तपोभिः क्षीणपापानां शान्तानां वीतरागिणाम् ।
मुमुक्षूणामपेक्ष्यॊऽयमात्मबोधो विधीयते ॥१॥
This Atmabodha is prescribed and applicable only for those whose sins have been destroyed by austerities, who have a calm mind, who are devoid of attachment and who desire liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.
बोधोऽन्यसाधनेभ्यो हि साक्षान्मोक्षैकसाधनम्।
पाकस्य वह्निवत्ज्ञानं विना मोक्षो न सिध्यति ॥२॥
Compared to other means, knowledge is the only direct means to liberation. Just like food cannot be cooked without fire liberation cannot be attained without knowledge.
अविरोधितया कर्म नाविद्यां विनिवर्तयेत्।
विद्याऽविद्यां निहन्त्येव तेजस्तिमिरसङ्घवत् ॥३॥
Karma (that which springs from ahamkara) does not remove ignorance as it is not opposed to it. Knowledge removes ignorance as light dispels darkness.
अवच्छिन्न इवाज्ञानात्तन्नाशे सति केवलः।
स्वयं प्रकाशते ह्यात्मा मेघापायेंशुमानिव ॥४॥
The self appears conditioned because of ignorance. Once it is destroyed only the pure Self shines by its own light just as the Sun is seen when the clouds disappear.
अज्ञानकलुषं जीवं ज्ञानाभ्यासाद्विनिर्मलम् ।
कृत्वा ज्ञानं स्वयं नश्येज्ज्लं कतकरेणुवत् ॥५॥
The self tainted by ignorance (of identifying oneself with the body-mind-intellect apparatus) is rendered pure by knowledge arising out of constant practice of thinking ‘ I am the pure Atman, not the senses, body, mind or intellect’. After this, knowledge itself subsides just as the cleaning-nut itself subsides after purifying the water into which it is put.
संसारः स्वप्नतुल्यो हि रागद्वेषादि संकुलः।
स्वकाले सत्यवद्भाति प्रबोधे सत्यसद्भवेत् ॥६॥
This samsara full of likes and dislikes is just like a dream. During the dream it appears real but on waking up one realizes that it was unreal.
तावत्सत्यं जगत्भाति शुक्तिकारजतं यथा ।
यवन्न ज्ञायते ब्रह्म सर्वाधिष्ठानमद्वयम् ॥७॥
The world appears real only so long as the non-dual Brahman, which is the substrate of everything, is not known. The analogy given is of the shell which appears like silver. Once it is realized that only the shell is there the illusion of silver disappears.
उपादानेऽखिलाधारे जगन्ति परमेश्वरे
सर्गस्थितिलयान्यान्ति बुद्बुदानीव वारिणि ॥८॥
The worlds appear, subsist and dissolve into the material cause which is only the Supreme Lord, the substrate of everything, just like the bubbles on the surface of water which rise from water, subsist on the surface of the water and finally dissolve into water.
सच्चिदात्मन्यनुस्यूते नित्ये विष्णौ प्रकल्पिताः ।
व्यक्तयो विविधास्सर्वा हाटके कटकादिवत् ॥९॥
All this multiplicity of names and forms are projected in the eternal Vishnu ( the all-pervading Brahman), the underlying existence-consciousness-self, like bangles and other ornaments in gold. ( the different ornaments made of gold, having different names and forms, are basically gold only. Similary everything is all-pervading Brahman)
यथाऽकाशे हृषीकेशो नानोपाधिगतो विभुः
तद्भेदाद्भिन्नवद्भाति तन्नाशे केवलो भवेत् ॥१०॥
Akasha (space) takes the form of any object enclosing it. Similarly the Lord, the indwelling spirit in all beings, appears to be different because of the differences in the bodies. When the names and forms are destroyed what remains is the only Reality.
आत्मन्यारोपितास्तोये रसवर्णादिभेदवत् ॥११॥
Because of the differences in adjuncts, differences of caste, name and ashrama are superimposed on the Atman just as qualities such as taste, colour etc, are superimposed on water (because of its contact with other substances).
शरीरं सुखदुःखानां भोगायतनमुच्यते ॥१२॥
The body, born of quintuplicate gross elements and acquired as the fruit of past karmas, is said to be the seat where pleasure and pain are experienced.
अपञ्चीकृतभूतोत्थं सूक्ष्मांगं भोगसाधनम् ।।१३॥
The subtle body consisting of the five vital airs ( prana, apana, vyana, udana and samana), mind, intellect and the ten senses of perception and action, born of subtle elements is the instrument for experiencing (pleasure and pain).
The beginningless and indefinable avidya is called the causal adjunct. The atma should be understood as different from the the three adjuncts of the causal, the subtle and the gross.
पञ्चकोशादियोगेन तत्तन्मय इव स्थितः।
शुद्धात्मा नीलवस्त्रादियोगेन स्फटिको यथा ॥१५॥
The self by its association with the five sheaths appears as if it takes on the form of the sheath with which it is in contact just like pure white crystal takes the colours of blue cloth etc with which it comes into contact.
वपुस्तुषादिभिः कोशैर्युक्तं युक्त्यवघाततः।
आत्मानमान्तरं शुद्धं विविच्यात्तण्डुलं यथा ॥१६॥
The pure inner Self should be recognized as different from the five sheaths by means of pounding with reason, just as rice is obtained by pounding paddy and removing the husk and bran.
सदा सर्वगतोऽप्यात्मा न सर्वत्रावभासते।
बुद्धावेवावभासेत स्वच्छेषु प्रतिबिंबवत् ॥१७॥
Though the Self is always everywhere it is not manifest everywhere. Just like a reflection is obtained only on a polished clear surface, the self shines only in the intellect.
तद्वृत्तिसाक्षिणं विद्यादात्मानं राजवत्सदा ॥१८॥
The Atman should be comprehended as different from the body, sense organs, mind, intellect and the prakriti but as witness to their modes just as the King (who is different from his ministers etc but is a witness to their actions)
दृश्यतेऽभ्रेषु धावत्सु धावन्निव यथा शशी ॥१९॥
The ignorant think that the Self is engaged in action whereas only the sense organs are engaged in actions. When the clouds are moving in the sky the moon also appears moving though it is not so.
स्वकीयार्थेषु वर्तन्ते सूर्यालोकं यथा जनाः ॥२०॥
The body, the sense organs, the mind and the intellect act in their respective spheres powered by the Consciousness which is
the self just as people go about their jobs in the light of the Sun.
देहेन्द्रियगुणान् कर्माण्यमले सच्चिदात्मनि।
अध्यस्यन्त्यविवेकेन गगने नीलतादिवत् ॥२१॥
Because of ignorance, the qualities and activities of the body and the senses are superimposed on the existence-consciousness-self, just as blue colour etc are wrongly attributed to the sky.
अज्ञानान्मानसोपाधेः कर्तृत्वादीनि चात्मनि।
कल्प्यन्तेऽम्बुगते चन्द्रे चलनादि यथांभसः ॥२२॥
Just like the movement of water is superimposed on the reflection of the moon in the water similarly, out of ignorance, the qualities and activities of the mind are also superimposed on the self.
रागेच्छासुखदुःखादि बुद्धौ सत्यां प्रवर्तते।
सुषुप्तौ नास्ति तन्नाशे तस्माद्बुद्धेस्तु नात्मनः ॥२३॥
Attachment, desire, pleasure and pain operate only when the intellect is present. In sleep when the intellect is not present attachment, desire etc are also not present. It follows that these belong to the intellect and not to the self.
प्रकाशोऽर्कस्य तोयस्य शैत्यमग्नेर्यथोष्णता।
स्वभावः सच्चिदानन्दनित्यनिर्मलतात्मनः ॥२४॥
Just as light is the nature of the Sun, coolness the nature of water and heat the nature of fire, the nature of atman is existence-consciousness-bliss, eternity and purity.
आत्मनस्सच्चिदंशश्च बुद्धेर्वृत्तिरिति द्वयम्।
संयोज्य चाविवेकेन जानामीति प्रवर्तते ॥२५॥
The existence-consciousness part of the Self and the modes of the intellect combine, due to non-discrimination, giving rise to the cognition ‘I know’.
आत्मनो विक्रिया नास्ति बुद्धेर्बोधो न जात्वपि।
जीवस्सर्वमलं ज्ञात्वा कर्ता द्रष्टेति मुह्यति ॥२६॥
There is no modification of the self and the intellect (being inert) does not have knowledge. The individual self is deluded into thinking that ‘I am the doer’ and ‘I am the seer’ because of avidya or ignorance.
रज्जुसर्पवदात्मानं जीवं ज्ञात्वा भयं वहेत्।
नाहं जीवः परात्मेति ज्ञातश्चेन्निर्भयो भवेत् ॥२७॥
Just as mistaking a piece of rope for a snake creates fear, so also mistaking the atman for Jiva creates fear. Knowing that ‘I am not jiva’, ‘I am the paramatman’ one becomes fearless.
दीपो घटादिवत्स्वात्मा जडैर्स्तैर्नावभास्यते ॥२८॥
The intellect etc. and the senses are illumined by the Atman only, just as a lamp illumines the pot etc. But the Atman is not illumined by the intellect and the senses which are inert
स्वबोधे नान्यबोधेच्छा बोधरूपतयात्मनः।
न दीपस्यान्यदीपेच्छा यथा स्वात्मप्रकाशने ॥२९॥
For knowledge of the self there is no need for another knowledge since the self itself is of the nature of knowledge. A lamp does not need another lamp in order to illumine itself.
निषिद्ध्य निखिलोपाधीन् नेति नेतीति वाक्यतः ।
विद्यादैक्यं महावाक्यैर्जीवात्मपरमात्मनोः ॥३०॥
Negating all adjuncts of the self by the Upanishadic statements of ‘not this’, ‘not this’, one should realize the identity of the jivatma and the paramatma by meditating on the mahavakyas of the Upanishads.
आविद्यकं शरीरादि दृश्यं बुद्बुदवत्क्षरम्।
एतद्विलक्षणं विद्यादहं ब्रह्मेति निर्मलम् ॥३१॥
Body and other things perceived through the sense organs
are born out of avidya and are ephemeral like the bubbles
on water surface. As distinct from this, one should know that
‘ I am the pure Brahman’.
देहान्यत्वान्न मे जन्मजराकार्श्यलयादयः।
शब्दादिविषयैस्सङ्गो निरिन्द्रियतया न च ॥३२॥
Since I am different from the body, I do not have birth, old age, decay, death etc. since I do not have any senses I have nothing to do with the objects of the senses like sight, sound, taste, smell, touch etc.
अप्राणोह्यमनाश्शुभ्र इत्यादि श्रुतिशासनात् ॥३३॥
Since I do not have a mind I do not have sorrow, attachment, enmity, fear etc. Sruthi says that ‘It is without the vital air and without a mind and is pure’.
निर्गुणो निष्क्रियो नित्यो निर्विकल्पो निरञ्जनः।
निर्विकारो निराकारो नित्यमुक्तोऽस्मि निर्मलः ॥३४॥
I am attributeless, actionless, eternal, undetermined, unblemished, changeless, formless, eternally free and pure.
अहमाकाशवत् सर्वं बहिरन्तर्गतोऽच्युतः।
सदा सर्वसमस्सिद्धो निस्सङ्गो निर्मलोऽचलः ॥३५॥
Like space I pervade everything, inside and outside. I am unchanging, stable. I am always the same in all, complete in myself, unattached, pure and unmoving.
सत्यं ज्ञानमनन्तं यत्परं ब्रह्माहमेव तत् ॥३६॥
I am the Srupreme Brahman eternal, pure, free, alone, undivided bliss, one without a second, absolute-existence-consciousness and infinite.
एवं निरन्तरकृता ब्रह्मैवास्मीति भावना।
हरत्यविद्याविक्षेपान् रोगानिव रसायनम् ॥३७॥
Thus continuous practice and affirmation of the idea ‘I am Brahman’, will remove the projections caused by Avidya just as medicines remove illness.
विविक्त देश आसीनो विरागो विजितेन्द्रियः।
भावयेदेकमात्मानं तमनन्तमनन्यधीः ॥३८॥
Seated in a solitary place, unattached and with the senses under control, one should meditate on the infinite non-dual Self with one-pointed mind.
आत्मन्येवाखिलं दृश्यं प्रविलाप्य धिया सुधीः।
भावयेदेकमात्मानं निर्मलाकाशवत्सदा ॥३९॥
Dissolving all the perceived world in the Self by the intellect (mind), the wise should always contemplate the Self as the pure ether(aakaasha, space).
रूपवर्णादिकं सर्वं विहाय परमार्थवित्।
The realized soul mentally gives up attributes like form and colour and remains firmly established in his real nature of plenary-consciousness-bliss
ज्ञातृज्ञानज्ञेयभेदः परे नात्मनि विद्यते।
चिदानन्दैकरूपत्वाद्दीप्यते स्वयमेव तत् ॥४१॥
The distinction of knower, knowledge and object of knowledge does not exist in the self. As it is of the nature of one consciousness-bliss, it shines by its own light.
एवमात्मारणौ ध्यानमथने सततं कृते।
उदितावगतिज्वाला सर्वाज्ञानेन्धनं दहेत् ॥४२॥
Thus when continuous churning by meditation takes place in the arani of the Self, the fire of knowledge that bursts out will destroy all the firewood of ignorance.
अरुणेनेव बोधेन पूर्वं सन्तमसे हते।
तत आविर्भवेदात्मा स्वयमेवांशुमानिव ॥४३॥
When the darkness of ignorance is dispelled by the knowledge of
Arunodaya the Self becomes manifest by itself like the Sun.
आत्मा तु सततं प्राप्तोऽप्यप्राप्तवदविद्यया।
तन्नाशे प्राप्तवद्भाति स्वकण्ठाभरणं यथा ॥४४॥
Though the Self is always attained, it seems to be unattained because of Avidya(nescience). When Avidya is destroyed it appears as if the Self has been attained like the ornament worn around the neck. ( the analogy is of a person wearing the ornament who searches for it every where unaware that it is around his neck but finally finds it around his own neck.)
स्थाणौ पुरुषवद्भ्रान्त्या कृता ब्रह्मणि जीवता।
जीवस्य तात्त्विके रूपे तस्मिन्दृष्टे निवर्तते ॥४५॥
The state of being individual self is caused in Brahman by delusion like the appearance of the form of a man in a pillar. This delusion is removed when the essence of the individual soul is perceived in Brahman.
अहं ममेति चाज्ञानं बाधते दिग्भ्रमादिवत् ॥४६॥
The knowledge arising out of the experience of the nature of Truth demolishes the ignorance of the form of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ just like the confusion regarding directions is demolished (when the sun rises dispelling darkness).
सम्यग्विज्ञानवान्योगी स्वात्मन्येवाखिलं स्थितं।
एकं च सर्वमात्मानमीक्षते ज्ञानचक्षुषा ॥४७॥
The Yogi who has true wisdom sees everything in himself. With the eyes of wisdom he sees the one self in all.
आत्मैवेदं जगत्सर्वमात्मनोऽन्यन्न किञ्चन।
मृदो यद्वद्घटादीनि स्वात्मानं सर्वमीक्षते ॥४८॥
The entire world is the Self (Atma). There is nothing other than the Atman. The man of wisdom sees all as the Self just like pots and other earthenware are seen as clay only.
स सच्चिदादिधर्मत्वं भेजे भ्रमरकीटवत् ॥४९॥
That is liberation while living wherein the wise one gives up the previous limiting adjuncts and attains the nature of Existence-Consciousness etc like the worm becoming the wasp.
तीर्त्वा मोहार्णवं हत्वा रागद्वेषादिराक्षसान्।
योगी शान्तिसमायुक्त आत्मारामो विराजते ॥५०॥
Having crossed the ocean of delusion and having killed the demons of likes and dislikes, the Yogi revels in the Self in perfect peace.
घटस्थदीपवच्छश्वदन्तरेव प्रकाशते ॥५१॥
Abandoning the desire for the ephemeral external pleasures and content with the supreme happiness of the Self, the Yogi ever shines within, like a lamp placed in a pot.
उपाधिस्थोऽपि तद्धर्मैरलिप्तो व्योमवन्मुनिः।
सर्वविन्मूढवत्तिष्ठेदसक्तो वायुवच्चरेत् ॥५२॥
The sage who has silenced his speech and his mind (muni), though staying amidst limiting adjuncts, is not tainted by them like
Ether(space). He lives like the ignorant though he knows all. He moves about like air without being attached.
उपाधिविलयाद्विष्णौ निर्विशेषं विशेन्मुनिः।
जले जलं वियद्व्योम्नि तेजस्तेजसि वा यथा ॥५३॥
When the adjuncts are dissolved, the sage enters and merges with the undifferentiated all-pervading reality, just like water becomes one with water, space becomes one with space and light becomes one with light.
यल्लाभान्नापरो लाभो यत्सुखान्नापरं सुखम्।
यज्ञानान्नापरं ज्ञानं तद्ब्रह्मेत्यवधारयेत् ॥५४॥
Gaining which nothing else is to be gained, experiencing the happiness of which no other happiness matters and knowing which nothing else is to be known, know that to be Brahman.
यद्दृष्ट्वा नापरं दृश्यं यद्भूत्वा न पुनर्भवः।
यज्ज्ञात्वा नापरं ज्ञेयं तद्ब्रह्मेत्यवधारयेत् ॥५५॥
Having seen which nothing else is to be seen, becoming which there is nothing else to become and knowing which there is nothing more to be known, know that to be brahman.
तिर्यगूर्ध्वमधः पूर्णं सच्चिदानन्दमद्वयम्।
अनन्तं नित्यमेकं यत्तद्ब्रह्मेत्यवधारयेत् ॥५६॥
That which pervades across, above and below, which is the non-dual existence-consciousness-bliss, which is infinite and eternal, know that to be Brahman.
अखण्डानन्दमेकं यत्तद्ब्रह्मेत्यवधारयेत् ॥५७॥
That which is indicated by the Upanishads in terms of ‘not this, not this’, which is immutable and which is non-dual and of the nature of indivisible bliss, know that to be Brahman.
ब्रहाद्यास्तारतम्येन भवन्त्यानान्दिनोऽखिलाः ॥५८॥
Brahma and all the other celestials become relatively blissful depending on a particle of bliss of that Brahman whose nature is indivisible and infinite Bliss
तद्युक्तमखिलं वस्तु व्यवहारश्चिदन्वितः।
तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म क्षीरे सर्पिरिवाखिले ॥५९॥
All objects are united with Brahman and empirical usage is pervaded by consciousness. Thus the all-pervading Brahman is in all like butter (ghee) in milk.
अरूपगुणवर्णाख्यं तद्ब्रह्मेत्यवधारयेत् ॥६०॥
Know that to be Brahman which is not subtle, not gross, not short, not long, unborn, unchanging, without form, quality, caste or name.
यद्भासा भासतेऽर्कादि भास्यैर्यत्तु न भास्यते।
येन सर्वमिदं भाति तद्ब्रह्मेत्यवधारयेत् ॥६१॥
That by whose light shine the Sun and other luminous bodies, which does not shine by the light of those illuminated bodies, by which all this shine, know that to be Brahman.
स्वयमन्तर्बहिर्व्याप्य भासयन्नखिलं जगत्।
ब्रह्म प्रकाशते वह्निप्रतप्तायसपिण्डवत् ॥६२॥
Pervading inside and outside of everything and illuminating the entire universe, Brahman shines like the fire by which a ball of iron has been made red-hot. [ Though the ball of iron appears rad and hot, what is really bright and hot is the fire which imparts its properties to the iron.]
जगद्विलक्षणं ब्रह्म ब्रह्मणोऽन्यन्न किञ्चन।
ब्रह्मान्यद्भाति चेन्मिथ्या यथा मरुमरीचिका ॥६३॥
Brahman is different from the world. There is nothing other than Brahman. If anything other than Brahman is manifest it is only an illusion as the mirage in the desert.
दृश्यते श्रूयते यद्यद्ब्रह्मणोऽन्यन्न तद्भवेत्।
तत्त्वज्ञानाच्च तद्ब्रह्म सच्चिदानन्दमद्वयम् ॥६४॥
Whatever is seen or heard cannot be other than Brahman. Through true knowledge it is realised that Brahman is the non-dual existence-consciousness-bliss
सर्वगं सच्चिदात्मानं ज्ञानचक्षुर्निरीक्षते।
अज्ञानचक्षुर्नेक्षेत भास्वन्तं भानुमन्धवत् ॥६५॥
He who has eyes of wisdom sees the self which is all-pervading and existence-consciousness. He who has eyes of ignorance does not see just as the blind man does not see the sun that is shining.
जीवस्सर्वमलान्मुक्तस्स्वर्णवद्द्योतते स्वयम् ॥६६॥
Heated in the fire of knowledge kindled by hearing etc. the individual soul becomes free from all impurities and shines by itself like (molten) gold.
हृदाकाशोदितो ह्यात्मा बोधभानुस्तमोपहृत्।
सर्वव्यापी सर्वधारी भाति भासयतेऽखिलम् ॥६७॥
The self, the sun of knowledge, rises in the space of the heart
and dispels the darkness of ignorance. It pervades everything, it supports all, it shines by itself and illumines everything.
यस्स्वात्मतीर्थं भजते विनिष्क्रियः
स सर्ववित्सर्वगतोऽमृतो भवेत् ॥६८॥
He who, giving up all actions and discarding directions, place, time etc, takes to the holy waters of his own Self which is all-pervading, which destroys cold etc, which is eternal happiness and which is untainted becomes all-knowing, all-pervading and immortal.