Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hastamalakiyam - Sri Shankaracharya

An incredible Sanskrit scholar from Switzerland, Rentsch Bhaskar (Vidyabhaskarji), whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago, thanks to Siddharthaji has been translating some of Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s lesser known texts. I have been fortunate enough to be gifted with some of these translations. The poems written by this great sage are breathtaking. They are so beautiful, I am surprised no one has taken the time or made the effort to translate them into English until now. 
Since Vidyabhaskarji has been so generous as to share them with me, I feel I must share them with all of you.
This next verse is Hastāmalakīyam, a rather difficult text that Vidyabhaskar ‘has been struggling with for a while’, as he told me. 
Here below is the background info he gave me about this amazing verse and the verse itself. I hope it moves you as much as it does me. 
Hari Om. 


Hastamalakiyam (or rather the full name: Hastamalakiya-Bhashyam) is a very special work by Shankaracharya because it is both a collection of 12 verses as well as a commentary which can never be separated from the verses, since the 12 verses were composed by Shankaracharya's jnani disciple Hastamalakacharya upon Shankaracharya's question "Who are you?" 
Shankaracharya was so delighted by the answer that he honoured his own disciple by writing a commentary on his disciple's verses. Now that's a first in the history of the teacher-disciple relationship.

So this is Verse 6 of the Hastamalakiyam.

This which is simple, shining by itself,
pristine awareness,
whose nature is luminosity,
appears manifold in thoughts,
like the simple sun reflected in many vessels of water.
This whose nature is perpetual awareness,
this self-reality I am.


- Hastāmalakīyam