The scripture for self-realisation
The Sarva Vedanta Siddhanta Sara Sangraha contains 1,006 verses and gives minor details and nuances of the practices toward self-realisation
For two years now, we have been seeing over 500 verses from the Vivekachoodamani. Among the many Prakarana Granthas or texts that elucidate some part of the knowledge of the Upanishads by Sri Adi Sankaracharya, the Sarva Vedanta Siddhanta Sara Sangraha is very popular. It contains 1,006 verses and gives minor details and nuances of the practices toward Self-realisation.
Beginning with the auspicious verse of worship, the Acharya first salutes his Guru Sri Govinda Bhagavadpada. The word Govinda makes it evident that he offers his salutations to Lord Sri Krishna, unto whom all our senses reach after they touch their respective objects of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. Through this address, Sri Adi Sankaracharya also observes the Vedic tradition of seeing God in one’s own Guru.
I salute that Govinda, prostrating at whose feet one immediately gets to experience that bliss which is limitless and without parts. That Guru whose very form is but a mass of consciousness and bliss, I worship, says the Acharya.
It is not just the Guru and God whom we consider other than us, and the salutations are offered. In this text of Self-realisation, the author dedicates a verse of prayer to the Self within too. That Self is part-less, it is existence, it is consciousness and it is bliss too. That Self is beyond the mind and senses. It can neither be thought about nor perceived through the five senses. To that Self or I, I take refuge with a prayer that I may achieve what I truly wish.
The culture of Bharat is not just to glorify the spirit. Even the great masters pay obeisance to the gods seeking victory in our material pursuits. The next verse is offered to Sri Ganesha, the deity who is worshipped first with a prayer to remove obstacles. By holding on to the presence of Ganesha, the fears experienced by the good people who are seekers of truth are removed. These negative emotions are caused by various situations and obstacles. I hold on to the divine lotus-like compassionate feet of Lambodara, the very abode of compassion, says the Acharya.
Unlike the present times when publishing is easy and anyone can write a book and get it published if there is money to do it, the writers of yore had to pass their writings through a litmus test of questions and provide the necessary clarifications before they are published. With obeisance and prayer, the author begins his great work on knowing the Self.