Devotion and Grace
In the beginning of this course, I mentioned the three pre-requisites for the practice of Vedanta. Do you remember what they are?
A human birth, longing for liberation and discipleship to a teacher. Shankaracharya illuminates the importance of the spiritual teacher throughout the text, and especially at the end. Viveka Chudamani ends with a glorious description of the experience of liberation, and gratitude to the teacher who led the student to this point. The text is full of devotion and recognition of the grace that makes this journey possible.
There is no better way to conclude this short introduction to Vedanta than using the sublime words of Shri Shankaracharya describing the (his) final realization:
“The treasure I have found there cannot be described in words. The mind cannot conceive of it. My mind fell like a hailstone into that vast expanse of Brahman’s ocean (of bliss). Touching one drop of it, I melted away and became one with Brahman. And now, though I return to human consciousness, I abide in the joy of the Self.
Where is this universe? Who took away this world of duality? Has it merged into something else? A while ago, I beheld it—now it exists no longer. It is most wonderful indeed...
Now finally and clearly, I know that I am the Self, whose nature is eternal joy. I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing that is separate from me.
I bow down to you, O great soul, my master. You are free from all attachment, … the embodiment of eternal bliss. Your compassion is infinite, a sea without a shore...In one instant, by your grace, I have found this inexhaustible, undivided treasure.
I am blessed indeed. I have achieved life’s only purpose. The Infinite is mine. And all this through your grace. (1)
Dhanyo’aham krtakrtyo’aham vimukto’aham bhava-grahat
Nityananda-svarupo’aham purno’ham tvad-anugrahat
May you, dear reader, be blessed as well, to achieve your life’s only purpose, the recognition of your own great Self.
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Notes: (1) Crest Jewel of Discrimination verses 482-488 pg217
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