30.01 : SHLOKAS 1 TO 5 OF SHANKARA'S SHATA-SHLOKI
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.
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.]
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
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
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.
AtmA cid-vit-sukhAtmA’nubhava-paricitaH sarva-dehAdiyantA
satyevaM mUDha-buddhir-bhajati nanu jano’nitya-dehAtma-buddhiM /
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) !
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.