This group focuses on the world’s Sacred Texts, encouraging study from a theosophical perspective.
The purpose of the Sacred Texts group is twofold. First, it is intended to help students delve deeper into their understanding of the core ideas presented by the sages of human history. Second, it is intended to help students see and appreciate the commonalities among these various teachings. This group will point to the diverse expressions of the central theosophical tenets and give evidence to the Parent Doctrine from which all the sacred texts are an expression in different cultures and times.
Sacred Texts: The Crest Jewel of Wisdom Part 1
The Crest Jewel of Wisdom
Attributed to Shankara Acharya
Translated by Charles Johnston
To Him I make obeisance, who is the end of all wisdom, the goal of all attainment, the unseen Lord of the flock, the supreme bliss, the good Master.
For living beings, human birth is hard to gain, then manhood, then holiness; harder is perfection in the path of the law of wisdom; hardest to gain is illumination. Discernment between the Divine Self and that which is not the Self, fully realized union with the Eternal Self, liberation—this is not to be attained without holiness perfected through a hundred myriad lives.
These three things, hard to gain, come only through divine grace: manhood, desire for liberation, access to Masters.
Gaining at length human life, hard to win, and manhood, and an understanding of the revealed teachings, he who strives not for liberation in the Divine Self, deluded in heart, self-destroying, slays himself through grasping at the unreal.
Who, then, is the very self of folly but he who, deluded, follows selfish purposes, after he has gained a human body and manhood hard to win? (5)
Even though they recite the scriptures, and sacrifice to the gods, and fulfill all works, and worship the divinities—without awakening to the unity of the Divine Self, liberation is not attained even in a hundred æons.
For the scripture says that there is no hope of immortality through riches, therefore it is clear that ritual works are not the cause of liberation.
Therefore let the wise man strive hard for liberation, renouncing the lure of happiness in external things. Let him draw near to a Master, good and great, fixing his whole soul on the purpose of the Master’s teaching.
Let him through the Divine Self raise up that self of his which is sunk in the ocean of recurring life and death, firmly practising uplifting through union, with steadfast vision of the One.
Seeking freedom from bondage to the world through renunciation in all works, let the wise strive who have learned the teaching, pressing toward the Divine Self. (10)
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