Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vivekachudamani - Traditional Vedanta Books - Nisargadatta Maharaj

The Vivekachudamani is a famous Sanskrit poem ascribed to Adi Shankara in the eighth century. It expounds the Advaita Vedanta philosophy and is in the form of 580 verses in the Shardula Vikridita metre. The Vivekachudamani 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. The title Vivekachudamani translates to Crest Jewel of Discrimination. Through the centuries, the Vivekachudamani has been translated into several languages and has been the topic of many commentaries and expositions.

 It has the form of dialogue between the master and the disciple, 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 Vivekachudamani describes the characteristics of an enlightened human being (Jivanmukta) and a person of steady wisdom (Sthitaprajna) on the lines of Bhagavad Gita.

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About Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita (Nondualism), and a Guru, belonging to the Navnath Sampradaya. Sri Nisargadatta, with his direct and minimalistic explanation of non-dualism, is considered the most famous teacher of Advaita since Ramana Maharshi. In 1973, the publication of his most famous and widely-translated book, "I AM THAT", an English translation of his talks in Marathi by Maurice Frydman, brought him worldwide recognition and followers.

According to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the purpose of spirituality is simply to know who you are. His discussions are not for academic scholars. He is a rebellious spirit, abrupt in his style of discussion, provocative, and immensely profound, cutting to the core and wasting little effort on inessentials. He talked about the 'direct way' of knowing the Final Reality, in which one becomes aware of one's original nature through mental discrimination, breaking the mind's false identification with the ego, knowing that "You are already That".
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