Sankara's Dasa Sloki
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

Adi Shankara

These ten verses of philosophy is the essence of the thoughts of Sankara. There are two stories about its origin. One says that when Adi Sankara approached Sage Govinda Pada and requested him to make him his disciple, then it seems Govinda Pada asked the young boy, “Who are you?” and this is his reply. Another story tells that when Sankara said that he is about to leave this earth, his disciples wanted to tell them all his teachings in a summary form and this is the reply. Swami Madhusudhana Sarawathi has written a commentary called “Sidhantha Bindu” on these ten verses.


1. Na bhoomir na thoyam na thejo na vayu,
Na Kham nendriyam vaa na thesham samooha,
Anaikanthikathwath suspthyeka siddha,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

I am not earth, I am not water.
I am not light, I am not wind,
I am not ether, I am not sense organs,
Nor am I a combination of these,
Because they don’t always exist.
I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


2. Na varna, na varnasramachara dharma,
Na me dharana dhyana yogadhayopi,
Anathmasrayo aham mamadhya sahanath,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

I am not the caste, I am not the caste rules,
I am not stages of life,
I am not rules, I am not the just conduct,
I am not meditation, I am not yogic practice,
For the concept of I and me destroy all these.
I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


3. Na matha pitha vaa na deva na loka,
Na veda na yagna na theertham bruvanthi,
Sushupthou nirasthadhi soonyath makathwath,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

Neither the mother nor the father.
Neither the celestial gods nor the earth,
Neither the Vedas,nor the fire sacrifice,
Nor the holy waters, they say, exist in sleep.
But there is no void in sleep, either.
So I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


4. Na sankhyam na saivam na thath pancha rathram,
Na jainam, na meemamskader matham vaa,
Visishtanubhoothya vishudhath maka thwath,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

Neither the Sankhya principle, 
Nor the doctrine of Shaiva,
Not the principle of pancha rathra,
Nor the doctrine of Jainas,
Nor the principle of Meemasa,
Are Unique experiences,
For the soul is the purest known truth.,
So I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


5. Na shuklam na krishnam na raktham na peetham,
Na peenam na kubjam na hruswam na deergam,
Na roopam thada jyothirakarakathwath,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

Neither white nor black,
Neither red nor yellow,
Neither large nor thin,
Neither short, nor tall,
And neither with a form is the soul,
For this soul is the form of the light,
So I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out. 


6. Na jagranna me swapnako vaa sushupthi,
Ne viswo na vaa thaijasa pragnako vaa,
Avidhyathmakathwath trayanam thureeyam,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

Neither the state of waking,
Nor the state of dream,
Nor the state of deep sleep is for me,
Neither the earthy feelings,
Nor the glorified feelings of dreams,
Nor the feeling of wakefulness in sleep am I,
For these are the souls of avidya,
And I am the fourth, the thureeya, which is beyond these,
So I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


7. Na sastha na sasthram na sishyo na siksha,
Na cha thwam, na cha aham na cha ayam prapancha,
Swaroopavabadhadhi vikalapa sahishnu,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

Neither the origin of knowledge,
Nor the books of knowledge,
Neither he disciple nor the teacher,
Neither you, nor me and nor this world am I,
For this is not tolerated by innate realization,
So I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


8. Na chordhwam na chadho na cha andhar na bahyam,
Na madhyam na thiryang na poorva paraddik,
Viyad vyapakathwath Akandaika roopa,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

Neither above, nor below,
Neither inside nor outside,
Neither the middle, nor the across,
Neither the east nor the west am I,
For like the all pervading ether,
I am spread everywhere,
So I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


9. Api vyapakathwadhi Thathwa prayogath,
Swatha sidha bhavananya asrayathwath,
Jagat thuchamethath samastham thadanya,
Thadekovasishta Shiva kevaloham.,

Being all pervasive and goal oriented,
Being dependent on its own nature,
Than depending on any out side thing,
This world is trivial as it is different from self.
So I am simply Shiva the self,
For this remains even in sleep,
After everything is taken out.


10. Na chaikam thadanyath dweetheeyam kutha syath,
Na chaa kevalathwam na vaa kevalathwam,
Na soonyam na chaa soonyamadvaidhakathwath,
Kadam sarva vedhatham sidham braveemi

It is not even one and how can it be two,
Neither is it unique and nor not unique,
Neither is it a vacuum nor something different from it,
For it is the essence of non dual reality
So how can I tell about what is established by all philosophy?


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