न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे न च घ्राणनेत्रे
न च व्योमभूमिर्न तेजो न वायुः
चिदानन्दरुपः शिवोऽहं शिवोऽहं ||१||
The first of the six verses of the Nirvana Shatkam, otherwise known as the Atma Shatkam is a composition of Bhagwan Adi Shankara. It’s a declaration of his ‘aparokshanubhuti’ or his direct experience of Self realization. The six verses describe the state of absolute peace, freedom, liberation and bliss which is the very nature of the Self.
Bhagwan Shankara in communicating his experience of the Self declares first what the Self is not and then affirms what the Self is. The true “I” is not the mind मनस्, intellect बुद्धिः , nor ego अहंकार. It is not the sense of hearing, taste, etc nor space, air, fire, water or earth. It is the “I” that is the form of Shiva the auspicious, of the nature of Pure Consciousness and Bliss, the reality behind every known and unknown phenomenon.