Illustrations from Atma Bodha

Key words for Illustrations

Sujatha R
2 min readFeb 4, 2021

Was listening to this beautiful chant by Swami Brahmananda on Shankaracharya’s Atma Bodha and it seemed to be packed with illustrations from Upanishads.. Heard many of these from the talks of Swamy Sarvananda Priya and other works. The key words ‘vat’ ‘iva’ ‘yatha’ ‘tulya’ have been used for allegories and drawing parallels. Have borrowed some of the titles from Chinmaya series.

SELF-KNOWLEDGE

2: Like ‘fire’ the primary cause for ‘cooking’ : ‘paakasya vahni-vat’
3: Like light removes ‘darkness’ : tejas ‘timira’ sanghavat
4: Like ‘Sun’ revealed after clouds pass away : megha paaye ‘anshumaan’ iva
5: Like soapnut settling with dirt in water : jalam ‘kataka-renu-vat’

THE WORLD

6: As a Dream Only : swapna tulyo
7: Like pearl appears as ‘silver’ : shuktikaa ‘rajatam’ yatha
8: As mere ‘Bubbles’ in Water : ‘budbudani’ iva vaarini
9: As Ornaments essentially made of Gold: haatake kataka-aadi vat

THE PLURALITY & SUPERIMPOSITION OF UPADHIS

10: Plurality of Space : yatha aakasha..upaadhi..bhinna-vat
11: Tastes Superimposed in Water : aaropana..rasa varna bheda

ERROR IN JUDGEMENT

15: ‘Prism’ reflecting the colour of the cloth: neela vastra..yogena ‘sphatika’
16: Seperating chaff from rice : tandoolam
17: Intellect like a clean mirror : swaccha ‘pratibimba’ vat
18: Atma like a King : aatma raaja-vat

19: The Moon seems to run amidst the moving Clouds : dhaavan iva yatha shashee
20: Fuels the world like the Sun : Soorya lokam yatha janaah
22: The moon’s trembling reflections: chandra chalana..yatha ambasa
24: Essential Nature.. luminosity of fire : prakashah arkasya,
coolness of water: toyasya shaityam, heat of fire: agni ushnathaa

27: Mistaking the Rope for a Snake and Fear : rajju sarpa vat..bhayam
28: As a Lamp Illumines Objects: deepah ghata aadi vat
29: A lighted lamp does not require another lighted lamp: na deepasya..anya deepa..iccha

30: Negation of conditions: neti neti
31: As Perishable as Bubbles: budbuda-vat ksharam
37: Like Medicine Destroys Diseases, inculcate the thought: nirantara abyaasa..brahma eva asmi..rogaan iva rasaayanam

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=LXnh1M7eY5s
  2. https://www.v0.chinfo.org/images/userupload/Reflections/03_Atma_Bodha.pdf
  3. https://estudantedavedanta.net/Sri_Shankaracharya-AtmaBodha%20(and%20Other%20Stotras)%20-%20Swami%20Nikhilananda%20(1947)%20[Sanskrit-English].pdf

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Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns