Svarupa Anusandhana Ashtakam [1]

By Adi Sankara
Translated by S. N. Sastri

This is a short work attributed to Shri Shankara.

1. I am that eternal supreme Brahman which is attained by one whose mind has become pure by the practice of austerities, performance of sacrifices, giving of gifts, and the like, and who has acquired total detachment and rejects everything including even the status of a king as worthless tinsel.

2. Having approached and propitiated a Guru who is compassionate, calm and established in Brahman, one should mentally contemplate one's own real nature. I am that eternal supreme Brahman which such a man of wisdom attains by meditation on the Reality.

3. I am that eternal supreme Brahman which is of the nature of bliss, self-luminous, free from all limitations, unconditioned by the world, attainable only through the mental modification in the form 'I am Brahman' and which is the Fourth (being beyond the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep).

4. I am that eternal supreme Brahman which is beyond the reach of the mind and speech, pure, and ever liberated. The universe appears (as real) because of ignorance of Brahman and disappears as soon as the Self is realized.

5. When the whole universe is negated as 'not this', 'not this', that Infinite Self which shines in the state of samadhi, which is beyond the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, which is only one, and non-dual, that eternal supreme Brahman I am.

6. By a particle of the bliss of which the entire universe enjoys happiness, because of which shining, everything shines, by the light of which everything else is illumined, that eternal supreme Brahman I am.

7. I am that eternal supreme Brahman which is infinite, all-pervading, devoid of different forms, actionless, auspicious, free from attachment, attainable through the pranava Om, formless, extremely resplendent, and deathless.

8. When a person is immersed in that ocean of bliss the universe which is a play of nescience and the cause of which is that wonderful Brahman does not appear anymore. That eternal supreme Brahman I am.

9. The person who reads this hymn of praise named Svarupanusandhanam with sincerity and devotion or listens to it with an alert mind becomes Vishnu (Brahman) here itself. The Vedas are the authority for this.

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