Song of the Self


Swami Vishnudevanand Saraswati

Copyright 1992. You may copy this file in its entirety, without alteration of the text, and make a copy on a computer printer for your own personal use, but obtain permission from Swami Paramananda <> before any other use.



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There is only One Existent Entity. That Supreme Being is none other than your Innermost Self. Anything else that you may take to be is your misperception of It.

This, the eternal philosophy of non-dualism, found its earliest definitively recorded enunciation in the ancient Upanisads. Its subsequent expositions fall into two categories. In the first are the analytic works which expand upon and systematize this philosophy. These tend to the voluminous, often containing deep analyses of the apparent world in order to expose the Single Reality behind it, plus refutations of alternative schools of thought. Yet reason is itself part of the appare nt world which dissolves as the Truth is realized. Thus there is a second class of writings, such as the Avadhuta Gita, which forego argumentation to forcefully proclaim the Truth, imploring the seeker to seize upon It at the very mom ent.

These few verses of my revered Guru, Swami Vishnudevanand Saraswati, each provoking the seeker to grasp the Truth at once, are decidedly of the second category. Although each of this concise work's five parts, Song of the Self, Song of the Self-Real ized Soul, Relating to God, Prayer and For the Aspirant, could stand alone as a separate poem, when read together, they constitute a forceful, emphatic statement of the writer's deepest realization. May this Song of the Self immortalize itself in Sanskri t as the Atma Gita.

Be ever free,


January, 1992

I. Song of the Self

I am the Transcendental, Immortal, Eternal Self.
I am independent, never expecting other's help.

I'm beyond love and hate, birth and inevitable Death.
I have no need to believe in any entity or Faith.

I'm the Embodiment of Eternal Power and Perpetual Peace,
Existence Absolute, Ultimate Knowledge and Beautiful Bliss.

In Me is neither attraction nor repulsion, bondage nor freedom.
Nor is there scope for ignorance or materialistic wisdom.

I am beyond all nescience's mysterious fallaciousness.
I'm realized through Full Awareness with Superconsciousness.

I am ubiquitous, forever here and there,
Permanent, immanent, found everywhere.

I'm the Ultimate Refuge and the Supreme Reality.
I'm the Luminous Field of Perpetual Felicity.

I'm the Fountain of Knowledge and Perennial Peace.
I'm the Eternal Abode of Absolute Boundless Bliss.

I am One without a second, without duality, caste or creed.
I am Self-fulfilled, complete; I have no desire, no need.

I am beyond mundane misery and corporeal happiness.
I'm the Celestial Silent Witness of Eternal Nothingness.

I am without centre and have no boundary.
I know no limit and am Absolutely Free.

In Me is no motion, no exertion, no activity.
I am the Immutable, Self-Existent Entity.

I am ever delightful; I have no relative environment.
I am the Whole Truth, the Embodiment of Merriment.

I am always joyful, gleeful and of unending happiness.
I am peaceful, compassionate, ever giving kindness.

I'm the Completion and the Final Perfection.
Within Me is no measure, no relative condition.

I am eternally of serenity, perpetually of stillness.
I neither talk nor act, but am ever the Silent Witness.

Within Me is neither number nor relativity.
I am One without a second and perpetually free.

I am the Subtlest, the Existent Self-Identity.
I am Full-Awareness, the Absolute Immortality.

I am the Cosmos, the Plenum and the Self-Evident.
I am the Transparent and the Eternal Self-Existent.

I'm unchanging, everlasting, everywhere the Self-Same.
I am Something in Nothing, with neither form nor name.

Within Me is no meeting, no office of the board.
I have no subdivision, no district and no ward.

Dear scholar, please excuse me for my habit of chattering.
I'm a crazy old lunatic; like an infant I am babbling.

I and My Father are One and the same; there's no difference.
Ordinary people can't understand this because of ignorance.

I am the Heavenly Creature of Self-Confidence.
I am the Divine Person of Self-Reliance.

I'm not weak, strong, slim, fat; I lack quantity and quality.
I'm the Delightful, Absolute, Ultimate Reality.

I'm not known by long study and great erudition,
But through the Direct Knowledge of Self-Realization.

I Myself am the source of Shining Sun, Moon and Star.
I'm the Garden of Eden, Heaven, Paradise and Nectar.

Internally and externally, I'm the Dazzling Luminous Light.
Realize That by changing external to internal sight.

I do nothing; a mysterious power is doing everything.
I am the Silent Witness, with Full-Awareness Existing.

Forever I am alone, without friendship or relation.
I'm the Eternal Abode of Absolute, Blissful Liberation.

I don't know Who has made this world so full of farce.
I am cheerful within My Self, throughout the Universe.

I don't know about life and its complex interaction.
I'm of divinity and felicity, without external function.

I transcend all science and supersede every culture.
I'm the Unity of Divinity, Superconsciousness beyond Nature.

II. Song of the Self-Realized Soul

I take any form or hue, everywhere, in and out.
I'm the Almighty Lord as well as the devout.

I am within everything, without any side.
As I reveal Myself, I also subtly hide.

I'm beyond the changing, past Earth and Heaven above.
I'm the Apex of Compassion and Eternal Love.

I have no body, no mind, no corporeal malady.
I'm free from tragedy and uproarious comedy.

I have no teacher, no spiritual aspiration.
I am ever free from desperate deviation.

I have no earthly attachment, no commonplace woe,
No need to search for Knowledge and nothing to know.

I'm not stone, wood, water, metal, earth or air.
I'm the Immortal Spirit, not the body foul or fair.

I have no relations, no sister, no affectionate Mother.
I have no friend, no brother, no benevolent Father.

I'm ever free from the perishable body; in truth I never die.
I'm beyond attachment and freedom, with no terrestrial tie.

I have no bodily features; I transcend both birth and death.
I have no name, no form, no mouth and no false teeth.

Everywhere I can easily and instantly come and go.
I have no supporters or detractors, no friend or any foe.

I'm alone and independent; I have no opponent.
I'm the Self-Reliant and the Self-Confident.

I'm the Infinite, the Cosmic, the All-Permeating Whole.
I'm the Splendour, the Splendid and the Ultimate Goal.

I have no complexion, no variegated hue.
I'm the Everlasting Unity, One but never two.

I'm beyond moment and hour, second and minute,
Metre, centimetre and kilometre; I am the Infinite.

I know no day, week, month, year or century,
No Silver Jubilee, no Golden Anniversary.

I'm beyond day and night, light and darkness.
Ever I delight in My Transcendental Awareness.

In Me is no Eden, no Paradise, Heaven or Hell.
Of My Magnificent Glory, not even I can tell.

I'm beyond love and hate, worldly conflict and affliction.
I have neither birth nor death, nor attribute nor restriction.

In Me is no individuality, no inferiority or superiority.
I am of tranquillity and of supersensuous serenity.

I'm the Incognizable, Incomprehensible, Immanent Supreme 
I'm the Intangible, Unspeakable, Unchanging Ultimate Goal.

I am beyond substance and shadow, light and darkness.
I am perfect, pure, genuine Full-Awareness in Nothingness.

In Me are no tall buildings, markets, towns or cities,
No myriads of Gods and Goddesses or innumerable Deities,

No temple, church or tomb, no cemetery or cremation ground,
No mansion, factory or industry, no ocean, lake or sound,

No planet, mountain, desert, ocean, field, forest or river;
I'm here, there and everywhere, truly the same forever.

I'm compared with the most totally vacuous emptiness.
But I'm the All-Pervading Eternal One, the Superconsciousness.

I have no fear of earthquake, cyclone, bomb or gun.
I am beyond the moon, the stars and the shining sun.

I surpass both time and space, solidity and vacuity.
I am the All-Pervading Plenum, the Absolute Entity.

I am beyond the Mind, the Intellect and Cognition.
I am of Direct Knowledge, Freedom and Self-Realization.

I have no above or below, East or West, North or South;
No bone, skin, or flesh; no nostrils, eyes or mouth.

I have no front or back, no left and no right.
I am ever the same Brilliant Dazzling Light.

I'm not infant, child or adult, and never young or old.
I'm the One Infinite Self, though seen as manifold.

Existence is My Nature; I don't have any feature.
I'm the Taught, the Teaching and the Perfect Teacher.

I'm beyond the sense world, neither glad nor sad,
Indifferent to enjoyment, and all things good or bad.

Without Alpha and Omega, I'm the Immortal Source.

Without Nadir and Zenith, I'm the Primeval Life Force.

I don't need to drink or consume any food.
I'm the Eternal, the Unchanging Absolute Good.

In Me is no Spring, Summer, Rain, Autumn, Winter, Cold.
I neither expand nor shrink, neither ravel nor unfold.

I am unchanging, perennial, celestial serenity.
I'm the Embodiment of Perpetual, Mystical Felicity.

I don't study in the University; I've never been to school.
I'm ignorant of Civil Law and Administrative Rule.

I have neither illness, nor treatment for injury,
No hospital, no medicine, no need for recovery.

I never laugh, weep, grieve, regret, lament or cry.
I never walk, jog, run, work, labour, exert or try.

In Me is no conflict, affliction or calamity.
I'm always of tranquillity, felicity and equanimity.

I have no intimate, no classmate, no fellow of amity.
I have no beloved sweetheart, no brothers of fraternity.

I don't allow the world in Me; I avoid the earthly tide,
As a boat floats on the water without letting it inside.

I play My part in the sense world like a dramatic role,
Detachedly, dispassionately, it's not My Final Goal.

I live in this puzzling world like the lotus in the water.
I roam freely without obstacle, throughout every quarter.

Spanning time immemorial, My mystic play is old.
As a witness I do watch as the drama does unfold.

My permanent nature is beyond both waking and sleeping.
In My eternal silent life, is no laughing or weeping.

In My unchanging life, is no enlargement and expansion,
No measurement of space, no diminishing or contraction.

I am subtler than the subtlest, smaller than the smallest,
Greater than the greatest, larger than the largest,

Finer than the finest, tinier than the tiniest;
I'm immanent, omnipresent, far better than the best.

I am the Supreme Knower of the Extreme Emptiness.
I am the Silent Witness of the Plenum in Nothingness.

Within Me is no desire, demand or expectation.
I am ever fulfilled with True Cosmic Elation.

People don't know their Self, though I am All in All.
Due to ignorance, illusion, in confusion most do fall.

III. Relating to God

God walks without feet, without tongue He tastes and talks.
Without house, room or door, He still locks and unlocks.

He lacks body and features, lacks fingers and even limbs.
Though He's nameless and formless, we praise Him in hymns.

He has no legs but runs; without ears He hears.
With no mind or intellect, He confounds the seers.

He sees without an eye; He smells without a nose.
In the twinkle of an eye, wondrous works He shows.

He works without hands, speaks fluently without tongue.
He's beyond good and evil, transcending right and wrong.

He's Infinite; His Glory nobody can explain.
With inadequate words, man tries so all in vain.

He touches without body, skin, limbs, fingers and hand.
He travels in water, space, Heaven, Hell, sky and land.

He drinks and eats all things without teeth and mouth.
He sees in all directions: East, West, North and South.

His is an extraordinary, enigmatic story.
No one can explain His Infinite Glory.

He is One in many, non-duality, duality and trinity.
He is male and female both, both diversity and Unity.

He is All-Pervading, All-Seeing, All-Permeating.
He is All-Knowing, Omnipresent, All-Penetrating.

Construction, preservation, destruction, all these are His Play,
As an artist makes toys of straw, wood, cloth and clay.

He is the Omniscient, Silent, Celestial Secret Seer,
The Omnipotent Omnipresent, the Nearest of the Near.

With innumerable images differing only in form and name,

He's the Law and the Law Giver, One Power all the same.

This Universe is nothing but His remarkable reincarnation.
In every particle, He's revealed through Self-Realization.

He is working, fighting, playing with boys and girls.
He is laughing and weeping with toys of gold and pearls.

His uncanny, mystical, astonishing appearance,
External and internal, befuddles His adherents.

In every moment, every molecule is mysteriously changing.
He's the Enduring Witness of this subtle rearranging.

IV. Prayer

O God, throughout the Universe You are in every particle.
You are Infinite, indescribable in the most lengthy article.

O Lord, You're in wood, stone, iron, silver and gold.
Heaven, Hell and Earth, all are in Your hold.

You are the desert, the glacier, the island and the forest.
You are the whole cosmos, seen, unseen and the rest.

You are in the long river, vast ocean and giant mountain.
You are in the icy spring, pleasant brook and geyser fountain.

O Lord, grant us spiritual alertness, intense meditation, 
Clear understanding of mind and heart, and deep devotion.

Bless us with equal vision, concentration and divine wisdom,
Unflinching faith, perpetual prayer and eternal freedom.

O God, shower Your Blissful Grace and Peace upon us all.
Allow us ever to hear Your transcendental mystic call.

Bestow on us that uncommon, extraordinary Self-Realization,
Everlasting, endless Divine Delight and Inner Illumination.

O Lord, grant us frugality, honesty and discipline first.
Free us from egotism, hatred, anger and lust.

O God, cast a kind look at our critically confused condition,
So we may enjoy Heavenly Happiness with Your permission.

O Lord, free us from terrestrial, delusive temptation.
Endow us with restraint and Supreme Self-Realization.

O Adorable Lord of Love, Compassion and Endless Mercy,
O Venerable God of Good, free us from deep fantasy.

O God, kindly let us see You in every form and name.
We should remember You always; You're ever the Same.

In Your Play, we're puppets; You're the Puppeteer.
O God, reveal Yourself; make our vision clear.

Your Play is so puzzling; why do You Yourself hide?
You have blindfolded us; You're our only guide.

Give us unending energy to sing of Your Immortal Glory.
Liberate us from long sorrow, anger, anxiety and worry.

O Redeemer of the Fallen, the disharmonious soul,
Let us realize that You are the Sole Ultimate Goal.

O God, endow us with Self-Control, endurance and patience,
Perseverance, energetic life and boundless tolerance.

O Benevolent, Beautiful, Effulgent, Omnipresent Almighty,
Grant us ever-smiling countenance and good personality.

O God, save us from this illusive, terrestrial tantalization.
Guide us towards the permanent Goal of Self-Realization.

Always keep us away from phenomenal attractions.
Save us from the diversity of dangerous distractions.

O God, may our mind peek behind the veil of false phenomena.
Let it merge into the homogeneous, luminous, divine panorama.

O Lord, show us the splendid scenery of celestial solemnity.
Permit us to realize the sublime Superconscious Identity.

Allow us to recognize the Innermost, Unseen Self-Identity,
The Luminous Field of Felicity, the Superconscious Entity.

O Lord, mould our lives with uplifting spiritual abilities.
Fill our minds and hearts with soul-elevating qualities.

O God, our minds and hearts, kindly You should capture.
Plunge them deep into the Bright River of Rapture.

This labyrinthine sense-world is an indescribable curse.
O Omnipotent Lord, protect us from Your enigmatic farce.

O God of all the demigods, our obeisance to You.
O Almighty Lord of all Lords, our salutations to You.

Beings kneel and prostrate to You from all sides.
You're the God above all, the Guide of all guides.

Throughout the Universe, You are the Life Essence.
Mind of all minds, You're the Supreme Conscience.

O Lord, forgive all our faults; perpetually forget.
Guide us on the eternal path straight to the target.

In our lives, if we make a mistake within Your mystic play,
Save us from affliction and confusion; O Lord don't delay.

Let us sing of Your truthful, peaceful splendour forever.
Let us meditate on Your Glory, without forgetting ever.

O Lord, the whole Universe is Your intricate mask.
To recognize Your Majesty is the world's greatest task.

O God, You are a Limitless, Immortal, Joyful Infinity.
But I take You as limited; excuse my great audacity.

You're the One, Infinite, All-Pervading Non-Duality,
Yet I address You with phrases of quantity and quality.

You're nameless but in numerous ways I call You by Name.
Please excuse my ignorance; I adore You all the same.

You're ubiquitous, unlimited, but like a tiger in a cage,
I confine You to the finite form of a temple image.

O Lord, remove from my eyes this intractable blindfold.
I can hardly keep on groping, for my age is growing old.

O Lord, it's my heart-felt prayer to Your Delightful Divinity,
Please forgive me for my writing and my irreverent audacity.

Again and again I pray to You, pardon me for my fault,
For I'm wandering throughout creation without a peaceful halt.

We have fallen into such a false, deceitful condition.
Kindly rescue us from this unfavourable, miserable position.

Awaken our Inner Eyes, open the Divine Door.
Let our minds dive deep into the Innermost Core.

This land is a mix of good and evil, and delusive desire.
Take us to the other shore of this miserable ocean of mire.

O Lord, lift us to the land of Divine Beauty up higher,
From this mysterious realm, the field of misery's fire.

We are blindfolded and groping; we can't find prosperity.
Tear off the blindfold, take our hands and lead us to Divinity.

Permit us to swim in Your blissful pool of mystic vibration.
Allow us to dwell in the Divine Abode of Luminous Liberation.

V. For the Aspirant

The Divine Door is closed; at first you must knock,
Then climb the highest peak of the Resplendent Rock.

It's a great mysterious, unspeakable, obscure sphere.
By pure heart and devotion, an aspirant can reach there.

Sensual life is peaceless and full of confusion.
Self-Knowledge is its cure, the blissful solution.

The Self is the source of unchanging happiness and felicity.
Sensual pleasure is a transient, confusing complexity.

My dear disciple, dive deep into the Innermost Being.
The material mind is blind, without mystic celestial seeing.

In Divinity, relief comes through unswerving faith.
Doubt brings determined desperation and Death.

The self-indulgent life brings decline and deterioration.
Self-restraint is the means to perfection and liberation.

Those realizing God are ever free from anxiety,
Free from all tension and infinite variety.

The Self-Realized are doubtless, delightful and cheerful.
The God-Realized are Self-Controlled and ever careful.

Go beyond all methods and every known process.
Arrive at Self-Knowledge, the most sublime success.

My mad talking and babbling, the world may criticize.
For My impertinent article, I'll be excused by the wise.

Empirical knowledge cannot end mental tension.
Direct Self-Knowledge brings a Peaceful Divine Pension.

In this earthly life a bit of sensual temporary enjoyment,
Brings a great measure of physical and mental punishment.

Dedicated devotion, prayer and meditation invite Liberation.
External attraction and allurement cause life's deterioration.

Self-Knowledge has no agenda, no lengthy argument.
Annihilate the ego; attain Self-Identity and agreement.

Excuse me for my irreverent fabricated explanation.
Phenomenal temptation and attraction are hallucination.

About Self-Knowledge you need not talk so much.
With the impure mind, the Truth you cannot touch.

Realize your own Self through humility and simplicity.
Through metaphysical meditation, know your Self-Identity.

The mind is of experience and material motivation.
It's not possible to attain freedom without Self-Realization.

A Camel might pass through a needle's eye some day.
For the rich to enter Heaven, there will never be a way.

Sincere spiritual aspirant, enjoy Inner Felicity.
Saints and sages merge in the Sphere of Divinity.

Mundane motivation and pleasure invite a life of perplexity.
Firm faith and devotion to God, free man from complexity.

In maya's mirage there's no hope of watered grassy land.
You'll find only desert; a great expanse of sand.

In spiritual matters, there's no room for argument,
But only faith, devotion, meditation and enlightenment.

Through deep introspection with the Eye of Intuition,
By pure transcendental investigation attain Self-Realization.

The practice of meditation is the cause of perfection.
Annihilate all mental tension; enjoy Life of Liberation.

Perhaps butter may come by churning water from the land.
Perhaps oil may come by pressing the desert's sand.

But it's impossible to attain Divinity and God-Realization,
Without prayer, deep devotion and metaphysical meditation.

A man's ultimate value isn't measured by speech and activity,
Not by extent of property, not by erudition, not by beauty,

But by his wisdom of the Self and devotion to Divinity,
And his achievement in the development of Divine Personality.