Vivekachudamani (Swami Madhavananda)

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by Adi Shankara, translated by Swami Madhavananda
Himalayan Series No. XLIII.

Vivekachudamani of Sri Sankaracharya

Text with English Translation, Notes and an Index.

Swami Madhavananda.

The Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Dt. Almora, Himalayas


Published by Swaml Madhavananda, President,
Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati.

Printed by Mohan Lal Sah Chowdhary
at the Prabuddha Bharata Press, Mayavati,
Dt. Almora.



सर्ववेदान्तसिद्धान्तगोचरं तमगोचरम् |
गोविन्दं परमानन्दं सद्गुरुं प्रणतोऽस्म्यहम् || १ ||

1. I bow to Govinda, whose nature is Bliss Supreme, who is the Sadguru,1 who can be known only from the import of all Vedānta, and who is beyond the reach of speech and mind.

[‘Viveka’ means discrimination, ‘cūḍā’ is crest, and ‘maṇi’, jewel. Hence the title means 'Crest-jewel of discrimination'. Just as the jewel on the crest of a diadem is the most conspicuous ornament on a person's body, so the present treatise is a masterpiece among works treating of discrimination between the Real and the unreal.

In this opening stanza salutation made to God (Govinda), or to the Guru, in his absolute aspect. It may be interesting to note that the name of Śaṅkara's Guru was Govindapāda, and the śloka is ingeniously composed so as to admit of both interpretations.

1Sadguru—lit. the highly qualified preceptor, and may refer either to Śaṅkara's own Guru or to God Himself, who is the Guru of Gurus.]

जन्तूनां नरजन्म दुर्लभमतः पुंस्त्वं ततो विप्रता
तस्माद्वैदिकधर्ममार्गपरता विद्वत्त्वमस्मात्परम् |
आत्मानात्मविवेचनं स्वनुभवो ब्रह्मात्मना संस्थितिः
मुक्तिर्नो शतजन्मकोटिसुकृतैः पुण्यैर्विना लभ्यते || २ ||

2. For all beings a human birth is difficult to obtain, more so is a male body; rarer than that is Brāhmanahood; rarer still is the attachment to the path of Vedic religion; higher than this is erudition in the scriptures; discrimination between the Self and not-Self, Realization, and continuing in a state of identity with Brahman--these come next in order. (This kind of) mukti (liberation) is not to be attained except through the well-earned merits of hundred crore of births.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.