by Sandeep Nangia

Avāṅmanasogocaram or Avāṅmanasagocaram

अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम् or अवाङ्मनसगोचरम्

This is a discussion whether the word in the last line of Swami Vivekananda’s poem [1] in its original Bangla version নাহি সূর্য নাহি জ্যোতিঃ (नाहि सूर्य नाहि ज्योतिः) is অবাঙ্মনসোগোচরম্ (अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम्) or অবাঙ্মনসগোচরম্ (अवाङ्मनसगोचरम्). This article summarises the the inputs and arguments received so far from various quarters through discussions.

Important New Information

This article was written earlier to find from various scholars what is the right word. Now, the conclusion is available and is summarized at the end. Just in case you don't want to go through all these arguments about Sanskrit grammar.


In various printed versions of this poem published in multiple books by Ramakrishna Math and Mission, the word used in this poem is অবাঙ্মনসোগোচরম্ (अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम्). This can be seen in Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda - Bangla version[2]. Other communication [3] received from monks of Ramakrishna Mission indicates that in books published by Ramakrishna Institute of Culture, Vivekananda Society and also from Saradapitha অবাঙ্মনসোগোচরম্ (अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम्) has been used. Besides, the word is also used in শ্রী শ্রী রামকৃষ্ণ কথামৃত (श्री श्री रामकृष्ण कथामृत)[4], [5]. Often the word is enclosed in quotes indicating that this is a word used often in our scriptures and hence quoted verbatim by Swamiji.

The problem at hand is to understand what is the grammatical derivation of অবাঙ্মনসোগোচরম্ (अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम्).

Here is what was posited by this current author. In Sanskrit we have a special class of compounds wherein the intervening conjugational suffixes (सुप्) do not get elided in compound formation. e.g मनोज & मनसिज are used for कामदेव. In the case of मनसिज the non-elision (अलुक्) of ङि can be explained by तत्पुरुषे कृति बहुलम् (६.३.१३). So perhaps can we explain the derivation of अवाङ्मनसोगोचम् in the following way:

वाक् च मनश्च तयोः समाहारः —> वाङ्मनस् (समाहारद्वन्द्व)

वाङ्मनसः गोचर —> वाङ्मनसोगोचर or वाङ्मनोगोचर (Optional elision - which sutra?)

And then negated with नञ् —> अवाङ्मनसोगोचर or अवाङ्मनोगोचर

However, Ramanuja ji has pointed out errors in the above derivation in his blog post in Sanskrit [6]. An English rendering of that is provided below (with a few small minor additions).

“The Panini Sutra द्वन्द्वश्च प्राणितूर्यसेनाऽङ्गानाम् (२.४.२) provides that when doing द्वन्द्वसमास of body parts, the resultant समस्तपद is neuter and used in singular e.g. पाणि-पादम् . However, the sutra न दधिपयाआदीनि (२.४.१४) indicates that this should not be done in case of words appearing in दधिपयआदिगण. And वाङ्मनसे does appears in दधिपयआदिगण. Hence, वाक् च मनः च = वाङ्मनसे will be the resultant correct form (which is in dual). Now, there can be a doubt. वाक् च मनः च = वाङ्मनसी can this be correct? The sutra अचतुरविचतुरसुचतुरस्त्रीपुंसधेन्वनडुहर्क्षाम-वाङ्मनसाक्षिभ्रुवदारगवौउर्वष्ठीवपदष्ठीवनक्तंदिवरात्रिंदिवाहर्दिवसरजस-निःश्रेयसपुरुषायुषद्व्यायुषत्र्यायुषर्ग्यजुषजातोक्षमहोक्षवृद्धोक्षौपशुनगोष्ठश्वाः (५.४.७७) indicates that some words in compounding have अच्-प्रत्यय placed after them. And वाङ्मनस is included here. Hence वाङ्मनसे is correct.

In the Vyasa Bhashya of the yoga sutra अहिंसासत्यास्तेयब्रह्मचर्यापरिग्रहा यमाः (२.३०) the words सत्यं यथार्थे वाङ्मनसे are mentioned. Manu mentions यस्य वाङ्मनसे शुद्धे सम्यग्गुप्ते च सर्वदा (२-१६०). Sri Shankara in his Bhashya of Chhandogya 4.16.1 says ते एते वाङ्मनसे वर्तनी मार्गौ याभ्यां यज्ञस्तायमानः प्रवर्तते ते वर्तनी. Also Kalidas in Raghuvamsa 10.15 says प्रणिपत्य सुरास्तस्मै शमयित्रे सुरद्विषाम् । अथैनं तुष्टुवुः स्तुत्यम् अवाङ्मनसगोचरम्. Mallinatha in his commentary of this verse explains वाक् च मनश्च वाङ्मनसे । "अचतुर​.." इत्यच्प्रत्ययान्तो निपातः । तयोर्गोचरो विषयो न भवतीति अवाङ्मनसगोचरः । तमेनं विष्णुं तुष्टुवुरस्तुवन्. [13]

Hence, we conclude that वाङ्मनसे is certainly correct form. Upon compounding with गोचरः it becomes वाङ्मनसगोचरः and upon negation becomes अवाङ्मनसगोचरः. We are unable to derive वाङ्मनोगोचरः or वाङ्मनसोगोचरः. Thereupon arises the question - how has Swami Vivekananda used the form अवाङ्मनसोगोचर? There can be various resolutions to it:

  • Perhaps अवाङ्मनसोगोचर is simply a print mistake and Swamiji used the word अवाङ्मनसगोचरम् in his writing. However, given that this form appears in multiple print versions and also in Kathamrita, it being misprint is unlikely.
  • Swamiji used this word in Bangla and the words therein may not necessarily follow Sanskrit grammar rules.
  • मेधाथिति has used वाङ्मनसी in "वाङ्मनसी शुद्धे कालुष्यं न गच्छतः”. कुल्लुकभट्ट has also used एते वाङ्मनसी. Hence this too can be considered as शिष्टप्रयोगः even though it may be अपाणिनीय. Therefore अवाङ्मनसः can be considered correct and hence also अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम्.
  • Swami Vivekannda was a great Rishi. In our tradition, utterances of Rishis are considered correct anyhow - these being termed आर्ष. Hence, this usage is correct too.”

More observations:

  • The word वाङ्मनोगोचरः (where अच्-प्रत्यय has not come in) has also been used in तेजोबिन्दूपनिषद् ४-५२ as स्वस्वरूपे स्वयंज्योतिः स्वस्वरूपे स्वयंरतिः। वाचामगोचरानन्दो वाङ्मनोगोचरः स्वयम्॥ [7]. Besides, अवाङ्मनोगोचरत्व has been used in नृसिंहोत्तरतापनीयोपनिषद् [8]. Anyway, these being आर्ष are to be considered correct.
  • In the handwritten manuscript of (Bangla) Sri Ma Darshan, Vol 5, (written by Swami Nityatmananda), I found that the poem has अवाङ्मनसगोचरम्.
  • In various audio renderings of this poem on YouTube, there is no consistency. Please hear the audio renderings given in [9].
  • The Vedantasara (of Sadananda) also uses अवाङ्मनसगोचरम् in its first verse अखण्डं सच्चिदानन्दम् अवाङ्मनसगोचरम् ।आत्मानमखिलाधारम् आश्रयेऽभीष्टसिद्धये॥ [10]
  • Alternate readings of Manusmriti 2.160 text has वाङ्मनसी. See [11] and [12].

So what is the final conclusion? Is the word अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम् or अवाङ्मनसगोचरम्?


This article was initially written to find out the opinion of various scholars on this matter. Their inputs and another important discovery are now available as mentioned below.

  1. Panini's sutra अचतुर...(५.४.७७) clearly indicates that अवाङ्मनसगोचरम् is the correct form. Various learned scholars (including some monks of the RKMA in their personal communications) also opined that अवाङ्मनसगोचरम् is indeed the correct grammatical form.
  2. In addition, recently, the manuscript of this poem has been published by Advaita Ashrama [14] which clearly shows that Swami ji used अवाङ्मनसगोचरम् in his writing.

Hence, it can be concluded that अवाङ्मनसगोचरम् is the correct form and Swamiji also used the correct form. But, somehow, in print versions the wrong form has been used.


  1. English Translation of Swami Vivekananda’s poem The Hymn of Samadhi.
  2. Original version of Swamiji’s poem নাহি সূর্য নাহি জ্যোতিঃ (नाहि सूर्य नाहि ज्योतिः). Page 208, Vol-6 of Bangla CW.
  3. Various Bangla versions of the poem.
  4. Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita dated 22-Mar-1885 - Bangla version
  5. Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita dated 22-Apr-1883 - Bangla version
  6. Ramanuja Devanathan ji’s blog post
  7. Usage of वाङ्मनोगोचरः in तेजोबिन्दूपनिषद् ४-५२ can be seen here or here.
  8. Usage of अवाङ्मनोगोचरत्व in नृसिंहोत्तरतापनीय Upanishad 2 can be viewed here or here.
  9. Various audio renderings of this poem - YouTube Playlist
  10. Vedanta Sara Verse 1
  11. Manusmriti 2.160 text with वाङ्मनसी reading
  12. Another Manusmriti text 2.160 with वाङ्मनसी reading.
  13. Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsham 10.15 with Mallinath’s Tika can be viewed here.
  14. A Bouquet of Swami Vivekananda's Writings, published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata. The relevant pages have been scanned and are available here.


Many people have given their inputs on Twitter, phone and personal discussions.

  • Sabyasachi Basu provided references to Swamiji’s complete works and also the references to the Kathamrita where অবাঙ্মনসোগোচরম্ (अवाङ्मनसोगोचरम्) is used
  • Ramanuja Devanathan ji has spent great amount of time in documenting the errors of my derivation as also providing various references.
  • Various monks of Ramakrishna order have responded to my queries. I am thankful to them for spending their valuable time in helping us. Their names are being withheld till I have permission to publicly give their names.