In this series of posts, we’re going through the Sadhana Panchakam chant, one verse at a time. You can read the previous verses here: Verse 1Verse 2Verse 3, and Verse 4.

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Before you read further,
– Relax and deep breathe for a few minutes.
– Then, try to slow down and keep a calm mind.
– Offer obeisance to Adi Shankara Acharya.
– Thank him for the wisdom he imparted.
– Absorb this verse with that attitude.

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Verse 5:

एकान्ते सुखमास्यतां परतरे चेतः समाधीयतां
पूर्णात्मा सुसमीक्ष्यतां जगदिदं तद्बाधितं दृश्यताम् ।
प्राक्कर्म प्रविलाप्यतां चितिबलान्नाप्युत्तरैः श्लिष्यतां
प्रारब्धं त्विह भुज्यतामथ परब्रह्मात्मना स्थीयताम् ॥५॥

ekānte sukhamāsyatāṃ
paratare cetaḥ samādhīyatāṃ
pūrṇātmā susamīkṣyatāṃ
jagadidaṃ tadbādhitaṃ dṛśyatām
prākkarma pravilāpyatāṃ
citibalānnāpyuttaraiḥ śliṣyatāṃ
prārabdhaṃ tviha bhujyatāmatha
parabrahmātmanā sthīyatām ॥5॥

33: Rest happily in solitude
34: Experience Samadhi, Mind’s union with the Supreme
35: Perceive your Complete Self
36: View the universe as unreal (Illusion)

37: Eradicate your Karma from past lives
38: Burn future (Karma) by the power of understanding
39: Exhaust your Prarabdha (Karma)
40: Stay firmly established in the Para Brahma (Divine)

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Notes:

  • This hymn covered 40 steps of Sadhana in 5 verses.
    • The first verse listed the eight foundation steps of spiritual life.
    • The second verse presented the eight beginner-level steps.
    • The third verse gave us the eight intermediate-level steps.
    • The fourth verse explained the eight advanced steps of Sadhana.
    • This final verse discusses eight steps that are a combination of Sadhana’s outcomes and a post-realization maintenance routine.
  • As Step 33 suggests, our Sadhana has reaped results if we can rest happily in solitude. The majority of the world feels lonely, bored, or depressed in isolation. Only a spiritually elevated person can remain happy in solitude. Please note that staying alone with gadgets, music, sports, and even books is not the solitude mentioned here!
  • As per Step 34, another outcome of Sadhana is that we can feel Divine presence perpetually. Here, the term used for constant Divine presence or Union with Divine is Samadhi.
  • Another result of Sadhana, as noted in Step 35, is the feeling of Completeness. In other words, our life feels complete as is, and we don’t feel the need to change anything about it. This feeling of Completeness is a peaceful state which shouldn’t be confused with inertia or laziness.
  • Step 36 reiterates the critical teachings of Advaita philosophy, which Adi Shakara preached. According to this ideology, the world feels unreal, illusive, or artificial to a self-realized person.
  • Step 37 lists another benefit of Sadhana. When a person experiences Samadhi or perpetual Divine presence, they automatically become free from their Sanchita Karma. These are actions from the past (and past lives) that still haven’t ripened to the stage of producing effects.
  • From Step 38, this hymn covers the routine maintenance required to retain the state of Samadhi eternally. If one can perform mundane activities with detachment, they become free from accumulating future Karma. The scriptures provide many methods for us to remain non-attached. Here, the sage suggests using our power of reasoning for the same.
  • Prarabdha Karma is our actions from the past that have ripened enough to give us results. Even an enlightened person isn’t free from these. So, as suggested in Step 39, they still go about living and experiencing everything that life throws at them. Nevertheless, they no longer see life as a burden or suffering.
  • If one can retain their meditative state at all times and through all activities, they can feel the presence of Para Brahma (Divine) eternally. As stated in Step 40, the ability to reside in Ishithva Bhaava or Divine Sentiment is the ultimate spiritual attainment.

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That completes this series.

Om Sri Hari.

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