Followed by followers of Smartism and a majority of  followers of  Saivaism , Shaktism with some modifications and inclusion of tantra in some sects.

Mayavaad theory has twisted the Vedas to promote only ekatva(merging in brahman) and considering impersonal Brahman  to be the source of everything and Saguna Ishwara is just a personal manifestation of impersonal Brahman.

It is mentioned in the Padma Purana  that the Supreme Lord instructed His exalted devotee, Lord Shiva to make the general populace of Kaliyuga averse to Him. Therefore Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a brahmana named Shankaracharya to preach the fallacious theory of Mayavada, which is a disguised form of Buddhism. Since the influence of Buddhism was very strong at the time, Shankaracharya preached the Mayavada philosophy to divert people from atheism to the Vedas. To achieve this he had to make compromises in the Vedanta philosophy.

How the  Supreme Lord ordered Lord Shiva to appear in Kali-yuga to delude atheists and produce a philosophy and texts to hide the Supreme Being,is explained in the Padma  Purana (6.71.89-116). Thus, we find in these verses confirmation that it was Lord Shiva who appeared in the Age of Kali as  Shankaracharya at the request of the Supreme Vishnu.

In the Padma Purana (6.236.5-12) Shiva explains to his wife, Parvati, that he  will appear in the age of Kali to proclaim that the Buddhist doctrine is a false religion and illusory. He also said that he would propound the mayavada or impersonalist philosophy, emphasizing the  indefinable nature of the Brahman, the great, impersonal spiritual force. He explained, “The philosophy of Maya (mayavada) is a wicked doctrine and is pseudo-Buddhist. In the form of a brahmana, I  proclaim this doctrine in Kali-yuga. It makes the words of the holy Vedic texts meaningless and is condemned in the world. In this doctrine it recommends giving up one’s duties of life [in order to be  free of karma], which is said to be religiousness for those who have fallen from their duties. I will propound the identity of the Supreme Soul and the individual soul to be the [one and the same]  Brahman in nature, without qualities. O goddess, I have conceived this mayavada (impersonalist) doctrine, which resembles a purport of the Ve das, for deluding people in this age of Kali [to mislead  them toward atheism by denying the personal form of God].”

The Kurma Purana (1.30.33-34) states: “In Kali-yuga, Shankara, Nilalohita, will incarnate for the purpose of establishing rites of the Shrauta [Vedic] and Smarta [based on Smriti scriptures], with the  desire for the welfare of his devotees. He will teach his disciples the knowledge of Brahman.”

It is to be noted ALL other schools of Vedanta rejects major part of Sri Sankaracharya’s advaita-vada doctrine though Sri Sankaracharya is highly  respected as an incarnation of Lord Shiva and a great acharya as per Padma Puran who preached a deviant vedanta as per the instruction of Supreme Lord Vishnu to defeat Buddhism philosophy.  

Philospohy of Sri Sankaracharya:

Sri Sri Shankara was born in Kaladi in Kerala in 788 A.D and preached Advaita (non dualism) philosophy. Though he lived for only thirty-two years, his achievements are unparalleled.

Here are some of his views about BRAHMAN {Supreme Being}

Brahma Satyam. Jagat Mithya. Jivo Brahmaiva Na Parah.

God is real. World is not. The individual is none other than God.

Brahma Satyam. Jagat Mithya.

According to Sri Sri Shankara, there is only one Absolute Brahman and He alone is true (Satya). The materialistic world we live in is not real (Asat), or it is only vyavaharika satya. What does vyavaharika satya mean? Let us suppose we dream of winning a brand new car in a lottery and driving it, though we experience the drive once we are awake there is no car. Did we not experience the car drive in the dream is it not true? Yes, it was true, if so then where is the car? This is vyavaharika satya. Sri Sri Shankara says that appearance of this world is due to Maya—the illusory power of Brahman—, which is neither Sat, nor Asat.

As for the “falseness” of this world – first let us make it clear that Advaita does not claim that this world is false. It only says that it is illusory. Let us pause a minute here and go over the rope and snake analogy. A man sees a coiled rope in insufficient light and thinks it to be a snake, and is therefore afraid. Later, when he sees it again with the help of a light source, he recognizes it as a rope, and realizes he was in error when he thought it to be a snake. However, till he realizes that this object of perception is not a snake, he harbors the illusion that it was a snake i.e. he was under the influence of his own ignorance about the true identity of the thing, and was therefore under “mithyatva”. The same “snake” is later, at the moment of realization, understood to be a “rope”. Similarly, we humans’ think this world has an independent reality, and assumes that the pleasures, joys, frustrations and miseries we experiences here are somehow “real”. It is this that is “mithya”.

Jivo Brahmaiva Na Parah.

Sri Sri Sankara equates every individual soul to none other than Brahman. We the Jivatmas (Living Beings) are parted from Brahman and have been in this world ones our moral coils are shed we once again MERGE with Brahman. We may be identified in many name but we all end up merging with the Supreme. This analogy may help understand better. If we hold a glass tumbler and ask any one if it empty, they say it is empty but no it has air inside it. Is the air inside the tumble different from the air outside? What happens if the glass tumbler is broken? Will not the air which was inside the glass tumbler get mixed with the air outside? Like wise the glass tumbler is our body and the atma is the air in it, one the body is broken (is dead) the atma merges with Paramatma. And the same can be said to the water that is taken out of the ocean by cupping our palm. Is the water in the cupped palm called ocean? No but once it is poured back into the ocean it is ocean. Likewise individual souls {Jivatma} will merge into Supreme Soul {Paramatma} in death.

Sarvam Vishnu Mayam Jagat :

The entire world is filled with Vishnu.

Sri Sri Sankara having said that entire world is filled with Vishnu he introduces Panchayatana Puja.

At the time of Sri Sri Sankara, sectarian worship was very much in vogue. Each school claimed supremacy of their Ishta Devata and philosophy, and was not tolerant of other schools. The primary schools in existence where the sects of Ganapatya, Saura, Vaishnava, Shaiva and Shakta. A lot of time was spent fighting about the supremacy among these schools. This kind of fighting was not very productive, since it went against the ultimate Advaita teaching of vedanta.

The Panchayatana puja, traditionally practiced among Smartas was established by Sri Sri Shankara, enabling to worship Ishta devata with an ADVAITA BUDDHI, while including all the other major sectarian devatas. The Ishta devata to be placed in the center, with the other remaining deities placed around it.

Jnanat eva tu kaivalyam :

Knowledge alone can give salvation. It is the knowledge of understanding Brahman, which is the only means to attain Moksha.

Aham Brahmasmi : I am Brahman

Tat Twam Asi : That Thou Art


Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chitta Ninaham
Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre
Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

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 (the five elements).

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

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

Neither can I be termed as energy (prana), nor five types of breath (vayus),nor the seven material essences (Rasa: plasma, Rakta: blood, Mamsa: muscle, Medas: fat, Asthi: bone, Majja: marrow, Shukla: semen), 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.

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

I have no hatred or dislike, nor affiliation or liking, nor greed, nor delusion, nor pride or haughtiness, nor feelings of envy or 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.

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

I have neither merit (virtue), nor demerit (vice). I do not commit sins or good deeds, nor have happiness or sorrow, pain or pleasure. I do not need mantras, holy places, scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yagnas).
I am none of the triad of the observer or one who experiences, the process of observing or experiencing, or any object being observed or experienced.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.

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

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 or 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.

Aham Nirvikalpo Nirakara Roopaha
Vibhur Vyapya Sarvatra Sarvendriyanam
Sada Me Samatvam Na Muktir Na Bandhah
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham

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, everywhere, every time, always in equilibrium.

I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
Ayam Atmane Brahma Self is Brahman

Prajnanam Brahma Consciousness is Brahman

Atma Panchakam – Sri Sri Shankaracharya

Naham deho, nendriya nyantharangam,
Nahamkara prana vargaa na budhi,
Darapathya kshethra vithadhi dhoora,
Sakshi nithya prathyagathma shivoham. 1

I am neither the body, nor the senses nor the mind,
Neither am I pride, soul nor intellect,
But I am Shiva, who is eternal,
Who is completely unattached.
Who is far, far and far away
From wife, son, lands and assets,
And is the witness for everything.

Rajjwagnanath bhathi rajjuryadhai,
Swathma jnanad athmano jeeva bhava,
Aapthokthya hi branthinase sa rajjur,
Jjevo naham desikokthya shivoham. 2

Due to ignorance I think that a rope is a snake,
For due to absence of Jnana.
I ascribe life in to lifeless thing.
And when the realized one points it out,
I wake up from this illusion,
And understand that it is a rope and not a snake.
Similarly I am not the soul but Shiva,
Which I only understand by the teaching of the great teacher.

Aabhadhedham vishwamathmanya sathyam,
Sathya jnanananda roope vimohat,
Nidhramohat swapnavath thanna sathyam,
Shuddha poorno nithya eka Shivoham. 3

Due to the veil of ignorance,
I see this world in the eternal life,
Which has the form of truth and joy,
Similar to the dream which I see due to veil of sleep,
For I am the pure complete, perennial and single Shiva.

Mathi nanyath kinchid athrasthi viswam,
Sathyam bahyam vasthu mayopakjnaptham,
Adarsandhar bhasamanasya thulyam,
Mayyadwaithe bhathi thasmad shivoham. 4

This world is in no way different from me,
Similar to everything getting reflected in a mirror,
All the world is within me,
So I am that Shiva which is without two.

Naham jatho na pravrudho na nashto,
Dehasyoktha prakrutha sarva dharma,
Karthruthwadhi schinmaya syasthi naham,
Karasyaiva hyathmano may Shivoham. 5

Nor was I born nor grew nor die,
For birth, growth and death are for the body,
The nature of taking up a work is,
The reflections of pride and not,
For my soul which is eternal,
And so I am the unattached Shiva.

Naham jatho janma mruthyu kutho may,
Naham prana kshuth pipase kutho may,
Naham chitham sokamohou kutho may,
Naham kartha bandha mokshou kutho may. 6

I was not born, whence birth and death came to me,
I am not the soul, whence came hunger and thirst to me,
I am not the mind, whence came passion and sorrow to me,
I am not the doer, whence came attachment and detachment to me?


Sadhana Panchakam – Sri Sri Shankaracharya

Vedo nithya madheeyatham, thadhuditham karma swanushtiyatham,
Thenesaya vidheeyatham apachithi kamye mathisthyajyatham,
Papougha paridhooyatham bhava sukhe doshonusandheeyatham,
Athmecha vyavaseeyatham nijagruhathoornam vinirgamyatham. 1

Study the Vedas daily.
Perform diligently the duties (karmas) ordained by them.
Dedicate all those actions (karmas) as worship unto the Lord.
Renounce all desires in the mind.
Wash away the hoards of sins in the bosom.
Recognise that the pleasures of sense-objects (samsar) are riddled with pain.
Seek the Self with consistent endeavour.
Escape from the bondage of ‘home’

Sanga sathsu vidheeyatham, bhagawatho bhakthir druda a dheeyatham,
Santhyabhi paricheeyatham, drudatharam karmasu santhyajyatham,
Sadvidhwaupasarpyatham prathi dhinam thath padukha sevyatham,
Brahmaikaksharamarthyatham sruthi siro vakhyam samakarnyatham. 2

Seek companionship with Men of Wisdom.
Be established in firm devotion to the Lord.
Cultivate the virtues such as Shanti etc.,
Eschew all desire-ridden actions.
Take shelter at a Perfect Master (Sat-Guru).
Everyday serve His Lotus feet.
Worship “Om” the Immutable.
Listen in depth, the Upanishadic declarations

Vakhyarthascha vicharyatham, sruthi sira paksha samasreeyatham,
Dustharkkal suviramyatham, sruthi matha stharko anusandheeyatham,
Brahmaivasmi vibhavyatham ahara harghava parithyajyatham,
Deheham athirujjadyatham budha janair vadha parithyajyatham. 3

Reflect ever upon the meaning of the Upanishadic commandments, and take refuge in the Truth of Brahman.
Avoid perverse arguments but follow the discriminative rationale of the Sruti (Upanishads).
Always be absorbed in the attitude (bhav) – “I am Brahman”.
Renounce pride.
Give up the delusory misconception – “I am the body”.
Give up totally the tendency to argue with wise men.

Kshuvyadhischa chikithsyatham prathidhinam bhikshoushadham bhujyatham,
Swadhannam na thu yachyatham, vdhi vassal prapthena sandhushyatham
Seethoshnadhi vishahyatham nathu vrudhaa vakhyam samucharyatham,
Oudaseenya mabheepsytam jana krupa naishturyath srujyatham. 4

In hunger diseases get treated.
Daily take the medicine of Bhiksha-food.
Beg no delicious food.
Live contentedly upon whatever comes to your lot as ordained by Him.
Endure all the pairs of opposites: heat and cold, and the like.
Avoid wasteful talks.
Be indifferent.
Save yourself from the meshes of other peoples’ kindness.

Ekanthe sukhamaasyatham, parathare chetha samadheeyatham,
Poornathma susameekshyatham, jagadhidham thadbhadhidham drusyatham,
Prak karma pravilopyatham, cithi balanna apyutharai slishyatham,
Prabhadhandhwiha bhujyadham adha para brabrahmathmana stheeyatham. 5

In solitude live joyously.
Quieten your mind in the Supreme Lord.
Realise and see the All-pervading Self every where.
Recognise that the finite Universe is a projection of the Self.
Conquer the effects of the deeds done in earlier lives by the present right action.
Through wisdom become detached from future actions (Agami).
Experience and exhaust “Prarabdha” the fruits of past actions.
Thereafter, live absorbed in the bhav – “I am Brahman” !

Ya sloka panchakamidham padathe manushya,
Sanchithyanudhinam sthirathamupethya,
Thasyasu samsruthi dhavanala theevra ghora,
Thapa prasanthi muyathi chithi prasadhal. 6

He who reads these pentet of verses daily,
Daily earns and saves stability in life,
He does not get affected by the intense,
Heat of the sorrow of life,
Because this thapas makes him wise.

Bhakti-yoga with Advaita Buddhi.

Bhakti yoga as seen from advaita-vada  mindset.

The Lord or Almighty is all-pervading, all-knowing. Such an all-knowing Lord is thought about for each moment. The devotee never forgets the Lord (not even for a second). All his actions are directed towards the Lord. The Lord is given prime importance and the Lord is considered as the ultimate goal to be achieved. Therefore, the devotee is completely immersed in the thought of God alone. He sleeps God, eats God and drinks God. Therefore, the devotee merges into the God. At that time, the devotee realizes that there was no difference between God and him, but both are the same only. He realizes that He is the God whom he was praying.



This is the path of knowledge as propounded in the Upanishads or the Knowledge portion of the Vedas. This is one of the easiest and most important path to realization.

This path has been propounded by Sri Sri Sankara and other great acharyas. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi explains this path in 15 slokas from 15th sloka to the 30th sloka.

The Upanishads proclaim that any path a person is following; he reaches a stage where he has to realize the Ultimate Reality through the knowledge about himself. This is what is termed as enquiry into one’s own nature or Vichara.

The path of Jnana is considered one of the most important because all other paths will lead one to this path only where a person realizes the ultimate Reality of the world.

The Upanishads proclaim that there can be relief from sorrow only by knowledge about one’s own nature. All the sorrow are not real, they are illusory creations alone which seem to exist due to ignorance. Therefore, the only solution to this illusory sorrow and sufferings is the real knowledge that there is no suffering.

Each person is the Self or pure Consciousness alone, one without a second. This Reality has been forgotten due to ignorance. This ignorance has to be removed and can be removed only through knowledge about one’s nature. When this ultimate Reality of one’s own nature is known, then all sorrows, all dualities vanish – and the pure Self or Consciousness alone remains.

The nature of the Self and the Reality of the world has been realized by saints from time immemorial. These saints have put their experience in the Vedas which is not a creation of the saints but which are just discoveries of the saints. Vedas are immortal and they are the very words of God or Brahman. Through the study of the Upanishad or knowledge portion of the Vedas, a person realizes that I am not this body, I am not the mind – but I am the Self or pure Consciousness of the nature of Eternal Bliss. The dual world that is being perceived is unreal because everything that seems to exist is only the Self or Consciousness. Without the Consciousness, there is neither any world nor any objects.


Sri Sri Sankara was a follower of Jnaana and mainly propagated Jnaana through commentaries, But Sri Sri Sankara’s life history tells us that he did Parakaaya Praveshanam or entering into the body of another person which is part of Raja Yoga as put forth by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras.

However Knowledge which leads to devotion is considered seperate from Gyan marga even though it is Gyan . Gyan Marga is referred to the knowledge which leads one to impersonalism .

Bhaja Govindam

In spite of Advaita-vada being the sole teachings of Sri Sankaracharya but towards the end of his life had stressed on the worship of Govinda . Bhaja Govindam is his last composition .In this verse he seems to oppose Gyan Marg, a path he preached his entire life.

HDG A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami on Bhaja Govindam : “So there is a very famous prayer made by Sankara… Sankaracarya has made many prayers about Krsna, especially about His Vrndavana lila, he has made. He has worshiped Krsna in many ways. And last, this is his last composition of poetry. Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam bhaja govindam mudha mate: “You  fools, you mudha mate…” Mudha mate means “you fools.” He was addressing the whole world, “you fools.” Bhaja govindam: “Just become devotee of Krsna. Just become  Krsna consciousness.” Prapte sannihite kale marane na hi na hi raksati dukrn-karane: “You are philosophizing. You are talking on grammar and this way and that way.” Because these people, they want to establish impersonalism from Bhagavad-gita by strength of grammar. Such a nonsense they are. They want to understand God through grammar. God is so cheap that He can be understood through grammar. Therefore especially he specified, prapte sannihite kale marane: “When death will catch you, your grammar, dukrn, prata, this will not save you. You fools. You please become Krsna conscious ” That was the instruction of Sankaracarya. And he has especially mentioned Bhagavad-gita and Ganges water. He especially mentions. “A little quantity of Ganges water and a little study of Bhagavad-gita will save you from many dangerous positions.”

A censure is implied when Sri Sri Shankaracharya calls the man a fool (Moodhamathe). It may be added here that the tone of Bhajagovindam is not at all soft, but somewhat striking, in spite of its exotic poetic beauty and perfection of composition. This is no wonder, because such a treatment is required to wake up man from his slumber. A milder approach would delay the matter. The matter is urgent, as Sri Sri Shankaracharya explains in the next verse, for, when the hour of death approaches without any forewarning, the hard-learned verses of grammar(Gyan marg) are not going to save the poor soul. Hence the song rightly starts without any preamble:

bhajagovindaM bhajagovindaM
govindaM bhajamuuDhamate .
saMpraapte sannihite kaale
nahi nahi rakshati DukRiJNkaraNe .. (1)

Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda. Oh fool! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death.

mUDha jahiihi dhanaagamatRishhNaaM
kuru sadbuddhiM manasi vitRishhNaam.
yallabhase nijakarmopaattaM
vittaM tena vinodaya chittam. .. (2)

Oh fool! Give up your thirst to amass wealth, devote your mind to thoughts to the Real. Be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past.

naariistanabhara naabhiideshaM
dRishhTvaa maagaamohaavesham.
etanmaaMsaavasaadi vikaaraM
manasi vichintaya vaaraM vaaram. .. (3)

Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman’s navel and chest. Bodies are flesh, fat and blood. Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.

naliniidalagata jalamatitaralaM
tadvajjiivitamatishayachapalam .
viddhi vyaadhyabhimaanagrastaM
lokaM shokahataM cha samastam .. (4)

Uncertain is the life of man as rain drops on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.

yaavadvittopaarjana saktaH
staavannija parivaaro raktaH .
pashchaajjiivati jarjara dehe
vaartaaM ko.api na pRichchhati gehe .. (5)

So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.

yaavatpavano nivasati dehe
taavatpRichchhati kushalaM gehe .
gatavati vaayau dehaapaaye
bhaaryaa bibhyati tasminkaaye .. (6)

When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.

taruNastaavattaruNiisaktaH .
pare brahmaNi ko.api na saktaH .. (7)

Childhood is lost in play. Youth is lost by attachment to woman. Old age passes away by thinking over many past things. Alas! Hardly is there anyone who yearns to be lost in Parabrahman.

kaate kaantaa kaste putraH
saMsaaro.ayamatiiva vichitraH .
kasya tvaM kaH kuta aayaataH
tattvaM chintaya tadiha bhraataH .. (8)

Who is your wife? Who is your son? Strange is this samsara. Of whom are you? Where have you come from? Brother, ponder over these truths.

satsaNgatve nissN^gatvaM
nissaNgatve nirmohatvam.h .
nirmohatve nishchalatattvaM
nishcalatattve jiivanmuktiH .. (9)

From Satsanga comes non-attachment, from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion, which leads to self-settledness. From self-settledness comes Jivan Mukti (liberation).

vayasigate kaH kaamavikaaraH
shushhke niire kaH kaasaaraH .
kshiiNevitte kaH parivaaraH
GYaate tattve kaH saMsaaraH .. (10)

What good is lust when youth has fled? What use is a lake which has no water? Where are the relatives when wealth is gone? Where is samsara (the continuaiton of birth and death) when the Truth is known?

maa kuru dhana jana yauvana garvaM
harati nimeshhaatkaalaH sarvam.h .
maayaamayamidamakhilaM hitvaa
brahmapadaM tvaM pravisha viditvaa .. (11)

Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.

dinayaaminyau saayaM praataH
shishiravasantau punaraayaataH .
kaalaH kriiDati gachchhatyaayuH
tadapi na muJNcatyaashaavaayuH .. (12)

Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.

kathito vaiyaakaraNasyaishhaH .
upadesho bhuudvidyaanipuNaiH
shriimachchhankarabhagavachchharaNariH .. (12a)

This bouquet of twelve verses was imparted to a grammarian by the all-knowing Shankara, adored as the bhagavadpada.

kaate kaantaa dhana gatachintaa
vaatula kiM tava naasti niyantaa .
trijagati sajjanasaM gatiraikaa
bhavati bhavaarNavataraNe naukaa .. (13)

Oh mad man ! Why this engrossment in thoughts of wealth ? Is there no one to guide you ? There is only one thing in three worlds that can save you from the ocean from samsara. Get into that boat of satsangha quickly.

jaTilo muNDii luJNchhitakeshaH
kaashhaayaambarabahukRitaveshhaH .
pashyannapi cana pashyati muuDhaH
udaranimittaM bahukRitaveshhaH .. (14)

There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in saffron, yet others in various colors — all just for a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish ones see it not.

aNgaM galitaM palitaM muNDaM
dashanavihiinaM jataM tuNDam.
vRiddho yaati gRihiitvaa daNDaM
tadapi na muJNcatyaashaapiNDam.. (15)

Strength has left the old man’s body; his head has become bald, his gums toothless and leaning on crutches. Even then the attachment is strong and he clings firmly to fruitless hope.

agre vahniH pRishhThebhaanuH
raatrau chubukasamarpitajaanuH .
tadapi na muJNcatyaashaapaashaH .. (16)

Behold there lies the man who sits warming up his body with the fire in front and the sun at the back; at night he curls up the body to keep out of the cold; he eats his beggar’s food from the bowl of his hand and sleeps beneath the tree. Still in his heart, he is a wretched puppet at the hands of passions.

kurute gaNgaasaagaragamanaM
vrataparipaalanamathavaa daanam.h .
GYaanavihinaH sarvamatena
muktiM na bhajati janmashatena .. (17)

One may go to the Ganga, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity! Yet, devoid of jnana, nothing can give mukthi even at the end of a hundred births.

sura ma.ndira taru muula nivaasaH
shayyaa bhuutala majinaM vaasaH .
sarva parigraha bhoga tyaagaH
kasya sukhaM na karoti viraagaH .. (18)

Take your residence in a temple or below a tree, wear the deerskin for the dress, and sleep with mother earth as your bed. Give up all attachments and renounce all comforts. Blessed with such vairagya, could any fail to be content ?

yogarato vaabhogaratovaa
saN^garato vaa saNgaviihinaH .
yasya brahmaNi ramate chittaM
nandati nandati nandatyeva .. (19)

One may take delight in yoga or bhoga, may have attachment or detachment. But only he whose mind steadily delights in Brahman enjoys bliss, no one else.

bhagavad.h giitaa kiJNchidadhiitaa
gaNgaa jalalava kaNikaapiitaa .
sakRidapi yena muraari samarchaa
kriyate tasya yamena na charchaa .. (20)

Let a man read but a little from Gita, drink just a drop of water from the ganges, worship murari (Krishna) just once. He then will have no altercation with Yama(the lord of death).

punarapi jananaM punarapi maraNaM
punarapi jananii jaThare shayanam.h .
iha saMsaare bahudustaare
kRipayaa.apaare paahi muraare .. (21)

Born again, death again, birth again to stay in the mother’s womb! It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh Murari! Redeem me through your mercy.

rathyaa charpaTa virachita kanthaH
puNyaapuNya vivarjita panthaH .
yogii yoganiyojita chitto
ramate baalonmattavadeva .. (22)

There is no shortage of clothing for a monk so long as there are rags cast off the road. Freed from vice and virtue, onward he wanders. One who lives in communion with God enjoys bliss, pure and uncontaminated, like a child and as someone intoxicated.

kastvaM ko.ahaM kuta aayaataH
kaa me jananii ko me taataH .
iti paribhaavaya sarvamasaaram.h
vishvaM tyaktvaa svapna vichaaram.h .. (23)

Who are you ? Who am I ? From where do I come ? Who is my mother, who is my father ? Ponder thus, look at everything as essenceless and give up the world as an idle dream.

tvayi mayi chaanyatraiko vishhNuH
vyarthaM kupyasi mayyasahishhNuH .
bhava samachittaH sarvatra tvaM
vaaJNchhasyachiraadyadi vishhNutvam.h .. (24)

In me, in you and in everything, none but the same Vishnu dwells. Your anger and impatience is meaningless. If you wish to attain the quality of Vishnu soon, have Sama Bhaava always.

shatrau mitre putre bandhau
maa kuru yatnaM vigrahasandhau .
sarvasminnapi pashyaatmaanaM
sarvatrotsRija bhedaaGYaanam.h .. (25)

Do not waste your efforts to win the love of or to fight against friend and foe, children and relatives. See yourself in everyone and give up all feelings of duality completely.

kaamaM krodhaM lobhaM mohaM
tyaktvaa.atmaanaM bhaavaya ko.aham.h .
aatmaGYaana vihiinaa muuDhaaH
te pachyante narakaniguuDhaaH .. (26)

Give up lust, anger, infatuation, and greed. Ponder over your real nature. Fools are they who are blind to the Self. Cast into hell they suffer there endlessly.

geyaM giitaa naama sahasraM
dhyeyaM shriipati ruupamajasram .
neyaM sajjana saNge chittaM
deyaM diinajanaaya cha vittam. .. (27)

Regularly recite from the Gita, meditate on Vishnu [through  Vishnu sahasranama] in your heart, and chant His thousand glories. Take delight to be with the noble and the holy. Distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy.

sukhataH kriyate raamaabhogaH
pashchaaddhanta shariire rogaH .
yadyapi loke maraNaM sharaNaM
tadapi na muJNchati paapaacharaNam.h .. (28)

He who yields to lust for pleasure leaves his body a prey to disease. Though death brings an end to everything, man does not give up the sinful path.

arthamanarthaM bhaavaya nityaM
naastitataH sukhaleshaH satyam.
putraadapi dhana bhaajaaM bhiitiH
sarvatraishhaa vihiaa riitiH .. (29)

Wealth is not welfare, truly there is no joy in it. Reflect thus at all times. A rich man fears even his own son. This is the way of wealth everywhere.

praaNaayaamaM pratyaahaaraM
nityaanitya vivekavichaaram.
jaapyasameta samaadhividhaanaM
kurvavadhaanaM mahadavadhaanam .. (30)

Regulate the pranas, remain unaffected by external influences and discriminate between the real and the fleeting. Chant the holy name of God and silence the turbulent mind. Perform these with care, with extreme care.

gurucharaNaambuja nirbhara bhakataH
saMsaaraadachiraadbhava muktaH .
sendriyamaanasa niyamaadevaM
drakshyasi nija hR^idayasthaM devam. .. (31)

Oh devotee of the lotus feet of the Guru ! May thou be soon free from Samsara. Through disciplined senses and controlled mind, thou shalt come to experience the Indwelling Lord of your heart !

muuDhaH kashchana vaiyaakaraNo
DukRiJNkaraNaadhyayana dhuriNaH .
shriimachchhamkara bhagavachchhishhyai
bodhita aasichchhodhitakaraNaH .. (32)

Thus was a silly grammarian lost in rules cleansed of his narrow vision and shown the Light by Shankara’s apostles.

bhajagovindaM bhajagovindaM
govindaM bhajamuuDhamate .
nahi pashyaamo bhavataraNe .. (33)

Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool ! OTHER THAN CHANTING THE LORD’S NAME THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO CROSS THE LIFE’S OCEAN.


In the final book that Shankaracharya wrote, the Prabodh Sudhakar, he established the true philosophy. He pointed out that God has two eternal forms, which are both personal and impersonal, that latter of which is difficult to realize. The supreme form is the beautiful and divine Lord Krishna, who appeared on this earth in the Yadu dynasty. Without devotion to Lord Krishna, one’s heart cannot be fully purified. Thus, as he says, it is one’s own ill fortune if one is not attracted to the form and pastimes of Lord Krishna.


Reference :


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