Dear forum readers:

Allow me to propose some selections from a classic world spiritual text, championed in the early days of the TS. Sankara's Viveka Cudamani or Crown Jewel of Discrimination. I highly recommnend a recent translation by:

John Grimes

The Vivekacudamani of Sankaracarya Bhagatpada

Ashgate, England 2004

Below is a sanskrit transliteration and the translation by Mohini Chatterji: 

jantuunaaM nara-janma dur-labhamataH puMstvaM tato viprataa
tasmaad vaidika-dharma-maarga-parataa vidvattvam asmaat param
aatmaan'aatma-vivechanaM svanubhavo brahm'aatmanaa saMsthitiH
muktir no shata-janma-koTi-su-kR^taiH puNyair vinaa labhyate .. 2

Among sentient creatures birth as a man is difficult of attainment, among human beings manhood, among men to be a Brahmana, among Brahmanas desire to follow the path of Vedic Dharma, and among those, learning. But the spiritual knowledge which discriminates between spirit and non-spirit, the practical realization of the merging of oneself in Brahmatman and final emancipation from the bonds of matter are unattainable except by the good karma of hundreds of crores of incarnations.

dur-labhaM trayam ev'aitad dev'aanugraha-hetukam
manushhyatvaM mumukshhutvaM mahaa-purushha-saMshrayaH .. 3

These three, so difficult of attainment, are acquired only by the kindness of the Devas (Gods), humanity, desire for emancipation, and the guidance of (spiritually) Great Men.

Grimes gives a more liberal translation to Brahmana, rendering it as having a strong constitution.

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Thanks Casady! The Crest-Jewel is one of my favorite works—goes straight to the heart of Vedanta—though I haven't studied Grimes's translation yet.

We've put together a page for the Crest-Jewel on the UT site, and I added a link to the Grimes translation. Do you happen to have a link to a full transliterated version of the work I could add as well?

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Always a pleasure - nice addition to the universal site - for the transliteration, I've actually been using the one they have on the Mohini link that you've used - otherwise, I found this one, which is huge, looks pretty good:

http://www.arshabodha.org/adiShankara/Vivekachudamani_eBook.pdf

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The first five verses deal with taking advantage of spiritual opportunities relating to one's condition of birth. Verses 6-15 deal with the need for self-reliance and the relative importance of performing actions and rituals. Verse 14:

adhikaariNam aashaaste phala-siddhir visheshhataH
upaayaa desha-kaal'aadyaaH santy asmin saha-kaariNaH .. 14

The attainment of the object principally depends upon the qualification of him who desires to attain; all artifices and the contingencies arising from circumstances of time and place are merely accessories.

 

 

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The next verses deal with the Four-fold prerequisites (Sadhana Catustaya)

1-     Discrimination between the eternal and non-eternal (Viveka)

2-     Detachment from the enjoyment  of the fruits of action (Vairaga)

3-     The virtues (Samadi Guna)

  • a-     Peace Tranquility(Sama)
  • b-     Self-Control (Dama)
  • c-     Self-Withdrawal (Uparatti)
  • d-     Forebearance (Titiksha)
  • e-     Faith (Sraddha)
  • f-     One-pointedness (Samadhana)

4- Intense Longing for Liberation (Mumuksutva)

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etayor mandataa yatra viraktatva-mumukshhayoH
marau saliilavat tatra shamaader bhaana-maatrataa .. 30

In one in whom absence of desire and aspiration for emancipation are prominent, \shama and the other qualifications will be productive of great results. 30

The next part deals with the notion of certain helpful individuals who are present in this business of spiritual progress...

shaantaa mahaanto nivasanti santo
vasantaval lokahitaM charantaH
tiirNaaH svayaM bhiima-bhavaarNavaM janaan
ahetun'aanyaan api taarayantaH .. 39

"The great and peaceful ones live regenerating the world like the coming of spring, and after having themselves crossed the ocean of embodied existence, help those who try to do the same thing, without personal motives. (39)

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Today, courtesy of the Oriental Department, the next section describes the Advaita psychological concepts of the subtle bodies and the phases of consciousness, which are summarized in the charts below, with the corresponding theosophical model, from the SD:

Theosophical

Hindu Vedanta

Taraka Raja Yoga
Upadhis

1- Sthula Sharira

Annamaya kosa

(food sheath)

Sthulopadhi

(Gross Vehicle)

2- Prana

Pranamaya kosa

(vital sheath)

3- Linga Sharira

4- Kama Rupa

Manomaya kosa

(mental sheath)

Sukshmopadhi

(Subtle Vehicle)

5 – Manas

 a- Volitions, feelings

5-Manas

b-Vijnanam

Vijnamaya kosa

(intellectual sheath)

6-Buddhi

Anandamaya kosa

(bliss-sheath)

Karanopadhi

(Causal Vehicle)

7-Atma

Atma

Atma

 

1) Jagrat: The waking state.

 2) Svapna: The dream state.

 3) Sushupti: The state of dreamless sleep.

 4) Turiya: spiritual consciousness on interior planes.

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So the next part deals with  the twenty-four Tattvas or Principles of the manifestation of Mula Prakriti:

The five Tanmatras or rudimentary principles of the elements: 1-Sabda (sound), 2-Sparsa (touch), 3-Rupa (form or colour), 4-Rasa (taste), 5-Gandha (smell).

The five Jnana-Indriyas or organs of perception: 1-Srotra (ear), 2-Tvak (skin), 3-Chakshus (eye), 4-Jihva (tongue), 5-Ghrana (nose).

The five Karma-Indriyas or organs of action: 1-Vak (speech), 2-Pani (hand), 3-Pada (foot), 4-Upastha(genital),5-Payu(anus).

The five Pranas or vital forces: 1-Prana, 2-Apana, 3-Vyana, 4-Udana, 5-Samana.

The fourfold Antahkarana or the internal organs: 1-Manas (mind), 2-Buddhi (intellect), 3-Chitta (memory or subconscious), 4-Ahamkara (ego­ism).

These elements can be found in a more succint form in the Atma Bodha:

http://www.swamij.com/shankara-atma-bodha.htm

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This part starts a question and answer phase that deals with the discrimination between the real and the unreal - there's a general statement that faith, devotion, meditation, and action are the basic practices of the path:

shraddhaabhaktidhyaanayogaan mumukshhoH
mukter hetuun vakti saakshhaach chhruter giiH
yo vaa eteshhv eva tishhThaty amushhya
mokshhovidyaakalpitaad dehabandhaat. 48

It is directly pointed out by the sayings of the Scriptures that \shraddhaa, bhakti, \dhyaana and Yoga, are the causes which bring about emancipation. Whoever abides by these, attains emancipation from the bondage of incarnated existence.48

Here's a basic summary of Advaita Vedanta, in a nutshell:

ajnaanayogaat paramaatmanas tava
hy anaatmabandhas tata eva saMsR^tiH
tayor vivekoditabodhavahniH
ajnaanakaaryaM pradahet samuulam. 49

By reason of ignorance a connection between you who are \Paramaatman and that which is not \Atman is brought about and hence this wheel of embodied existence. By the fire of wisdom arising from this discrimination the growth of ignorance is burnt up to its very roots. 49

The practical nature of the path and the importance of self-reliance is indicated:

vastusvaruupaM sphuTabodhachakshhushhaa
svenaiva vedyaM na tu paNDitena
chandrasvaruupaM nijachakshhushhaiva
jyaatavyam anyair avagamyate kim. 56

The nature of the one reality must be known by one's own clear spiritual perception and not through a pandit (learned man); the form of the moon must be known through one's own eye, how can it be known through (the medium of) others? 56

Ditto:

avijnaate pare tattve shaastraadhiitis tu nishhphalaa
vijnaatepi pare tattve shaastraadhiitis tu nishhphalaa. 61

If the supreme truth remains unknown, the study of scriptures is fruitless, even if the supreme truth is known the study of the scriptures is useless (the study of the letter alone is useless, the spirit must be sought out by intuition). 61

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aapt'oktiM khananaM tathoparishil'aady-utkarshhaNaM sviikR^tiM
nikshhepaH samapekshhate na hi bahiH shabdais tu nirgachchhati
tadvad brahmavid opadesha-manana-dhyaan'aadibhir labhyate
maayaa-kaarya-tirohitaM svamamalaM tattvaM na duryuktibhiH

Hidden treasure does not come out at (utterance of) the simple word "out", but there must be trustworthy information, digging and removal of stones; similarly, the pure truth, itself transcending the operation of \maayaa (\maayaa here meaning the force of evolution) is not obtained without the instruction of the knowers of the supreme, together with reflection, meditation, and so forth, and not by illogical inferences. 67

mokshhasya hetuH prathamo nigadyate
vairaagyam atyantam anitya-vastushhu
tataH shamash ch'aapi damas titikshhaa
nyaasaH prasakt'aakhila-karmaNaaM bhR^sham

The chief cause of liberation of the mind is said to be complete detachment of the mind from transitory objects; after that (the acquirement of) \shama, dama, \titikshhaa, and a thorough renunciation of all Karma (religious and other acts pf the attainment of any personal desire). (71)

vishhay'aashaa-mahaa-paashaadyo vimuktaH su-dus-tyajaat
sa eva kalpate muktyai n'aanyaH shhaT-shaastra-vedy api ..

He who is free from the great bondage of desires, so difficult to avoid, is alone capable of liberation; not another, even though versed in the six systems of philosophy. 79

mokshhasya kaaMkshhaa yadi vai tav'aasti
tyaj'aatiduuraad vishhayaan vishhaM yathaa
piiyuushhavat toshha-dayaa-kshham'aarjava- prashaanti-daantiir bhaja nityam aadaraat ..

If the desire for liberation exists in thee, sensuous objects must be left at a great distance as if they were poison, thou must constantly and fervently seek contentment as if it were ambrosia, also kindness, forgiveness, sincerety, tranquility and self-control. 84

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aapaatavairaagyavato mumukshhuun
bhavaabdhi paaraM pratiyaatum udyataan
aashaagraho majjayatentaraale
nigR^hya kaNThe vinivartya vegaat.

Those only sentimentally desirous of liberation and only   apparently free from passion, seeking to cross the ocean of conditioned   existence, are seized by the shark of desire, being caught by the neck,   forcibly dragged into the middle and drowned. (81)

vishhay'aakhya-graho yena su-virakty asinaa hataH
sa gachchhati bhavaam bhodheH paaraM pratyuuha-varjitaH ..

He only who slays the shark of desire with the sword of supreme dispassion, reaches without obstacles the other side of the ocean of conditioned existence. 82

(81)

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mokshhasya kaaMkshhaa yadi vai tav'aasti
tyaj'aatiduuraad vishhayaan vishhaM yathaa
piiyuushhavat toshha-dayaa-kshham'aarjava- prashaanti-daantiir bhaja nityam aadaraat ..

 

If the desire for liberation exists in thee, sensuous objects must be left at a great distance as if they were poison, thou must constantly and fervently seek contentment as if it were ambrosia, also kindness, forgiveness, sincerety, tranquility and self-control.

(84)

ghaTaM jalaM tad-gata-marka-bimbaM
vihaaya sarvaM viniriikshhyate'rkaH
taTa-stha etat tritay'aavabhaasakaH
svayaM-prakaasho vidushhaa yathaa tathaa ..

As the wise man looks at the sun itself and not the jar, the water or the reflection; so also the wise man looks towards the self-illumined \Atman through which the three (\upaadhis) are manifested.

(221)

ataH pR^thaN^ n'aasti jagat par'aatmanaH
pR^thak pratiitis tu mR^shhaa guN'aadi-vat
aaropitasy'aasti kim artha-vattaa'- dhishhThaanam aabhaati tathaa bhrameNa ..

Therefore there is no real existence of the universe, distinct from the supreme \Atman; its distinct perception is as unreal as that of the serpent in the rope. What reality can there be in that which is merely manifest through ignorance?

(237)

j�aatR^-j�eya-j�aana-shuunyam anantaM nirvikalpakam
keval'aakhaNDa-chin-maatraM paraM tattvaM vidur budhaaH ..  

The wise know that as the supreme truth which is absolute consciousness, in which are united the knower, the known and the knowledge, infinite and unchangeable.

(241)

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shaanto daantaH param-uparataH kshhaanti-yuktaH samaadhiM
kurvan nityaM kalayati yatiH svasya sarv'aatma-bhaavam
tenaa'vidyaa-timira-janitaan saadhu dagdhvaa vikalpaan
brahmaa-kR^tyaa nivasati sukhaM nishhkriyo nirvikalpaH ..

The ascetic possessed of \shama, dama, supreme uparati, and \kshhaanti (endurance), and devoted to \samaadhi, perceives the state of the Logos and through that completely burns down all vikalpa (error) produced by \avidyaa and dwells in bliss in Brahman free from vikalpa and action. (356)

shruteH shata-guNaM vidyaan mananaM mananaad api
nididhyaasaM lakshha-guNam anantaM nirvikalpakam ..

Know meditation to be a hundred times (superior) to listening, assimilation to be a hundred thousand times (superior) to meditation, and \nirvikalpa-samaadhi to be infinitely (superior) to assimilation. (365)

atyanta-vairaagyavataH samaadhiH
samaahitasy'aiva dR^Dha-prabodhaH
prabuddha-tattvasya hi bandha-muktiH
mukt'aatmano nitya-sukh'aanubhuutiH ..

For him who is possessed of excessive dispassion there is \samaadhi, for him in \samaadhi there is unwavering spiritual perception. For him who has perceived the essential reality there is liberation, and for the liberated \Atman there is realization of eternal bliss. (375)

sad ev'edaM sarvaM jagad avagataM vaaN^-manasayoH
sato'nyan n'aasty eva prakR^ti-parasiimni sthitavataH
pR^thak kiM mR^t-snaayaaH kalasha-ghaTa-kumbh'aady-avagataM
vadaty eshha bhraantas tvam-aham-iti maayaa-madirayaa ..

Verily all this universe, known through mind and speech, is the spirit; verily nothing is except the spirit which lies on the other side of \prakriti. Are the various kinds of earthen vessels different from the earth? The embodied ego, deluded by the wine of \maayaa, speaks of "I" and "you". (392)

 

(356)

 

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Permalink Reply by Casady on May 23, 2014 at 12:08pm
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yasya sthitaa bhavet praj�aa yasy'aanando nirantaraH
prapa�cho vismR^ta-praayaH sa jiivan-mukta ishhyate

He who is perfectly at rest (in this wisdom) is said to be firm in wisdom. He who is firm in wisdom, whose bliss is uninterrupted and by whom the objective universe is well nigh forgotten, is regarded as \jiivanmukta.

(429)

yat-kaT'aakshha-shashi-saandra-chandrikaa- paata-dhuuta-bhava-taapaja-shramaH
praaptavaan aham akhaNDa-vaibhav' aanandam aatma-padam akshhayaM kshhaNaat  

The weariness produced by the burning heat of changing existence being removed by drinking the sweet moonlight of thy glance, I attained, in a moment, the imperishable abode of \Atman whose glory and bliss are indestructible.

(488)

dehasya mokshho no mokshho na daNDasya kamaNDaloH
avidyaa-hR^daya-granthi-mokshho mokshho yatas tataH

Neither the relinquishment of of the body, nor of the staff, nor of the water-pot is \mokshha; but \mokshha is the happiness untying the knot of ignorance in the heart.

(559)

n'aivendriyaaNi vishhayeshhu niyuMkta eshha
n'aiv'aapayuMkta upadarshana-lakshhaNa-sthaH
n'aiva kriyaa-phalam ap'iishhad avekshhate sa
sv'aananda-saandra-rasa-paana-sumattachittaH 

He neither applies his senses to objects nor removes them therefrom, but remains a mere spectator. He whose mind is intoxicated with excessive draughts of bliss does not pay even the slightest attention to Karmic effect.

(553)

 

Permalink Reply by Casady on June 5, 2014 at 11:00am
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Here's a quick, sketchy summary of the whole work - the whole work framed as a dialogue between teacher and student.

Vivekachudamani

1-      Basic aspects of the path of liberation (1-32)

2-      Seeking a teacher (33-73)

3-      Discrimination of body (3 bodies) (74-111)

4-      Five sheaths, three gunas (112-132)

5-      The nature of the Self, discrimination between real and unreal, ignorance and knowledge, superimposition of the mind (113-193)

6-      Question from student – the nature of delusion (194-213)

7-      Question – what is consciousness, perceiver and perceived, pot and clay, reality and existence, the universe not different from the absolute, non-duality, slaying of residual impressions, establishing mind in Self, destroying false self, giving up attachment, egoism (214-360)

8-      Meditation, detachment (361-389)

9-      The Self, the mature of supreme reality, realization of bliss (390-424)

10-   Liberation, merging in the absolute while in body (425-453)

11-   Accumulation of past actions (454-479)

12-   Student becomes established in supreme absolute (480-581)