The Eightfold Verse about the Mother Divine     


Like Socrates who said " I know nothing, not even my own ignorance", Sankara was also known for his humility.

"I know not Philosophy, Literature or Science " , he says in his poem, Bhavani Ashtakam. I am
one of the worst beings and my only refuge is Thee !
Neither do I know how to donate,
Nor Meditation transcendental
Neither do I know Tantra,
Nor the stanzas of prayer great,

Worshipping is unknown to me ,
Nor do I know the art of yoga,
Thou art my only Refuge , 

O Mother Divine !

His critics criticised him as a hidden Buddhist. There was no atheism or
Agnosticism in him. He declared that all this is a projection of the
Universal Mind and that the Eternal Triad - the Relative Universe, the
Relative Ego and the Relative Supreme - are all the projections of the
Cosmic Mind !


There were other critics who criticised him saying that he championed the
superiority of Transcendental Philosophy ( Jnana Yoga ) over Bridal
Mysticism ( Bhakthi Yoga ). This was not true, as Bhavani Ashtakam will

" If I believe in anybody in this world, it is Sree Sankara of the East ",
said Max Muller. Sankara, the Exponent of Oneness, continues to be one the
of the greatest philosophers that ever graced this earth !
Can I depend on any of these ?
The father, the mother,
The relation or the friend ?
Neither son nor daughter,

Neither servant nor husband,
Wife, Knowledge And Profession,
Are dependable in this world,
My only Refuge , O Mother Divine,  is Thee !

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I am in this ocean of worldliness,
I  face sorrow, Lust, Sin,Greed ,desire,,
Bound am I by the useless life I lead
Thou art my only Refuge , O Mother Divine !
I know not divine merit,
Nor places sacred to visit,
Salvation I know not,
Union with Him is also unknown,

I know not Bhakti Yoga,
Nor austerities divine,

Nor terra incognita  of  Consciousness,  
Thou art my only Refuge , O Mother Divine !

I do commit heinous sins,
And keep company of the bad,
Sinful thoughts torment me ,
I serve masters bad,

Belong I to a bad family,
Sinful acts dominate me,
See I with bad intentions,
Thou art my only Refuge , O Mother Divine !

The Creator I know not,
Or the Preserver Divine,
The Lord is unknown to me,
The lord of Celestials I know not,

Unknown are the Lords of  Day & Night,
Neither do I know any other Gods,
O Mighty Goddess, to Thee I bow always,
Thou art my only Refuge , 

O Mother Divine ! Whenever I am in an argument,
Whenever in sorrow,
Whenever suffering accidents,

Whenever travelling far away,
Whenever in water or on fire,
Whenever on top of a mountain,
Whenever surrounded by enemies,

Whenever in a deep forest,

Or in any  calamity,  
I always bow before thee, O Mighty One,
Thou art my only Refuge , O Mother Divine !


Despite being an orphan,
Despite being extremely poor,
Despite affected by disease of old age,
I bow before Thee always

Whenever problems overwhelm me,
Whenever dangers threaten,
I always bow before thee,
Thou art my only Refuge , O Mother Divine !