Adi Shankara     198 posts


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What must be avoided ?

Deeds which lead us into greater ignorance of the Truth.

From Prasna-Uttara-Malika

" Garland of Questions and Answers "

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What is the best thing a spiritual aspirant can do?

Carry out his guru's instructions


From Prasna-Uttara-Malika

" Garland of Questions and Answers "

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What is the strength of a holy man ?

His trust in God


From Prasna-Uttara0Malika

" Garland of Questions and Answers "

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There are good souls, calm and magnanimous, who do good to others as does the spring, and who, having themselves crossed this dreadful ocean of birth and death, help others also to cross the same, without any motive whatsoever.

VIVEKACHUDAMANI

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I am other than the body & the mind
I am free from sorrow, attachment, malice & fear
I am changeless, without form & the source of all

I am eternal, devoid of conditions & stainless
I am imperishable, limitless & free from nescience
I am indivisible, unattached & non-dual
I am infinite, without attributes & pure

I am beyond all conceptions, beliefs & thought
I am Knowledge, the known & the Knower
I am Oneness
I am the Absolute Consciousness of the Self

I am full of Supreme Bliss
I am the Supreme Self (Parama Atma)
I alone am the Supreme Reality Alone

Verily,
I am that Supreme Brahman

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Among things conducive to liberation, devotion alone holds the supreme place; (and) the search for one’s real nature is designated as devotion.

VIVEKACHUDAMANI

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O master, O friend of those who bow to You, You ocean of mercy, I bow to You. Save me, fallen as I am into this ocean of trans migratory existence, with a glance of Your eyes, which shed nectar-like grace supreme.

VIVEKACHUDAMANI

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Who am I?

I am the Lord, Creator of all the appears & disappears.
I am Ever Free from ignorance, sorrow, attachment & fear.
I am devoid of all opposites & conditions such as time & space.
I am Unchanging, Imperishable, Limitless & Eternal.
I am non-dual, single, I am Complete Oneness Alone.
I am the Consciousness of the Inner Self.
I am full of Knowledge & the Realization of the Self.
I am the Knower, Knowledge & the Known.
I am full of Absolute Compassion.
I am the Living Heart of Love.
I am full of Infinite Bliss.
I am the Supreme Self.'

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Success depends entirely on a qualified aspirant. Time, place and other factors are but secondary help.

VIVEKACHUDAMANI

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Neither knowable, knowledge, nor knower am I, formless is my
form, I dwell within the senses but they are not my home:
Ever serenely balanced, I am neither free nor bound -
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss is where I am found.

Shankaracharya: Song of the Soul

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VIVEKACHUDAMANI

There is no hope of immortality by means of riches – such indeed is the declaration of the Vedas. Hence it is clear that works cannot be the cause of Liberation.

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Though without riches, yet ever content; though helpless, yet very powerful, though not enjoying sense objects, yet eternally satisfied; though without an exemplar, yet looking upon all with an eye of equality—such is the jivanmukta.

VIVEKACHUDAMANI

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Human birth, the desire for salvation and the company of holy men are rare things on this earth. Those who are blessed with all three are the most favoured of men.

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ATMA BODHA

VERSES 16-30

16. Just as husking the paddy exposes the grain within (the rice), so also should one judiciously separate the pure Atman from the sheaths covering it.

17. Though always and everywhere present, the Self does not shine forth in all places. Just as light is reflected only in a transparent medium, so also the Self is clearly seen in the intellect only.

18. The Self is realized in the intellect as the witness of the activities of, and yet separate from the body, the senses, the mind, intellect and gross nature (prakriti) as is a king in relation to his subjects.

19. Just as the moon seems to move when the clouds around her move, so also the Self seems to the indiscriminating to be active, when actually, the senses are active.

20. Just as men do their duties in the light of the sun (but the sun does not participate in them), so also the body, senses, etc., function in the light of the Self without its participating in them.

21. The characteristics (birth, death, etc.) of the body and the senses are superimposed on the Being- Consciousness-Bliss as is the blue in the sky by those who do not discriminate.

22. So also the characteristics of the mind, such as agency,etc., are by ignorance superimposed on the Atman, as are the movements of water on the moon reflected in it.

23. Only when the intellect is manifested, likes and dislikes,pleasure and pain are felt. In deep sleep, the intellect remaining latent, they are not felt. Therefore, they are of the intellect and not of the Atman (the Self). Here is the real nature of the Atman.

24. As light is the very sun, coldness the water, heat the fire, so also the eternal, pure Being-Consciousness-Bliss is the very Self.

25. Being-Consciousness is of the Self; the `I' mode or modification is of the intellect; these are distinctly two. However, owing to ignorance, the individual mixes them together and thinks `I know' and acts accordingly.

26. Never is there any change (or action) in Atman nor knowledge in the intellect. Only the jiva is deluded into thinking itself to be the knower, doer and seer.

27. Like the snake in the rope, mistaking the jiva for the Self, one is subject to fear. If, on the other hand, one knows oneself not as a jiva but as the supreme Self, one is altogether free from fear.

28. The Self alone illumines the senses, intellect, etc., as a lamp does objects such as pots. The Self is not illumined by them as they are inert.

29. To see a light, no other light is needed. So also, the Self being self-effulgent, needs no other means of knowledge. It shines of itself.

30. On the strength of the Vedic teaching, `Not this, not this', eliminate all the adjuncts (upadhis) and with the help of the mahavakyas, realize the identity of the jivatman (individual self) with the paramatman (the supreme Self).

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Stop thinking about anything which is not your true self, for that is degrading and productive of pain, and instead think about your true nature, which is bliss itself and productive of liberation.

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3 things are said to be illusion: Time---Space---Mind; or are they?....................106. The abandonment of the illusory universe by realizing it as the all conscious Atman is the real renunciation honoured by the great, since it is of the nature of immediate liberation.......107. The wise should always be one with that silence wherefrom words together with the mind turn back without reaching it, but which is attainable by the Yogins.......108-109. Who can describe That (i.e. Brahman) whence words turn away? (So silence is inevitable while describing Brahman). Or if the phenomenal world were to be described, even that is beyond words. This, to give an alternate definition, may also be termed silence known among the sages as congenital. The observance of silence by restraining speech, on the other hand, is ordained by the teachers of Brahmin [The Lord] for the ignorant...................APARIKSANUBHUTI or Self-Realization of SRI SANKARACARYA pgs. 56--59 trans. by Swami Vimuktananda — at Wakefield, Massachusetts

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ATMA BODHAM
By Adi Shankaracharya

2. Of all the means to liberation,
Knowledge is the only direct one.
As essential as fire to cooking, without it,
Liberation cannot be gained.

3. Not being opposed to ignorance,
Karma does not destroy it.
On the other hand, knowledge destroys ignorance,
As surely as light does darkness.

5. The jiva is mixed up with ignorance.
By constant practice of knowledge, the jiva becomes pure,
Because knowledge disappears (along with ignorance)
As the cleansing nut with the impurities in the water.

6. Samsara is full of likes and dislikes and other opposites. Like
A dream, it seems real for the time being; but, on waking, it
Vanishes because it is unreal.

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Brahman (Absolute) is One only, without a second; it is absolutely one with the Atman (Self); the many-fold world of appearance is non-real (mithya); the Brahman (Ultimate Reality) is of the nature of satyam-jyanam-anantam—Existence, Knowledge, Infinite; self-less actions play preparatory role in purifying the mind to receive the wisdom of Self-Knowledge; ignorance (avidya) alone is the cause of human bondage; Self-Knowledge (atam-jnana) alone is the means to liberation; liberation (mukti or moksha) is not possible until one realizes or attains the knowledge of oneness of the Atman and the Brahman (brahmatamekattvabodham).

Sri Adi Sankara‘s fundamental Vedantic stance

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Stop thinking about anything which is not your true self, for that is degrading and productive of pain, and instead think about your true nature, which is bliss itself and productive of liberation.

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The world, filled with attachments and aversions and the rest, is like a dream: it appears to be real as long as one is ignorant, but becomes unreal when one is awake

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From Upadesa Sahasri by Sankaracarya

...he should approach a teacher versed in the Vedas and established in Brahman in order to know the Eternal.

For the Srutis say,

“Only the Master will tell you the Way”,

“Knowledge received from a Teacher alone (becomes perfect)”,

“The Teacher is the one leading the ship. The ship is True Knowledge"

“Knowledge will be imparted to you”

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In the Mahavakya 'That thou art' (Tat Tvam Asi),
'thou' denotes Consciousness that is conditioned or circumscribed (& thus limited) by the inner organ (Antakarana~the mind, intellect & ego complex).
This is the the object of the idea 'I'.

Absolute Consciousness is All-Knowing, All-Pervasive, All-Being.
This (Self) can be known indirectly through the Antakarana.
It can be Known directly through the Realization of It's Identity as One Self Alone.
It's Nature is Truth, Awareness, Infinity & Bliss Absolute.
This (Self) is indicated by the word 'That'.

~ Pancadasi of Vidyaranya
('quoted' from Vakyavritti of Sri Shankaracharya)

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That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman — that thou art.

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Childhood is busy with playthings; youth is busy with romance and family; old age is busy with sickness and worries: Where is the man who is busy with God?”

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For all living creatures, a human birth is rare, and even rarer is to have a sattvic (goodness) attitude, and more so to have steadfastness on the path of spiritual activity

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