Nirvana Shatakam is one of the most popular stotras composed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Here, nirvana means the state of absolute freedom, or in other words – freedom from sufferings. Shata or षट (not to be confused with शत meaning hundred) means six, which apparently means that this stotra has six slokas in it. Sometimes, nirvana shatakam is also referred to as aatma shatakam. Since the state of nirvana is achieved when someone explores within themselves.
Aatma means SELF.
Hence, nirvana shatakam also sometimes refer to as aatma shatakam.
In this stotra, the verse which comes at the end of every sloka repeats itself – “चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम्” the literal meaning for this is “I am pure blissful consciousness, I am shiva, I am shiva”. Here the shiva means the eternal consciousness, in its purest form. The way these sloka works is the first five slokas says what I am not (except the last line of every verse which repeats itself). And the last (6th) sloka mentions who I truly am.
मनोबुद्ध्यहङ्कार चित्तानि नाहं
न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे न च घ्राणनेत्रे ।
न च व्योम भूमिर्न तेजो न वायुः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥१॥
I am not the mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor the reflections of the inner self. I am not the five senses. I am beyond that. I am not the ether, nor the earth, nor the fire, nor the wind (i.e. the five elements). I am indeed that eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love, and pure consciousness.
न च प्राणसंज्ञो न वै पञ्चवायुः
न वा सप्तधातुः न वा पञ्चकोशः ।
न वाक्पाणिपादं न चोपस्थपायु
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥२॥
Neither am I the vital breath, nor the five vital airs,
neither am I the seven ingredients of the body, nor the five sheaths of the Body, neither am I the organ of speech nor the organs for Holding (hand), Movement (feet) or excretion, I am the ever pure blissful consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva – the ever pure blissful consciousness.
न मे द्वेषरागौ न मे लोभमोहौ
मदो नैव मे नैव मात्सर्यभावः ।
न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो न मोक्षः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥३॥
I have no hatred or dislike, nor affiliation or liking, nor greed, nor delusion, nor pride or haughtiness, nor feelings of envy or jealousy. I have no duty (dharma), nor any money, nor any desire, nor even liberation (refer: moksha). I am indeed that eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love, and pure consciousness.
न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दुःखं
न मन्त्रो न तीर्थं न वेदा न यज्ञाः ।
अहं भोजनं नैव भोज्यं न भोक्ता
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥४॥
I have neither virtue (punya), nor vice (paapa). I do not commit sins or good deeds, nor have happiness or sorrow, pain or pleasure. I do not need mantras, holy places, scriptures, rituals or sacrifices (yajna). I am none of the triad of the observer or one who experiences, the process of observing or experiencing, or any object being observed or experienced. I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
न मृत्युर्न शङ्का न मे जातिभेदः
पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्मः ।
न बन्धुर्न मित्रं गुरुर्नैव शिष्यं
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥५॥
I am not bound by death and its fear. I have no separation from my true self, no doubt about my existence, nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth. I have no father or mother, nor did I have a birth. I am not the relative, nor the friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple. I am indeed that eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love, and pure consciousness.
अहं निर्विकल्पो निराकाररूपो
विभुत्वाच्च सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम् ।
न चासङ्गतं नैव मुक्तिर्न मेयः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥६॥
I am without any variation, and without any form, I have neither attachment to the world, nor to liberation. I have no wishes for anything because I am everything, everywhere, every time, always in equilibrium. I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva,
The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness.
Few words From My Side:
The core idea of the nirvana shatakam is that I am shiva – the eternal pure blissful consciousness, which is everywhere and it cannot be separated from things. It is the very basis through which the things arise. Throughout our life, we always assume that I am the success I have accomplished or the mind that is always with me. At the end, these are the aspects of life that we have accumulated and these are not us.
As a human being, if I think of I, I tend to imagine as the in the form or (or the shape of) human being itself. However, the I referred to in nirvana shatakam is formless and without any attributes.
All these can only be understood when we let go of the things we have accumulated – be it mind or memory or the body itself. This is the one continuous spectrum of happening. Mind, body, and energy – although separate entities can only exist because of the other.