nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 30 20:27:49 CST 2003

I've started reading Vivekachoodaamani again after so many years (it was my
first Advaita text) and I find it highly inspirational. So many highly
complex issues in Advaita are so beautifully dealt with. Like my post on
Upadesha Saahasri a few months back, I would like to post some important
verses from Vivekachoodaamani which question many common assumptions
regarding Advaita. But instead of doing it at one shot I would like to post
3 or 4 verses at a time and make it a series. Also I find verses even about
some basic issues like qualifications for an Advaitin so clearly spelt out,
that I would like to post such verses first.


Brahman is real; the universe is unreal. A firm conviction that this is so,
is called discrimination between the eternal and the non-eternal.

Renunciation is the giving up of all the pleasures of the eyes, the ears and
the other senses, the giving up of all objects of transitory enjoyment, the
giving up of desire for a physical body as well as for the highest kind of
spirit body of a god.

Try to detach the mind from all objective things by continually seeing their
imperfection and to direct it steadfastly towards Brahman, its goal - this
is called tranquility.

To detach both kinds of sense organs - those of perception and those of
action from objective things and to withdraw them to rest in their
respective centres - this is called self-control.

True mental poise consists in not letting the mind react to external

To endure all kinds of afflictions without any reaction, complaint or lament
- this is called forbearance.

A firm conviction based upon the intellectual understanding that the
teachings of the scriptures and of one's master are true - this is called by
the sages the faith which leads to the realization of reality.

To concentrate the intellect always upon the pure brahman and to keep it
fixed there always - this is called self-surrender. This does not mean
soothing the mind like a baby with idle thoughts.

Longing for liberation is the will to be free from the fetters of ignorance
- beginning with the ego-sense andso on down to the physical body itself -
through the realization of one's true nature.

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