Thursday, November 25, 2010



(Sanskrit Verses - by)
 Sri Adi Sankaracharya
Text & Commentary – Post 2


In Post.1, we started the Nidhidhyasanam process by negating the causal body and the five great elements. We also asserted that we are the Chidhananda roopa, the Siva, the all pervading consciousness cum eternal bliss.

Readers may remember that these verses are the answer of Adi Sankara to the question “who are you” put to him by his future Guru, Sri Govinda Padacharya. We are striving to use the answer of Adi Sankara for our own Nidhidhyasanam (meditation).We now proceed further in our negation cum assertion process from Vs.2.


Na cha praana sangno na vai pancha vaayur,
Na vaa saptha dhathur na vaa pancha kosah,
Na vak pani padam na chopastha payu,
Chidananda Roopa Sivoham, Sivoham.

Meaning :

I am not the Praana, the energy of life in the body.

I am not any of the Pancha Vayus  (the five gases), namely, the praana, apaana, vyaana, udaana and Samaana vayus

I am not any of the  Seven dhathus or elements that make the body parts , namely – the marrow, bones, brain, meat, blood, skin and the muscles.

I am not any of the Pancha Kosas, the five sheaths of the body, namely Annamaya Kosa, Praanamaya Kosa, Manomaya Kosa, Vijnanamaya kosa and Anandamaya Kosa.

I am not any of the Karmendriyaas (the organs of action) namely, the tongue, hands, legs, reproductive organs and excretory organs.

I am the all pervading, universal consciousness and eternal bliss. I am the Siva, I am the Siva.”

Further comments :

Praana represents the essential  life energy in us and it also represents one of the five Vayus or gases circulating in the body. On death of the Gross body, the praana life energy merges back into the five great elements of the Universe. In most meditations – breath watch (not necessarily breath control) is the main part. You can clearly feel the praana energy going out and coming in along with breath. Let us also understand that praana energy comes in and goes out along with praana vayu, but is not the same as Praana vayu. Praana vayu is the vehicle on which praana energy rides. 

Does it not make it clear that Praana energy is not the Self? So, affirm and assert that it is not the ‘I’.

‘I’ am not that Praana life energy.

The air circulating in the body gets different names in different parts of the body. The overall functions of the five gases are stated in Viveka Choodamani Vs.104 , 97 etc and in Upanishads.

Praana Vayu resides mainly in the nostrils and also in the ears, eyes and mouth. It is responsible for inhalation and exhalation from nostrils to lungs and back and regulation of  circulation. Air in the ears and eyes is also regulatory in nature. As we all can easily discern, it is external to us, though it ensures the passage of praana energy into us.

Apaana Vayu circulates in excretory organs and regulates their functions.

Samaana Vayu resides in and around the navel,  inside the stomach and assists in digestion and distribution of digested food and water in various forms to all parts of the body – as per their needs.

Udaana Vayu moves throughout body with an upward trend or bias, and has some functions at the time of death.

Vyaana  Vayu regulates praana and apaana and is the cause of actions requiring strength.

All Vayus assist the gross body in many functions. The gross body dies and the functions of all these vayus stop that day. They merge back into the great universal element of Vayu. Therefore, affirm and assert that the self is not the Pancha vayus.

 ‘I’ am not the Pancha Vayus.

The seven dhatus are the essential elements of the body - the marrow, bones, brain, meat, blood, skin and the muscles. (majja, asthi, medha, pala, raktha,Charma, thvak (Viveka choodamani vs.74 and89).These also die and degenerate. They cannot be the self. Affirm and assert that ‘I’ am not the self.

‘I’ am not the  Saptha Dhathus.

My body has five sheaths, covering it. Annamaya kosa is born of and grows out of food. The only tangible part of the body, it is subject to birth, growth, degeneration, disease and death. It comes essentially from the earth. On death, it goes back to the earth. (Viveka choodamani.vs.157 to 166)).

Readers may kindly make a simple experiment on themselves. Lie down on your back on the floor and relax totally.

Relax, Relax, Relax…

When you are sufficiently relaxed – you exist only in your mental world. Your physical world no more exists for you. Do you sense your body. No. Not all. If you are sufficiently relaxed, you can’t feel your legs or hands or any other part (without moving it) – unless there is some pain in it – which again pertains to the mind. The saptha dhathus earlier mentioned are all part of annamaya kosa. A healthy body – is not YOU!  Even if a part has been removed from your body, you can’t feel it. If, in your relaxed state, even when the mind functions, if the annamaya kosa cannot be felt – how can it be YOU!! You are not annamaya kosa. Affirm that you are not it. Assert that you are not it.

I’ am not this Annamaya kosa.

Praanamayakosa is the sheath consisting of the five vital airs. As  body dies, the airs merge back into the great universal element of air. (Viveka Choodamani vs.167-168)

‘I’ am not this Praanamaya kosa.

Manomaya kosa is made up of mind and the five organs of perception, namely, sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. It is the seat of all feelings, emotions and perceptions. It vacillates between indecisions. Here, organs of perception refer to very subtle organs which are part of causal body. 

They do not refer to the physical ear, eyes etc – which are called Golakams and which are part of Annamaya Kosa or Gross Body. Mind is avidya itself. But it can be the cause of both attachments and liberation. (Viveka choodamani vs.169 – 185).

Just think – is it not your emotional mind that is causing all attachments with other human beings, animals, and even inanimate things like money and house – and all the disturbances of life arising there from? It is the main cause of all attachments.

But, at the same time, it is again the same emotional mind which can free us from all these attachments, when used along with the Buddhi and when re-directed to spiritual goal. It is an instrument for the goal of self. It is not the self. Assert and affirm this.

‘I’ am not this Manomaya Kosa.

Vijnaanamayakosha is the sheath of the intellect – Buddhi, ego and their vritthis. Compared to Gross body – Manomaya kosa is more likely to experience  the reflection of atma in itself by its proximity with Buddhi and Chidhabhasa. Vijnanamaya kosa, consisting of Buddhi and ego is the very seat of Chidaabhasa where the reflection of the consciousness takes place. (Viveka choodamani vs.186 -190 and vs.208)). Vijnaanamaya Kosa experiences the reflection of the consciousness – but is not itself the consciousness. It also takes birth, grows, degenerates and dies.

‘I’ am not the Vijnanamaya kosa.

Anandamayakosa is the subtlest sheath. It is the sheath of bliss. It is born of thamoguna. It has qualities of affection, joy and experiences of happiness. It gives joy to those who turn their attention inward. It is  the Kaarana Sareera or causal body and is the seat of primal ignorance or avidya. It is active during deep sleep when other organs are  asleep. (viveka choodamani vs.209). It is also subject to births and deaths.

‘I’ am not this Aanandamaya kosa.

These five sheaths constitute the Sareera thrayam.

I am not any of the Panch kosas which constitute the Sareera thrayam.


Na me dwesha ragau na me lobha mohau,
Madho naiva me naiva matsarya bhavah,
Na dharmo na chaartho na kamo na mokshah,
Chidananda Roopa Sivoham, Sivoham.

We are now negating our vritthis, the actions and functions we indulge in, in this verse.


I have no dislikes or likes.
I have no greed or delusion.
I have no pride or jealousy (or enmity) towards any one.
 I have no need for the four purusharthas, the four exalted goals of
life, namely  – Dharma (standards of life, punyam, paapam etc), Artha (Wealth), Kaama (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation);

I am the all pervading, universal consciousness and eternal bliss. I am the Siva, I am the Siva.”

Further Comments :

We are now negating dualities like likes and dislikes – as Not our Qualities and not pertaining to us. All dualities are not mentioned in the verse. But mention of one duality and one each from two other dualities, implies the inclusion of all dualities, like happiness and unhappiness, love and hate, greed and generosity, delusion and clarity, friendship and Jealousy / enmity and so on. All dualities stand negated, by implication, though not mentioned explicitly.

‘I’ do not indulge in or abide by any of the dualities. I am beyond them. I am Sthitha Prajna. I am one with equanimity in all circumstances. This is the knowledge and firm understanding to be generated through Nidhidhyasanam (meditation) on this verse.

Sankara now goes on to say that – the four Purusharthas, the great goals of human life, extolled in the Vedas are also not needed for him.

For better understanding of Purusharthas - Readers may kindly read the detailed article on them in this blog at the url :

If Sankara claims that – ‘I’ do not need Dharma, Artha and Kaama, it can sound logical for a Sthitha Prajna who has transcended all dualities. But, how can even Adi Sankara claim that – ‘I’  do not need moksha, the most desirable and exalted goal of life. The ultimate aim for human existence is nothing other than Moksha.

Why does Adi Sankara claim that even Moksha is not needed for him?

The one who has attained Atma Jnanam, is already in a state of Nitya Muktha and Jeevan Muktha – the already liberated one even while alive and one who is already freed from future births. This is moksha, the ultimate.

Why is therefore moksha needed for a Muktha again? He is already a muktha, one who has attained moksha. Leaving of body subsequently is a formality which makes him videha muktha. For some people until Prarabdha Karma is fully spent and  body falls off – there is no moksha. This moksha is called Videha mukthi which happens after falling off of the body. Sankara, who is in the perpetual state of nithya muktha, has therefore no need for moksha.  This is the implication here.

After negating vritthis and purusharthas, Sankara re-asserts – I am the all pervading consciousness cum eternal bliss. I am the Siva, I am the Siva.

Like Sankara, we also need to affirm with firm belief, knowledge and total conviction that “ I am the Chidaananda roopa. I am the Siva, I am the Siva

We will continue the discussion further in the next post.

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