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Who am I? – 2

We began the quest to know oneself in the last blog. Furthering the cause to know oneself, we move a step ahead today.

We will sit at the feet of the great Guru of mankind and try and learn from Him.

Jagadguru Shankaracharya answers this question in His own way. The following 6 verses are together known as Atmashtak or Nirvanashtak. It is His own way and philosophy of non-dualism emphasized and explained in the 6 verses. It’s one of the best ashtaks I have heard (though my reading and understanding about the vast Vedic literature has its limitations).
मनोबुद्ध्यहंकार चित्तानि नाहं

न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे न च घ्राणनेत्रे ।

न च व्योम भूमिर्न तेजो न वायुः

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 1 ।।

Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chitta Ninaham

Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre

Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayu

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 1.

I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego,

nor the reflections of inner self (chitta).

I am not the five senses.

I am beyond that.

I am not the ether, nor the earth,

nor the fire, nor the wind .

I am indeed,

That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,

love and pure consciousness.

न च प्राणसंज्ञो न वै पंचवायुः,

न वा सप्तधातुः न वा पञ्चकोशः ।

न वाक्पाणिपादौ न चोपस्थपायु,

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 2 ।।

Na Cha Prana Samjno Na Vai Pancha Vayu

Na Va Saptadhatur Na Va Pancha Koshah

Na Vak Pani Padau Na Chopastha Payu

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 2.

Neither can I be termed as energy (Prana),

nor five types of breath (vayus),

nor the seven material essences,

nor the five coverings (pancha-kosha).

Neither am I the five instruments of elimination,

procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking.

I am indeed,

That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,

love and pure consciousness.

न मे द्वेषरागौ न मे लोभमोहौ,

मदो नैव मे नैव मात्सर्यभावः ।

न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो न मोक्षः,

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 3 ।।

Na Me Dvesha Ragau Na Me Lobha Mohau

Mado Naiva Me Naiva Matsarya Bhavah

Na Dharmo Na Chartho Na Kamo Na Mokshah

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 3.

I have no hatred nor dislike,

nor affiliation nor liking,

nor greed,

nor delusion,

nor pride nor haughtiness,

nor feelings of envy nor jealousy.

I have no duty (dharma),

nor any money,

nor any desire (kama),

nor even liberation (moksha).

I am indeed,

That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,

love and pure consciousness.

न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दुःखं,

न मन्त्रो न तीर्थो न वेदा न यज्ञः ।

अहं भोजनं नैव भोज्यं न भोक्ता,

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 4 ।।

Na Punyam Na Papam Na Saukhyam Na Dukham

Na Mantro Na Teertham Na Vedo Na Yajnaha

Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhokta

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 4.

I have neither virtue (Punyam),

nor vice (Papam).

I do not commit sins nor good deeds,

nor have happiness nor sorrow,

no pain nor pleasure.

I do not need mantras, holy places,

scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yagnas).

I am none of the triad of

the observer nor one who experiences,

not the process of observing nor experiencing,

nor any object being observed nor experienced.

I am indeed,

That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,

love and pure consciousness.

न मे मृत्युशंका न मे जातिभेदः,

पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्मः ।

न बन्धुर्न मित्रं गुरूर्नैव शिष्यः,

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 5 ।।

Na Me Mrityu Shanka Na Me Jati Bhedah

Pita Naiva Me Naiva Mata Na Janma

Na Bandhur Na Mitram Gurur Naiva Shishyah

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 5.

I do not have fear of death,

as I do not have death.

I have no separation from my true self,

no doubt about my existence,

nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth.

I have no father nor mother,

nor did I have a birth.

I am not the relative,

nor the friend,

nor the guru,

nor the disciple.

I am indeed,

That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,

love and pure consciousness.

अहं निर्विकल्पो निराकार रूपो,

विभुर्व्याप्य सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम् ।

सदा मे समत्वं न मुक्तिर्न बंध,

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 6 ।।

Aham Nirvikalpo Nirakara Roopaha

Vibhur Vyapya Sarvatra Sarvendriyanam

Sada Me Samatvam Na Muktir Na Bandhah

Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 6.

I am all pervasive.

I am without any attributes,

and without any form.

I have neither attachment to the world,

nor to liberation (mukti).

I have no wishes for anything

because I am everything,


every time,

always in equilibrium.

I am indeed,

That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,

love and pure consciousness.

Of the 6, the first 5 verses are in a denial of being anything. The 6th verse is like the diamond on the ring. I say so, as the ring itself is beautiful but with the diamond, the beauty is further enhanced. Here Jagadguru has answered the question Who am I?

I leave it upto my reader to savour the above ashtak and have a thoughtful Sunday!

Wish all you Happy monsoons too!


Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale

27 thoughts on “Who am I? – 2

  1. Wow..very nicely explained with meaning..
    Nirvanshtak, I used to read it once in a week..I feel re-energize by reading this..I get inner strength from it.

    I am also interested in our scriptures I continually search for it..I came in touch with this nirvanshatak before one month..and I was also in planning to blog it..😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

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