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36. svApnastrIsanga-saukhyAd-api bhRRisham-asato yA ca retashcyutiH syAt

sA dRRishyA  tadvad-etatsphurati-jagad-asatkAraNaM satyakalpam/

svapne satyaH pumAn-syAt yuvatiriha mRRishhaiva-anayoH samyutishca 

prAtaH shukreNa vastropahatiriti yataH kalpanA-mUlametat //.


svApnastrIsanga-saukhyAd :By the pleasure of association with a woman in the dream

api bhRRishaM asataH ; (which) although it was extremely unreal

yA ca retashcyutiH syAt  sA dRRishyA : the discharge resulting therefrom is however visible

tadvat etat jagat sphurati: in the same way the universe appears

asat kAraNam: sprung from unreality

satyakalpam:  as almost real.

Svapne satyaH pumAn syAt: the man in the dream may have a reality for himself

yuvatiH iha mRRishhA eva: the woman was certainly unreal

anayoH samyutishca : as also their union

shukreNa vastrophatiH  : yet the cloth is actually soiled by the discharge

prAtaH : (as noted in) the morning

iti yataH : from this therefore

etat kalpanAmUlaM : this universe has imagination  for its root-cause.


37. pashyatyArAmam-asya pratidivasam-amI jantavaH svApakAle

pashyatyenaM na kashcit karaNagaNa-mRRite mAyayA krIDamAnaM  /

jAgratyartha-vrajAnAM atha ca tanu-bhRRitAM bhAsakaM cAlakaM vA

no jAnIte sushhuptau parama-sukhamayaM  kashcid-Ashcaryametat //


amI jantavaH pashyati: These persons  witness

asya ArAmam : the sport of this (self)

pratidivasaM  svApakAle : every day in the dreamstate

enaM na kashcit pashyati : no one sees that self itself

mAyayA krIDamAnaM : sporting with MAyA (the agent of illusion)

karaNagaNamRRite : without any of the sense organs.

jAgrati : In the waking state also

no jAnIte : no one understands (it)

bhAsakaM cAlakaM vA : as the illuminator nor as the inspirer of

arthavrajAnAm tanubhRRitAm ca : all objects and all creatures

sushhuptau ca : nor in deep sleep

paramasukhamayaM kashcit  : as that which is of supreme bliss

Ashcaryametat: This is really wonderful!


The sum and substance of this shloka is: In all the three states, whether waking or dreaming or in deep sleep, it is the presence of Consciousness which makes us act, or which makes us see in dream without sense organs and in deep sleep even without the mind we are in a state of deep bliss. But none of us recognize this in any state. Is this not a wonder?


38. svapne mantropadeshaH shravaNaparicitaH satya eva prabodhe

svapnAdeva prasAdAt  abhilashitaphalaM satyatAM pratareti ./

satyaprAptistvasatyAdapi bhavati tatha kiMca tatsvaprakAshaM

yenedaM bhAti sarvaM caramacaramathoccAvacaM dRRishyajAtam  //


mantropadeshaH : The revelation of a sacred mantra

svapne shravaNaparicitaH : heard in the dream

satya eva prabodhe: becomes real on waking

svapnAdeva prasAdAt : As the result of a benediction in a dream

abhilashitaphalam: the desired object

satyatAm eti prAtaH  : is actually attained in reality in the morning.

satyaprAptistu : the obtaining of the real

asatyAdapi bhavati tathA ; may be had even from the unreal.

Kimca tatsvaprakAshaM : Also that self-resplendent (self)

Yena idam sarvaM bhAti : by which are manifested all this

caraM acaraM :animate and inanimate (things) and

uccAvacaM dRRishyajAtaM : whatever visible universe, superior or inferior.


Note: In this shloka the punch line of Vedanta is: ‘satyapRaptistu asatyAdapi bhavati:. This tells us that though whatever we observe and experience as phenomena  is all unreal as mAyic making, the final Self-Relisation is not mAyA; it is Real!


39.  madhyaprANau sushhuptau svajanimanuvishanti agnisUryAdayo.amI

vAgAdyAH prANavAyuM tadiha nigaditA glAnireshAM na vAyoH /

tebhyo dRRishyAvabhAsobhrama iti viditaH shuktikAraupyakalpaH

prANAyAmavrataM tacchhruti shirasi  mataM svAtmalabdhau na cAnyat //

sushhuptau : In deep sleep

agnisUryAdayaH : the fire, the sun and others

madhyapraNau anuvishanti : are merged in  the vital air (PrANa)

svajaniM : which is their source

amI vAgAdyAH : and these speech and others

prANavAyuM : in the life-breath.

tadiha nigaditA : Therefore is it declared

glAniH eshhAM na vAyoH: that the cessation is of these senses: and not of the breath.

dRRishyAvabhAsaH : The appearance of objects

tebhyaH : through these senses (in the waking state)

bhrama iti viditaH : is known to be an illusion

shuktikAraupyakalpaH : like that of silver in the mother of pearl

prANAyAmavrataM : The practice of the control of life-forces

tat shruti shirasi : (enunciated) in Vedanta

svAtmalabdhau mataM : is therefore (the only ) means of realising one’s own self

na ca anyat : and not any other.


Note: Thus meditation on Prana,or the practice of PrANAyAma  is recommended in this verse. Control of the breath results in control of the mind also, since both are aspects of the same entity, Prana being Kriyasakti and the mind Jnanasakti.

40. no kasmAdArdrameghaH spRRishati ca dahanaH  kintu shushhkaM nidAghAt

ArdraM cetonubandhaiH kRRitasukRRitamapi svoktakarmaprajArthaiH /

Tadvadj~nAnAgniretatspRRishati na sahatA kintu vairAgyashushhkam

tasmAt shuddho virAgaH prathamamabhihitastena vij~nAnasiddhiH


dahanaH : Fire

na spRRishati  : does not touch

ArdrameghaH : Wet fuel

Kintu suhhkaM nidAghAt : (touches) only the sun-dried fuel

Tadvat jnAnAgniH : so also the fire of knowledge

etat na spRRishati: does not touch this

ArdraM cetonubandhaiH : mind that is wet with attachments

Kritasukritamapi: although it has acquired merit by the performance of

svoktakarmaprajArthaiH : prescribed duties, the preservation of progeny and gifts of wealth

kintu vairAgyashulkaM : but only the mind which is dried by non-attachment

tasmAt shuddho virAgaH: therefore is pure non-attachment

prathamaM abhihitaH : taught foremost

tena vijnAna shuddhiH : (for) by it is the success of realisation

Note: This shloka is Shankara’s beautiful way of telling ‘Why non-attachment?’

This question of non-attachment (or dispassion) is a ticklish problem in the understanding of Hindu philosophy not only for people outside the fold of Hinduism but for the practitioners  and seekers of spirituality within the fold.  How can non-attachment be ever practised, especially by housewives and family people?  The ‘how’ is difficult of course.  Our acharyas have said:  If you have to show affection and passion towards your kith and kin and children, do it; that does not mean you are ‘attached’;  ‘non-attachment’ means, even though you are discharging your duties to your children, spouse, kith and kin, you should not expect to get a ‘reward’ in terms of either appreciation or of a later day benefit from the discharge of your duties!. That is how our teachers explain the ‘how’ of non-attachment. 

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