The English translations of the two works of Sri Sankara, namely, the Vakyavritti, and the Atmajnanopadeshavidhi are offered to the public in the hope that they will be of help to beginners in understanding the fundamental theme of the Upanishads which preach the unity of the individual and the universal Self as also the falsity of the world of distinctions.
References to quotations and the explanations given in the notes will, it is hoped, facilitate the study of the texts. For the Explanatory notes in the Atmajananopadeshavidhi we are indebted to the commentator Anandagiri.
Our thanks are due to Prof. Mahendra Nath Sarkar for writing a foreword to the Vakyavritti and to Mr. V. Subrahmanya Iyer, Ex-Registrar, Mysore University, for going through the manuscript of the Atmajnanopadeshavidhi and offering valuable suggestions.
I have been asked to write a foreword to the English Translation of the Vakyavritti by Swami of the Ramakrishna Order. The Swami is an erudite scholar who has the gift of intuition. His conviction is based upon science and realization. The translation has the stamp of a mind conversant with the thought and the art of the Advaita Vedanta.
The book is an illuminating work of Sankara, explaining the import of the axiom of identity, Tattvamasi. The axiom is the corner stone of the Vedanta. The book is especially meant for those who pursue the Vedantic discipline eventually to be established in the truth of identity and the ineffable Peace. The method is to develop an attitude of non-attachment and of witness to psychic functions. When the mental self is settled down, the Atman as innerscient is revealed. Towards the realization of the Supreme Puissance in the stillness of Being it is necessary to rise above the psychoses and to discriminate the silent self fromits dynamic trappings. A step further, the undivided consciousness freed from all local habitation and name emerges out in our vision.
The Advaita Vedanta does not entertain the least relation between Thou and That, or the least qualification of That by Thou. Thou art That is therefore, not a judgement, but the statement of the Supreme Fact. This brings out at once the distinction of interpretation put upon the axiom of identity by the two schools of the Vedanta.
The author has given the translation of the slokas, preceded by the English rendering of the component words, with expository footnotes in places requiring explanation. The translation is easy and felicitous. The books will intro duce this masterpiece of Sankara to the English-speaking race. The analytical contents and the index will be helpful to the readers in following the book.
Mahendra Nath Sarkar.
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