Kaupeena Panchakam

Kaupeena Panchakam
By Adi Shankara
[The Pentad of the Loin Cloth]
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

[This is a very short poem with five stanzas which glorifies the life of a sannyasi (Ascetic). An ascetic in India is supposed to give away all his wealth before entering in to renunciation and get a loin cloth (kaupeena) from his teacher. That would be his only property.]

Vedantha Vakhyeshu Sada ramantho,
Bhikshannamathrena trishtimantha,
Vishokamantha karane charantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 1

Always thinking about words of philosophy,
Always getting satisfied with food got by begging,
And always without trace of sorrow, thinking of the inner self,
The man with the loin cloth is indeed the lucky one.

Moolam tharo kevalam ashrayantha,
Panidhvayam bhokthuma manthrayantha,
Kandhamiva sreemapi kuthsayantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 2

Always depending on only roots and plants,
Always taking only two hands full of food,
And always thinking of wealth as a torn piece of cloth,
The man with the loin cloth is indeed the lucky one.

Swananda bhava pari thushti mantha,
Sushantha sarvendriya vruthi mantha,
Aharnisam brahma sukhe ramantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 3

Always getting elated in his own thoughts,
Always peacefully controlling all his senses,
And always drowned in the pleasure of Brahmam,
The man with the loin cloth is indeed the lucky one.

Dehadhi bhavam parivarthayantha,
Swathmana athmanyavalokayantha,
Naantha na Madhyam na bahi smarantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 4

Always witnessing his own changes of the body,
Who is seeing himself as his soul,
And who never thinks of ends, middle and outside,
The man with the loin cloth is indeed the lucky one.

Brahmaksharam pavanamucharantho,
Brahmahamasmeethi vibhavayantha,
Bhikshashano dikshu paribramayantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 5

Always reciting the name of Brahmam with devotion,
Always thinking that he himself is Brahmam,
And who wanders aimlessly depending on alms obtained,
The man with the loin cloth is indeed the lucky one.

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