30.01 :  SHLOKAS 1 TO 5  OF SHANKARA'S SHATA-SHLOKI

Om.

1.

 

dRshhTAnto naiva dRshhTaH tribhuvana-jaThare sad-guror-jnAna-dAtuH

sparshash-cet-tatra kalpyaH sa nayati yad-aho svarNatAm-ashma-sAraM /

na sparshatvaM tathA-api shrita-caraNa-yuge sadguruH svIya-shishhye

svIyaM sAmyaM vidhatte bhavati nirupamaH tena vA’laukiko’pi  //

 

na eva dRshhTaH : There is nothing known

dRshhTAntaH : (as ) comparable

tribhuvana-jaThare : in all the three worlds

sad-guroH : to the revered teacher

jnAna-dAtuH : who dispenses knowledge.

sparshaH tatra kalpyaH cet : If ‘sparsha’, the philosopher’s stone be one such,

saH nayati : it turns

ashmasAraM : iron

svarNatAM :  into gold,

aho : (but) alas!

na sparshatvaM : not into being ‘sparsha’, the philosopher’s stone.

tathA api : On the other hand,

sad-guruH : the revered teacher

vidhatte : creates, produces

sAmyaM : equality

svIyaM : (with) himself

svIya-shishhye : in his disciple

shrita-caraNa-yuge : who takes refuge in his feet.

tena : By this reason,

bhavati : he becomes

nirupamaH : peerless

vA : or  more,

aloukiko’pi : even transcendental.

 

Important note: In organizing the translation into English, the Sanskrit words of the verse have been re-sequenced in such a way that their English meanings as given above, when read in the same sequence, will make sense.  We shall follow this practice, in all the succeeding shlokas.

Note on shloka 1: That the Guru becomes ‘transcendental’ is the stamp of the Acharya in this shloka. Such punchlines in almost every shloka are characteristic of his Vedanta poetic works, particularly in this Shata-shlokI. As far as I know -- I would like to be corrected here -- probably this is the only place, of all his works, where Adi Shankara mentions this unique quality of the Guru-Acharya – namely the quality that the Guru produces disciples who themselves become Gurus in due time, thus keeping the Guru-paramparA ever alive, -- not just alive, but rising to greater and greater heights.

 

2

 

yadvac-chrIkhaNDa-vRkshha-prasRta-parimaLen-Abhito’nye’pi vRkshhAH

shAshvat-saugandhya-bhAjo’pyatanu-tanu-bhRtAM tApam-unmIlayanti /

AcAryAl-labdha-bodhA api vidhi-vashataH sannidhau sam-sthitAnAM

tredhA tApaM ca pApaM sakaruNa-hRdayAH svoktibhiH kshhAlayanti //

 

yadvat : Just as

parimaLena : by the fragrance

prasRta : diffused

shrIkhaNda-vRkshha : (by) a sandal tree

anye : other

vRkshA api : trees also

abhitaH : all around (it)

saugandhya-bhAjaH : are full of fragrance

shAshvat : at all times

tApam-unmIlayanti api : and afford relief from heat

atanu-tanubhRtAM : to diverse embodied beings,

labdha-bodhA api : (so) also they that have gained wisdom

AcAryAt : from the teacher,

sakaruNa-hRdayAH : with hearts full of compassion,

kshhAlayanti : emancipate

svoktibhiH : by their talks

sannidhaU vidhi-vashataH samsthitAnAM :all those fortunately situated in their presence

tredhA tApaM : (from) the three kinds of suffering  (adhyAtma, adhidaivata, adhibhautika)

(tredhA) pApaM ca : and also (from) the three kinds of sin (body, speech and mind).

 

Note 1. Compare from Narada bhakti sutra No.69:

“tIrthI-kurvanti tIrthAni, su-karmI kurvanti karmANi, sac-chAstrI-kurvanti shAstrANi”

They make holy places holy, make works   well worked, and make scriptures into real scriptures – by explaining their purport well. real.]

 

3

 

AtmAnAtma-pratItiH prathamam-abhihitA satya-mithyAtva-yogAt

dvedhA  brahma-pratItir-nigama-nigaditA svAnubhUt-yopapattyA /

AdyA dehA-nubhandhAd-bhavati tad-aparA sA ca sarvAtmakatvAt

Adau brahm-Aham-asmIty-anubhava udite khal-vidam brahma pashcAt //

 

prathamaM : At the outset

abhihitA : is enunciated

Atma-anAtma-pratItiH : the perception of the Self and the non-Self

Satya-mithyAtva-yogAt : (respectively) by means of Truth and of ‘MithyA’.

Brahma-pratItiH : Realisation  of brahman

nigama-nigaditA : is spoken of by the Vedas

dvedhA : as two-fold

svAnubhUtyA : by means of our experience, (and)

upapattyA : by means of conclusive proof.

AdyA : The former

bhavati : arises

dehAnubhandhAt : by consideration of the body as only an appendage,

tat aparA sA : while the latter

(bhavati) : (arises)

sarvAtmakatvAt : by consideration of universal immanence.

Adau : In the beginning (the Realisation is)

Brahma-aham-asmi iti : that ‘I am brahman’

anubhave udite : when the experience rises 

pashcAt : thereafter, (it is)

idam khalu brahma : ‘All this is indeed brahman’.

 

Note 1. See how the Acharya goes to the heart of the problem right in the beginning. He has 99 shlokas to go; but he wastes no time!

 

Note 2. Mark the words “satya-mithyAtva-yogAt” (by means of the concepts of Truth and ‘mithyA’) in the first line.  In the  Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Shankara in the very beginning he enunciates the following:

 

“satyAnRte mithunI-kRtya aham-idaM mamedam-iti naisargiko’yaM loka-vyavahAraH”

 

that is, “the  mixing up of Truth and non-Truth (anRta) gives rise to the common worldly parlance of  ‘I am this’, and ‘This is mine’”.  This reference to Shankara Bhashya occurs in a commentary on Narayaneeyam-91-1. The context is again a similar idea contained in the words

 

“baddha-mithyArtha-dRshhTeH”

 

 in that shloka of Narayaneeyam, meaning “because of the deep-rooted wrong acceptance of ephemeral values as true and enduring”. The author of the commentary, Kadalangudy Natesa Sastrigal, opines that these words of Narayaneeyam could as well have been

 

“satya-mithyArtha-dRshhTeH”,

 

and therefore would go back to the above stated sentence from Brahma Sutra Bhashya.

It is interesting to note that Shankaracharya uses the same words of his,  here in  Shata-shlokI.

 

 

4

 

AtmA cid-vit-sukhAtmA’nubhava-paricitaH sarva-dehAdiyantA

satyevaM mUDha-buddhir-bhajati nanu jano’nitya-dehAtma-buddhiM /

bAhyo’sthi-snAyu-majjA-pala-rudhira-vasA-carma-medo-yug-antaH

viNmUtra-shleshhma-pUrNaM sva-para-vapur-aho samviditvA’pi bhUyaH //

 

AtmA : The Self

Cit-vid-sukha-AtmA : is of the nature of Consciousness, Knowledge, Bliss.

anubhava-paricitaH : (It) can be known by direct experience.

Sarva-dehAdi-yantA : (It) is the inspirer in all bodies, senses etc.

Evam sati : And yet

mUDha-buddhiH janaH : the foolish person

bhajati : treasures

anitya-deha-Atma-buddhiM : the understanding that this transient body is the Self.

nanu aho : alas! It is so

api samviditvA bhUyaH : although (he) knows again and again  that

Sva-para-vapuH : the body either of his or of others

bAhyaH : (is) externally

asthi-snAyu-majjA-pala-rudhira-vasA-carma-medo-yug : composed of  bones, tendon, marrow, flesh, blood, nerve, skin and fat

antaH : (and) internally

viN-mUtra-shleshhma-pUrNaM :  full of excrement, urine and phlegm.

 

Note 1: “samviditvA’pi bhUyaH”  is the Acharya’s emphasis in the shloka.

 

Note 2. Compare with the more succinct version in his own “Aparokshanubhuti” shloka No.23:

 

deho’ham ityayaM mUDhaH kRtvA tishhTaty-aho janaH /

mamAyam-ityapi jnAtvA ghaTa-drAshhTeva sarvadA //

 

Meaning: How strange is it that a person ignorantly rests contented with the idea that he is the body, while he knows it as something belonging to him (and therefore apart from him) even as a person who sees a pot (knows it as apart from him) !

 

5.

 

deha-strI-putra-mitra-anucara-haya-vRshhAs-toshha-hetur-mametthaM

sarve svAyur-nayanti prathita-malam-amI  mAmsa-mImAmsay-eha /

ete jIvanti tena vyavahRti-paTavo yena soubhAgya-bhAjaH

taM prANAdhIsham-antar-gataM-amRtam-amuM naiva-mImAmsayanti //

 

deha-strI-putra-mitra-anucara-haya-vRshhAH : “The body, wife, sons, friends, servants, horses and cattle

mama toshha-hetuH: -- these are the sources of my happiness”

itthaM : thus (imagining),

amI sarve:  all these beings

nayanti : spend, lead

svAyuH : their life

iha : on earth

prathitamalaM mAmsa-mImAmsayA : as followers of the philosophy of flesh.

ete naiva mImAmsayanti : They fail to comprehend

amuM prANAdhIshaM : this Lord of life

antar-gataM : who is immanent

amRtaM : and immortal,

taM yena jIvanti:  and, by whom (they) live;

yena vyavahRti-paTavaH :   by whom (they) are rendered fit for worldly transactions

yena soubhAgya-bhAjaH :  (and) by whom(they) are endowed with prosperity.

GO TO  30.02

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