Author Topic: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:  (Read 12283 times)

Subramanian.R

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Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« on: December 29, 2015, 05:19:43 PM »
Invocation:

1.  I prostrate myself before Govinda*, the perfect teacher, who is absorbed always in the highest state
of bliss.  His true nature cannot be known by senses or the mind.  It is revealed only through knowledge
of the scriptures.

(*Govinda Bhagavadpata, Sri Sankara's Guru)


Greatness of Abiding in Brahman: 

2.  It is hard for any living creature to achieve birth in a human form.  Strength of body and will
are even harder to obtain.  Purity is even harder still.  Harder even than these is the desire to live
a spiritual life.  And an understanding of the scriptures is hardest of all.  As for discrimination between
the Atman and the non Atman, for direct perception of the Atman itself, for continuous union with
Brahman, and final liberation - these cannot be obtained except through the merits of a hundred
billion well lived lives.

3. Only through God's grace, may we obtain those three rarest advantages -- human birth, the longing
for liberation, and disciple-ship to an illumined teacher.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 03:34:02 PM »
4.  Nevertheless , there are those who somehow manage to obtain this rare human birth, together
with bodily and mental strength, and an understanding of the scriptures -- and yet are so deluded
that they do not struggle for liberation.  Such men are suicides. They clutch at the unreal and destroy
themselves.

5.  For, what greater fool can there be than the man who has obtained this rare human birth together
with bodily and mental strength and yet fails, through delusion, to realize his own highest good?

6. Men may recite the scriptures and sacrifices to the holy spirits, they perform rituals and worship
deities -- but, until a man wakes to the knowledge of his identity with the Atman, liberation can never
be obtained.  No, not even at the end of many hundreds of Brahma's years.

7. The scriptures declare that immortality cannot be gained through work or progeny or riches, but
by renunciation alone.  Hence it is clear that work cannot bring us liberation.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 03:16:40 PM »
Means of Knowledge:


8.   Therefore, let the wise man give up craving for pleasure in external things, struggle hard for
liberation.  Let him seek out a noble and high-souled teacher, and become absorbed wholeheartedly
in the truth which is taught by him.

9.  Through devotion to right discrimination he will climb to the height of union  with Brahman.
By this power of the Atman, let him rescue his own soul which lies drowned in the vast waters
of worldliness.


10.  Let the wise, who have grown tranquil and who practice contemplation of the Atman, give up
all worldly activities, and struggle to cut the bonds of worldliness.

11.  Right action helps to purify the heart, but it does not give us direct perception of the Reality.
The Reality is attained through discrimination, but not in the smallest degree of even by ten million
acts.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2016, 11:04:12 AM »
12.  Correct discernment shows us the true nature of a rope, and removes the painful fear caused
by our deluded belief that it is a large snake.


13.  Sure knowledge of the Reality is gained only through meditation upon the right teaching,
and not by sacred abulations, or alms giving, or by the practice of hundreds of breathing exercises.

Who is competent?

14.  Success in attaining the goal depends chiefly upon the qualifications of the seeker. Suitable time,
place and other such circumstances are aids to its attainment. 

15. Therefore, let him who would know the Atman, which is the Reality, practice discrimination.
But first he must approach a teacher who is a perfect knower of Brahman, and whose compassion
is as vast as the ocean itself.

16.  A man should be intelligent and learned, with great powers of comprehension, and able to overcome
doubts by the exercise of his reason.  One who has these qualifications is fit for the knowledge of Atman.


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2016, 12:43:59 PM »
17.

He alone is qualified to seek Brahman who has discrimination, whose mind is turned away from
all enjoyments, who possesses tranquility and the kindred virtues, and who feels a longing for
liberation.

18.


In this connection, the sages have spoken of four qualifications for attainment.  When these are
present, devotion to the Reality will become complete. When they are absent, it will fail.

19.

First is mentioned discrimination  between the eternal and the non eternal. Next comes renunciation
of the enjoyment of the fruits of action, here and hereafter. Then comes the six treasures of virtue,
beginning with tranquility.  And last, certainly, is the longing for liberation.

20.

Brahman is real; the universe is unreal.  A firm conviction that this is so, is called discrimination between
the eternal and the non eternal.


21.

Renunciation is the giving up of all the pleasures of eyes, the ears, and the other senses, the giving
up of all objects of transitory enjoyment, the giving up of the desire for a physical body as well as
for the highest kind of spirit-body of a god.

contd.,


Arunachala Siva.
                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2016, 04:26:30 PM »
Verse 23:


To detach the mind from all objective things by continually seeing their imperfection, and to direct it
steadfastly toward Brahman, its goal - this is called tranquility.

Verse 23(a):

To detach both kinds of sense organs - those of perception and those of action  - from objective things,
and to withdraw them to rest in their respective centers -- this is called self control.

Verse 23(b):

True mental poise consists in not letting the mind react to external stimuli.

Verse 24:

To endure all kinds of afflictions without any reaction, complaint or lament, --   this is called forbearance.

Verse 25:

A firm conviction, based upon the intellectual understanding that the teachings of the scriptures
and one's  Master are true -  this is called by the sages the faith which leads to the realization of
the Reality.

Verse 26:

To concentrate the intellect always upon the pure Brahman and to keep it fixed there always -- this
is called self surrender. This does not mean -- this is called self surrender. This does not mean soothing
the mind, like a baby, with idle thoughts.


Verse 27:

Longing for liberation is the will to be free from the fetters of ignorance -- beginning with the ego sense
and so on, down to the physical body itself -- through the realization of one's true nature.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2016, 10:34:40 AM »
Verse 28:

Even though this longing for liberation may be present in a slight or moderate degree, it will grow
intense through the grace of the Teacher,  and though the practice of renunciation and of virtues
such as tranquility, etc., And it will bear fruit.


Verse 29:

When renunciation and the longing for liberation are present to an intense degree within a man,
then the practice of tranquility  and the other virtues will bear fruit and lead to the goal.


Verse 30:

Where renunciation and longing for liberation are weak, tranquility and other virtues are a mere
appearance, like mirage in the desert.

Verse 31:

Among all means of liberation, devotion is supreme.  To seek earnestly to know one's real nature,
--this is said to be devotion.

Verse 32:

In other words, devotion can be defined as the search for the realty of one's own Atman.
The seeker after the reality of the Atman, who possesses the above mentioned qualifications,
should approach an illumined teacher from whom he can learn the way to liberation.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2016, 12:46:25 PM »
HALL MARKS OF THE GURU:

Verse 33:

A teacher is one who is deeply versed in the scriptures, pure, free from lust, and a perfect knower
of Brahman.  He is established continually in Brahman, calm like the flame when its fuel is consumed,
the ocean of the love that know no ulterior motive, and a friend to all good people who humbly entrust
themselves to him.

Verse 34:

Let the seeker approach the master, with reverent devotion.  Then, when he has pleased him by
his humility, love and service, let him ask for whatever is to be known about the Atman.

Verse 35:


O Master, friend of all devotees, I bow down before you, O Ocean of boundless compassion, I have
fallen into the sea of the world -- save me with those steadfast eyes which shed grace, like nectar,
never ending.   

Verse 36:

I am burning in the blaze of the world-forest, with no man can extinguish. Evil deeds out of the past
drive me like huge winds, hither and thither.  I am full of fear, I have taken refuge in you.  Save me
from death.  I know no other shelter.       

Verse 37:

There are pure souls who have attained peace and greatness.  They bring good to mankind like the
coming of the spring.  They themselves have crossed the dreadful ocean of this world.  Without
any selfish motive, they help others to cross it. 

Verse 38:

It is the very nature of these great souls to work, of their own accord, to cure the troubles of others.
Just as the moon, of its own accord, cools the earth, when it is scorched by the fierce rays of the sun.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 12:56:14 PM »
Verse 39:


The vessel of your lips has been dipped in and filled with the sweetness of the bliss of Brahman.
Pour words from it like drops of nectar upon me.  They are purifying, soothing and delightful
to the ear.  Master, I am consumed by the scorching of heat of this worldly life, as by flames of a
forest fire. Blessed are they on whom your eyes rest even for a moment -- it is thus that you accept
them and make them your own. 

Verse 40:

How should I cross the ocean of this world?  What should be my goal?  What way should I take?
I know of none.  Be gracious, Master.  Save me. Tell me how to end the miseries of this earthly life.
Withhold nothing. 

Method of Instruction:

Verse 41:

Scorched by the fierce flames of the world-forest, the disciple speaks of these words.  The great soul
looks at the disciple who thus seeks refuge in him, and his eyes are wet with tears of mercy.  Immediately,
he frees his disciple from his fear. 

Verse 42:

This disciple, who has sought his protection, is one who thirsts for liberation, who has properly fulfilled
his duties, whose heart has become tranquil and who has attained calmness of the mind.  The wise
and holy man, out of compassion, begins to instruct him in the truth.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 11:20:46 AM »
Verse 43:

The Master Speaks:

O prudent One, do not fear.  For you there is no danger. There is a way to cross the ocean of worldly
life.  I shall reveal to you that very method by which sages have reached the other shore.

Verse 44:

There is a certain potent method of putting an end to the horror of this worldly life.  By it, you
may cross the world ocean and reach the highest bliss.

Verse 45:

Meditation on the meaning of the truth as it is taught in Vedanta leads to the highest illumination.
By this means, the misery of worldly life is altogether destroyed. 

Verse 46:

Faith, devotion, and constant communion with God through prayer, -- these are declared with God
through the prayer -- these are declared by the sacred scriptures to be the seeker's
direct means of liberation.  To him who abides by them comes liberation from that bondage of physical
consciousness which has  been forged by ignorance.

Verse 47:

Because you are associated with ignorance, the supreme Atman within you appears to be in bondage
to the non Atman.  This is the sole cause of the cycle of births and deaths.  The flame of illumination,
which is kindled by discrimination between Atman and non Atman, will burn away the effects of ignorance,
down to their very roots.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2016, 02:52:16 PM »
Disciple's Questions:

Verse 48:

The disciple speaks:

Master, please listen to the question I am about to ask. I shall feel blessed if I may hear an answer
from your lips.

Verse 49:

What, in reality, is this bondage?  How did it begin?  In what is it rooted?  How is a man set free from it?
What is the non-Atman?  What is the supreme Atman?  How can one discriminate between them? 
Please answer me.


Congratulating the Disciple:


The Master speaks:

You are blessed indeed?  You are drawing near to the goal.  Through you, your whole family has become
purified, because you long to get free from bondage of ignorance and reach Brahman.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 


Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2016, 03:53:53 PM »
Verse 51:

Children may free from their father from his debts, but no other person can free a man from
his bondage.  He must do it himself.

Verse 52:

Others may relieve the suffering caused by a burden that weighs upon the head; but the suffering
which comes from hunger and the like can only be relieved by one's self.

Verse 53:

The sick man who takes medicine and follows the rules of diet is seen to be restored to health --
but not through the efforts of another.

Verse 54:

A clear vision of the Reality may be obtained only through our own eyes, when they have been
opened by spiritual insight  -- never through the eyes of some other seer.   Through our own eyes
we learn what the moon looks like how could we learn this through the eyes of others?

Verse 55:

Those cords that bind us, because of our ignorance, our lustful desires, and the fruits of our Karma
--how could anybody but ourselves untie them, even in the course of innumerable ages?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.



Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2016, 01:03:30 PM »
Greatness of Self Knowledge:

Verse 56:

Neither by the practice of Yoga or of Sankhya philosophy, nor good works, nor by learning, does liberation
come. But only through the realization that Atman and Brahman are one -- in no other way.

Verse 57:

It is the duty of a king to please his people, but not everybody who pleases the people is fit to be a king.
For the people can be pleased by the beauty of a Vina's form, and the skill with which its strings are plucked.

Verse 58: 

Erudition, well articulated speech, a wealth of words, and skill in expounding the scriptures, --  these
things give pleasure to be the learned, but they do not bring liberation.

Verse 59:

Study of the scriptures is fruitless as long as Brahman, has not been experienced, it is useless to read
the scriptures. 

Verse 60:

A network of words is like a dense forest which causes the mind to wander hither and thither.
Therefore, those who know this truth should struggle hard to experience Brahman.


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2016, 12:43:08 PM »
Verse 61:

When a man has been bitten by the snake of ignorance, he can only be cured by the realization of
Brahman.  Of what use are Vedas and scriptures, charms and herbs?

Need for Self Experience:

Verse 62:

A sickness is not cured by saying the word 'medicine'.  You must take the medicine.  Liberation does
not come by merely saying the word 'Brahman.'  Brahman must be actually experienced.

Verse 63:

Until you allow this apparent universe to dissolve from your consciousness -- until you have experienced
Brahman -- how can you find liberation just by saying the word 'Brahman'?  The result is merely a noise.

Verse 64:

Until a man has destroyed his enemies and taken possession of the splendor and wealth of the kingdom,
he cannot become a king by simply saying: 'I am a king.'

Verse 65:

A buried treasure is not uncovered by merely uttering the words: 'Come forth.'  You must follow the
right directions, dig, remove the stones and earth, from above it, and then make it your own.
In the same way, the pure truth of the Atman, which is buried under Maya and the effects of Maya,
can be reached by meditation, contemplation and other spiritual disciplines such as a knower of
Brahman may prescribe   - but never by subtle arguments.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Viveka Chudamani - Sri Sankara:
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2016, 11:53:03 AM »
Verse 66:

Therefore, the wise must personally exert all their powers to get liberation from the bondage
of the world, just they would personally take remedies against physical ailments.

Verse 67:

The question you have asked today is a very good one.  It is relevant to the teachings of the scriptures.
Its meaning is hidden deep, as within an aphorism.  It should be asked by all who seek liberation.

Verse 68:

Listen attentively, O prudent one, to what I say.  By listening you shall certainly be liberated from the
bonds of the world.

Verse 69:

Of the steps to liberation, the first is declared to be complete detachment from all things which are
non eternal.  Then comes the practice of tranquility, self control, and forbearance.  And then the entire
giving up of all actions which are done from personal and selfish desire.

Verse 70:

Then the disciple must hear the truth of the Atman, and reflect upon it, and meditate upon it constantly,
without pause, for a long time.  Thus the wise man reaches that highest state, in which consciousness
alone remains -- and he knows the bliss of Nirvana while still living on earth.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.