Praatah Smaraami – Morning Prayers
by Adi Shankaraacharya
These three morning shlokas were composed by the great sage Adi Shankaracharya. These verses focus on dedicating manas, vaak and kaaya, that is, mind, speech and body to the Supreme One.
Our thoughts, words and actions are primary drivers to our own happiness or sadness and such dedication at the start of each day will align the thoughts, words and actions with divinity. Adi Shankaracharya advises श्लोकत्रयमिदं पुण्यं लोकत्रयविभूषणम् । प्रातःकाले पठेद्यस्तु स गच्छेत्परमं पदम् ।। that is, 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 liberation1.
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प्रातः स्मरामि हृदि संस्फुरदात्मतत्त्वं
सच्चित्सुखं परमहंसगतिं तुरीयम् ।
तद्ब्रह्म निष्कलमहं न च भूतसङ्घः ॥१॥
Praatah smaraami hridi
Sachchit-sukham paramahamsa-gatim tureeyam.
na cha bhoota-saṅg-ghah
In the Early Morning, I contemplate on the Pure Essence of the Atman shining within my Heart which gives the Bliss of [tooltips keyword=”Sacchidaananda” content = “Existence-Consciousness-Bliss”], which is the Supreme [tooltips keyword=”Hamsa” content = “symbolically, Hamsa is a Pure White Swan floating in Chidaaksha (the space of consciousness, the realm of being, sometimes referred to as the space between the eyes”] and takes the mind to the state of [tooltips keyword=”Turiya” content = “तुरिया the fourth state, Super-consciousness”]; Which knows (as a witness beyond) the three states of Dream, Waking and Deep Sleep, always; That Brahman which is without any division shines as the I; and not this body which is a collection of [tooltips keyword=”Pancha Bhuta” Content=”Five Elements”].
प्रातः morning स्मरामि remember, contemplate हृदि heart संस्फुर् shine, twinkle, glitter आत्मा self, soul तत्व you सच्चित् existence and thought (सत् being, existing चित् consciousness) सुखम् happiness परम highest, absolute हंस (swan representing) pure consciousness अहम् I am गति going, moving, condition, state, तुरीयम् the state of super-consciousness, the 4th state of existence यत् which स्वप्न dream (dream state) जागर waking state सुषुप्ति deep sleep अवैति knows नित्यं Eternally present, eternal, always present, perpetually नित्यम् nityam – eternal तत् that ब्रह्म Brahma, supreme निष्कल without parts, without division, undivisible
अहम् I, me न no, not च and भूतसङ्घः भूत् element सङ्घः assembly, collection
प्रातर्भजामि मनसा वचसामगम्यं
वाचो विभान्ति निखिला यदनुग्रहेण ।
स्तं देवदेवमजमच्युतमाहुरग्र्यम् ॥२॥
Praatar-bhajaami manasaa vachasaam-agamyam
Vaacho vibhaanti nikhilaa yad-anugraheṇa
In the Early Morning I worship That which is beyond the Mind and the Speech, (And) By Whose Grace all Speech shine; Who is expressed in the scriptures by the statement “Neti Neti”, since He cannot be adequately expressed by Words; Who is called the God of the Gods, Unborn, Infallible (i.e. Imperishable) and Foremost (i.e. Primordial).
प्रातः early morning, dawn भज to worship मनसा mind वच speech अगभ्य cannot be approached, that which is beyond वाचो speech (ability to talk), oratory skills विभा to shine, become visible निखिला complete, whole यदनुग्रहेण by whose grace (speech shines) यद् whose अनुग्रह favour, kindness यन्नेतिनेतिवचनैर्निगमा which is (expressed) in the scriptures as Neti Neti यद् which नेति not this वचन statement, declaration निगम scriptures अवोचं which cannot be expressed by words स्तं that (तम् him) देवदेवमजमच्युतमाहुरग्र्यम् who is called God of Gods, Unborn देव God अज unborn अच्युत infallible, imperishable आहुः calledअग्र्य foremost
प्रातर्नमामि तमसः परमर्कवर्णं
पूर्णं सनातनपदं पुरुषोत्तमाख्यम् ।
रज्ज्वां भुजङ्गम इव प्रतिभासितं वै ॥३॥
Praatar-namaami tamasah param-arka-varṇam
poorṇam sanaatana-padam puruṣhottama-akhyam.
Rajjvaam bhujaṅg-gama iva pratibhaasitam vai.
In the Early Morning I Salute That Darkness (signifying without any Form) which is of the nature of Supreme Illumination; Which is Purna (Full), Which is the Primordial Abode, and which is called Purushottama (the Supreme Purusha); In Whom this endless World is settled endlessly (i.e. from the beginning of creation); and (this endless World) appear like a Snake over the Rope (of the Primordial Essence).
प्रातः early morning, dawn नमस् salutation, bowing तमसः darkness परमर्कवर्णं परम् supreme अर्क sun, ray, वर्ण color पूर्णं full सनातन Primeval, eternal पद abode, home पुरुषोत्तम Supreme One आख्यां beholder यस्मिन् in whom इदम् this जगत world अशेष endless मूर्त settled, formed रज्ज्वां over the rope भुजङ्गम snake, snake-like इव like प्रतिभासितं appear (like) प्रतिभास to manifest, appear as