Hindu Bhakti Stotras (Devotional Hymns) Index
Pratah Smarana Stotram
By Adi Shankaracharya
Works of Adi Shankaracharya, Stotras of Adi Shankaracharya, Hymns of Adi Shankara, Gauri Dasakam, Govindashtakam, Dakshinamuthy Stotram, Brahma Jnanavali Mala, Bhashyas of Adi Shankara, Soundaryalahari, Shivanandalahari, Atma Bhodha, Vivekachudamani
This is a prayer consisting of three stanzas in which the mind (manas) speech (vak), and body (kaya)
of the individual are sought to be dedicated to the supreme Spirit. The
first thoughts, words and actions of everyday exert a great influence
on the life of the individual. If they are consecrated and made divine,
they will pave the way for spiritual illumination. The prayer at dawn
is profoundly significant in that the dawn is the outer symbol of the
In these stanzas, Ùañkara sets forth also the quintessence of Advaita-Vedánta. The ultimate Reality is Saccidánanda (existence-consciousness-bliss). It is turèya,
that which is the reality of the three states of experience and is
beyond them. These expressions, however, ought not to be taken
literally as descriptive or definitive of Reality. Hence it is that Brahman is indicated by the negative way, as `not this', `not this'. Brahman
eludes categorisation; it is not within the limits of ideas and words.
The so-called individual soul is non-different from it. The soul is not
to be confused with the body mind complex. The elements that constitute
the world are but illusory appearances on the basic Reality, even as a
shake, a garland, etc., are projections on a rope. As the sun of wisdom
rises, these illusions disappear, and the goal of life is reached.
Prátaç smarámi çrdi samsphuradátmatattvam
saccitsukham paramahamsagatim turèyam
yatsvapna jágarasussuptamavaiti nityam
tadbrahma niskalamaham na ca bhutasañghaç.
At dawn I remember the Reality which is the Self, shining brilliantly
in the heart, existence-consciousness-happiness, the goal of
Paramahamsasannyasins (sages), the Fourth; That which knows always the
states of dream, waking and deep-sleep, that Brahman which is partless I am, not the cluster of elements.
Pratarbhajámi manasám vacasámagamyam
vaco vibhánti nikhilá yadanugrahena
yanneti neti vacanair nigamá avocam-
stam devadevamajam acyutam áhur agryam.
At dawn I sing the praise of That which is unattainable by mind and
speech, but by the grace of which all words shine. That which the
scriptures declares through the words `not this', `not this'- That God
of gods, they say, is unborn and un-changing.
Prátarnamami tamasaç paramarkavarïam
pürnam sanátanapadam puruúottamakhyam
yasminnidam jagadasesam asesamurtau
rajjvam bhujamgama iuva pratibhasitam vai.
At dawn I bow to that which is called the Highest Self which is beyond
darkness, of the hue of the Sun the ancient goal which is the plenum -
That, the residuless form (i.e. the whole) in which the entire universe
is made manifest like a serpent in a rope.
Slokatrayamidam punyam lokatrayavibhusanam
pratahkale pathedyastu sa gacchetparamam padam.
This meritorious triad of verses, the ornament of the three words - he who reads at the time of dawn goes to the supreme goals.
This is the pahala-sruti (description of the fruit) of this Vedantic
prayer. It is an eulogy of the prayer whose purpose is to consecrate
the thoughts, words, and deeds of the individual so that the final goal
may eventually be gained.