[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

FINDING THE REAL SELF -- The Crest Jewel of Wisdom -- Shankara Acharya

Jun 15, 2006 08:09 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck




Shankara's Vivekachudamani: The Crest Jewel of Wisdom. 

verses: 271-300. 



RECOGNIZING as thine own the hidden Self [Atma-Buddhi], the witness of the
soul [mind] and its activities, perceiving truly "That am I," destroy the
thought of Self [SPIRIT] in all not Self [MATTER]. 

    Give up following after the world, give up following after the body,
give up following after the ritual law; make an end of transferring
self-hood to these. 

    Through a man's imagination being full of the world, through his
imagination being full of the ritual law, through his imagination being full
of the body, wisdom, truly, is not born in him. 

    For him who seeks freedom from the grasping hand of birth and death, an
iron fetter binding his feet, say they who know it, is this potent triad of
imaginings ; he who has got free from this enters into freedom. 

    The scent of sandalwood that drives all evil odors away comes forth
through stirring it with water and the like ; all other odors are driven
altogether away. 

    The image of the supreme Self [ATMA], stained by the dust of imaginings,
dwelling inwardly, endless evil, comes forth pure, by the stirring power of
enlightenment as the scent of the sandalwood comes forth clear. 

    In the net of imaginings of things not Self [KAMA-MANAS], the image of
the Self [ATMA] is held back; by resting on the eternal Self, their
destruction comes, and the Self shines clear. 

    As the mind rests more and more on the Self behind it, it is more and
more freed from outward imaginings; when imaginings are put away, and no
residue left, he enters and becomes the Self, pure of all bonds. 




    By resting ever in the Self, the restless mind [KAMA-MANAS] of him who
seeks union is stilled, and all imaginings fade away; therefore make an end
of transferring Selfhood to things not Self. 

    Darkness is put away through force and substantial being; force, through
substantial being; in the pure, substantial being is not put away;
therefore, relying on substantial being, make an end of transferring
Self-hood to things not Self. [80] 

    The body of desire is nourished by all new works begun; steadily
thinking on this, and effort-fully holding desire firm, make an end of
transferring self hood to things not Self. 

    Thinking: "I am not this separate life but the supreme Eternal,"
beginning by rejecting all but this, make an end of transferring selfhood to
things not Self; it comes from the swift impetus of imaginings. 

    Understanding the all-self hood of the Self, by learning, seeking union,
entering the Self, make an end of transferring selfhood to things not Self;
it comes from the Self's reflected light in other things. 

    Neither in taking nor giving does the sage act at all; therefore by ever
resting on the One, make an end of transferring selfhood to things not Self.

    Through sentences like "That thou art" awaking to the oneness of the
Eternal and the Self, to confirm the Self in the Eternal, make an end of
transferring selfhood to things not Self. 

    While there yet lingers a residue undissolved of the thought that this
body is the Self, carefully seeking union with the Self, make an end of
transferring selfhood to things not Self. 

    As long as the thought of separate life and the world shines, dreamlike
even, so long incessantly, O wise one, make an end of transferring selfhood
to things not Self. 

    The body of desire, born of father and mother of impure elements, made
up of fleshly things impure, is to be abandoned as one abandons an impure
man afar; gain thy end by becoming the Eternal. 



As the space in a jar in universal space, so the Self is to be merged
without division in the Self supreme; rest thou ever thus, O sage. [290.] 

    Through the separate self gaining the Self, self-shining as a
resting-place, let all outward things from a world-system to a lump of clay
be abandoned, like a vessel of impure water. 

    Raising the thought of "I" from the body to the Self that is
Consciousness, Being, Bliss, and lodging it there, leave form, and become
pure for ever. 

    Knowing that "I am that Eternal'' wherein this world is reflected, like
a city in a mirror, thou shalt perfectly gain thy end. 
What is of real nature, self-formed, original consciousness, second-less
bliss, formless, act-less,-entering that, let a man put off this false body
of desires, worn by the Self as a player puts on a costume. 

    For the Self, all that is seen is but mirage; it lasts but for a moment,
we see, and know it is not "I"; how could "I know all" be said of the
personal self that changes every moment? 

    The real " I " is witness of the personal self and its powers ; as its
being is perceived always, even in dreamless sleep. The scripture says the
Self is unborn, everlasting; this is the hidden Self, distinguished neither
as what exists nor what has no existence. 

    The beholder of every change in things that change, can be the
unchanging alone ; in the mind's desires, in dreams, in dreamless sleep the
insubstantial nature of things that change is clearly perceived again and

    Therefore put away the false self-hood of this fleshly body, for the
false self-hood of the body is built up by thought; knowing the Self as
thine own, unhurt by the three times, undivided illumination, enter into

    Put away the false selfhood of family and race and name, of form and
rank, for these dwell in this body; put away the actor-hood and other powers
of the body of form; become the Self whose self is part-less joy. 

    Other bonds of man are seen, causes of birth and death, but the root and
first form of them is selfishness. [300.] 

            [to be continued]


[ Notes  interjected by DTB]



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application