The Hastamalaka Stotra3 min read

It is said in the classic called “Shankara Digvijaya” by Anandagiri that when Shri Shankara was on his way, he came to a certain village in which there lived a boy of very tender age. His family was a poor Brahmin family. The boy had not spoken a word up to that time. They produced him before the holy Acharya for his blessing and for the restoration of his faculty of speech. When the boy came before him, the holy Acharya said: “O dear child, who art thou? To whom dost thou belong? Whence art thou? What is thy name? Where art thou going? Thou has created affection in my heart for thee. Now speak, O son.”

Hastamalaka said:

“I am neither man nor Deva nor Yaksha. I am neither Brahmin nor Kshatriya nor Shudra. I am not a Brahmachari, nor a householder, nor a forest-dweller. I am not a monk. I am knowledge of my own Self, which also is knowledge.

I am the cause of the activity of the mind and the eyes. I am free from all media of expression. I am like the space or the sun which is the cause of the movement of the world. That every achieved knowledge by nature, that Atman am I.

The reflection of the face in the mirror is not separate from the face itself. It has no existence of its own. So the reflection of consciousness in the buddhi, called jiva, is that ever-achieved knowledge absolute; that Atman am I.

As in the absence of the mirror the reflection of the face disappears and the face alone remains and, free from all mental activities, exists: so when separated from the intellect, no longer a reflection, that ever-achieved knowledge, Atman, am I.

Ever unconnected with the mind and the eyes and other senses, and yet who is the mind of the mind and the eye of the eye, who is inaccessible to the mind and the eyes, that ever-achieved Atman, knowledge itself, am I.

He, the one, ever pure Consciousness, self-luminous, is reflected in many intellects, like the sun who is ever one and yet seems to be abiding in many water-filled pots; that ever-achieved knowledge itself, Atman, am I.

The deluded ones, whose eyes are screened by the cloud, imagine the cloud-conditioned sun to be shorn of its light; similarly Atman appears as if bound according to the experience of the dull-minded seer; that ever-achieved consciousness, Atman, am I.

That ever-pure, ever-achieved Self, ever-unconditioned Atman, pervading all objects, abides in His glory unaffected by His objects; that ever-achieved consciousness am I”.

It is further related that this boy named Hastamalaka, known as a great Acharya and one of the Pillars of the holy Shri Shankara, followed his Guru serving him with all his love and might. In all the traditional pictures of the holy Acharya, Hastamalaka Acharya figures as one of his closest disciples.

See: Shri Shankara blessed the child and said: ”My son, who are you? ‘Whose disciple are you? What is your aim in life?”