Hymn to Hari*
I praise with devotion the All-pervading, Who Himself without origin is the origin of the universe, in whom this wheel of samsara** revolves in this wise, and realising Whom, this wheel of samsara is destroyed–that Hari, the destroyer of the darkness of samsara, I praise.
Him, from a single aspect of Whom this whole universe has sprung into existence, by Whom again it is held together in this manner, by Whom it is pervaded and by Whom it is illuminated, through pleasure and pain, –that Hari, the destroyer of the darkness of samsara, I praise.
Him Who is all-knowing, Who is indeed all and perfect, who is bliss itself, Who resides in the qualities† and has therefore endless attributes, Who is Unmanifest that differentiates the undifferentiated, and Who is both real and the unreal,–that Hari, the destroyer of the darkness of samsara, I praise.
There is naught else than Him; yet, this universe is not his real nature. He is not the objective world, for He is of the nature of no-objective consciousness. And though He is devoid of the distinction of the knower, knowledge and the known, He is nevertheless always the knower,–that Hari, the destroyer of the darkness of samsara, I praise.
* ‘Hari’ means literally ‘of tawny colour’, referring to a lion, but is a name for the Divine Presence, worshipped as Vishnu.
** ‘Samsara’ = phenomenal existence; the seemingly endless cycle of birth and death.
† The ‘qualities’ are the three rhythms, considered fundamental to all the manifest universe, of satta, rajas and tamas.
“Hymn to Hari”
Select Works of Sri Shankaracharya
Tr. S. Venkataramanan