Maneesha Panchakam [2]

Maneesha Panchakam
By Adhi Sankara Bhagwat Pada
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

[While Adhi Sankara was returning from the Ganges after bath, once he saw an outcaste man with his wife standing in front of him. His immediate reaction was to ask them to move away from there. Then the man, who was Lord Shiva himself asked Sankara, whether he wanted his body to be moved or his soul. Sankara answers him in five great stanzas, which brings out his deep conviction. Unlike most of the prayers written by him, the concepts in these stanzas are not explained in a simple manner. I have consulted various translations to understand the import of what he tells in each stanza and have written, what I have understood.]

1. Sathyaacharyasya gamane kadachith mukthi dhayakam,
Kasi kshethram prathi saha gourya margethu Sankaram

Once in the salvation giving city of Kasi, opposite to the real Acharya,
Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvathi came in the same street.

2. Anthya Vesha dharam drushtwaa gacha gachethi chaa abraveeth,
Sankarasyomi chandala, tham puna praha Sankaram.

Seeing them in the garb of the downtrodden, he told,
Hey Chandala, I am Sankara, go away, go away,
And then Lord Sankara questioned him as follows.

3. Annamayad annamayam adhava chaithanyameva Chaithanyth,
Yathivara dhoorikrutham vanchasi, kim broohi Gacha gacheth

Body made of food, to another body made of food,
Or from one universal spirit, to another universal spirit,
Oh great sage, between which do you desire the distance,
Why did you say, go away, go away.

4. Prathyag vasthuni nistharanga sahajanandaava bodhambudhou,
Viproyam swapacho ayam ithyapi Mahaan koyam vibhedha brama,
Kim Gangambuni bimbathe ambaramanou chaandala veedhipaya,
Pure vaantharamasthi kanchana ghati mruthu kumbhayorvaa ambare.

The reflection of everything is perceived as same, whether in still water or moving sea,
Oh Brahmin, why this doubt about being a great one and this confusion of inequality,
What is the difference of Sun in waters of Ganga or in the ditch in the street of outcastes,
What is the difference of water stored in a gold pot or the mud pot of the potter?

5. Jagrad swapna sushipthishu sphutatharaa yaa samviddujrumbathe,
Yaa Brahmadhipi pilikantha thanushu prothaa jagat sakshini,
Saivaham na cha drusya vasthithvathi druda prajapi yasyathi che,
Chandalosthu sa thu dwijosthu guru rithyesha maneeshaa mama.

Whether one is awake, dreaming or sleeping, suppose one realizes that,
He is the soul that is invisible but which exists and he is firmly convinced that,
Brahma the creator to the tiny ant which are vibrant are the witnesses of all activities of the world,
That one whether he is an outcaste or a Brahmin is my concept of a Guru.

6. Brahmaivahidama jagacha sakalam chinmathrivisthaaritham,
Sarva chaithadvidhyaya trigunayosesham kalpitham,
Idham yasya drudaa mathi sukhathare nithya pare nirmalam,
Chandalosthu sa thu dwijosthu guru rithyesha maneeshaa mama.

"The entire world is only Brahman which is extended by the pure consciousness,
But imagined to be different due to the interplay of one's three gunas (characteristics)",
If one with stable mind understands this and realizes that,
Everything is only bliss which is eternal, divine and pure,
That one whether he is an outcaste or a Brahmin is my concept of a Guru.

7. Saaaswan nasvarameva viswamakhila nischithya vaachaa guro,
Nithyam Brahma nirantharam vimrusathaa nivyajsanthathmana,
Bhootham bhavi cha dushkrutham pradahathaa samvinmaye paavake,
Prarabdhaaya samarpitham swapuririthyesha maneesha mama.

Coming to the conclusion that this world is entirely perishable,
And not permanent after hearing the words of the Guru,
And if one discusses within his mind and decides that
The Brahman is forever and not perishable,
And burns in his fire of knowledge, the karmic load,
Earned in the past, present and future,
Then it is my decision that he is my guru.

8. Ya thiryag nara devathaabhi rahamithyaantha sphutaa gruhyathe,
Yad bhasaa hrudayaaksha deha vishayaa bhanthi swatho chethanaa,
Thaam bhasyai pihitharka mandala nibhaam sphurthim sadaa bhavayaa,
Nyogi nirvrutha manaso hi gururithyeshaa, maneeshaa mama.

That which is understood within themselves as the self by men, devas and animals,
And that which is illuminated by the self within oneself as the mind body and sense organs,
Hides the real self like a dark cloud hides those lit by a sparkling sun,
And that Yogi with emancipated mind, who understands this, is considered by me as my Guru.

9. Yath soukhyam ambudhi lesa lesatha yime sakradhayo nirvruthaa,
Yath chithe nitharaam prasantha kalane labdhwaa muni nirvruthaa,
Yasmin nithya sukhambudhou galthadhir brahmaiva na brahma vidh,
Ya kaschithsa surendra vanditha pado noonam maneesha mama.

The self is an ocean of eternal bliss and a minute part of it would make Indra and Devas happy,
The sages meditating with a mind of peace on this self and not on any other aspect would attain perfect bliss,
And he who identifies himself with this ocean of bliss is not the knower of Brahman but Brahman itself,
And the feet of such a person regardless of who he is, is fit to be saluted and this is my belief.

10. Dasastheham deha drushtyasmi shambho,
Jathastheso jeeva drushtyaa tridrushte,
Sarvasyathman athma drushtyaa thwameva,
Thwevam may dheernischithaa sarva sathrai.

Oh Lord Shambhu, who sees the past, present and future,
In this form of a body of mine which you see, I am your slave
In the form of the soul, I am part and parcel of yourself,
You are within me and in all others as the soul,
And I have come to this conclusion,
Based on all scriptures and by deep thought.

Srimad Sankara bhagavatha kruthou Maneesha panchakam samaptham.
Thus ends the five beliefs of Shankara Bhagwat Pada.