Vakyavrtti of Shri Shankaracharya

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Jul 11 07:10:53 CDT 2000

I would like to begin a new series, a translation of the short treatise of
our Acharya called  Vakyavrtti.  The name means the commentary (Vrtti) on
the sentence (Vakya.)  Which sentence is being refered to here? The
pinnacle of the teachings of the Vedas, Tattvamasi. ("You are That)  How
can a mere phrase cause the knowledge of Brahman?  This work attempts to
explain.  My source for this translation is the edition of Vakyavritti in
the section VedAntastotraNi in the collection BrhatstotraratnakAra by
Ramateja Shastri Pandey.

This work takes the form of a conversation between a shishya and his
Guru.  It begins with two verses in praise of God and Guru.

|| shrIgaNeShAya namah ||

  vishveshvaraM viditvishvamanantamUrtim |
  shrIvallabham vimalabodhaghanaM namAmi || 1 ||

The cause of creation, maintainance, and destruction [of the universe],
posessed of unimaginable power, lord of the Universe, knower of the
Universe, posessed of infinite forms, free of all attachments, an ocean of
boundless joy, the beloved of Shri[1], who is pure consciousness I bow
down to. (1)

yasya prasAdAdahameva viShNurmayyeva sarvaM parikalpitaM cha |
itthaM vijAnAmi sadAtmarupaM tasyA~NghripadmaM praNato'smi nityaM || 2 ||

By whose grace I have come to know the true nature of the self, that I am
Vishnu and all is superimposed upon me alone, His lotus-like feet I always
bow down to.(2)

[1] Vishnu Bhagawan, the husband of Shri or Lakshmi.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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