Adi Shankaracharya’s Pratah Smarana Stotram
This is a Vedantic hymn bringing out the essence of the Self (Brahman) as brought out in the Upanishads. It is recited reverentially and with contemplation by aspirants of liberation.
प्रात: स्मरामि हृदि संस्फुरदात्मतत्त्वं
सच्चित्सुखं परमहंसगतिं तुरीयम् ।
तत्ब्रह्म निष्कलमहं न तु भूतसंघ: ॥ १ ॥
1. I meditate in the morning on the Self which shines in the heart, which is existence-consciousness-bliss, which is the goal to be attained by Paramahamsa sannyasis, which is called the ‘fourth’ because it is beyond the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, and which always witnesses the states of waking, dream and deep sleep. I am that Brahman which is indivisible and not the aggregate of the five elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth.
प्रातर्भजामि मनसां वचसामगम्यं
वाचो विभान्ति निखिला यदनुग्रहेण ।
यन्नेति नेति वचनैर्निगमाऽवोचन्
तं देवदेवमजमच्युतमाहुरग्र्यम् ॥ २ ॥
2. I worship in the morning that supremely effulgent Being who is spoken of (in the Vedas) as unborn, changeless, and the highest, who is inaccessible to the mind and whom words cannot directly describe, but by whose blessing the faculty of speech functions, and who is described in the Upanishads by the words ‘not this, not this’.
प्रातर्नमामि तमस: परमर्कवर्णं
पूर्णं सनातनमिदं पुरुषोत्तमाख्यम् ।
रज्ज्वां भुजंगम इव प्रतिभाति तं वै ॥ ३ ॥
3. I bow down in the morning to the infinite, eternal Being who is known as the supreme Purusha, who is beyond the darkness of ignorance, who is resplendent like the sun, who is everything and on whom this entire universe appears, just as a rope appears as a snake.*
श्लोकत्रयमिदं पुण्यं लोकत्रयविभूषणं
प्रात:काले पठेन्नित्यं स गच्छेत्परमं पदम् ॥
4. One who reads every morning this sacred triad of verses which is an ornament for all the three worlds will attain to the supreme state of liberation.
(Translated by Shri. S. N. Sastri)
For more stotrams of Shankaracharya visit:
A note on the rope-snake example given above: The verse says that the entire universe appears on the Purushottama, the Supreme Consciousness, just as a snake appears when superimposed on a rope. This is best understood by the concept of Swatantra – paratantra realities. While the rope has an independent (swatantra) existence/reality relatively, the superimposed snake does not enjoy this status; it has only a dependent (paratantra) existence/reality. It is only on an existent rope that a really non-existent snake is superimposed, out of ignorance. Once the rope knowledge arises, the snake is realized to be false. Similarly, when the independent, Swatantra (Paramarthika) Reality, Brahman, is realized, the superimposed dependent, paratantra (vyavaharika) universe is known to be false. For a detailed study on the Swatantra (Paramarthika) – paratantra (vyavaharika) realities this article is recommended: