Discrimination’ is one of the greatest texts written by Adi Sankaracharya, in
581 verses, as an introduction to
Vedanta. A careful study of these verses
will be of immense help to the aspirants on the spiritual path. Given below
are selected slokas from this work maintaining the continuity of the
narrative. The bare translations (leaving out the detailed commentary) are
based on those of Swami Chinmayananda in ‘Talks on Sankara’s Vivekachoodamani ‘
published by the Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Mumbai.
five sheaths. It is the witness of the
three states, is Real, is without modifications, is unsullied and bliss
everlasting. The wise man should realise
it as his own Self.
Atman, the Knower, to be that by which all modifications like the ego, as well
as their absence during deep sleep are perceived, but which itself is not
latter as its witness. When there is no
entity to witness a thing, we cannot say that it has been witnessed at all.
realised only by itself. Hence the Atman
Itself is the supreme Brahman and nothing else.
स्फुटतरं योऽसौ समुज्जृम्भते
dream and deep sleep states, that which
is perceived inwardly in various forms by the mind as a series of unknown
impressions of the ego, the intellect etc. which are of different forms and
modifications, which is felt as Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, know this
Atman, within your heart, as your own Self.
water in a jar, considers it to be the Sun itself. So too, the fool through delusion, identifies
himself with the reflection of the Chit caught in the intellect and considers
it to be the “I”, his own identity.
of Chit in it, and realising in the cave of the intellect , the Witness, the
Self, which is Knowledge Absolute, which is the cause of everything, which is
distinct from the gross and the subtle, which is Eternal and Omnipotent,
All-pervading and supremely subtle, which is without exterior or interior and
which is the one Self; by fully
realising this, one becomes free from sin, blemish, death and grief and becomes
the ocean of Bliss. Being illumined, he
is not afraid of any one. For him who seeks liberation, there is no other path
to break away from the bonds of transmigration than realising the Truth of his
realisation of one’s identity with Brahman.
By means of this, wise men attain Brahman, the one without a second, the
after having become of the nature of Brahman.
One must therefore strive to realise one’s identity with Brahman.
pure, Transcendental, self-existing, Eternal, Indivisible Bliss, not
essentially different from the individual jeeva and with no differences within
or without. It is ever victorious.
nothing other than the Self. Truly,
there is no other independent entity in the state of realisation of the supreme
appears to be of infinite forms is, in fact, Brahman alone, which is free from
all limitations of thought.
mud pot is other than the mud.
Therefore, the pot is merely imagined through delusion, and mud aspect
alone is the enduring Reality in the mud pot.
Veda. Therefore, this universe is
Brahman alone, for a superimposition has no existence independent of its
not be infinite, the scriptures would be false, the Lord Himself would be
guilty telling a lie. None of these three is considered either desirable or
wholesome by the pure-minded ones.
perceived even in the deep-sleep state.
Since it is not at all perceived,
it must be, like dreams, false and unreal.
मृषा गुणादिवत् ।
Supreme Self and, like ‘qualities’, the
notion of its separateness is false. Can
a superimposition have any meaning apart from its own substratum? Through
delusion, it is the substratum itself which appears like that.
perceives can only be Brahman and Brahman alone. The silvery
sheen perceived is nothing but a mother of pearl. Brahman is ever-present as “this”
universe and that which is superimposed on Brahman can only be a mere name.
Brahman itself – Real, non-dual, extremely pure, the essence of
Knowledge-Absolute, taintless, supremely peaceful, without beginning or end,
beyond all activity, always of the nature of Bliss Absolute, transcending all
diversities created by Maya, Eternal, the essence of joy, Indivisible,
immeasurable, Formless, Unman fest, Nameless, Immutable and Self-effulgent.
distinctions such as the knower, the knowledge and the known, which is
infinite, transcendental and which is of the essence of Knowledge Absolute.
that which lies beyond the limits of mind and speech, which is immeasurable,
which is without beginning or end, which is whole and one’s own Self, which is
of outshining glory – that is the Self.
not-Self, in the light of passages such as ‘it is not gross etc.’, one realises
the Self, which is Self-established, unattached like the sky and beyond the
pale of thought. So negate this illusory
body which you are perceiving and have accepted as your own Self. With a purified understanding that ‘I am
Brahman’, realise your own Self which is Knowledge Absolute.
by the mind as real but are, in fact, mud alone. So too, the entire universe which comes from
Brahman is Brahman alone and nothing other than Brahman, the Self-existent
Reaity, one’s very own Self. Thou art
That, the Serene, the Pure, the Supreme Brahman, the Non-dual.
dream are unreal so too is the world we experience in our working state, which
is due to our own ignorance. Since the body,
the organs, the pranas, the ego etc. are unreal, Thou art That, the Serene, the
Pure, the Supreme Brahman, the Non-dual.
is, when the truth about it is known, recognised as nothing other than the
‘substratum’ and not at all different from it.
The pluralistic dream-universe appears and subsides in the dream
itself. On waking, does it appear as
something different from one’s own mind?
which is without name and form, merit and demerit, which is beyond space, time
and sense-objects – “That Brahman Thou Art” — meditate on this in your mind.
speech, which is only for the eye of ‘pure-illumination’, which is pure mass of
Consciousness, which is a beginning-less entity- “That Brahman Thou Art” —
meditate on this in your mind.
which the yogi’s heart meditates upon but which is not grasped by the
sense-organs, that which the intellect cannot know, which is unimpeachable –
“That Brahman Thou Art” — meditate on this in your mind”
its various aspects which are all due to delusion, which supports itself, which
is other than the gross and the subtle, which has no parts and truly has no
comparison – “That Brahman Thou Art” — meditate on this in your mind”
growth, development, waste, disease and death and the cause for the creation,
maintenance and dissolution of the universe — “That Brahman Thou Art” —
meditate on this in your mind”
never of the nature of non-existence, which is calm like an ocean without
waves, which is ever free and is of indivisible form — “That Brahman Thou Art”
— meditate on this in your mind”
cause for the many, which refutes all other causes but itself is without cause,
which is distinct from cause and effect
and is independent — “That Brahman Thou Art” — meditate on this in your
indestructible, which is other than the world of change, which is Supreme and
Eternal, which is permanent and indivisible Bliss, Untainted … That Brahman
Thou Art” — meditate on this in your mind”
delusion , though itself always unchanged, and assumes names and forms,
qualities and changes, like gold through all its modifications … That Brahman
Thou Art” — meditate on this in your mind”
Maya, which is superior to its effects – the universe, which is the innermost
subjective Self, which is of one essence, which is continuous
Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, which is infinite and immutable … That Brahman Thou
Art” — meditate on this in your mind”
the gross and the subtle, Existence, Supreme and Non-dual. He no more enters the mother’s womb who
dwells in this cave as Brahman.
GIVE UP VASANAS – THE METHOD
powerful beginningless, deep impression that one is the doer and the enjoyer,
which is the cause for re-birth. By
living in a subjective state of steady identification with the Self, it has to
be conscientiously removed. That which is the annihilation of vasanas, here and
now, is called liberation by the sages.
this notion in the body, sense-organs, etc, which are the not-self –
this superimposition the wise man must end by identification with his own Self.
intellect, and its disturbances and ever maintaining the thought, “That I am”,
shed your identification with the not-Self.
leaving all ideas of beautifying the body, leaving aside unnecessary study of
the Sastras, banish the superimposition which has crept up on the Self.
desire to run after the world, their thirst for unnecessary study of the
Sastras and their anxiety to pamper the body.
( loka-vasana, deha-vasana, sastra-vasana) as iron chains
shackling the feet, for him who wishes to be liberated from the prison house of
the world. He who is free from them,
The captivating fragrance of agaru – which gets enveloped by an
insufferable stink created by its contact with water – again manifests itself
as soon as the enveloping smell is entirely removed by scrubbing.
of sandal wood, is covered by the dust of unending vasanas deeply
ingrained in the mind, and is again clearly perceived when it is purified by a
continuous scouring with Knowledge.
cloud the desire for self-realization.
When these have been destroyed by being constantly established in the
Self, the Atman manifests all by itself.
the subjective Self, to that extent it leaves its desires for the objects of
the world. When all such desires
completely end, then there is the clear, unimpeached realisation of the
mind ends. Then there is a complete cessation of vasanas. So negate
entirely your superimposition.
; Rajas by Sattwa and Sattwa is destroyed on
‘purification’. Therefore, solely
depending upon Sattwa, deny entirely your superimposition.
will nourish this body, remain undisturbed, and with courage, deny entirely
supreme Brahman” – thus by
eliminating all that is the not-Self, deny entirely your superimpositions which
manifest through the propulsion of your past “urges”.
“Self-in-all” through scriptures, by
reasoning and from your own direct experience, deny entirely your
superimpositions, even when a slight trace appears.
evacuating, the sage has no relationship with action. Therefore, through
continuous involvement in the contemplation of Brahman, deny entirely all your
identity of Brahman and Atman, arising from such great maxims of
the Vedas as “That Thou Art”, deny entirely your superimpositions in order to
strengthen your identification with Brahman.
completely rooted out, with vigilance and concentration, deny entirely all your
perception of the world of objects and of the experiencing ego (jeeva)
persists, continuously strive to deny entirely all your superimpositions.
Brahman, the sole substratum of all things, reject the macrocosm and microcosm,
like two unclean parcels.
fixed in the body to the Atman which is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute,
rejecting the subtle body, may you become, ever the pure Self alone.
the universe, just as the “city in the mirror”, that Brahman you are. Knowing
this you will experience that fulfillment of your life.
Essence, which is Absolute Knowledge and Bliss, Non-dual, which is beyond all
forms and activities, one should cease identifying with the false body, like
the actor who relinquishes his dress and make-up