[Advaita-l] Adi Sankaracharya's Nirguna Manasa Puja

Sriram Krishnamurthy asksriramjobs at gmail.com
Wed Sep 12 05:22:04 CDT 2007

*Adi Sankaracharya's
Nirguna Manasa Puja*
Worship of the Attributeless Spirit
*Translated by Swami Yogananda Sarasvati*
E-Text Source: Advaita Vedanta

The disciple said:
1. In the indivisible Satchidananda whose nature is only unconditioned, and
which is also the non-dual state, how is worship prescribed?
2. Where is the invocation (avahana) of the Fullness, and the seat (asana)
of the All-supporting How is there washing of the feet (padya), offering of
water (arghya) and sipping (achamana) for the limpid and Pure One?
3. How is there bathing (snana) for the Immaculate, and clothing (vasa) for
the womb of the universe? How is there a sacred thread (upavita) for Him who
is without lineage and caste?
4. How is there sandal paste (gandha) for the Unattached, and flowers
(pushpa) for the Odorless? What is the jewel (bhusha) of the
Undifferentiated? What ornament (alamkara) for the Formless?
5. What use of incense (dhupa) for the Spotless, or of lamps (dipa) for the
Witness of everything? What is here the food-offering (naivedyam) for Him
who is satiated only with His own bliss?
6-7. How does one prepare betel (tambula) for the Rejoicer of the universe?
He whose nature is self-luminous consciousness, that Illuminator of the sun
and other stars, who is sung by `shrutis', how is there for Him the light-
waving ceremony (nirajana) What circumambulation (pradakshina) for the
Infinite? What prostration (pranama) for the non-dual Reality?
8. For Him who is unknowable by the words of the Vedas, what praise (stotra)
is prescribed? How is there the ceremony of dismissal (udavasana) for Him
who is established inside and outside?

The Guru said:
9. I worship the symbol of the Self (atmalinga) shining like a jewel and
situated in the heart-lotus within the city of illusion, with the ablutions
(abhisheka) of the unsullied mind from the river of faith, always, with the
flowers of samadhi, for the sake of non-rebirth.
10. `I am the One, the Ultimate'. Thus one should invoke (avahayet) Lord
Siva. Then one should prepare the seat (asana) , that is thinking of the
self-established Self.
11. `I have no contact with the dust of virtue and sin.' Thus should the
wise one offer washing of the fet (padya), that is such knowledge destroying
all sins.
12. One should pour forth tha handful of water which is the root- ignorance
held from time without beginning. This is verily the water- offering
(arghya) of the symbol of the Self.
13. `Indra and other beings drink only the tiny fraction of a drop from the
waves of the bliss ocean of Brahman.' That meditation is considered as the
sipping (achamana).
14. `All the worlds are bathed verily by the water of Brahma's bliss which
is indivisible.' That meditation is the ablution (abhishechana) of the Self.
15. `I am the light of Consciousness without any veil'. This thinking is the
holy cloth (sad vastram) of the symbol of the Self. Thus should think the
wise one.
16. `I am the thread of the garland of all the worlds which are in the
nature of the three gunas'. This conviction is verily considered here as the
highest sacred thread (upavIta).
17. `This manifold world mingled with numerous impressions is supported by
me, and by no other'. This meditation is the sandal paste (chandana) of the
18. With the sesamum-flowers in the form of renunciation of the activity of
sattva, rajas, and tamas, one should always worship (yajet) the symbol of
the Self, for attaing liberation while living.
19. With the non-dual Bel leaves devoid of the triple distinction between
the Lord, the guru, and the Self, one should worship (yajet) Lord Siva that
is symbol of the Self.
20. One should think of His incense (dhupa) as the giving up of all
impressions. The wise one should show the lamp (dipa) that is the
realization of the luminous Self.
21. The food-offering (naivedyam) of the symbol of the Self is the big rice
pudding known as the egg-universe of Brahma. Do drink the sweet nectar of
bliss that is the delightful beverage (upasechana) of Mrityu or Lord Siva.
22. One should remember that cleansing the remnants of ignorance with the
water of knowledge, is the washing of hands (hasta prakshalana) of the pure
symbol of the Self.
23. Giving up the use of the objects of passion, this is the chewing of
betel (tambula) of Lord Siva, the supreme Self who is devoid of the
attributes beginning with passion.
24. Knowledge on one's own nature of Brahman, most shining, and burning to
destruction the darkness of ignorance, that is here the waving of lights
(nirajana) of the Self.
25. The vision of the manifold Brahman is the ornament (alamkritam) with
garlands. Then one should remember the vision of the all- blissful nature of
the Self, as the handful of flowers. (pushpanjali).
26. `Thousands of Brahma's mundane eggs revolve in me, the Lord, whose
nature is immovable and steady like a heap.' This meditation is the
circumambulation (pradakshina).
27. `I am verily worthy of a universal salutation. Apart from my true Self,
none is so worthy of salutation.' This reflection is verily here the
salutation (vandana) of the symbol of one's own Self.
28. The idea of the unreality of duties is termed as the saintly act (sat
kriya) of the Self. Thinking of the Self as being beyond names and forms,
this is the praise of his name (nama kirtana).
29. The hearing (shravana) of that God is the thought of the unreality of
things to be heard of. The reflection (manana) of the symbol of the Self is
the thought of the unreality of things to be reflected on.
30-31. Knowledge of the unreality of things to be contemplated upon, is the
deep meditation (nididhyasana) of the Self. Devotedness to the Self by the
absence of all delusion and distraction, is named the perfect steadiness
(samadhi) of the Self; and not delusion of one whose mind rests on something
else. This is called the eternal reposeof the mind (chitta vishranti) in
Brahman itself.
32-33. Thus performing till death or even for a moment this worship of the
symbols of one's own Self, which is expounded according to Vedanta, one who
is well concentrated should give up the illusion of all bad impressions, as
dust from the feet. Having shaken off the mass of ignorance and pain, one
attains the bliss of liberation.

|| Om Tat Sat ||

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