GURVASTAKAM "Eight Verses in Praise of the Guru"

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GURVASTAKAM

"Eight Verses in Praise of the Guru"

Sri Adi Sankaracarya


Though your body be perfect, ever free from disease,

Your honour unsullied, wealth high as Mount Meru;

If your mind does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the Guru,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


Dear wife, sons and grandsons, beloved relations,

Household and friends you may have in abundance,

But if your mind does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the Guru,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


Though the whole Veda and Holy Tradition live on your lips,

And foremost and amongst seers you write inspired verse and prose;

If your mind does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the Guru,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


You may be fortunate at home and famous abroad,

Thinking no one excels you in the practice of virtue;

But if your mind does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the Guru,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


Though you own lotus feet be worshipped by Emperors,

And by the hosts of rulers of this earthly globe;

If your mind does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the Guru,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


Though your might and magnanimity be renowned in all quarters,

And all worldly goods are in your grasp through the Guru’s grace,

If your mind does not dwell on His Lotus Feet,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


Though it delights not in pleasure nor yogic powers nor extravagant ritual,

Nor in beauty of a beloved’s face nor in wealth;

If your mind does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the Guru,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


Though your mind does not turn to the forest, nor to your own household,

Nor to duty, nor the body, nor to all that is precious;

If it does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the Guru,

What then? What then? What then? What then?


The virtuous one who recites this eightfold praise of the Guru,

Whether an ascetic, a king, student or householder,

Whose mind lives always with the sayings of the Guru,

Will attain the desired state known as Brahman.


*transcribed and translated from the original Sanskrit by Peter Harrison


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