Adishankaracharya and Shivah

Adishankaracharya, when he wrote Shivah शिवः in his compositions, he used this to mean the eternal auspicious non-dual Advaita. Eg In the Brahmajnyanavalimala he ends it with ‘Shivosmyaham’ शिवः अस्मि अहं. Or in the Nirvan shatak he ends every verse with ‘Shivoham shivoham’ ‘शिवः अहं शिवः अहं’.

Today is Vaishakh Shukla Panchami, we celebrate Adi Shankarcharya’s birth anniversary today.

Also someone commented that Adishankaracharya wrote on the Advaita yet worshipped the deities by composing beautiful stotras in their honour. Apparently someone thought that the ‘Shiv’ he writes about is the deity Shankar, the embodiment of Tamo-gun (post here).

Adishankarcharya was a Sat-guru. In brief his life story is this. He took Sanyas at the age of 8yrs, then studied under his Sat-Guru at the banks of the Narmada till the age of 12yrs where his Guru said that he was ready, ie Jivan-mukt, the Advaita. He wrote his brilliant compositions, his Bhashya-s, his books on the Advaita, everything on the pure Jnyan till the age of 16yrs, all this in just 4yrs. He wrote about Himself as he was a realised Seer, a Sat-Guru. Then he toured Bharat giving discourses on the Ved (4 Ved-s, Vedanta, Brahmana, Aranyak) set up the 4 Maths in the 4 corners of Bharat, each one dedicated to one of the 4 Ved-s. Not deities, but to the Ved-s. The Ved-s are ‘worshipped’, read, taught and learnt even now in these Maths. He was/ is the highest Parmeshwar himself.

His work is not fully comprehensible to aspirants who are still on the path. Do not assume that he worshipped Shankar or any of the other deities of the Vedic/ Pauranic pantheon. These deities are a part of the manifested creation, ie in the domain of Mahamaya. He was/ is the Advaita, beyond the reach of Mahamaya. Also he wrote in the Devbhasha Samskrutam. So what he wrote and what you understand will be different. He, an Atmajnyani Mahapurush, ie the Advaita itself, and you, a sadhak, an aspirant. When you really understand what he has written, you will also become the Advaita.

Shivah शिवः has the following meanings in the Devbhasha Samskrutam, auspicious, bliss, benign, friend, kind, gracious, favourable, etc. And if you had to break down शिवः to get at its root energy it is something like this.

  • The true and pure emotion that you feel for your inner self, when you recognise yourself to be this highest state of consciousness. This constant state of this purity. The transcendence achieved after apparent duality is resolved to be a superficial illusion. The discarding of the illusion of duality so that you dwell in the eternal constant, unchanging, non-dual, unborn state that you really Are.

The Advaita is called ‘Shivah’, ie ‘the highest auspicious’. (In some parts of India, the personification of Tamo-gun is called Shiva which causes confusion. I am from Maharashtra, in Marathi language we refer to this deity generally as Shankar or Mahadev not ‘Shiva’.)

In this context, all of us at our core are Shivah. But we want to play the Game of Creation so we have no awareness of this fact. We have purposely put filters over our perception which do not let us recognise our essential eternal auspiciousness. We conceal our Shivah nature. The energy which animates us all is the same energy which animates the Tri-dev, Brahma-dev/Sarasvati, Vishnu/Laxmi, Shankar/Parvati, Indra, Agni and the other deities of the pantheon, every one of the 33 Koti devata, the Rudra, the Aditya, the Devi Lalita Tripursundari, Mahamaya herself. They too are all Shivah. Everything is Shivah. This essential auspiciousness शिवः is the only thing which really exists, the concepts of you, me, deities, Mahamaya are hollow, superficial, illusory. 

This is the Nirvan Shatak. I will expand the meaning of just the last shlok. 

अहं निर्विकल्पो निराकाररूपो | विभुत्वाच्च सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम् | न चासङ्गतं नैव मुक्तिर्न मेयः | चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् |

All alternatives, all variations, all options have gone away from my nature. All forms have dropped away, dissolved, vanished into nothingness like mirages dissolve. I exist as the basis of everything. I am the potential of existence. I exist as the covering of everything. I pervade all the organs of action and sense, ie I pervade the tattva-s of creation. I am all that Is. I do not have anything attached to me, nor do I cling to anyone. I am not the concepts of liberation or realisation or enlightenment. I cannot be measured in anyway whatsoever. I am the nature of the blissful intelligence. I am the eternal consciousness. I am the auspicious Advaita. The highest auspicious Advaita Am I.


This is the Brahmajnyanavalimala which I have referred to several times. I will expand the meaning of just the last shlok. 

अन्तर्ज्योतिर्बहिर्ज्योतिः प्रत्यग्ज्योतिः परात्परः | ज्योतिर्ज्योतिः स्वयंज्योतिरात्मज्योतिः शिवोऽस्म्यहम्‌ 

I am the light amidst. I shine within. I am the illumination seen in the inner eye. I am the Eye and I am the Light. I am the brightness which shines forth. I am the divinity which is always apart. I am the light of the eternal which illuminates the eternal. I am away from the transient. I am the eternal flash of lighting. I visibly shine with all power. I am the self-evident fire. I am the blazing flame, superior to the best. I am higher than the highest illumination. I am the radiance which gives power to fire. I myself am the celestial brilliance of the self. I am the eternal blazing flame of consciousness. I am the spontaneous light. I am the self-illuminated light. My nature is light. The highest auspicious Am I.

When you recite either of these compositions you are clearly invoking the pure Advaita within.

Now a bit on the word ‘Aham’. In grammar, it is the first person singular of ‘asmad’, ‘I’. In Sanskrit it means something like – I, self-radiance, indeed, verily, I grant, it is true, surely, certainly.

‘Aham’ broadly means the sense of the self. What you exactly understand your ‘self’ to mean. Your comprehension of what you are. What you experience your self to be? This is ‘Aham’.

Now at the lower levels of consciousness you understand yourself to be Rajiv, Anita, a boy, a woman, a professional, a home maker, a father, a grandmother, a human, confined in a body, having 5 senses, awake, going to work, sitting down to dinner, being born or dying etc. If you think of yourself as something like this, it is a very very limited sense of self. You are experiencing a very limited fraction of your immense Self. This is the ‘aham’ which represents the root cause of ignorance, the ‘ahamkaar’ which is the root cause of existential sorrow. When you put your ‘aham’ in words like this you are still playing the Game, your personal Lila. 

But in your spiritual path there will come a time when you will think and experience yourself as the geometry represented by the Shri Yantra. You will experience your consciousness as the multidimensional Shri Chakra. You will see yourself at the central Bindu of this geometry. This is the first tangible step where you will know that the ‘aham’ is much much more than these simple words can define. You will now move towards experiences which cannot be described in words. And at one point you will transcend all these experiences too. This is the state where when you say that ‘Chidanandah roopah Shivah Aham’ or ’Shivah Aham asmi’ you will mean it completely. 

“Most assuredly, verily, certainly, truly, radiantly, eternally, blissfully, auspiciously Am I.”

“Unchanging, non-dual, auspiciousness Am I.”

If any of my readers feel this post resonating in your hearts, you are on a very high level of understanding, continue on your path. And even if not, its ok to continue thinking of ‘Shivah’ as Shankar or Vishnu or Brahmadev or your source of faith or whatever generates positive energy in you. Everyone should freely worship the energy they are drawn to. No one can judge you but yourself. You choose for yourself. No one can force you. Only you are aware of what you experience.

But this is not what Adishankaracharya intended when he wrote these lines. When he talks about Shivah शिवः he talks about the Advaita. Listen to his these compositions and with the Light of the Advaita, when the time comes, you too will experience what शिवः indicates towards.



19 thoughts on “Adishankaracharya and Shivah

  1. S May 17, 2021 / 10:15 am

    Namaste Respected Madam,

    I have been listening to the Brahmajnyaanavali mala everyday ever since I read about the composition here. When your mind is clear and you focus on the lines it is impossible to listen to it without tears. Many days you are doing things or mind is clogged and you listen the experience is different.

    Lovely post. Thank you!


  2. Dipak May 17, 2021 / 10:58 am

    Namaste Mam,

    thanks for this post. Understanding this article fully might be beyond my mental capabilities but throughout reading this article I could hear my heart beat clearly as if I was listening with a stethoscope 🙂



    • astrologerbydefault May 17, 2021 / 11:44 am

      Hi there
      after that post on predictions i needed to write something which uplifted my mood
      And today being the Jagat-Guru’s Jayanti what better than to write on him..

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Shala May 17, 2021 / 11:06 am

    Was listening to Nirvana Shatakam at sunrise and then later your post came today morning…..,,😃🙏


  4. Abk81571 May 17, 2021 / 4:28 pm

    🙏🙏🙏Thank you for this post on this Adi Sankara Jayanti! Koti Pranams 🙏🙏🙏


  5. Sakshi May 17, 2021 / 8:37 pm

    Madam ji
    Thankyou for this wonderful clarification. Its true that in our part here we do say shivah as the consort of parvati and one of trimurthis who is in charge of samhara.

    But when we seriously follow the spiritual upasana we were told that the ultimate aim is the actualization of the word ‘sivoham’ . Which is entirely different from the thrimurthis and those personifications in puranas.actualy we were told to do upasana of lalitha so that she will ultimately help you to unwind the paasham she herself woven around you and lead you to the experience of sivoham. The ultimate experience.

    And madam ji said that all the sivalingas are actualy symbol of advaitha which is a grand thought since the idea is wonderful And full of possibilities.

    Thankyou again for that vote of confidence when ever you wrote about spiritual practices that “what ever you do is right and ultimately u will reach there”. Actualy some thing to hold on to when we feel that we are slipping.may be a few more thousand rebirths…but still wil be there..😊


    • astrologerbydefault May 19, 2021 / 3:28 pm

      Hi there
      Do whatever triggers ‘shraddha’ within you. eg if it is triggered by the 2 mins of giving arghya to the Sun or in a 1 hr homa that is your choice.
      this feeling will pull you towards the Param-jnyan.
      this freedom to choose and act as per conscience is the essence of Sanatan Dharma.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Apoorva Mishra May 18, 2021 / 8:04 pm

    Dear Ma’am,

    Thank you so much for such an illuminating post. I really enjoy your exposition on Advaita, and your clarity of thought is a learning opportunity for me.

    I apologize for the length of this post at the outset but I am hoping others who are interested in hearing on Advait Vedanta will also find something of value here.

    1. Gyaan nishtha: the ignorance (avidya) of what the self is, is anadi, so when exposed to shravan (S), manana (M) and niddhidhyasana (N) of Vedantic texts, can still leave room for let’s say an adequate conviction or Gyaan nishtha. If one has been conditioned to call a ‘blue’ rope blue, then to be taught that it has been ‘red’ all along can be jarring and living in a world where most people aren’t exposed to Vedantic teachings aren’t likely to be aware of the ultimate reality and even if someone is, it’s not something you can tell from the outside.

    So, there is merit then in Vidvisha Sanyaas, and Vidwat Sanyas. In both cases, karma is to be at a minimum, as gyaan and karm are opposite, until one has attained brahm gayan. Avidya, kam, karma being the order. That is, as a preface, if one has sadhan chatushtaya. I believe studying Vedanta as a hobby or without a deep inner urge to know who am I, will be purely academic.

    My questions (with context) are:

    1. Let’s say that someone engages in Karm Yoga for chit shuddhi, and Upasana and Meditation, for the chit ekagrata so as to finally assimilate Gyaan. In the Vedic parampara, what is nishiddh karm was laid out. Today’s society for the most part engages only in laukik karm anyway. So, the action of a karm yogi would qualitatively be different from say the non-karm yogi, is it not?

    Let’s take an example. A father buying his fifth apartment for his only kid’s future. Does this pass the muster of karm yog? Can you really justify actions that fatten one’s ego. Or originate from the apurna ahankara, as though originating from arpan budhhi (as an oblation to Ishwara)? Such a person when accepting results of their actions are not likely to take it with prasad buddhi, are they?

    2. Upon the extensive study of Vedantic scriptures and texts, and through gyaan nishtha, one comes to know their true nature. But the fact that someone knows any name and form is mithya (that is, doesn’t have an independent existence and has Brahm as its addhisthan), doesn’t prevent prakriti from operating does it? That is, even though they know that “brahm” is all there is, the mind of the name and form they have in this birth, being a conditioned entity and prakritik will continue to face the range of emotions, feelings etc. that any mind does, just like an agyaani. Or, after the mind of this name and form has gyaan nishtha, its actions will come from the center of purnata, that is, the same mind now knows that this name and form has roles to play in this birth, that of a son, father, daughter, etc. so it will continue to fulfill them, without selfish motives and as karmabhasa?

    So, in the mind of a brahm gyaani, let’s say King Janak (post conversation with Ashtavakra), he was playing the role of a king, a father and so on. So, he would continue to do them but “in the knowledge” that this is just “leela” or vyavaharik reality, but the true reality is one that he was apprised of. Taking on this analogy, for a brahm gyaani’s actions then, the societal norms and ethics cannot be applied. I don’t mean it in the sense of engaging in “wrong” action, and facing no consequences, but more to the center where their actions come from.

    From the outside then, he or she can be seen as engaging in the same worldly activities, as the agyaani, but in the mind, there is the knowledge that they’re akarta, and sarv karm sanyas has happened through brahm gyaan. Because many gyaanis have continued to act in society. Shree Krishna, Shree Ram, and in modern times, one could make the case for several people like Swami Vivekananda and other gurus, who teach. Teaching is also a karm. So, action will happen in prakriti, through the three gunas manifestation anyway, even for a sanyasi. Even sitting in meditation or samadhi is action or karm in a physical sense. In a gyaan sense, one can be engaged in little physical action or feverish action, sarv karm sanyas through gyaan means no karta exists.

    Then what is the difference between the actions of a gyaani or an agyaani? Is the gyaani’s action like a fried seed, which can only “act” for the benefit of others, that is, since their ego has now known the true purnata, it cannot act for fulfillment of its own desires. Is that so? In other words, even while playing different roles assigned to this particular name and form, the intent of action is not one of fulfillment of the self, as one knows “purnamadah purnamidam”

    And that of an agyaani is the typical worldly actions we see, driven by dualities?

    And finally, while the gyanni’s name and form engages in worldly activities, their mind is likely to face a similar range of emotions as that of an agyaani, or gyaani’s mind actually is more equanimous. Let’s say an agyaani’s son is in a severe car accident and their mind is agitated, unable to act and freezes. Will then the gyaani’s mind, aware of the reality, both vyavaharik and parmarthik respond from the following wisdom: that his accident was his prarabdha, what has to be done is to resolve the situation as best we can. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a shochaniya event (like Shree Krishna telling Arjuna that he was doing shok for something that didn’t deserve shok – that is, killing his fraternity etc.). So, qualitatively, the gyaani’s reaction will differ from that of an agyaani, is it not?

    I apologize for the length of the comment and I’d understand if this does not merit a reply, but something I wanted to get the benefit of your insight on.

    Thank you so much again!


    • astrologerbydefault May 19, 2021 / 3:17 pm

      Hi there

      The role of a proper Guru is very important. This can be thru a human, books or personal experience. But this force is critical.

      Its always a personal experience. You do your own practice and experience whatever it is yourself. That is why its always put in negation, its not this, its not guru, its not attributes, its not Satya etc, its not… But what it is, each has to experience it fr himself.

      Vidvat sanyas – Jivanmukti
      Vividisha – Videhamukti
      Both are the attainment of Nirgun brahma, ie the Advaita. So from the point of view of that person in that avastha, both are the highest Param-jnyan. He is the Advaita.

      Sadhan chatushyata are essential elements of the mindset of the aspirant.
      Vivek – to know what is essentially true /false, to be able to discriminate between reality and ‘apparent reality’
      Vairagya – to have the ability to discard the false and accept the truth
      Shat-sampat – are necessary to silence the mind. The biggest enemy. If you can silence it, thoughts will cease. If thougths cease, the turbulence of pran will cease. If the pran stops its turbulence, ie stop ‘changing’, it will become like a ‘still pool of water’. This lead to the potential of the I.
      Mumukshatva – a longing for experiencing the true nature. Mumukshatva too is a thought pattern, ie generated by the mind, ie pran, ie turbulence ie change. It is very intense in the early stages of practice. Later as the mind is defeated, this too gets silenced as you realise that you are That.

      The problem with ‘modern gurus’ or ‘vedantic scholars’ is that they are either studying it for money or fame or randomly as a subject.
      Eg when a scholar studies how many sukta are for Indra and how many for Agni what is the point of that? Or studies the Sanskrit grammar of Ved without understanding the meaning of the words.
      Experiencing the sukta is something very different. I wrote on Indra, he is the jivtama so much more than what is written about him in the Puran-s. But I couldn’t have written this about him unless I felt that energy in myself.
      It’s always practice, do it and see.
      The idea that you can ‘study the Ved’ is a folly, they cannot be studied only experienced.

      I don’t understand what you mean by a ‘non-karma yogi’.
      A yogi by definition has to be desirous of merging his jivatma into the paramatma. So he will be very careful as to not create any deep rooted karma which will obstruct him.
      In fact the more deeper you go into yourself, the path becomes more treacherous. Coz if you create a karma at this point of your journey so deep within, resolving it later will take lots more effort. I wrote on this too in some post somewhere.
      But there is a concept of ‘akarma’. This is the whole idea behind the Bhagwat Gita. To act without letting the fruits of that act touch your jivatama. Being in the flow.
      In fact even the concept of Veergati is from here. If you are a really great warrior fighting in the battlefield. Your body, ie prakruti operates on her own, the body is killing others but you are not touched by the karma of these acts. The mind is silent, apart. If you physically die in this stage you get Veergati.

      If any action fattens ones ego then obviously its a source of new karma to be resolved in the future. Its entangling oneself more into the Game of Creation. The person who is buying a 5th flat for his son is satisfying his own ego. This is not his duty towards his son. As a father he is supposed to care for him, educate him, teach him how to earn a livelihood, give him Sanskar and get him married to a proper woman. That is all.

      Accepting the results of past karma with equimanity and fortitude is not easy. In fact when we prescribe remedies in astrology, we always say that the remedy will 1) reduce the impact of the negativity and 2)help you bear the problems with the proper frame of mind.
      Most people at this stage when Karma-phal comes around, ‘fight fate’ and create more negative karma for themselves. It becomes a self-feeding loop.
      i have had people asking me about sacrificing animals to get rid of their problems, thus i wrote a post on Bali.

      I have seen my Satguru while he was in his physical body. But he was the Jivanmukt. He was not the body. He was/is the Advaita.
      He would say a few things which I will try to put in English words. He would say that
      – we, his shishya have created him.
      – if shishyas like us desire, he will keep on taking more births
      – he does not have a coming or going, he Is.
      – at his level there are no other. So he first creates a sense of guru-shishya temporarily within him and only then gives pravachan-s
      – His being visible like this is because of the movement of the ‘Anu’
      (Somehow the vibrations in his voice were so deep, I cannot replicate that energy in these simple words. Neither can I try to put in words what I used to feel hearing such words from my Guru.)
      But the point is that the body will continue as per the horoscope it has got with the birth event. This is true for the Jivan mukt. Body has to follow the rules of Mahamaya. Body is in Her domain till its destruction. The rule of karma applies to the body and never to the Atma. And we shishya are also in Her domain, so we see the body.
      (Personal opinion is that what we call Manas does not exist at this stage.)
      But the Intelligence which animated that body is beyond Her. At that level of Consciousness, Mahamaya does not exist. So from the Jivanmukt’s point of view, he is Non-dual. Body, shishya etc does not exist. He IS.
      For someone who has realised the Advaita, obviously the rules of Mahamaya, ie karma, dharma etc do not apply in the least. They are ‘mithya’ from his perspective.

      Its all about perspectives. Your frame of reference. Your position.

      Eg Suppose you have a thin flat sheet of paper. Its practically in 2 dimensions, length and breadth. (Lets ignore its thickness for this example sake.) You turn it around, look at it from its thin side, you see only 1 dimension, you see a thin line. An apparent 2 D object is converted to a 1D line by changing the perspective.
      Or suppose you see each of the chakras of the Sushumna separately you will see several chakras with 4, 6 etc petals. But if you look downwards from the top Bindu, you will see the Shri yantra a complex geometry.
      In the ‘reality’ around you there are 10 dimensions emanating from a single Bindu. If you can ‘collapse’ them in some way, you will gain the Bindu. Or ‘look’ at them from a different frame of reference.
      That is why I call the Purush, the pivot, the calm centre of the turbulent energies of creation. From here if you look ‘outwards’, you will see Prakruti, her 10 dimensions. From here if you look ‘inwards’, you will see the Advaita. ‘Inwards’ and ‘outwards’ as there are no words which can really convey what I want to express.
      and from the position of the Advaita, you are all there is. Non-dual, no attributes, no foundations, no definitions. You just Are.

      and, what is the ‘present’ moment? can you define the ‘present’ moment ?
      no you cannot.
      you can never precisely say that this is the present? coz it immediately becomes the ‘past’. how to become aware of the ‘present’ is how you realise the Advaita.
      the day you will be able to understand the ‘present’, you wll have realised yourself.

      Another thing, a Sat-Guru does not teach. And he has no karma. He is the Advaita beyond all concepts of karma.
      He cannot ‘teach’ Brahma-jnyan. He is like a catalyst. His mere presence is enough to trigger the inherent Advaita in his shishya.
      A Sat Guru does not teach!
      Go through the Dakshinamoorti stotra in depth. The real Jnyan is given only through ‘silence’.

      My Guru gave all his shishya the naam-mantra ‘Soham’. But hearing it from him, was like a rebirth in itself. or more correctly the feeling which hit when he said that word.
      I or you cannot speak this word in the way he did. Coz we have not yet experienced it fully.
      Then he would always say that we have to act on the Soham and see for ourselves.

      Sanyasi-s have karma that is why they do Sadhna, they desire samyak-nyas.
      Even Yogi-s have karma as they desire yog.
      Every breath taken during the Sadhana is equivalent to burning one lifetime worth of karma. It is very difficult not for everyone.

      Samadhi etc are all illusions. Read the last Alat-shanti prakaran of the Mandukya Upanishad+karik Bhashya.

      An Atma-jnyani is ‘still’.

      And once you see the Sun you cannot ‘unsee’ it. Once you have seen the radiance of the Atma you cannot unsee it. Once you know that something is a lie, a mithya, how can you go on believing it?
      once you knw how a magic trick works, the show does not attract you anymore.

      An Atma-jnyani Mahapurush will seem to us ajnyani people to be in our world, behaving like us, eating, sleeping, working etc.
      But from his perspective, he is Still, non-dual. Because he has seen his own Self, he cannot unsee it.

      A Jnyani has no reaction to anything. Nor action. No change in the real sense is possible at this state. He has destroyed the 24 tattvas of creation, the 3 gun the Devi Lalita/Prakruti etc are all destroyed. There is no ‘Manas’. He has no thoughts.

      See, one has to realise that ‘change’ is an illusion. A change is possible if there are 2. If non-dual is all there is where do you get ‘change’ ‘action’ ‘reaction’ from? ‘Movement’ means that there are 2 stages at least.

      The Consciousness is like a vast substance which encompasses everything is everywhere.
      In this ‘substance’ a vibration gets spontaneously created this vibration is also composed of the same substance but it observes itself and thinks itself to be separate. (What causes this vibration is not known to us ajnyani people, refer to the Nasadiya sukta for this).
      This vibration is simultaneously the creation of Mahamaya and creation of jivatma. The original mithya. The creation of Avidya.
      These vibrations are aware and observing themselves, so thoughts are created. Creation of the ‘thought’ requires creation of ‘manas’ which will observe that thought. Later jnyendriya, karmedriya, tanmatra etc are thought into existence to take action on or to process that original thought. This is also the turbulence of pran. Thoughts loop on each other, as a spontaneous cascade of thoughts. A thought giving birth to new thoughts continuously. Thoughts and praan are deeply interconnected, so all sadhana are all about controlling thoughts or pran.
      You ‘think’ yourself and your universe into existence. You ‘think’ duality into existence. if you can stop thinking you will destroy duality.
      If you can destroy thought or the movement of pran, the system will go back to its potential state of Advaita.

      eg ‘i feel cold’. who is ‘i’? how it is ‘feeling’? how is it defining ‘cold’? in reference to what? what is it comparing its ‘feeling’ to? there are so many thoughts generated by this simple line. we are comparing winter to summer. we cannot absolutely define ‘winter’, no stand alone definition for anything in this material universe. everything is in comparison to something else.
      these intellectual games are one of the ways to defeat the mind. the mind will finally come to a conclusion, that there is no ‘absolute’ thing or feeling or anything which it can observe. and then the mind dies.

      So focus your mind on this one single thought ‘soham’. and later dissolve this thought too into yourself. this is the secret of Enlightenment.

      Have tried to write on the topics you have covered in your post. Hope it is of some use to you.
      Because to me it does feel like rambling around, jumping from one concept to another.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Apoorva Mishra May 19, 2021 / 8:21 pm

    Dear Ma’am,

    These word flow like nectar and what you call ‘rambling’ is quintessential to the the wisdom you have shared. I will need time to read, re-read and digest this.

    I cannot thank you enough for your exposition. This is invaluable to me and I hope others will find this immensely fruitful in their sadhana too. My apologies if my comments and questions are puerile and don’t merit a response, but i somehow feel compelled to express and learn.

    I do have certain questions that come to mind based upon certain things:

    1. The mahavakya is “You are That”, not you will become that. To me, the fundamental ignorance they seem to be pointing towards is ignorance of the self. And a solution to ignorance is knowledge and knowledge alone. yes, there are obstacles to assimilating this knowledge, given that the conditioning is anadi, but not anant (which Atma is -both anadi and anant).

    Any action of any sort, Vedic, tantric or yogic, is necessary in time, therefore can never lead to a state of Atma.

    Atma is beyond desh kaal vastu. Therefore, it’s not something one can be “as”.

    2. On neti neti, the reason for that appears to me that Atma isn’t something the human mind can objectify, and with the inherent tendency and propensity to objectify, Atma is objectified by many anyway. Atma is not an object. So, it’s a bit like explaining what something is in positive terms, when one knows explaining it is neigh on impossible, hence neti neti.

    If one says Atma is all pervading consciousness or awareness, the mind automatically starts imagining or visualizing it. That’s the way the human mind is.

    Perhaps the words of Upanishads and Rishis is a kind concession for those still ignorant of the true self, but silence is the best exposition of Atma.

    3. Coming to the mind (and the body now).

    So, let’s say someone has studied Vedanta and assume is an Atma gyaani. One would think any of the current Shankaracharyas, or going back, Adi Shankaracharya was Advait himself.

    But even Adi Shankar’s name and form (that lived on this planet for 32 odd years), continued to behave as per his prarabhdha.

    The mind as long as the body is physically alive, cannot be devoid of thoughts permanently can it? If so, how would Adi Shankar do Shastrartha all over Bharatavarsh? Surely, the mind of his name and form would need to come up with arguments to defeat the adversary in debates. And to say that Adi Shankar was an avatar, or putting forth “super human” connotations works from a conviction perspective, but if Advait is all there is, his name and form was just the same as everyone else’s. That is what Advait’s premise, isn’t it? that we don’t know our inner divinity, or our true nature that’s Satyam Gyanam Anantam Brahm and so on.

    So, is it the case that it’s about cognition alone. Atma is the true “I”, but the senses of the name and form, and the mind do see the vyavaharik world (transactional world), and respond to it. This would make sense as “leela”. Shree Krishna would go hunting with Pandavas, and to hunt, his mind obviously would need to formulate thoughts of the hunt.

    Similarly, Swami Vivekananda wrote letters while in the US, expressing a range of emotions about people he met. He could have known that he (his true self) was all there is, was and will be, pure Advait, but this name and form (Upadhi) in the transactional world, was interacting with this world. This would make sense and justify conduct and actions in this transactional world by names and form of even Seers and Rishis.

    4. To my admittedly severely inadequate understanding, it seems to be about knowledge and cognition alone.

    A. That “I” (the true self or I) is Atma is something I learn from Vedanta, through Shravan, manan, Niddhidhyasana (especially gyaan nishtha or conviction to the core).

    B. This true I is not something I can “be”. The mind cannot be the Atma. It cannot imagine itself and behave as if it’s the Atma and be Asanga. Beyond the mind is more mind, all scriptures, texts, siddhis perhaps and actions are borne of the mind alone it would seem.

    C. This name and form that “I” have in this lifetime, has its prarabhdha, so any action that happens in this life, can only be cognitively denounced (Sarva karma sanyas is only mental). In other words, one can only know that the true self of me, or the true I (the English language has its limitations), is all there is. Time Space and objects are all in me. And yet, this name and form sees differences in upadhis, everywhere. An employees hears his boss scream at him. A mother may mistreat her child, or vice versa. Point is, in the vyavaharik world, the mind of the name and form cannot refrain from what is one’s dharma by saying one is Atma, isn’t it?

    So, to me, it seems that one is aware of one’s true self as the Advait, and the name and form (including the mind) continues to live out the prarabdha (jaati, aayu and bhog) in this transactional world. All this while, this mind will behave markedly different to one who’s not exposed to the knowledge of the true self. Simply because, the non-gyaani’s action come from avidya, kaam, karm. But the gyaani’s mind continues to act according to prarabhdha, but the mental disposition is quite different. Is this what Shree Krishna means in the Gita when he refers to roasted seed analogy? That is, he/she knows he/she is not the karta, bhokta, gyata, therefore cognitively/mentally he/she is a akarta. Only through knowledge though! The mind continues to live out the prarabdha.

    In other words, even when the the bhog of the name and form continues, the mind of the gyaani is acutely aware of the fact that it’s just a leela. And this means their responses are qualitatively different to that of an agyaani, who “reacts” from the center of an ahankara, that’s not ahamabhasa.

    D. Karm: a gyaani doesn’t have karm because the karm have been burnt in “gyaanagni”, in the fire of knowledge that he/she is not the doer. There can be no other “actual” not doing karm. Only cognitive, perhaps?

    E. Dualities: even for a gyaani, the mind does continue to live in dualities, no? I get the cold/hot example. I mean we call a night a night because day exists. Confidence and fear go together. A person devoid of fear doesn’t need confidence. And so on. I mean the current Puri Shankaracharya referred to being asked to drink more water these days because his body is susceptible to acidity. His mind is aware of the fact that acidity is a negative condition that affects his body’s ability to go on, so he can continue to share the Vedantic truth with more people, is it not? So, his gyaan nishtha of his true nature, goes hand in hand with his vyavaharik conduct, it would appear.

    In other words, did he drink water? He did and he did not!

    Or is it the case that the mind somehow “becomes” different in the wake of Atma gyaan. Because the Atma gyaan isn’t that the body mind are Atma. It is that I confused them to be Atma, but I am Advait Atma. So, i view this body mind (only cognitively again) as just another upadhi. I say cognitively because witnessing or Sakshitva is not something one can do. Anything one can do, is limited, even if one “watches” one’s actions for their entire lifetime, that’s 90 years or so. Not the eternal Atma by any stretch.

    F. Finally, it doesn’t appear that one can truly assess what an Atma gyaani does (whether become a teacher, or a king as Janak, or whatever else). It’s a bit like A had a dream wherein he dreamt of A and B having a conversation. And in this dream of A’s, B is asking A why he does whatever he does in the dream. So, the only way seems to be to have gyaan nishtha, and only thing you can perhaps do is see if one’s action comes from purnata, as in which center? As opposed to actions themselves. Because any action borne out of a center of apurna ahankara is technically, well not “wrong”, but the ahankara seeking purnata. Whereas, the actions of a gyaani emerge from a different center. Ahamabhas, because he/she knows they arent’ the doer etc. but actions will happen, as Shree Krishna says in the Gita, so they happen. I mean Ramana Maharshi sitting in quiet solitude was action too, was it not (not for his true self, but for his name and form, sitting is an action).

    And yes, no “new” karm was created, as past karm were burnt in gyan agni, and new karm cannot be created since one now knows “they aren’t the karta”.

    I realize that the post is so long. My sincerely apologies again. I do hope to receive your grace and wisdom. 🙏🏻


    • astrologerbydefault May 20, 2021 / 7:14 pm

      Hi there

      As I have written earlier also, you have put on these filters over your sense of self so that you can play your Game, your Lila. Every soul plays its own Lila.
      Lila is not confined to the avtar-s of Vishnu. We all are playing our own Lila.
      You have put on a costume over your self, make-believe, you are acting, but acting with such conviction that you have convinced yourself that you are a jivatma.
      The mahavakya reminds you that ‘you are that’. You already know what you really are, so there is no need to qualify it, just the word ‘that’ is sufficient to trigger your reality.
      You cannot ‘become’ the Advaita. You cannot ‘realise’ it. You cannot ‘attain’ it. There is no action involved. Just a slight change in perspective which this mahavakya triggers.
      ‘You are that’.

      How can knowledge tell you what ‘that’ is? Knowledge can only tell you what ’that’ is not. This is part of the Vivek process and is very important. You will know this and discard this too. This is the vairagya process.
      The Atma is described as not this, not this. It is not anything that you see, hear, taste, experience in this creation. You have to transcend creation.
      What it is, cannot be expressed in the words of this creation as creation cannot reach upto the Advaita. The Om too is not the Advaita, its merely its moorti.

      Can the eye be able to taste? Its not designed for this job. Thus is the mind. Its not designed to perceive the Advaita. No sense organ can discern the Advaita.

      If some person tries to describe the Atma then it simply means that he does not know it or is trying to impress using big words.
      My Guru never talked about any attribute of the Atma. I do not remember him saying that it is light or bright or whatever. His only direction was to focus on the Soham with every breath you take always.
      As a sadhak, you must choose your Guru properly and then trust your Guru, follow his directions with ‘Shraddha’.

      No knowledge, no puja, no samadhi, no Dhyan will take you to the Advaita. Nothing can ‘lead’ you there are you already are that.
      These sadhana types are things of the created worlds. Their only function is to still the mind, ie to stop the creation of thought. This is not so easy. So the process is to first train the mind to concentrate only on one thought, ‘Soham’. (Later this Soham is also destroyed as the illusion it also is. this will also dissolve the mind and as thoughts vanish what remains is the potential ie Advaita.)
      For all spiritual aspirants, the task is to train the mind to remain still on ‘Soham’. If it deviates, to bring it back to this soham again and again

      Just studying Ved does not make one an Atma jnyani. This assumption is totally invalid. Utterly and completely so.

      There are several Sat-guru who never studied the Ved formally. Mata Anandamayi, Haridwar. Read about her. there are some videos of her. She was/is an Atma-jnyani mahapurush, ie Advaita.

      And there are so many math-adhipati-s and ‘modern age gurus’ who are totally undeserving of being called even Sadhak-s, let alone Guru-s.

      My Guru too traveled a lot, from body’s age from 28yrs to 96yrs, gave pravachan-s etc. But the avastha that these Mahapurush are in is called ‘bhav-avastha’. The body moves as per the winds of time and space and is animated as per the prarabdha karma chosen at the time of birth. This has nothing to do with the Atma.

      I had written in a post about the location of the jivatma and the paramatma in your body. All this sadhana to get your jivatma from between the eyebrows to the top of the head. All this just for this journey.
      In sushupti the jivatma rests with the paramatma. but this situation is described a sealed pot of salt water immersed in pure water. This happens to all of us, every time we enter sushupti.
      But when the jivatma realises himself, it permanently ‘dissolves’ into the paramatma, it ceases to exist as a separate entity. The person, jivtama, stops existing. My Guru’s name was ‘Shri Muppin Kadsiddheshwar’, but at that instant of realisation when he was 28yrs old this identity ceased. He gained his true identity ie the Paramatma, Advaita, Nirgun brahma etc. So these questions on how Janak felt etc are irrelevant. He did not ‘feel’ anger, sadness, joy, hunger, etc as these emotions are irrelevant. He was/is Advaita.

      You dont need a ‘mind’ to do shastra-arth at that level. He was simply stating his own reality as he experiences it. It is also called the Sahaj-avastha.
      Eg, I am ‘Tejaswini’. At this level I can without really thinking about it talk about my this limited ‘Tejaswini’ self.
      Eg I am the Advaita. I can talk about my ‘Advaita’ self without really needing to think about it. Of course it will be limited by the words of the creation.
      Now this is the crux of the thing thing. His opponents heard his words as per their levels of perception.
      A child in the crowd would have gone to sleep listening to him, so boring. A sadhak would have understood some concepts. A yogi would have understood more depth.
      But if another Sat-guru would have sat in front of him listening to his words, I am sure he would have registered the consciousness underlying the words.
      Words are superfluous, unnecessary! If he had to talk, open his mouth and speak words, then it reflects on the very low perception levels of his listeners. Not on his level!
      Dakshinamoorti’s shishya were very high level Yogi-s so his ‘silence’ was sufficient was to trigger the Atma-jnyan within them.

      Thoughts are necessary when you want to separate something. But it all is one, non-dual, there are no thoughts. Thoughts means the generation of duality.

      We are enmeshed in the geometry of the shri chakra, in its 10 dimensions. do your sadhana long enough you will see this too.
      The Guru is at the Bindu. He is the potential. He can project anything, he projects the entire creation.
      But he remains aware of his position and does not change his perspective.
      Ie He is the magician who pretends to be a part of the magic show but knows how the trick is done and thus is not deceived by the illusion.

      Adishankaracharya’s shastra-asth. There are never several counter-arguments in that sense. He always stated the truth and the truth is one. You do not have to ‘think’ to speak the truth. It is spontaneous as it IS. eg. Right now if someone asks me who I am, I won’t need to ‘think’. I will naturally say ‘Tejaswini’. And he was not a ‘avtar’. He was/is the Advaita, much beyond the avtar. Avtar-s are only of the Vishnu ie Satva-gun.

      I do not wish to comment on what Swami Vivekanand said or wrote. Nor on what the current Shankaracharya-s said or did.

      You seem to have studied a lot. And no questions are puerile or silly. But I can only answer from what my perspective which is shaped from my experiences.

      But if there is any take away from all this, it is this.
      Convert every breath you take into ‘Soham’. Soham should be your one single thought. This is the only way you will destroy your questions. Later as you reach more into yourself this thought of Soham too will be merged into Yourself.
      It is all about practice, if you feel this is correct you should do it.

      All grace and wisdom are exclusive to the Advaita.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Apoorva Mishra May 20, 2021 / 9:36 pm

        Thank you so much for your reply Ma’am.

        I will start with Soham ‘practice’. My only recalcitrance comes to what might actually happen if i continue it, with the Vedantic study that I do every day, as in the uncertainty and potential fear of the ‘unknown’. I can see how silly this sounds as I type it too.

        It may also have to do with this body i have in this life time, I assume and what the prarabhdha is and so on maybe. All my astrological learnings have come from your blogs (thank you so much for that); and I have a multitude of retrograde planets. Leo Asc, Sun + Retro Mercury in 12th. Retro Saturn in 4th. Retro Jupiter in 7th. Retro Mars with Moon in 5th And so on.

        What I have noticed personally is that since childhood, I did have ‘spiritual’ inclinations, like desire to teach others, help others, but more crucially just delve deeper into what the point of existence is (not in a nihilistic sense) but in a “this can’t be all” sense. And there has been a severe churn since the past one and half years, where I haven’t been above to proceed in life until i know the answer to this. It shocked myself as I had been super materialistic until then.

        So, without any prior background, and preconceived ideas, being open to answers in science and anywhere else to the question of Who am I, I somehow eventually reached Vedanta. And I studied and studied, almost in exasperation that nothing would make sense until I give the mind what it truly wants and seeks outside. I can’t explain that urge or feeling in words, but it felt like the most urgent thing in life.

        As to a guru, an actual live guru would have been the best grace for me, but in the absence of one, I have stuck to prasthan traya and Shankar bhasya and only traditional Vedantic texts with commentaries by traditional Advait Vedanta gurus.

        Anyway, what you have shared is tremendously useful to me, and I cannot thank you enough for patiently sharing your wisdom. I really appreciate your benevolence and I am grateful to you for it. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      • astrologerbydefault May 21, 2021 / 11:32 am

        Hi there
        Reading books is necessary as it gives a foundation.
        but ultimately practice is required.
        it can be scary. you are attached to your world, thinking that this might be a dream or a mirage. the people you love may be insubstantial etc can be scary. that is why people do not turn towards genuine sadhana. they are scared or want to play some more.
        1.5yrs ago, saturn became favourable fr you. mercury and more importantly the asc lord sun matured.
        good that you found Adishankaracharya rather than the multitude of ‘modern gurus’ all over the landscape.
        its not my benevolence, its your own punya-karma triggering things for you.
        so if you feel that the time has come to practice try the ‘Soham’, its the easiest simplest practice.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Sakshi May 19, 2021 / 11:57 pm

    Super question and epic reply…canbe taken as a separate blog. Such deep subject and clarity in writing, so true that only a person who experience it,.. can write about it .
    The topics about Indra and 33 kori devatas , Nara narayana , karma were all game changers for me and now this.🙏…pranams.


    • Abk81571 May 21, 2021 / 2:41 am

      So is the case for me as well… The Nara Narayana post was a ‘reassurance’ for me to continue my spiritual practice with full vigor🙏
      Let us all reach that final evolved Self in this life itself with the Advaitic Grace & Wisdom 🙏🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    • Abk81571 May 21, 2021 / 10:07 pm

      Resonates so well with me as well…. the Nara Narayana post gave me ‘reassurance’ to do my sadhana with even more vigor 🙏🙏

      May we all get evolved to the highest ultimate Self this life itself with the grace & wisdom of Advaita🙏🙏🙏

      Our deepest heartfelt gratitude to you Tejaswini ji🙏🙏🙏


      • astrologerbydefault May 21, 2021 / 10:51 pm

        Hi there
        it is encouraging to know that these posts on Advaita are also being appreciated ,
        thank you

        Liked by 3 people

  9. Apoorva May 21, 2021 / 12:49 pm

    Thank you so much Ma’am.

    I cannot put into words how much your replies mean in terms of clearing confusion for me. This is invaluable.

    Rahu (9th), and Venus (1st), and Rahu MD and Venus AD has been even more so a period of immense mental turmoil for me. From your blogs, I remember that Guru Shukracharya has his way of teaching Atma gyaan. Maybe that’s happening.

    I cannot express it in words, but it’s as if I felt the urgent need to discard the perceptions and foundation of life I had lived thus far, and lay a new foundation. Rahu probably is contributing to the confusion, pulling towards material things, but I cannot explain how troubling it has been. It’s almost like I know Advait Vedanta is the answer to my questions but when I see the world around me, it seems asleep and bothered by activities when peace is to be found elsewhere.

    On a related note: as a kid, our ‘family astrologer’ told me that in my previous birth(s) I had done solar journeys and immense sadhana etc. Naturally, as a kid, I was more interested in getting good school grades/marks to move ‘up in life’ and did not pay much heed to his words.

    Anyhow, self-doubt, confusion and social conditioning has led to severe mental distress for me. But a desire for transformation to the core has been one constant, and somehow (don’t know where it comes from) I have the conviction that my life would be lived on the foundation of Advait truth, and let’s see what happens. The lack of confidence, self esteem may be due to Mercury (stuttering), and the Sun being 12th etc.

    So, scary yes but off late whenever I feel overwhelmed, I mentally visualize presenting my stresses to Dakhin Kalika, my Isht Devi. Even though I got a dikhsha from a guru during my Sacred thread ceremony in the Gayatri Mantra, over time, I never paid it much attention. Thanks to your post on it, I do mentally recite it, with intention.

    Thanks also to you, I have been listening to and exploring Shri Sukta, and visualizing my Isht Devi, seeking her guidance for buddhi, not for worldly gains. I just cannot bring myself to ask any of the deities for anything other than Atma gyaan.

    Thanks again to your posts on retrograde planets, I religiously practice what you had indicated for each of the retro planets, that one should do, either action wise or inner affirmation etc, like forgiving oneself, or teaching etc.

    Finally, I really appreciate what your words and guidance mean to me and countless others. Your thoughts are clear as a placid lake and not to put a request forth to you, but I do believe your writings on Advait are an immense help to many including myself and hoped you wrote more on Advait (I realize that silence is the best way and so on to realize Advait, but out of compassion to beginners) 😊🙏🏻🙏🏻


    • astrologerbydefault May 21, 2021 / 3:44 pm

      Hi there
      all are searching for the same ‘high’.
      those who are into the material life do so through alcohol drugs etc. but this leads to a temporary ‘happiness’.
      when you start your sadhana does the route towards real happiness start
      and when you start your sadhana, these things like alcohol etc stop having effects on you.
      if you have the formal yadnopavit done then you must do Gayatri and wear the sutra too. it will help.

      about writing on the advaita
      i am thinking of writing on the vijnyan bhairav tantra. the initial questions and answers are very enlightening.
      also on the dakshinamoorti stotra
      but time is a constraint, lets see how things turn out

      Liked by 2 people

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