What am I ? - by Sri Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya

Discussion in 'Adi Shankaracharya' started by garry420, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    What am I?(Soham - I am That!)(Jnana)/Bhaja Govindam(Bhakthi) (VERY STRONG DOSE) - Composed by Sri Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya
    What am I?

    “I am the Lord of lords. I am devoid of even a touch of jealousy and hatred. I am He that fulfils the desired object for those who are bent on realizing the goal. I am undecaying, I am imperishable. I am the Lord, I am the consciousness of the inner self, I am full of supreme bliss, I am the supreme self, I am the infinite. I am full of Bliss, Knowledge and the realization of the Self. I am far aloof from any thought of the objective. I am delighted at heart by that which is not objective.

    I pervade up and down and around with my own extraordinary glories. I am He who appears to be determined by means of argument, counter argument and enquiry. I am free from changes such as birth, thinness, senility and death; for I am other than the body. I am unattached to the objects of the senses, such as sound and taste; for I am without sense-organs.

    I am free from sorrow; attachment, malice and fear; for I am other than the mind. For it is written in the Upanishad, “He is without breath and without mind, pure, higher than the high and imperishable.” I am verily the Supreme Brahman (consciousness) which is eternal, stainless, and free; which is one, indivisible, and non-dual; and which is of the nature of Bliss, Truth, Knowledge and Infinity.

    I am without attributes and action, eternal and pure, free from stain and desire, changeless and formless, and always free. I am the revealer of oneness. I alone am the supreme reality for minds, purified by a thorough understanding of the (Vedantic) formula. I am the sun that dispels ignorance like the darkness of the night.

    I am the healing balm to evils. I am devoid of all conditional properties. I am the acme of liberality. I am He that rescues all by granting the fourfold desires (merits, riches, pleasures and liberation) in various ways.

    I am Knowledge. I am the Known. I am the Knower. I am all the aids to Knowledge. I am the pure Soul – existence bereft of Knower, Knowledge and Known. I am devotion, I am worship, and I am liberation. I alone am the means to liberation. I am the ruler of all beings. I am the root cause of all that is past, present and future.

    I am neither the mind, intelligence, ego nor the chitta(seat of memory); neither the ears nor the tongue nor the senses of smell and sight; neither ether nor air, nor fire, nor water nor earth – I am eternal bliss and awareness – I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

    I am neither the prana (vital force), nor the five vital breaths, neither the seven elements of the body, nor its five sheaths, nor hands, nor feet, nor tongue, nor other organs of action. I am eternal, bliss and awareness – I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

    Neither greed nor delusion, nor loathing, nor liking have I; nothing of pride or ego, neither of dharma or object, nor of desire or liberation. I am eternal, bliss and awareness – I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

    Nothing of pleasure or pain or virtue or vice do I know, of mantra or sacred place, of Vedas or sacrifice; neither am I the eater, nor the food nor the act of eating; I am eternal, bliss and awareness, - I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

    Death or fear have I none nor any distinction of caste; neither father nor mother; nor even a birth have I; neither friend nor comrade, neither disciple nor Guru. I am eternal, bliss and awareness, - I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

    I have no form or fancy, the all-pervading am I; everywhere I exist, and yet am beyond the senses; neither salvation am I, nor anything to be known. I am eternal, bliss and awareness, - I am Shiva! I am Shiva!"

    - Sri Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya

    The Acharya is said to have composed the Bhaja Govindam during his famous pilgrimage to Kashi(Benares).The fourteen disciples are said to have accompanied him. The story goes that when he was walking along the streets of Kashi, he was pained to observe an elderly man trying hard to learn Sanskrit grammar. At his advanced age, the remaining valuable little time of his life should have been used for worshipping the God, instead of wasting on learning a language. This prompted Sri Shankara to burst out this composition, a sort of rebuke to foolish way of living.

    The Acharya urges the man to turn towards God and sing His glory instead of trying to learn a language. A censure is implied when the Acharya calls the man a fool(Mudhamathe). It may be added here that the tone of Bhaja Govindam is not at all soft, but somewhat striking, in spite of its exotic poetic beauty and perfection of composition. This is no wonder, because such a treatment is required to wake up man from his slumber. A milder approach would delay the matter. The matter is urgent, as the Acharya explains in the next verse, for, when the hour of death approaches without any forewarning; the hard-learned verses of grammar are not going to save the poor soul. Hence the song rightly starts without any preamble:

    bhajagovindaM bhajagovindaM
    govindaM bhaja muDhamate.
    saMpraapte sannihite kaale
    nahi nahi rakshati DukRiJNkaraNe .. (1)

    Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda. Oh fool! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death.

    mUDha jahiihi dhanaagamatRishhNaaM
    kuru sadbuddhiM manasi vitRishhNaam.
    yallabhase nijakarmopaattaM
    vittaM tena vinodaya chittam. .. (2)

    Oh fool! Give up your thirst to amass wealth, devote your mind to thoughts to the Real. Be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past.

    naariistanabhara naabhiideshaM
    dRishhTvaa maagaamohaavesham.
    etanmaaMsaavasaadi vikaaraM
    manasi vichintaya vaaraM vaaram. .. (3)

    Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman's navel and chest. These are nothing but a modification of flesh. Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.

    naliniidalagata jalamatitaralaM
    viddhi vyaadhyabhimaanagrastaM
    lokaM shokahataM cha samastam .. ( 4 )

    The life of a man is as uncertain as rain drops trembling on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.

    yaavadvittopaarjana sakta H
    staavannija parivaaro rakta H.
    pashchaajjiivati jarjara dehe
    vaartaaM ko.api na pRichchhati gehe .. ( 5 )

    So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.

    yaavatpavano nivasati dehe
    taavatpRichchhati kushalaM gehe.
    gatavati vaayau dehaapaaye
    bhaaryaa bibhyati tasminkaaye .. ( 6 )

    When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.

    baalastaavatkriiDaasakta H
    taruNastaavattaruNiisakta H.
    vRiddhastaavachchintaasakta H
    pare brahmaNi ko.api na sakta H .. ( 7 )

    The childhood is lost by attachment to playfulness. Youth is lost by attachment to woman. Old age passes away by thinking over many past things. But there is hardly anyone who wants to be lost in parabrahman(Supreme being).

    kaate kaantaa kaste putra H
    saMsaaro.ayamatiiva vichitra H.
    kasya tvaM ka H kuta aayaata H
    tattvaM chintaya tadiha bhraata H ..( 8 )

    Who is your wife? Who is your son? Strange is this samsara. Of whom are you? From where have you come? Brother, ponder over these truths here.

    satsaNgatve nissN ^ gatvaM
    nissaNgatve nirmohatvam.h.
    nirmohatve nishchalatattvaM
    nishcalatattve jiivanmukti H ....( 9 )

    From Satsangha(the companionship of realised souls) comes non-attachment, from
    non-attachment comes freedom from delusion, which leads to self-settledness. From self-settledness comes Jeevan Mukti.

    vayasigate ka H kaamavikaaraH
    shushhke niire ka H kaasaaraH.
    kshiiNevitte ka H parivaara H
    G Y aate tattve ka H saMsaara H ...(1 0 )

    What good is lust when youth has fled? What use is a lake which has no water? Where are the relatives when wealth is gone? Where is samsara when the Truth is known?

    maa kuru dhana jana yauvana garvaM
    harati nimeshhaatkaala H sarvam.h.
    maayaamayamidamakhilaM hitvaa
    brahmapadaM tvaM pravisha viditvaa .. (1 1)

    Do not boast of wealth, followers, and youth. Each one of these is destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.

    dinayaaminyau saayaM praata H
    shishiravasantau punaraayaata H.
    kaala H kriiDati gachchhatyaayu H
    tadapi na muJNcatyaashaavaayu H .. (1 2)

    Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.

    dvaadashamaJNjarikaabhirasheshha H
    kathito vaiyaakaraNasyaishha H.
    upadesho bhuudvidyaanipuNai H
    shrimachchhankarabhagavachchharaNari H .. ( 12a )

    This bouquet of twelve verses was imparted to a grammarian by the all-knowing Shankara, adored as the Bhagawadpada.

    “Let positive, strong, helpful thoughts enter into their brains from very childhood. Lay yourselves open to these thoughts, and not to weakening and paralyzing ones. Say to your own minds, “I am He. I am He.” Let it ring day and night in your minds like a song, and at the point of death declare, “I am He.” That is the Truth; the infinite Strength of the world is yours. Drive out the superstition that has covered your minds. Let us be brave. Know the Truth and practice the Truth. The goal may be distant, but

    ‘Arise, Awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.’ “
    – Swami Vivekananda
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2015

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