From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Vivekachudamani (Sanskrit: विवेकचूडामणि) is a famous Sanskrit poem composed by Adi Shankara in the eighth century. It expounds the Advaita Vedanta philosophy[1] and is in the form of 580 verses in the Shardula Vikridita metre. In Vivekachudamani, Shankara describes developing Viveka—the human faculty of discrimination—as the central task in the spiritual life and calls it the crown jewel among the essentials for Moksha.[2] The title Vievekachudamani translates to Crest Jewel of Discrimination.[3] Apart from the Vivekachudamani, Shankara wrote commentaries on the Brahmasutra, the Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Sahasranamam and the Upanishads.[4] Through the centuries, the Vivekachudamani has been translated into several languages and has been the topic of many commentaries and expositions.



[edit] Contents

Vivekachudamani consists of 580 verses in Sanskrit. It has the form of dialogue between the master and the disciple,[5] where the master explains to the disciple the nature of the Atman and the ways to research and know the Atman. The book takes the disciple on a step by step instructions to reach Brahman.

The text begins with Adi Shankara's salutations to Govinda, which can be interpreted either as referring to God or to his guru Sri Govinda Bhagavatpada.[3] It then expounds the significance of Self Realisation, ways to reach it, and the characteristics of a Guru. It criticizes attachment to the body and goes to explain the various Sareeras, Kosas, Gunas, Senses and Pranas. It teaches the disciple the ways to attain Self realisation, methods of meditation (dhyana) and introspection of the Atman. The Vivekachudamani describes the characteristics of an enlightened human being (Jivanmukta)[6] and a person of steady wisdom (Sthitaprajna) on the lines of Bhagavad Gita.[7]

[edit] Commentaries

There are two Sanskrit commentaries on this work. Sri Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrusimha Bharati, the pontiff of Sringeri, wrote a commentary titled Vivekodaya (Dawn of Discrimination) on the first 7 verses of this work. His disciple, Sri Chandrasekhara Bharathi has written a Vyakhya or commentary on the first 515 verses of this work.

This work has been repeatedly translated into various languages, often accompanied by a commentary in the same language. English translations and commentaries include those by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, Swami Madhavananda, and Swami Chinmayananda. Tamil translations and commentaries include those by Ramana Maharshi. Swami Jyotihswarupananda has translated the Vivekachudamani into Marathi.[8]

[edit] Famous verses

  • "To be born as a man, to have longing for release (from bondage) and the association with great souls— these three are difficult to obtain"[9]
  • Brahma satyam jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah—"Brahman is the only truth, the world is unreal, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and individual self"[10]

[edit] Notes and references

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

View page ratings
Rate this page
We will send you a confirmation e-mail. We will not share your e-mail address with outside parties as per our feedback privacy statement.
Saved successfully
Your ratings have not been submitted yet
Your ratings have expired
Please reevaluate this page and submit new ratings.
An error has occurred. Please try again later.
Thanks! Your ratings have been saved.
Please take a moment to complete a short survey.
Thanks! Your ratings have been saved.
Do you want to create an account?
An account will help you track your edits, get involved in discussions, and be a part of the community.
Thanks! Your ratings have been saved.
Did you know that you can edit this page?
Personal tools