Translation of Shankaracharya’s Stotra

1. The body, senses, mind or breath, Ego or intellect am I not; But far from wife, child, land or gold, I am Eternal, infinite One, Shivoham, Shivoham. 2 In Self that’s knowledge, truth and bliss, This unreal All doth falsely shine Like dreams in sleep, a mere illusion! I am the pure and infinite One Shivoham, Shivoham. 3. Than me naught else edsts at all This outer show, suggestions made Gleams, like the image in the glass, In me the pure Eternal One Shivoham, Shivoham. 4. I was not born, nor grow, nor die; Dumb Nature through the body works, It is the ego sows and reaps Not I, the Self, unchanging One Shivohom, Shivoham. 5. The rope unscanned, a serpent seemed; Thus Nescience makes the Self a soul; By direct touch a rope ’tis sure; And fact of facts, I’m Truth, the One Shivoham, Shivoham, * * * * * * * There is so much good in the most of us. And so much bad in the best of us, That it will not do for the best of us, To talk about the rest of us, * * * * * * * Get me a gown of silver bright Paler in hue, thinner than moonlight That I shall wear as wedding gown. Then a piece of lightning fetch me down To thread garlands of the scattered flowers Pluck all the stars from oft* my bowers. Set in pearls and dress my hair To-day I must be bright and fair. * * * * * * * When blushing bride by Love does stand Say...

Tear

Mystery of life opens in this pearl Furling beauty and purity in curls. Priz’d by sages, good drink for thee Where mind does bathe—a drop wide as sea! * * * * * There is only one Being that exists Unmoved, yet moving swifter that the mind; “Who far outstrips the senses, though as gods, They strive to reach him. Who himself at rest, Transcends the fleetest flights of beings; Who, like the air, supports all vital action. He moves, yet moves not; he is far, yet near; He is within this Universe, and yet Outside this Universe. The man who understands that every creature Exists in Him alone, and thus perceives The unity of being, has no grief And no illusion. He, the all-pervading, Is brilliant, without body, sinewless, Invulnerable, pure and undefiled By taint of sin. He is all wisdom, The ruler of the mind, above all beings, The self-existent. (Isavasyopanishad) And what if all of animated nature, Be but organic harps, divinely framed, And trembling into thought, as o’er them sweeps, Plastic and rash, one universal breeze; At once the soul of each and God of all? Bluest of skies, greenest of oceans, whitest of waves Fortissimo. Bluest of eyes, pinkest of skins, yellowish hair Pianissimo. Darkest of eyes, swarthiest skin, blackest of hair Cressendo- “Come, walk and listen to the waves with me, Their music is most enchanting, My mermaid you shall he.” We will build a house together In the sand beside the sea. * * * * * Whatever thou lovest, man, Thou too become that must; God, if thou lovest God, Dust,...

Man of Possession

His highest rectitude is but crookedness His greatest wisdom is but foolishness His sweetest eloquence is but stammering. * * * * * I am that which began; Out of me the years roll; Out of me God and man; I am equal and whole; God changes and man, and the form of I them bodily; I am the soul. Before ever land was, Before ever the sea, Or soft hair of the grass, Or fair limbs of the tree, Or the flesh-coloured fruit of my branches, I was, and thy soul was in me. First life on my sources Just drifted and swam; Out of me are the forces That save it or damn; Out of me man and woman, and wild beast and bird: before God was, I am. Beside or above me Naught is there to go; Love or unlove me, Unknow me or know, I am that which unloves me and loves; I am stricken and I am the blow, I the mark that is missed And the arrows that miss, I the mouth that is kissed And the breath in the kiss, The search and the sought, and the seeker, the soul and the body that is. I am that thing which blesses, My spirit elate; That which caresses With hands uncreate My limbs unbegotten that measure the length of the measure of fate. But what thing dost thou now, Looking God ward, to cry “I am I, thou art thou, I am low, thou art high”? I am thou, whom thou seekest to find him, find thou but thyself, thou art I. I...

Queer Embrace

Oh, wonder of wonders! I fell in love— In love with Self forever mine!— Resplendent, glorious, charming Love That knows no equal, rival, kind, I threw my arms around my Love, Lo! all the world in clasp I find. I press my darling close and close To tin- heart and soul and life and mind: O what a fire! Fire! Fire! Ah! Burnt the body and forms that bind Oh! What a cooling shower, shower! Pear swept away by nectar, power. The highest virtue has no name, The greatest pureness seems but shame, True wisdom seems the least secure, Inherent goodness seems most strange, What most endures is changeless change, The loudest voice was never heard, The biggest thing no form doth...

Old Age

Hidden I wait—this old husk suits me Well—for who will guess the likeness of me through it? This is my INVISIBLE CAP wherein I’ll ramble Yet thro’ many byways of sweet human life Old age, old age?—no I—only there outside, Here where I am ’tis everlasting youth. I accept you altogether—as the sea accepts the fish that swims in it. It is no good apologizing for anything you have done, For you have never been any where yet but What I have sustained you— And beyond my boundaries you cannot go. I am he that beholds and praises the universe, Singing all day like a bird among the branches, And the leaves put forth and the young buds burst, Asunder—yet I myself do nothing at all. But dwelt in the midst of them singing * * * * * You cannot baulk me of my true life Climbing over the barriers of pain— of my own meaknesses and sins—I escape. Where will you hold me? By the feet, hands?— by my personal vanity?— Would you shut me in the mirror-lined prism of self-consciousness? Behold! I acknowledge all my defects—you Cannot snap the handcuffs faster on me than I snap them myself—I am vain, deceitful, and cowardly— Yet I escape. The handcuffs hold me not, out of my own hands I draw myself out of a glove; from behind The empty mask of my reputed qualities I deport, And am gone my way, Unconcerned what I leave behind me Into the high air which surrounds and sustains the world, Breathing life, intoxicating, with joy unutterable, radiant, As the winds of...