Adi Shankara Atma Bodha verses
- I am composing the Atma-Bodha, this
treatise of the Knowledge of the Self, for those who have purified
themselves by austerities and are peaceful in heart and calm, who
are free from cravings and are desirous of liberation.
- Just as the fire is the direct cause for
cooking, so without Knowledge no emancipation can be had. Compared
with all other forms of discipline Knowledge of the Self is the one
direct means for liberation.
- Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is
not in conflict with or opposed to ignorance. Knowledge does verily
destroy ignorance as light destroys deep darkness.
- The Soul appears to be finite because of
ignorance. When ignorance is destroyed the Self which does not admit
of any multiplicity truly reveals itself by itself: like the Sun
when the clouds pass away.
- Constant practice of knowledge purifies
the Self (‘Jivatman’), stained by ignorance and then disappears
itself – as the powder of the ‘Kataka-nut’ settles down after it has
cleansed the muddy water.
- The world which is full of attachments,
aversions, etc., is like a dream. It appears to be real, as long as
it continues but appears to be unreal when one is awake (i.e., when
true wisdom dawns).
- The Jagat appears to be true (Satyam) so
long as Brahman, the substratum, the basis of all this creation, is
not realised. It is like the illusion of silver in the mother-of
- Like bubbles in the water, the worlds
rise, exist and dissolve in the Supreme Self, which is the material
cause and the prop of everything.
- All the manifested world of things and
beings are projected by imagination upon the substratum which is the
Eternal All-pervading Vishnu, whose nature is
Existence-Intelligence; just as the different ornaments are all made
out of the same gold.
- The All-pervading Akasa appears to be
diverse on account of its association with various conditionings (Upadhis)
which are different from each other. Space becomes one on the
destruction of these limiting adjuncts: So also the Omnipresent
Truth appears to be diverse on account of Its association with the
various Upadhis and becomes one on the destruction of these Upadhis.
- Because of Its association with different
conditionings (Upadhis) such ideas as caste, colour and position are
super-imposed upon the Atman, as flavour, colour, etc., are
super-imposed on water.
Atma Bodha Verses
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