Our True Nature
Like the sky, unstained am I. Like the sun, self-luminous am I. Like the mountain, ever unshakable am I. Like the ocean, unbounded am I.
Points for Introspection:
The highest purpose of human life is to realize that he is essentially the Soul – the ever-present, changeless, imperishable Self. Although that is his true identity, by virtue of ignorance he always identifies himself with the changeful, perishable body, mind and intelligence. As a result he feels limited and constricted even though he is infinite and undivided.
When one realizes the Self and gains this Supreme Knowledge of his true identity, he enjoys unbroken bliss and contentment. He remains unaffected in any situation.
In order to gain Self-knowledge, one must contemplate on the nature and characteristics of the Self. In all thought, word and action one must remember that he is essentially the infinite Self, which has no decay or change. When the nature of the Self is contemplated upon again and again, slowly and gradually one is able to comprehend the magnanimity of the Self-dimension and finally get established in its qualities. From the limited ‘I’ (small personality limited by one’s body, mind, etc.) one then transcends to the Universal Soul – the infinite, changeless, ever-brilliant.
This shloka reminds us again and again about the attributes that are essentially one’s own. When chanted repeatedly one experiences the purity, the self revealing brilliance, the unshakability, and the vastness of our true nature.
While chanting this shloka one is able to feel and realize: “I am like the vast limitless sky and have no taint whatsoever! As when a line is drawn in the sky, no mark is left, I too am unaffected and untainted by any impact.” The joy and freedom of being taintless is experienced immediately.
One identifies oneself with the Sun, the ever-brilliant and ever-radiant, and also feels: “I am absolutely unmoving like a mountain. My true nature is unaffectedness in any situation.” One experiences that he is vast like the ocean, which is limitless and un-bounded.
By repeatedly reminding ourselves about our true nature and identity, we slowly and naturally get established in that truth. Then alone we enjoy liberation from all constrictions, and subsequently experience the Supreme Bliss.
आकाशवत् (ākāśavat) = like the sky; लेपविदूरगः (lepavidūragaḥ) = far from being stained; अहम् (aham) = I; आदित्यवत् (ādityavat) = like the sun; भास्यविलक्षणः (bhāsyavilakṣaṇaḥ) = self-luminous; अहम् (aham) = I; अहार्यवत् (ahāryavat) = like the mountain; नित्यविनिश्चल: (nityaviniścalaḥ) = ever-unshakable; अहम् (aham) = I; अम्भोधिवत् (ambhodhivat) = like the ocean; पारविवर्जितः (pāravivarjitaḥ) = unbounded; अहम् (aham) = I;
आकाशवत्, अहं लेपविदूरगः (अस्मि) । आदित्यवत्, अहं भास्यविलक्षणः (अस्मि) । अहार्यवत्, अहं नित्यविनिश्चलः (अस्मि) । अम्भोधिवत्, अहं पारविवर्जितः (अस्मि) ।
ākāśavat, aham lepavidūragaḥ (asmi). ādityavat, aham bhāsyavilakṣaṇaḥ (asmi). ahāryavat, aham nityaviniścalaḥ (asmi). ambhodhivat, aham pāravivarjitaḥ (asmi).
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