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Vivekachoodamani (Talks on Sankara's Vivekachoodamani)

Vivekachoodamani (Talks on Sankara's Vivekachoodamani)
Item Code: IDC295
Author: Swami Chinmayananda
Publisher: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9788175971400
Pages: 625
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5" X 5.5"
weight of the book is 690 gm


The study of any science cannot be undertaken without a preliminary understanding of the exact definitions of the terms and terminologies employed in it. The fundamental beliefs, the accepted theories, the observed modes of behaviour, are all necessary data with which a modern scientist freely launches his new adventure into the realm of science. Similarly, in philosophy also, a fundamental knowledge of the terms used and the correct connotations in which various terms have been employed, is an unavoidable preliminary before a student can start the study of Vedanta.

Vedanta is truly the “Science of Life”. Sankara, the great interpreter of Vedanta, not only gave us his commentaries on the Upnishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, but also many primary texts which introduce the seeker into the joys of Vedanta. One of the greatest texts he has written as an introduction to Vedanta, is the Vivek-achoodamani means, “The Crest-Jewel of Discrimination”.

A careful study of these verses with the full freedom to enquire will give any student a correct understanding of the entire theory of Vedanta and he can, even without a very serious study of the scriptures, start his daily practices with tremendous benefit.

There are hundreds of seekers who, without understanding the fundamentals, are aimlessly struggling along a so-called spiritual path. Naturally, they suffer agonies of painful disappointment, although they have behind them, years of painstaking practices. An exhaustive and careful study of this text helps to avoid all pitfalls on the way to progress. It is my intention to bring forth from every verse not only its obvious meaning, but also it hidden import which gives out a wealth of information and helpful suggestions to ensure a steady progress. Along with the Sanskrit verse I have given a free translation and a running commentary wherein in have not confined myself to the direct bearings upon the words of verse. These verses have great suggestive wealth which, when made available, can profitably be made use of even in our day to day market place activities.

A word of advice : The seeker should carefully read three or four verses every day, and cogitate over them while pursuing his mundane activities. Only guide-lines are given here. Deep, independent thought by the reader is a must. Only then will there be satisfactory results.

It has been a painful ecstasy, all through the preparation of this manuscript. Painful because the commentaries were written during a confusingly long period of the last three or four years. I had first brought out the opening hundred verses in a volume but thereafter, the pressure of work being so great I could not find the necessary leisure for cogently expressing the pregnant suggestions of these brilliant verses of Acharya Sankara.

In order to drive home the philosophic meaning of these subtle verses, while talking to my students, in Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, I often had to repeat, and at moment I had even indulged myself in lengthy digressions. These lectures were taped.

All these furlongs of tapes were carefully and laboriously taken by Miss Kanta (Hawaii) with her tape-recorder and they were all industriously transcribed by two diligent members of the Mission-Sri Bhatia (Godrej) and Sri Radhakrishnan (Railways). These voluminous manuscripts were sent to Utterkasi when I was last there and to chop and slice them into shape was in fact more laborious than dictating the entire lot afresh.

In the final editing and preparation of the manuscript, Miss Bharathi Naik helped with great devotion.

I am conscious that there are very many jerks along the march of the commentaries upon these verses. Very often the style has conspicuously changed, and the treatment of the verses differs at more than one places in the text. I am conscious of these weaknesses, but I cannot help them as I had to take up the work between long intervals of suffocating work of the Yagnasalas.

However, when at Mysore I was flattened to my bed by the Cardiac Infraction, and when my rehabilitation in Bombay was slow, those tedious months were employed in shaping, out of the confused mass, this humble attempt. No doubt, it looks very beautiful to me; but can there ever be a mother who can see the ugliness of her own child?

It is a general courtesy to thank all those who helped us to bring out the book. I cannot follow this courtesy because if I have to thank, I must thank the thousands of students who assembled every morning to inspire me to express all I have recorded here. The first 100 verses that were brought out earlier, have been reedited and incorporated here into this volume.

To the student who is planning to read from the opening verse to the concluding verse 581, I have an apology to make. Such a student will find, at many places, ideas and thoughts repeated time and again deliberately. This is not a defect by oversight. This book is conceived and planned to help the Chinmaya Mission study-group-members, and repetition is the only method by which I can help them to reflect again and again upon the salient features of this great philosophy.

Secondly, every verse has been laboriously made complete in its commentary, as I feel that the majority of my reading a verse here and a verse there. If once they understand exhaustively any single verse at random, I know my work is done. Thereafter, the magic of Sankara will enchant such readers to take up an exhaustive study of the book.

Vivekachoodamani is the cream of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Geeta. I re-educates the student, in a systematic way, to provide him with a new vision of life. The Goal and the Path are both exhaustively dealt with, in this elaborate treatment of Vedanta, by Acharya Sankara. To one, who is making a deep study of Vevekachoodamani, no other help is needed for leading him to a spiritual life and guiding him to his self improvement.




Devoted Dedication Verses.
2 Glory of Spiritual Life 2 2
3 Unique Graces In Life 3 7
4 Miseries of The Unspiritual Man 4-7 8
5 Means Of Wisdom 8-13 16
6 The Fit Student 14-17 24
7 The Four Qualifications 18-30 31
8 Bhakti - Firm And Deep 31 49
9 Courtesy Of Approach And Questioning 32-40 51
10 Loving Advice of The Guru 41-47 64
11 Questions of the Disciple 48-49 74
12 Intelligent Disciple - Appreciated 50 77
13 Glory of Self - Effort 51-55 78
14 Knowledge of the Self - Its Beauty 56-61 82
15 Direct Experience; Liberation 62-66 90
16 Discussion on Question Raised 67-71 97
17 Gross Body 72-75 106
18 Sense - Objects, A Trap : Man Bound 76-82 112
19 Fascination For Body Criticised 83-86 122
20 Gross Body Condemned 87-91 126
21 Organs Of Perception And Action 92 130
22 Inner Instruments 93-94 131
23 The Five Pranas 95 133
24 Subtle Body : Effects 96-101 134
25 Functions of Prana 102 139
26 Ego Discussed 103-105 140
27 Infinite Love - The Self 106-107 143
28 Maya Pointed Out 108-110 147
29 Rajoguna - Nature And Effects 111-112 153
30 Tamoguna - Nature And Effects 113-116 154
31 Sattwaguna - Nature and Effects 117-119 158
32 Causal Body - Its Naure 120-121 164
33 Not - Self - Description 122-123 165
34 The Self - Its Nature 124-135 167
35 Advice For Self - Control 136 180
36 What Is Bondage? The Reply 137-142 182
37 The Powers : Agitation and Veiling 143-144 194
38 Bondage In Action 145-146 196
39 Atma And Anatma - Discrimination 147-153 200
40 Negation of the Five Kosas   208
  (a) Annamaya Kosa - Food Sheath 154-164 208
  (b) Pranamaya Kosa - Vital - Air Sheath 165-166 219
  (c) Manomaya Kosa - Mental Sheath 167-183 221
  (d) Vignanamaya Kosa - Intellectual Sheath 184-188 240
41 Atman-Unattached 189-191 245
42 What Is Liberation ? - Disciple 192-193 249
43 Self-Knowledge Gives Liberation 194-206 250
44 Anandamaya Kosa - Bliss Sheath 207-210 262
45 Atman - Other Than The Five Kosas 211 267
46 What Is Atman ? - Disciple 212 268
47 Nature Of The Self - Discussion 213-225 268
48 All Manifestation Absolute 226-236 283
49 Brahman - Its Nature 237-240 291
50 That Thou Art - Explanation 241-249 296
51 Attitude In Meditation 250-253 310
52 Aids to Meditation 254-266 314
53 Give Up Vasanas - The Method 267-276 329
54 End Superimposition - The Means 277-292 339
55 The Perceived “I” Factor - False 292-297 354
56 Condemnation Of The Ego 298-309 359
57 Actions, Thoughts & Vasanas - Renounce 310-319 369
58 Total Vigilance - Its Price 320-329 382
59 In The One, No Plurality 330-338 393
60 Spiritual Growth - The Secret 339-348 407
61 Cause - Effect -False 349-353 420
62 Samadhi Its Nature 354-372 427
63 Fully Detached - Samadhi easy 373-378 449
64 Meditation - The Technique 379-383 456
65 Continuous Attention To the Self 384-397 459
66 No Diversity In Reality 398-406 473
67 Atma - Vichar - Contemplation 407-413 478
68 Give Up Perceptions 414-418 486
69 The Science Of Reality - Its Benefits 419-425 492
70 Signs Of A Realised Seer 426-445 500
71 Prarabdha For A Saint 446-464 517
72 There Is No Plurality 465-471 536
73 Experience Of Self - Hood 472-479 541
74 Practice Of Knowledge - Disciple 480-520 548
75 Final words of Advice 521-575 578
76 Blessed Disciple Liberated 576-578 619
77 The Glory of the Text - Book 579-581 621

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