Svasti - Essays in Honour of Prof. Hampa Nagarajaiah: Addressing One’s True Self - English Adaptation of Ācārya Akalanka’s Svarūpasambodhana

Author:  Image of Manish ModiManish Modi
Published: 05.01.2011


Addressing One’s True Self

English Adaptation of Ācārya Akalanka’s Svarūpasambodhana

I bow to that supreme soul 
Who is indestructible and embodies knowledge.
He is free from and tied to (respectively)
Karmas and consciousness. 1

The soul embodies consciousness, bearing cause and effect in an orderly manner.
It may or may not be perceived, is without beginning or end, 
And constantly undergoes creation and destruction, 
Without losing its essence. 2

The soul has attributes such as provability,
And is non-sentient or sentient, 
Depending on the context. 3

Knowledge is an attribute of the soul,
Distinct from as well as one with the soul,
Depending on the context. 4

The soul takes the size of the body it occupies,
So it does not touch all substances.
It is not purely the nature of knowledge,
Nor is it always omnipresent. 5

The soul is one as well as many.
Many, because it has several attributes like knowledge.
One, because it has consciousness. 6

The true nature of the soul is neither
Completely describable nor completely indescribable.
It may be described by its own attributes.
But cannot be described by others' attributes. 7

The soul is doer as well as non-doer,
Of its own dispositions and others' dispositions respectively.
It is both perceptible and imperceptible.
It embodies knowledge (hence perceptible) and has no form (hence imperceptible). 8

The soul has several attributes and knows,
Bondage, liberation, et cetera and their causes.
Hence, the soul is the doer of its actions 
And bearer of the consequences. 9

The soul that is the doer of its actions,
And bears their fruits,
Is also capable of attaining liberation
Through internal and external means. 10

The internal means of attaining one's pure nature are
Rational perception, rational knowledge, rational conduct,
And realisation of the true nature of the soul. 11

Understanding things as they are is true knowledge.
Like a lamp, it sheds light upon the truth.
But the right notion may differ,
Depending on the context. 12

With increasing purity of rational perception and rational knowledge, 
Remaining tranquil and unperturbed, retaining equanimity, 
In happiness or unhappiness and contemplating the fact that 
“I am one, Alone, I have no other, I am the knower and seer”
Is rational conduct. 13-14

Penance and asceticism,
In accordance with place and time,
Are the external means  
To attain the all important internal means. 15

In this manner, contemplating on all aspects, 
Irrespective of favourable or adverse circumstances, 
Always meditate upon your pure soul
Which is free from all attachment and aversion. 16

Consciousness tainted with passion can never grasp reality, 
Just as cloth dyed dark blue cannot be dyed red. 17

Hence, to be free from all faults, 
One should become detached in all situations 
And indifferent to the body and the senses. 
One should remain keen to contemplate the soul and the substances. 18

Knowing that which should be got rid of,  
And that which should be followed, 
Know one's true nature. 
Give up the unworthy 
And adopt worthy qualities with the help of your soul. 19

Contemplate your soul and the substances, 
In accordance with their true nature. 
In this manner, when you become completely detached, 
From all substances other than your soul,
You will attain liberation. 20

O mendicant, despite dwelling in your soul, 
Do not get passionately attached to it, 
Because till the time you have desire, 
You will not attain liberation. 21

Only one who does not desire liberation shall attain it.
For it is said that one should not have any desire, 
If one wishes to attain liberation. 22

Since you realise that even equanimity may only be attained, 
By him who is focused on his own soul,  
Will you not make efforts to attain lasting bliss
That is the fruit of liberation?  23

Know that only your soul is your own, 
And the body, et cetera are not yours. 
Upon achieving this (realisation), get rid of this mineness. 
Stay only in your true self, 
Which is beyond anxiety and may be known only by oneself.  24

Attain the elixir of eternal bliss 
Which arises from the soul
By meditating upon your soul and its true nature
By yourself, for yourself, by remaining in yourself. 25

He who reads this scripture and understands the soul, 
Contemplates upon it, either by reading or listening respectfully,
These twenty-five verses can earn him the wealth of the pure soul.


SVASTI - Essays in Honour of

Prof. Hampa Nagarajaiah
for his 75th birthday 7.10.2010

Editor: Prof. Dr. Nalini Balbir.

Publisher: Dr. M. Byregowda
K.S. Muddappa Smaraka Trust
Krishnapuradoddi #119, 3rd Cross,
8th Main, Hampinagara
Bangalore - 560 104 Karnataka
Ph: 080-23409512

Edition: 2010

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Akalanka
  2. Body
  3. Consciousness
  4. Equanimity
  5. Karmas
  6. Soul
  7. Ācārya
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