English Translation of Nirvana Shatkam of Adi Shankaracharya

Nirvana Shatkam or Shatka illustrates the ‘neti neti’ (not this not this) concept in the Upanishads. Through this short poem Adi Shankara illustrates that ultimate reality or Brahman is without qualities.

I am neither the mind, intelligence, ego, nor chitta,
Neither the ears nor the tongue, nor the senses of smell and sight.
Neither ether nor air, nor fire, nor water, nor earth,
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I am neither the prana nor the five vital breaths,
Neither the seven elements of the body, nor its five sheaths,
Nor hands, nor feet, nor tongue, nor other organs of action.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Neither greed nor delusion loathing nor liking have I.
Nothing of pride or ego, of dharma or liberation,
Neither desire of the mind, nor object for its desiring.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Nothing of pleasure and pain of virtue and vice do I know
Of mantra or sacred places, of Vedas or sacrifice.
Neither am I the eater, the food, nor the act of eating.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Death or fear, have I none, nor any distinction of caste.
Neither father nor mother, nor even birth have I.
Neither friend nor comrade, neither disciple nor Guru.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I have no form or fancy.
The All-pervading am I.
I exist everywhere, and yet am beyond the senses,
Neither salvation, am I, nor anything to be known.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Adi Shankaracharya