Kaupeena Panchakam

कौपीन पंचकम् (Kaupeena Panchakam)

वेदान्तवाक्येषु सदा रमन्तो

भिक्षान्नमात्रेण च तुष्टिमन्तः ।

विशोकमन्तःकरणे चरन्तः

कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ॥

Vedanthavakhyeshu Sada ramantho

Bhikshannamaathrena Cha Thooshteemanthaha

Vishokamanthakarane Charanthaha

Kaupeenavantha Khalu Bhaaghyavanthaha

Meaning: In the words of philosophy, he always finds enjoyment

With just the begged food, he is always satisfied

Sorrow has left his mind

The loin cloth wearer indeed is the blessed one.

मूलं तरोः केवलमाश्रयन्तः

पाणिद्वयं भोक्तुममन्त्रयन्तः ।

कन्थामिव श्रीमपि कुत्सयन्तः

कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ॥

Moolam Tharo Kevalamaashrayanthaha

Paanidhvayam Bhokthumamanthrayanthaha

Kandhamiva Sreemapi Kuthsyanthaha

Kaupeenavantha Khalu Bhaaghyavanthaha

Meaning: Foot of a tree is the only shelter he depends on

Eating only what his two hands can hold

Like a torn cloth, he rejects even wealth (all prosperity)

The loin cloth wearer indeed is the blessed one.

स्वानन्दभावे परितुष्टिमन्तः

सुशान्तसर्वेन्द्रियवृत्तिमन्तः ।

अहर्निशं ब्रह्मसुखे रमन्तः

कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ॥

Swanandabhave Parithooshtimanthaha

Sushantha Sarvendriyavruthimanthaha

Aharnisam Brahmasukhe Ramanthaha

Kaupeenavantha Khalu Bhaaghyavanthaha

Meaning: He is fully satisfied in the bliss within

He appears peaceful overcoming the cravings of all senses

24×7, he is dissolved in the bliss of Brahman

The loin cloth wearer indeed is the blessed one.

देहादिभावं परिवर्तयन्तः

स्वात्मानमात्मन्य अवलोकयन्तः।

नान्तं न मध्यं न बहिः स्मरन्तः

कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ॥

Dehadhibhaavam Parivarthayanthaha

Swaathmaanamaathmanya Avalokayanthaha

Naantha Na Madhyam Na Bahi Smaranthaha

Kaupeenavantha Khalu Bhaaghyavanthaha

Meaning: Having witnessed the changes of body and so forth,

Realizing himself as the changeless soul,

Not thinking about end nor middle nor outside,

The loin cloth wearer indeed is the blessed one.

ब्रह्माक्षरं पावनमुच्चरन्तो

ब्रह्माहमस्मीति विभावयन्तः ।

भिक्षाशिनो दिक्षु परिभ्रमन्तः

कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ॥

Brahmaksharam Paavanamucharantho

Brahmaahamasmeethi Vibhaavayanthaha

Bhikshaashino Dikshu Paribramanthaha

Kaupeenavantha Khalu Bhaaghyavanthaha

Meaning: Chanting the sacred words of eternal Brahman

Contemplating himself as being Brahman,

With just the alms obtained, wandering aimlessly,

The loin cloth wearer indeed is the blessed one.

॥ इति श्रीमद् शङ्कराचार्यकृत कौपीन पञ्चकं सम्पूर्णम् ॥

Ithi Srimad Sankarachaaryakrutha Kaupeena Panchakam Sampoornam

Thus ends the Kaupeena Panchakom written by Srimad Sankaracharya.

Kaupeena Panchakom is a gem written by Srimad Sankaracharya.  This is a poem of 5 stanzas, each explaining the blissful state of an Avadhootha (greatest among monks).

My hearty obeisance to Sri. Rajesh Touchriver, who I regard as my divine guardian and Deshika who poured fuel into the little fire of thirst I had in me for knowledge, who inspired me to learn Sanskrit and to search the truth.  My hearty obeisance to my Atmaguru, Sri. Nochur Venkitaraman, who I was lucky to meet at Ramanashram and to sit nearby and meditate for some time.  It is through his talks I got more attracted towards Advaitha, Srimad Sankaracharya, Vishishtadvaitha, and Sri Ramanujacharya.  I am also thanking Sri. Easwaran Namboothiri, my first Sanskrit teacher; Sri. Kiran Avadhani and Brahmasri Aswathanarayana Avadhani who allowed me to sit with boys in gurukula for few days to learn Sanskrit through Bhagavath Gita; Sri. Ramachandra and Sri. Ananthakrishna of Sharada Vilasa Highschool; Manu Bhagini and Sri. Vijendra Rao who helped me to talk in Sanskrit.

It is through one of my guru’s talk, I fortunately heard about Kaupeena panchakom by Srimad Sankaracharya.  I searched and found it and contemplated over its meaning.  I used online Sankrit typing software to put the Sankrit sloka here.  Please forgive the mistakes if any.  I am happily sharing with you what I contemplated about this divine stotram.

Kaupeena Panchakam

If we search, we can find lots of godly men and women, gurus of different types.  Some are very famous among all people, some are ascetics and known by few only etc.  But, Avadhoota’s like Sadasiva Brahmendra swami, Ramanamaharshi, Chandrasekharabharathi swami, Chandrasekharasaraswathi swami, etc. are very very rare to find.  Sadasiva Brahmendra swami even walked like Digambara (completely naked) fully dissolved in bliss without the minute thought of body.  Naga sanyasis, some Jain monks too are like that not bothered about covering their nakedness.  If you are lucky and find divine souls like this, never ever judge the nakedness.

It is quite natural for people to think why these people can’t put clothes on.  Also, there are many gurus who are living in the middle of richness and giving retreats around the world and having lots of disciples.  Few people only recognize and respect a loin cloth wearing/completely naked Avadhoota.  Others regard the minimal cloth wearer as a mad man.  These Avadhootas act like crazy and like small kids, so there is more chance of misunderstanding.  I hope this small explanation of Kaupeena Panchakam clears such doubts, and if you luckily find an Avadhoota, you will remember this and get blessed by even seeing such a divine soul.

Kaupeena Panchakom is one among the divine works of Srimad Sankaracharya.  This stotram consists of 5 stanzas each praising the blissful state of a loin cloth wearer (Avadhoota).  An Avadhoota is a Jeevanmukta who is liberated while in body.  He is completely free of body awareness, yet while living among people, some of them wear just a loin cloth except Naga sanyasis, some Jain monks, Akhoris, and saints like Sadasiva Brahmendera swami who are not a bit bothered about nakedness and about people. For them, everything is Brahman only.

An Avadhoota is always blissful with his mind enjoying the words of philosophy.  If he feels hungry, he begs for food, but only with his hands.  He won’t carry a bowl to save food.  He is always satisfied with the little begged food he gets.  Since he has experienced the self as Brahman, he is always in bliss and sorrow has left him.  When he feels sleepy or feel to rest, he just depend on foot of a tree for shelter.  He just eats what his two palms can hold.  He is not interested in prosperities and rejects it like a torn cloth.  We can also think about siddhis here.  Through continuous meditation and purity of mind, lots of occult powers (siddhis) arise in yogis.  It is the natural tendency of a human being to fall in such powers if he/she is not vigilant about the goal.  Whatever siddhis, prosperities came in front, an Avadhoota rejects it like a torn cloth as he is already experiencing the ultimate bliss and dissolved completely in it.  He is fully satisfied with the bliss he experiences within and all his senses have lost their cravings towards sensual pleasures and the mind to search joy outside.  Day and night, he is dissolved in the bliss of Brahman.  He has already witnessed the changes happening in his own body and the impermanence of everything.  He has clearly realized and experienced himself as changeless soul, Brahman.  He is not mindful about what will be the end, what is in middle and what is outside of him (He is not bothered about what will happen to him at any time).  He always chants about the eternal Brahman (sometimes silently, sometimes sing like Sadasiva Brahmendra swami about the glory of Brahman).  Experiencing himself as Brahman, he is ever satisfied and remains blissful.  Thus the loin cloth wearer indeed is the lucky one.

May we all experience the eternal bliss within by realizing our “self.” May we always experience Brahmam in everything and everywhere….

Om Namo Narayanaya Om Namah Shivaya 😊💖🙏

9 thoughts on “Kaupeena Panchakam

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