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 श्लोकत्रमिदं पुण्यं लोकत्रविभूषणम् । प्रातःकाले पठेद्यस्तु ्छेत्परमं 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

प्रातः ्मरामि हृदि ंस्फुरदात्मतत्त्वं
्चित्सुखं परमहंसगतिं तुरीयम्
त्स्वप्नजागरुषुप्तिमवैति ित्यं
तद्ब्रह्म िष्कलमहं भूतसङ्घः ॥१॥

Praatah smaraami hridi
samsphurad-aatmatattvam
Sachchit-sukham paramahamsa-gatim tureeyam.
Yat-svapna-jaagara-suṣhuptim-avaiti nityam
Tadbrahma nishkalam-aham
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 Sacchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss essence), which is the Supreme Hamsa (symbolically a Pure White Swan floating in Chidaaksha2) and takes the mind to the state of Turiya (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 Pancha Bhuta (Five Elements).

प्रातर्भजामि मनसा सामगम्यं
वाचो विभान्ति िखिला दनुग्रहेण
्नेतिनेतिवनैर्निगमा अवोचं_
्तं देवदेवमजमच्युतमाहुरग्र्यम् ॥२॥

Praatar-bhajaami manasaa vachasaam-agamyam
Vaacho vibhaanti nikhilaa yad-anugraheṇa
Yan-neti-neti-vachanair-nigamaa avocham
stam deva-devam-ajam-achyutam-aahur-agryam

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 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).

प्रातर्नमामि तमसः परमर्कवर्णं
पूर्णं नातनपदं पुरुषोत्तमाख्यम्
्मिन्िदं जगदशेषमशेषमूर्तौ
रज्ज्वां भुजङ्गम इव प्रतिभासितं वै ॥३॥

Praatar-namaami tamasah param-arka-varṇam
poorṇam sanaatana-padam puruṣhottamaakhyam.
Yasminn-idam jagad-asheṣham-asheṣha-moortau
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).

  1. this phraseश्लोकत्रमिदं पुण्यं लोकत्रविभूषणम् । प्रातःकाले पठेद्यस्तु   गच्छेत्परमं पदम्  ।।  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 comes as the 4th verse, but is not actually a verse of the sukta.
  2. Chidaaksha is the space of consciousness, the realm of being, sometimes referred to as the space between the eyes
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