Atmopadesa Satakam (One hundred verses on Self Instruction)

  1. May the chanting be commenced,

    with the five organs of perception turned inward and pacified,

    and again and again prostrating before that mysterious embryo (keru),

    which shines within and without the one who transcends knowledge.

  2. With relentless search one should realize that the inner faculties, the senses,

    the body and all the worlds of our interest

    are transformations of the glorious substance of the Sun

    that shines in the void of the Absolute.

  3. It should thus come to pass,

    that all the differentiation one might encounter in the world of empirical perception be known as substantially unitive,

    like the oneness of the waves that constantly rise on the surface of the ocean.

  4. Knowledge, the object of knowledge, and one's cognition of both are in fact

    only variations of a beginningless Being.

    By merging in that knowledge of infinitude

    one should become undifferentlated with it.

  5. One should conduct oneself in the light of that eternal lamp which witnesses the sleeping,

    waking and cliscur-sive cogitating of those who are wedded to their own worldly affairs,

    and which for itself has neither any beginning nor any extinction.

  6. Alas! who is there to know the one unchanging Reality

    when all are subjected to the frequent rise of latent urges that compel them to wake and sleep

    and to eat and fondle their objects of desires.

  7. One should remain without waking oneself to distracting interests and without sleeping away from the reality of the Self.

    If one cannot do that by virtue of one's realization,

    one should offer oneself to serve those contemplatives

    who have gone beyond the dualities of birth and death and have known the secret of the pranava--AUM.

  8. This body is like a foul-smelling gun.

    In it reside one's sensualities which are like five elusive birds that are always looking for opportunities to feed on chance gains.

    With right understanding and discerrment one should break away from their enchantment and should with resolution aspire for the good instead of being ensnared by the pleasurable.

    Then alone will ones inside be filled with the radiance of the unsurpassed bliss of the Absolute that will foil all distractions generated by sensuous attraction.

  9. The phenomenal world is like a tree whose truth is concealed by a mysterious creeper,

    spread out in two directions and overladen with its flowers.

    A disciplined contemplative who lives under the shade of this tree escapes temptations

    that might otherwise lead one to tragic consequences such as being caught in hell-fire.

  10. If a man sitting in the dark asks another "Who are you?"

    and the other out of curiosity asks in return, "And who are you?"

    the answer that comes from both will be the same--"I am"

  11. What are spoken of as 'I',

    'I',when carefully considered, are not separate entities.

    Within the substance these are only modes and the continuity of the ego is maintained by the connectedness of the affective attributes into which consciousness modifies.

  12. The ego clings to a perishing body composed of skin, bones, and all kinds of filth.

    This is the non-self which is sure to decompose.

    One should aspire to transcend these limitations of the body to grow into the perfection of plenitude.

  13. To become established inthe Supreme Being,

    offer the flowers of your mind to the Great Lord whose body is smeared with the ashes of the triple modalities of nature.

    Incline before Him in devotion. Turn your senses away from all objects of desire.

    Feel freed of all bondages. Become cool and do not be excited even by the wonder of the Absolute.

  14. Remember the secret of the Upanishads.

    The Self in its pure state is limitless and indivisible.

    It is bereft of divisions in time and it fills the entire consciousness without the divisions of the knower, the known and the knowledge.

    One does not gain this state by merely making false claims to it.

  15. To those fortunate ones who are enjoying the cream of absolute wisdom, ten thousand years will appear to be a short duration.

    But to those who are caught in the snare of relativism, even a split second will appear as a thousand years.

  16. To one well-established in the Self, the secret of the Word comes as a cosmic sound.

    It fills his ears and drowns everything in them like a flooded river inundatinga desert.

    Just as it opens one's inner ear it also opens the eye of the inner self.

  17. The Self can be compared to a hanging lamp with two tiers, each with five wicks.

    It is of timeless origin and is always rotating. It burns as the shadow of the Self.

    Its wicks are modes of the inner organ and they are fed with the oil of preconditioned urges (vasanas).

  18. The Self is not darkness.

    If it were darkness, we would not have known and identified ourselves as 'I', 'I'.

    As we do know, we should let everyone realize that the Self can be known.

  19. Not knowing that everything is a transformation of the primeval Being, people come into clash, saying:

    it is the base; no, it is the crown; ,no, no, it is this end; no, it is that end, etcetera.

    All these perceived things of static or inertial forms are transient.

    How can there be any reality for a wave other than that of water, of which the former is only a mode?

  20. This world has no other reality.

    If people say it has, that is wanting in sufficient reason.

    Even if a dull person mistakes a garland strung of fresh flowers to be a horrid reptile, will it become a snake?

  21. This kind is dear to me. To another, something else is dear.

    Thus there comes confusion in the appraisal of the correct value of the objects of endearment.

    One should know that his experiencing of happiness is the same as another one's too.

  22. What is dear to another that should spell endearment to me also.

    This is the correct policy.

    Therefore, whatever one does for good should be so intended as to make it beneficial to others too.

  23. A compassionate man without any vested interest works both day and night for the welfare of others.

    On the other hand, a selfish man, desirous of his own good,

    toils day and night and comes again and again to his frustration.

  24. What is known as that person, or this persian, when carefully considered,

    is the one undifferentiated form of the primeval Self.

    Whatever one does for the happiness of one's own self should also include the happiness of others.

  25. What is good for one and might cause disaster to another is opposed to the unity of the Self.

    Those who grievously hurt others will bring upon themselves the pain of conse-quential hell-fire.

  26. The Self that owns the body keeps all the limbs held together like a bolt by animating it with a vaporous stuff.

    Thus having, become identified with one's physical body,

    one loses right comprehension and fancies a separate reality for each person.

  27. The Self is that knowledge which brings illumination of one's existence even when placed in the thick of darkness.

    As in the miraculous performance of a magician,

    the same knowledge assumes name and form and engages in action equipped with inner organs and senses.

  28. That which has no beginning and end and clearly sees everything from bottom to top is turya, transcendent consciousness.

    The other extreme is the inert body which has no knowledge.

    That which remains in between and articulates as an agent of cogitation is nescience.

  29. For one who sacrifices to the Supreme Lord the blossoms of one's mind, there is no other duty to perform.

    Or one can do overt action, by gathering flowers from the forest and engaging in ritualistic propitiation.

    A third alternative is to be a contemplative who stealthily avoids all snares of phenomenal illusion by exercising proper discernment.

  30. The inert body does not know. It does not cogitate or articulate.

    One who knows all this to be only variations of knowledge,

    becomes expansive in the tranparency of comprehension and does not thereafter suffer from body identification.

  31. Without prior experience one cannot deduce inference.

    The Self is not a perceptible factor.

    So one cannot infer the existence of a principle postulaed as dharmi, the basis of attributes.

  32. What we know is only the attributes and not the abstracted universal.

    As universal abstractions are never perceived, it is incorrect to say that earth and all such are factual realities.

    They are only compositions of modes.

  33. As when a burning ember is circulated in several 'figure of 8' movements and produces endless patterns,

    knowledge, in order to know its own polertia:s. modifies ilself into endless eidetic modes like earth and all such, and creates the phenomenal flux.

  34. This is going on from beginningless time, his divine sport of the world, rotating endlessly, mounted on a chariot of becoming, which has for the spokes of its wheels infinitesimal counts of milliseconds.

  35. The function of Wisdom-discernment comes like the dawn of ten thousand Suns.

    It is the primal Sun that cleaves asunder the veil of maya that precipitates the transient forms of ignorance.

  36. Innumerable are the powers of knowledge.

    They can be mainly categorized into two sameness' and 'the other'.

    One should awake to she clarity of vision in which all forms of 'otherness merge and become one wish 'sameness'.

  37. It is hard to win over the obduracy of 'the other' without having achieved the mastery of a vivid vision which leaves nothing outside it.

    By conquering the power of the indistinctivedess of 'this' which forces consciousness to split into specificity,one should gain the wisdom of integral unity.

    That alone will gain access to pure wisdom which leaves no room either to objectivize or to have the agency of a subject.

  38. What is known distinctively as separate and specific entities--that is the 'other'.

    What shines forth as the indivisible whole--that is 'the same'. This is going to be elucidated hereafter.

    Having known these states, verticalize knowledge and learn the art of unifying consciousness in the all-inclusiveness of the 'same'.

  39. Apropos to these two powers, there is also a second division.

    One of these is an attribute of the 'same'.

    The 'other' qualifies that which is never exhausted of its indistinctiveness that asks for clarification.

    These are the two kinds.

  40. Their specific powers alternate between the synthetic and the analytic.

    Even though innumerable are their contexts of operation, the dual functions of assuming the agency of the subject and the objectivization of knowledge--in their entirety, belong to these two entities.

  41. When one says, "This is a pot", what comes first as "this" is called visama, the difficult to discern;

    "pot" is its visesa, the qualifying attribute.

    For the endless sense-oriented cogitations to proliferate,

    one should bear in mind that the indicative pronoun "this" is the fountain head.

  42. When one says, "This is knowledge", what comes first as "this" is called sama, the unifying sameness;

    its distin-ctive attribute is bodham, "awareness".

    For all mentations like discursive cogitation to cease and to gain the path of liberation,

    one should contemplate on "this", which inheres in the universal identity.

  43. Even good people engaged in virtuous action are caught in Nature's repetitive compulsions

    and they helplessly go round and round in obligatory action.

    Mere omission of action does not cure the mind of its urge to modulate.

    Only unitive understanding, which is bereft of desires, brings emancipation.

  44. The normafive essence of everybody's conviction is the same.

    Those who do not know this secret become fanatical in establishing relativistic points of view and argue like the proverbial blind men who went to "see" an elephant and couldn't agree between them in the description of the animal

    Avoid all such disputes by cultivating the all-embracing attitude of sameness.

  45. One man's faith will appear as unworthy to another.

    A basic dictum of another's religion is often looked upon with disdain and is rated unsatisfactory.

    Such confusion born of irrational prejudices continues in the minds of people as long as the unitive secret of universal sameness remains unknown.

  46. It is not possible to vanquish any religion by fighting it.

    By becoming competitive and fighting each other's religion, the adherence of the members of the persecuted religion only becomes increased in its fanatict zeal.

    By promoting religious feuds one is only destroying his own integrity and succumbs to the evils of hatred.

    This should never be forgotten.

  47. In principle all are insisting on coming to a single faith.

    Disputants do not realize this.

    Wise people who are free of sectarian exclusiveness know this secret.

  48. In spite of being identified with one's own body, people do think if other persons and things as their own and say "This is mine" or "That is mine".

    On consideringthis, it is evident that everyone has some experience of the Oneness of the Self.

  49. All beings, at all times, everywhere, are exerting themselves to attain happiness.

    This quest for happiness is the "One Religion" in the world, of which no one has any dispute.

    Knowing this, one should restrain from being lured into any sin of fighting one's own fellow beings.

  50. The impressions of earth, water, fire, wind, sky, the ego sense, knowledge, mind (and all aspects of the one and the many such as of)

    the waves and the ocean--on entering in consciousness transform into knowledge

    and rise into heirarchic series of consciousness.

  51. From pure knowledge emerges one's ego-sense

    which is simultaneously paired with 'the sense of thisness'.

    Like a twin creeper, 'the Self and the other' entwine the rnsya-tree all over and hide everything.

  52. When the sky of consciousness is enflamed with the vibrancy of sound (the Word)

    all perceptual forms dis-appear in its radiant blaze.

    When, in that splendor, the small voice that gives finality to the tribasic segmentation also ceases,

    there prevails only the radiance of the Self.

  53. The Primordial potency inherent in this is the seed which gives birth to all that we see here.

    Bearing that in mind, and never forgetting that again, one should meditate on its secret to dispel the spell of rn~ya.

  54. In wakefulness there is no sleep and likewise there is no sleep in the waking state.

    Day after day these twain are born of rn4ya's womb, and they keep on alternating.

  55. Our wakeful experience is also like a long dream.

    Both our waking and dreaming terminate after a period of time.

    Being subject to confusion, no one sees the aloneness of the universal substratum.

  56. In the sea of consciousness, modulations arise one after another and cause the experience of perceiving embodied objects.

    Alas! Where is any end to this?

    In the sea of the samvit, latent action is always ready to actualize.

  57. Even in a quiescent state of consciousness, there lurk many traits of rn~ya.

    As in an ocean endless effects are produced with the configuration of water, its taste and so on, worlds after worlds are created out of the latent potentials of consciousness.

  58. One should realize that it is futile to ruminate on the past, be expectant of the present and fancy about the future.

    Without endlessly counting and measuring in confusion, one should cognize the One that always prevails, allowing of no differentiation.

  59. I do not exist without having any knowledge of it.

    Without me, my knowledge cannot exist on its own.

    The light that shines is the same, both in the knower and in the knowledge.

    When contemplated it will undoubtedly be known that both are the same.

  60. Even when a person, oblivious of the absolute status of knowledge, speaks of it as his or her private experience,

    knowledge does not become either differentiated from the truth of the knower or alienated from the Supreme Word that illuminates all minds.

  61. Objects of perception appear to be of diverse attributes in accordance with the innate quality of each sense organ.

    Gross objects even of faulty perception such as the sky, when identified with name, become part of the conceptual matrix and transform into knowledge.

  62. Do not despair that you cannot own the Absolute as your private experience.

    What knowledge can come by mere negation? Nothing.

    Nor does knowledge come by merely repeating the word "Absolute".

    It comes only by continuous contemplation.

  63. Wise men know that there is only Knowledge, so they remain one with it and do not struggle.

    For them the truth to be known is here and now.

    Those who do not know their secret think of it as an unknown entity to be sought and discovered.

    Under that illusion they struggle and agonize themselves. Only a few see the secret of the wise.

  64. Every object of perception evokes a preconditioned memory and one stumbles on its imagined consequences.

    Banish all such frivolous memories.

    The only memory that is worth cherishing is one's primal identification with the priceless ultimate Knowledge.

  65. There is nothing in this world which we have not known at least once (as pure Knowledge).

    When the same appears clothed in the garment of forms, they are thought of as separate entities, not known before.

    Who is there to wake up from his somnambulism and realize that it is his own dear Self that is seen as all these? It is very strange indeed.

  66. In this world of becoming, the food that nourishes the body and all else comes as a matter of course.

    Everything undergoes transformation. Only one thing remains unchanged.

    That is knowledge. We are also that self-same Knowledge, Others too are none other than that.

  67. All that comes within the ambit of experience can be divided into two.

    One is the ordinary (that can be perceived, calculated, analysed and categorized).

    The other is the transcendent which is beyond the ken of one's mind to grasp.

    Apart from these, there is nothing else, here or elsewhere. This is certain.

  68. Like the presentiment of a snake seen on a rope, the reality of the ego-sense shifts from body to the Self and from the Self to the body.

    On one occasion it is experienced as profound and when it alternates it is felt as profane.

    Only one who can discern knows the Truth.

  69. Our organism can be compared to a libidinal chariot yoked to sense perceptions which are like its horses.

    Its occupant's ego, the image of the Self.

    It is driven by the mind, and the ego is restlessly pursuing objects of pleasure in vain.

  70. One pleasure-principle (rati) expands and transforms into the ego, the senses, the mind, the body and all that is;

    and it is as if its proliferation has no end.

    It will go on operating itself till the cognizing Self realizes that it is not any of the pleasure-pursuits but knowledge, pure and simple.

  71. Nobody remains established forever in a state of sameness.

    The process of becoming is going on; and all are subjected to this beginningless sport of the Divine.

    When all this is known in its entirety, one becomes happy beyond measure.

  72. One aspect is action--that belongs to nescience.

    There is another aspect which is permeated with consciousness that belongs to the sphere of knowledge.

    Although these two thus stand divided, as ordained by maya, to those who are successful in adopting a non-dual attitude,

    the two together will give the pure experience of transcendence.

  73. In one thing there can be many constituents, and many things can be encompassed by one meaning.

    Thus, when everything is understood by complementing equations, nothing falls outside knowledge.

    This secret of all-inclusive knowledge is not known to all.

  74. In the Earth, there are innumerable particles and in each particle there is a world of the same earth-principle.

    Just as the body is conceptually envisioned by consciousness, consciousness is articulated by the body.

    When carefully considered these are not two.

  75. It is as if we are in an ocean of consciousness. Nature can be equated to the water.

    The body is like the foam. The self is the ocean.

    What constantly arise as 'I', 'I' arethe waves.

    The flowerings of knowledge in the mind are pearls.

    What each person enjoys is the nectar of immortal bliss.

  76. As sand in a wasteland is ceaselessly blown by gusts of wind which also disturb the surface of a well and make it increasingly shallow,

    the sands of untruth are continuously disfiguring consciousness, and the inner self is cluttered with multifarious forms.

  77. The Self and the world are not two. The transcendent is the sky.

    The horizontal blast Of energy is wind. Knowledge is fire.

    The senses are water. Objects of interest are the earth.

    Thus what is shining forth as the quintessence of the five principles is in truth only one.

  78. There is neither any death nor birth nor any manifested form of life.

    There are neither men nor gods nor anything of that sort there are only names and forms.

    Their substance is only that of a mirage in a desert and that is, for sure, no substance at all.

  79. On the eve of birth there is no existence.

    The emergence from the womb is not a factual reality in a posterior moment.

    How can it be? Death is also like this.

    Everything seems to be by the glorious presence of consciousness.

  80. Rest and motion cannot happen at the same time.

    In like manner, creation, existence and dissolution cannot happen in the same place at the same time.

    When critically examined these concepts have no substantial validity.

    They are only words, such as ksiti, appended as a nomenclature to earth.

  81. Nature divides itself as the enjoyer and the enjoyed.

    The conceiving self that illuminates all as counterparts of knowledge is the enjoyer;

    what is extended as 'thisness' both here and in the beyond is the universe that is enjoyed.

  82. Like fire that emits from churning sticks, there arises a wisdom of great discrimination from the mind of discerning contemplatives.

    It burns in the sky of consciousness as a supernal sun and everything becomes fuel for it.

  83. The changless Self, from its vertical height, witnesses the flux of becoming;

    and notices how bodies exist and perish, come into being again, and how one is substituted by another.

  84. For the mere fact that one perceives the forms of transformation, it cannot be maintained that the modifications, such as of clay, are real.

    When critically considered, clay alone is and the form is unreal.

    The very many entities that are seeming to be so are only nature's modalities that transform knowledge.

  85. No image can exist without a model.

    If the world is a shadow it should have somewhere its archetype.

    No such original is seen anywhere.

    Therefore, this world is neither a model nor its image.

    Everything seen here is like a snake painted by a master artist.

  86. The substance of one body is not in another.

    This fact contradicts the rejection of individual formations.

    As the verity of objects persists through time, their substantiality gains the status of the real.

  87. When each entity is taken alone, it has existence and it excludes other things by the law of impenetrability.

    When this fact is considered, body and such things cannot be rated as real or unreal.

    They are to be termed as indescribable.

  88. In fact, all that we encounter is real as such.

    The philosopher in his contemplation sees everything as belonging to one unitive principle.

    When one does not see this inner truth, several tribulations come like the snares of a revengeful robyn.

  89. From knowledge, there emerge countless sparks that are both real and unreal.

    The conglomeration of them appears as the universe.

    The understanding that nothing can be, other than knowledge, will give it homogeneity.

  90. The unreal cannot conceal the real.

    That is our experience.

    Existence asserts itself at every step, and it produces all effects such as the body.

  91. It is a law that one strives to actualize what is dear to one's heart.

    AS this impulsion to act is constant, its cause should be understood as a dear value without a beginning, never fully spent, unpredictable and one with-out a second.

    In short, this is the one happiness that gives reality to life.

  92. The dynamics to act is eternal.

    As an unexpended law, it acts outside in correspondence with the perception of a dear value.

    These two are inseparable.

    By the action performed outside, this binary function is known.

  93. To one who has withdrawn all interest from the changeful body,

    nothing is more dear than the Self.

    As this love for the Self never diminishes in anyone, it should be known as the eternal.

  94. There is an inherent iniquity in the unreal world and Reality presenting themselves as one indiscernible whole.

    In these, which cannot be demarcated verbally or con-ceptually, How can any role of methodology be applied?

  95. This world of manifestation is like a sportive display of maya, who conceals her forms and creates everything with her essence.

    Continuously she presents one limb after another and makes this grand exhibit of the cosmos with millions of luminaries.

  96. The finitude of the atom and the infinitude of the indivisible whole shine side by side as if they exist and also as they do not exist.

    So it is not possible to determine with any certainty which of these two experiences is true.

  97. On that day when the finite is fully absorbed in the glory of the infinite, that knowledge will attain the perfection of the Plenum.

    One cannot even imagine the totality of the all filling consciousness without one experiencing its immeasurable magnitude.

    It is like an ocean of silence in which everything is submerged.

  98. It is evident that we do not know what this august reality is;

    otherwise, how could we qualify every touch of pleasure as great happiness?

    The Self is not the sum total of dependent origination.

    Even when the intellect and all such faculties are undone, the Self will remain unaffected as pure knowledge.

  99. Knowledge and the Self spoken of as 'I' are one and the same to such a person, from whom the veil of ignorance is removed.

    To him whose intelligence is still veiled, there will be many hesitations to admit this identity.

    If 'I' can stand apart from Knowledge, there will not be anyone to know Knowledge.

  100. I am neither this nor that nor the content of what is perceived as being.

    Know it to be pure existence, all embracing consciousness and the joy immortal.

    Be brave with such clear vision, discard all attachment to being and non-being, and gently, gently, merge in that Truth that fills all with enlightenment, and serene joy -- AUM.