Atma Shatakam/Who am I

Sri Adi Shankara (788 – 820 CE) was wandering in search of a Guru. At that time, he met Sri Govindapada, who asked him: “Who are you?”. In response, Shankara, who was eight years old at that time, spontaneously composed six verses in reply. This is known as Atma Shatakam or Nirvana Shatakam.

Here is a very beautiful rendering of the verses with music. Do listen to this.


Translation

1)   I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego
nor the reflections of inner self (chitta).
I am not the five senses.
I am beyond that.
I am not the ether, nor the earth,
nor the fire, nor the wind (the five elements).
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.

2)     Neither can I be termed as energy (prana),
nor five types of breath (vayus),
nor the seven material essences,
nor the five coverings (pancha-kosha).
Neither am I the five instruments of elimination,
procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.

3)    I have no hatred or dislike,
nor affiliation or liking,
nor greed,
nor delusion,
nor pride or haughtiness,
nor feelings of envy or jealousy.
I have no duty (dharma),
nor any money,
nor any desire (kama),
nor even liberation (moksha).
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.

4)  I have neither merit (virtue),
nor demerit (vice).
I do not commit sins or good deeds,
nor have happiness or sorrow,
pain or pleasure.
I do not need mantras, holy places,
scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yagnas).
I am none of the triad of
the observer or one who experiences,
the process of observing or experiencing,
or any object being observed or experienced.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.

5)    I do not have fear of death,
as I do not have death.
I have no separation from my true self,
no doubt about my existence,
nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth.
I have no father or mother,
nor did I have a birth.
I am not the relative,
nor the friend,
nor the guru,
nor the disciple.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.

6)     I am all pervasive.
I am without any attributes,
and without any form.
I have neither attachment to the world,
nor to liberation (mukti).
I have no wishes for anything
because I am everything,
everywhere,
every time,
always in equilibrium.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.


Samskritam:

nirvana_shatakam

Sanskrit:

1) Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chitta Ninaham
Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre
Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

2) Na Cha Prana Sangyo Na Vai Pancha Vayu
Na Vaa Sapta dhatur Na Vaa Pancha Koshah
Na Vak Pani Padam Na Chopastha Payu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

3)Na Me Dvesha Ragau Na Me Lobha Mohau
Mado Naiva Me Naiva Maatsarya Bhavah
Na Dharmo Na Chartho Na Kamo Na Mokshah
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

4)Na Punyam Na Papam Na Saukhyam Na Dukham
Na Mantro Na Teertham Na Veda Na Yajnaha
Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhokta
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

5) Na Mrityu Na Shanka Na Me Jati Bhedah
Pita Naiva Me Naiva Mata Na Janma
Na Bandhur Na Mitram Gurur Naiva Shishyah
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

6) Aham NirvikaLpo Nirakara Roopo
Vibhut Vaakhya Sarvatra Sarvendriyanam
Sada Me Samatvam Na Mukthir Na Bandhah
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

(The above texts and translation are taken from here, here, and one other site. I am very sorry for errors in the above.)

3 Responses to Atma Shatakam/Who am I

  1. St. Fallen says:

    here is my own rendition, with the chanting done by a certain Asha Melkote I found on Youtube: http://twt.fm/360202

  2. Muns says:

    Amazing! Thank you and well done for such a awesome translation…it helps a lot of us world over…

    • tkramesh says:

      Thank you for such a nice comment.

      However, it wasn’t I who translated the sloka. As mentioned at the end of the post, I had taken the translation from a few websites on the Internet.

      The sloka is in itself amazing, and a reflection of the genius of an exalted soul such as Sri Sankara.

      Thank you once again.

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