This morning prayer comprising three verses in which the mind, speech, and body of the devotee are directed to the Absolute. The first thoughts, words and actions of everyday exert a great influence on the daily life of a devotee. If they are consecrated, they may facilitate knowledge. This prayer in the morning is profoundly significant, in the sense that the dawn is the outer symbol of inner awakening.
Free translation by Swamini Atmaprajnananda Saraswati
praatah smaraami hrdi samsphurad-aatma-tattvam
sac-cit-sukham parama-hamsa-gatim turiiyam |
tad-brahma nisskalam-aham na ca bhuuta-sangghah ||1||
1. I remember in the morning, the Reality which is the Self, shining brilliantly in the heart (mind), which is Existence, Consciousness, Limitlessness, the goal of Paramahamsa-Sannyaasis, the ‘fourth’, which is indeed the basis of the states of waking, dream and deep-sleep. I am that Brahman which is part-less, and not the complex of the (five) elements.
praatar-bhajaami manasaa vacasaam-agamyam
vaaco vibhaanti nikhilaa yad-anugrahenna |
s-tam deva-devam-ajam-acyutam-aahur-agryam ||2||
2. I sing in the morning the praise of That, which is inaccessible by mind and speech, but by Whose grace faculty of speech functions, That which the scriptures describe as ‘not this’ ‘not this’. That God of gods, they say is unborn and unchanging.
praatar-namaami tamasah param-arka-varnnam
puurnnam sanaatana-padam purussottama-[a]akhyam |
rajjvaam bhujanggama iva pratibhaasitam vai ||3||
3. I bow down in the morning to That,which is called the Highest Self, who is beyond the darkness (of ignorance), of the hue of the Sun, the final goal (of all), That who is the Whole, on which this entire universe of varied and innumerable forms is made manifest, like the snake on the rope.
“In these three verses, Sankara also sets forth the quintessence of Advaita Vedanta. The Absolute Reality is Sat-Cit-Sukham – Existence, Consciousness, Limitlessness. Gaudapaada in his Maandookya-Kaarikaa calls it Tureeya, which is the basis of the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep. Yaajñavalkya in Brhadaaranyaka present Brahman as ‘not this’ ‘not this’; since Brahman eludes any categorization; it is not within the words or concepts. The individual jeeva is non-different from the Upanishadic Brahman, and is not to be taken as the body-mind-sense complex. The varied and multi-formed ‘jagat’ is as if the snake superimposed on the rope. (This comparison is in the whole of Maandookya-Kaarikaa and in Sankarabhaashyam as well).”
Thanks to http://greenmesg.org/mantras_slokas/brahman-pratah_smarami.php for the verses.