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Hastamalaka [1]

  1. ‘Who are you? Whose child are you? Whither are you bound? What is your name? Whence have you come? O Child! I should like to hear your reply to these questions.’ Thus spoke Sri Sankaracharya to the boy, Hastamalaka, who replied as follows.

  2. I am neither man, God, yaksha, brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra,[2] brahmachari, householder, forest-dweller, nor sannyasi; but I am pure awareness alone.

  3. Just as the sun causes all worldly movements, so do I — the ever present, conscious Self — cause the mind to be active and the senses to function. Again, just as the ether is all-pervading, yet devoid of any specific attributes, so am I free from all attributes.

  4. I am the conscious Self, ever-present and associated with everything in the same manner as heat is always associated with fire. I am that eternal, undifferentiated, unshaken Consciousness, on account of which the insentient mind and senses function, each in its own manner.

  5. I am that conscious Self of whom the ego is not independent, as the image in a mirror is not independent of the object reflected.

  6. I am the unqualified, conscious Self, existing even after the extinction of the mind, just as the object remains ever the same even after the removal of the reflecting mirror.

  7. I am eternal Consciousness, dissociated from the mind and senses. I am the mind of the mind, the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear and so on. I am not cognizable by the mind and senses.

  8. I am the eternal, single, conscious Self, reflected in various intellects, just as the sun is reflected on the surfaces of various sheets of water.

  9. I am the single, conscious Self, illumining all intellects, just as the sun simultaneously illumines all eyes so that they perceive objects.

10. Only those eyes that are helped by the sun are capable of seeing objects, not others. The source from which the sun derives its power is myself.

11. Just as the reflection of the sun on agitated waters seems to break up, but remains perfect on a calm surface, so also am I, the conscious Self, unrecognizable in agitated intellects though I shine clearly in those which are calm.

12. Just as a fool thinks that the sun is entirely lost when it is hidden by dense clouds, so do people think that the ever-free Self is bound.

13. Just as the ether is all-pervading and unaffected by contact, so also does the ever-conscious Self pervade everything, without being affected in anyway. I am that Self.

14. Just as a transparent crystal takes on the lines of its background, but is in no way changed thereby, and just as the unchanging moon on being reflected on undulating surfaces appears agitated, so is it with you, the all-pervading God.

15. As this stotra [3] reveals the Self as clearly as the amalaka fruit placed on the palm of the hand (hasta), it received the name Hastamalaka Strotra. Moreover, the boy, eminent in jnana, came to be praised by all the people of this world by the name ‘Hastamalaka’.

1. Hastamalaka is mentioned on K.Natesan's page of the web site
2. Yaksha: celestial being; brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra: the four castes..
3. Hymn.
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