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Nirvana Shatkam Chanting & Meditation Practice

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Mandala Yoga Ashram
Nirvana Shatkam Chanting & Meditation Practice

a 15 minute practice by Tulsi

The Nirvana Shatakam is a Sanskrit chant composed by the great sage and teacher Adi Shankara over a thousand years ago.

The chant expresses the core doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.

In this 15 minute practice Tulsi chants each Sanskrit verse of the Nirvana Shatakam one at a time, call and response, and then gives the English translation and leaves a space in which to contemplate the words given and the energy of the mantra.

Below are the Sanskrit verses (transliterated) with English translation.

Nirvana Shatkam
Six Verses on Liberation

Mano Buddhyahankara Chittani Naham
Na Cha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre
Na Vai Vyoma Bhumirna Tejo Na Vayuhu
Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham

I am not the manas (mind), buddhi (mental faculty which transmits Awareness), ego nor the chitta (subconscious); none of these things am I. I am not the sense of hearing, the tongue, taste, nor the eyes. I am not space, earth, fire nor wind.
As an individual being, I am the embodiment of Consciousness; as the Essential I, I am nothing but Consciousness.

Na Vai Prana Sangya Na Vai Pancha Vayur
Na Va Sapta Dhaturna Va Pancha Koshaha
Na Vak Pani Pado Na Chopastha Payu
Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham

I am not the bundle of prana (etheric body), nor the five vayus (energy functions); nor am I the dhatus (seven physical constituents), nor the five koshas (five envelopes). I am not speech, feet, hands, the sexual or excretory organs; in fact, I am not any of these things. They are ultimately not I, for I am only Consciousness.

Na Me Raga Dvesho Na Me Lobha Moho
Mado Naiva Me Naiva Matsarya Bhavaha
Na Dharmo Na Chartho Na Kamo Na Mokshaha
Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham

I am not bound by like or dislike, nor am I bound by greed or delusion. I am not bound by the feeling of mine-ness, nor by attachment. Ultimately I have nothing to do with dharma (religion; or spiritual path), nor with the need to earn money, nor am I anything to do with desire or even with liberation. I am really beyond all these concepts; I am Con- sciousness and nothing but Consciousness.

Na Sokhyam Na Dukham Na Punyam Na Papam
Na Mantro Na Tirtham Na Veda Na Yagyaha
Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhokta
Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham

I am not even bound by happiness or unhappiness, nor by virtue or sin. I am not influenced by mantra, nor can I gain anything by going to places of pilgrimage. I am beyond descriptions in the scriptures and have nothing to do with rites. I am not dependant on food. I am not the eater of food nor even the giver of food. I am Consciousness and, in the final analysis, nothing but pure Consciousness.

Na Mrityurna Shanka Na Me Jati Bhedaha
Pita Naiva Me Naiva Mata Na Janma
Na Bandhurna Mitram Gurur Naiva Shishyaha
Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham

I am beyond death; I have no doubts about anything and I am certainly not limited by differences of caste or class. Really, I am not a father, nor a mother; in fact, I haven’t even taken birth! All are my friends and I have no friends, all are my brothers and none are my brothers. Even the relationship between guru and disciple is ultimately based on illusion. I am nothing but Consciousness, nothing but pure Consciousness.

Aham Nirvikalpi Nirakara Rupi
Vibhutwach Cha Sarvatra Sarvendriyanam
Na Chasangatam Naiva Muktirna Bandhaha
Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham

I am that which is beyond even the slightest hint of concept, and I am that which is beyond any kind of form. I am all-pervading, in every direction and I am beyond the limitation of the senses. I am not bound by the need to associ- ate with others, for where are the others? Neither am I bound by the concept of bondage – because I am, in the final experience, Consciousness and nothing but pure Consciousness.

by Shankaracharya


You can find this and many other sacred chants and mantras used here at the Ashram, along with a detailed explanation of the practice of mantra yoga, in our Ashram publication: Mantra Yoga and Ashram Chants

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