काशीपञ्चकम् Kashi Panchakam – Sri Adi Shankaracharya Verse – 4

काशीपञ्चकम् – श्रीमच्छंकरभगवत्पादविरचितम्

With the commentary Tatva Prakasika
by Swami Tattvavidananda Sarasvati

Kashi Panchkam Verse – 4

काश्यां हि काशते काशी, काशी सर्वप्रकाशिका।
सा काशी विदिता येन, तेन प्राप्ता हि काशिका ॥४॥
Kanshya hi kashte kashi,Kashi sarvaprakashika,
Sa Kashi Vidita Yen,ten Prapta hi Kashika ..4

Translation :

काश्यां kasyam – in Kasi हि hi – indeed काशी Kasi – Kasi काशते kasate – Shines, काशी kasi – Kasi, सर्वप्रकाशिका sarvaprakasika – illuminates all, सा sa – that, काशी kasi – Kasi, येन yena – by whomsoever, विदिता vidita – realized, तेन tena – by him, हि hi – indeed, काशिका kasika – Käsi, प्राप्ता prapta – gained.

The city of Kasi is indeed shining in the Awareness that is Atman. That Kasi illuminates all. Whosoever realizes that Kasi indeed gains Kasi..4

Kasi is the light of lights, the Awareness that is Atman. In the waking state, the eyesight is light to shapes and colors and the ears are light to sounds. Mind is the light of all cognition. But all these lights are illuminated by one light, the light of Awareness. In the dream state too, the light of Awareness illuminates the mind and all of its projections. In the sleep state, all lights are gone . no sun, no moon, no eyesight, no ears, no mind and yet, the absence of all is lighted up by the light of Awareness. This light of Awareness is Siva and the body-mind is the city of Kasi.

The Ajñachakra located at the center of the eyebrows, where we apply Kumar, is the shrine of Lord Siva. In modern anatomy, it is the locale of the pituitary gland. It is interesting to note that the Ajñachakra is described as a lotus with two petals and the pituitary has two lobes. The power centre is represented as a lotus in the language of the scriptures. As one focuses the mind in the Ajñachakra and merges in the awareness, one becomes Siva. Sivo’ham, Sivo’ham, I am Siva, I am Siva.

The Ajñachakra, the centre of awareness, is considered to be the third eye of Lord Siva. The sight of the two eyes is transient and fickle, and is not there when the eyes are closed, the mind is preoccupied, or in sleep. On the other hand, the third eye, the eye of awareness is nitya, timeless., It shines in all the three states. It is like the sun, which has no day or night. One who knows this Kasi gains It. One has to meditate by focussing the mind in the centre of the eyebrows.

This verse is a meditation verse and we will look into this meditation in detail:

  • Meditation 1

Sit comfortably in a stable position. Keep the neck, the back and the head in a straight line. Close the eyes half way and sport a smile on the lips. This inner smile symbolizes samatva, equanimity, towards the opposites of life. Squeeze the eyes once and watch the half closed eyes. Now, try to watch the mind that watches the eyes. Slowly, go behind the mind and watch it. If a thought arises, let it be; don’t identify with it, don’t judge or evaluate it. If it departs, let it go. Even as you attempt to watch the mind, it becomes quiet. Gradually, there is no mind to watch and you become the watchfulness itself. There is inner silence.

  • Meditation 2:

Then there is the Sambhavimudra antarlaksyam bahirdrstirnimisavarjita sa mudra sambhavi, focus is within while the eyes look out without blinking. Open the eyes and blink twice or thrice. Stop blinking and look ahead. Try not to see what is ahead. Focus the attention on the inner. Don’t blink as long as you can. You reach a state of awareness, in which there is no seer-seen division. There is only the pure awareness of the being. This division-less watchfulness is Kasi. This practice builds the inner awareness and silence. We have to discover the inner silence. If we let the mind chatter non-stop all day, it makes us go crazy. The inner silence is Siva, the immortal happiness. That is our true nature and we have to discover it.

  • Meditation 3:

Sit erect keeping the hands in the lap. Close the eyes softly half way. Sport a smile on the lips. Make this smile intrinsic to you. Don’t lose it at any time. Watch the eyes. The eyes are half closed. A little movement of the eyes is not uncommon, since the eyesight is known to be cala, unsteady. Keep the pupils in the center. Focus the sight of both the eyes in the center of the eyebrows. As you watch the center of the eyebrows with the closed eyes, gradually the division between the watcher and the watched resolves in watchfulness. It is the awareness, of nothing in particular. It is Awareness pure, undifferentiated, and focused on itself. That is the Kasi. You are not the ego, not the doer, not the mind, and not the body. You are that light of awareness, you are Kasi. And you are Siva.

Atman is the changeless, space-less and time-less Awareness. It is undivided and indivisible. It is not self-consciousness; It is impersonal. It is sat-cit, the awareness of the being. It is fullness in the sense that there is no sense of insufficiency in it. It illumines the mind and the sense organs and enlivens the body. Be bold and say, .I am Siva.. Cidananda rüpaH Sivo’ham Sivo’ham. I am of the nature of Awareness and I am Siva, the auspicious..

At the end of meditation, sit at ease for a while keeping the eyes closed and then slowly open the eyes. Each of these meditations can be done for about 15 minutes and practiced at least for 41 days. As the mind moves, it creates the content of the waking consciousness. The content is unreal, but appears real due to ignorance.

As long as we are interested and attached to the content, we will not be able to discover that it is unreal. Once we discover the inner silence through dispassion towards all contents of the waking consciousness, we need not do anything about that content. It will come and go. It is unreal and there is nothing to be done about it. It will go through its motions as per its own nature. Your home is the inner awareness, not the unreal content, and this is Self-knowledge. And you will know that you are Siva. This is the real pilgrimage of Kasi.

HariH Aum __/\__
Courtesy and Credit :
– Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati Ji
– Arsh Vidhya News Letter(2012)


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