shatakam
Om Nama Shivaya

Nirvana Shatakam – concept

Nirvana Shatkam is composed on the principles of Oneness, i.e, the transformation of inner soul (Jeevathma) into Lord Shiva (Paramathma) through self-realization.

This attainment of supreme soul is possible only through self-liberation, i.e letting go of material attachments.  ‘’Vana’’ means the support structure such as wood or cloth and ‘’Nirvana’’ means unleashing of all the attachments.

Nirvana Shatakam – Slokam

This narrative contains the Devanagari & English scripts and a simple English translation.

मनो बुद्ध्यहंकार चित्तानि नाहम्
न च श्रोत्र जिह्वे न च घ्राण नेत्रे
न च व्योम भूमिर् न तेजॊ न वायु:
चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोहम् शिवॊहम् (1)

mano budhDh-yahankaara chiththaani naaham
na cha Shrothra jihvae na cha GhraaNa naethrae
na cha vyoama Bhoomir na thejoa na vaayuh
chidha-anandha roopah shivoaham shivoaham

My mind is not tied up with the intellect, concept on inner self and the reflections of individualism. I am liberated from my mind.
I do not possess the smelling and hearing senses. I am beyond all the five senses.
I am neither the sky, nor the earth (combines water and land), nor the fire and nor the wind. I am beyond the five elements.
I am certainly the blissful and eternally happy Shiva, the supreme consciousness.

न च प्राण संज्ञो न वै पञ्चवायु:
न वा सप्तधातुर् न वा पञ्चकोश:
न वाक्पाणि पादौ न चोपस्थपायू
चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोहम् शिवॊहम् (2)

na cha praaNa sanjnoa na vai panchcha-vaayuh
na vaa saptha-Dhathur na vaa panchcha-koashah
na vaakpaaNi paadhau na choapa-sThapaayoo
chidha-anandha roopah shivoaham shivoaham

I am not the breathing life (existence) and I am not the five types of breath
{Pancha Prana means five types of breath such as Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana}
I am not the seven dhatus, i.e the elements in the body which help in sustenance.
{Sapta Dhatu means seven elements in the body such as rasa or lasikaa (nutrient fluid in water form), rakta (blood), maaṃsa (muscle and tissue), meda or vasaa (fat tissue), asthi (bone tissues, tendons and ligaments), majjaa (bone marrow) and shukra (generative tissues)}
I am not the five wraps around the soul.
{Pancha kosha / five wraps denote annamaya kosha [Physique], pranamaya kosha [Energy], manamaya kosha [Mind], vignayamaya kosha [Wisdom] and anandamaya kosha [Eternal Bliss]}
I am not the tools of existence such as hands or feet or voice or other appendages.
I am certainly the blissful and eternally happy Shiva, the supreme consciousness.

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 शिवॊऽहम् (3)

na mae dhvaeSha raagau na mae loaBha moahau
madhoa naiva mae naiva maathsarya Bhavah
na Dharmoa na chaarThoa na kaamoa na moakShah
chidha-anandha roopah shivoaham shivoaham

I have no abhorrence or revulsion; Have no fondness or affection;
I have no greed or pride or hallucination or arrogance or jealousy or any such feeling.
I have no obligation or duty, no wealth, no desire and no end.
I am certainly the blissful and eternally happy Shiva, the supreme consciousness.

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 शिवॊऽहम् (4)

na puNyaM na paapaM na saukhyaM na dhhukham
na manthroa na theerThaM na vedhaah na yajnaah
ahaM BhoajanaM naiva BhoajyaM na Bhokthaa
chidha-anandha roopah shivoaham shivoaham

I am not the holiness or the viciousness; I am neither comfortable nor sorrowful.
I do not need mantras; I am not ascetic; I do not need holy scriptures; I do not need havan (homam).
I am neither the food nor the eater who enjoys the food.
I am certainly the blissful and eternally happy Shiva, the supreme consciousness.

न मृत्युर् न शंका न मे जातिभेद:
पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्म
न बन्धुर् न मित्रं गुरुर्नैव शिष्य:
चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् (5)

na mruthyur na shankaa na mae jaathi-bhedhah
pithaa naiva mae naiva maatha na janma
na bandDhur na mithraM gururnaiva shiShyah
chidha-anandha roopah shivoaham shivoaham

I have no fear on death as I do not have death; I have not parted from my inner soul, no qualm on my subsistence; I have no bias on caste basis.
I do not have a father; not have a mother; not have a birth.
I am not a relative; not a friend; not a teacher; not a disciple.
I am certainly the blissful and eternally happy Shiva, the supreme consciousness.

अहं निर्विकल्पॊ निराकार रूपॊ
विभुत्वाच्च सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम्
न चा संगतं नैव मुक्तिर् न मेय:
चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् (6)

ahaM nirvikalpoa niraakaara roopoa
viBhuth-vaachcha sarvathra sarvaendhri-yaaNaam
na chaa sangathaM naiva mukthir na meayah
chidha-anandha roopah shivoaham shivoaham

I have neither attributes nor differences; I am liberated and I have no form;
As I am supreme; I have no wishes for my organs as I am everything;
I have no attachment; I have no salvation; I am always redeemed.
I am certainly the blissful and eternally happy Shiva, the supreme consciousness.

Nirvana Shatkam shows the light on the toughest question on earth, i.e. “Who am I?”.  It examines the soul, the mind, the virtues, the vices, the relationships, companionship, the body organs, the wishes, the needs and all the material attachments and concludes that all such inner and outer accessories are just appendages and that only the Athma (Soul) does matter and the rest of the things are immaterial.

Nirvana Shatakam unifies the Athma (Soul) with God by eliminating / nullifying all the worldly attachments both internal and external.  This unification with God liberates the soul through self realization and makes us to understand that our Athma (soul) is commensurate with the entire universe.

Om Nama Shivayaaya Namaha!!!

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