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Maneesha Panchakam

Maneesha Panchakam

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Published by HimalayanWisdom

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Published by: HimalayanWisdom on Oct 27, 2008
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04/29/2013

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Aadi Sankaracharya’s
MANEESHA PANCHAKAM
Commentary By:
Swami Ishwarananda
,
Chinmaya Mission
,
 
Tustin.Venue:
CHINMAYA MISSION, SAN DIEGOConducted On: Feb 10-16, 2008
(transcription of MP3 Audio)
This is the transcript of a series of commentary lectures, on ‘Maneesha Panchakam’ given by Swami Ishwarananda at the Chinmaya Mission Center in San Diego.
 
SESSION #1
Swamiji:
OU…M OU…M 
(chorus joining in the chanting of the Invocation)
om saha naavavatu
|
 saha nau bhunaktu
|
 saha veeryam karavaavahai
|
tejasvinaavadeetamastu maa vidvishaavahai
|
om shantih
|
shantih
|
 shantih
|
*1
(chants offering of traditional salutations to the Guru Parampara-lineage of teachers)
 sadaashiva samaarambaam shankaracharya madyamaam
|
asmadaacharya paryantaamdvande guru paramparaam
||
 shruti smriti purananaamaalayam karunaalayam
|
namaami bhagavadpaada shankaram loka shankaram
||
 shankaram shankaracharyamkeshavam vaadaraayanam
|
 sutra bhashya kritavandebhagavantau puna punaha
||
*2
(chorus chanting of Salutations to Sadguru Chinmaya)
 samastha-jana-kalyaaneniratham karunaa-mayam
|
namaami chinmayam devam satgurum brahma-vidvaram
||
*3
Talks – Prologue Verses(1,2)
Maneesha Panchakam
is a text which is attributed to Bhagavan Shankaracharyawhich is also considered as the compendium or the beautiful summarization of the *four 
 
Mahavakyas
or the
Upanishads
. Shankaracharya is a person or was a person who took every opportunity in his life wherever there was an occasion to teach his disciples aboutthe highest truth and he promptly did, indicating a particular situation as a reminder of thereality.A Teacher is one who does not uh, let go an opportunity to teach his student howto live the highest truth. It is one thing to theoretically know what the absolute nature of oneself is. But it is yet another – and most difficult – to practice that in daily interactionswith the world. As you may recall, in
 Bhaja Govindam
also, it was a simple situationwhere an old man, ripe aged he was teaching the rules of 
Sanskrit 
to young children.It is a simple situation, but then Shankaracharya took that as the opportunity totell the world through his students that at the ripe age all this material knowledge cannothelp one to overcome the fear of death.
na hi na hi raksati dukrn karane
: nothing of thisworldly nature will ever release you from the fear of death or death itself. At that timeonly he had sung,
bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
 
mudhamate
.
 samprapte sannihitekale
: at the time of death nothing else can help you.This (text)
Maneesha Panchakam
also is said to be a, uh, outcome of a situation.It is said that when Shankaracharya was visiting
 Kashi kshetra
, the abode of Vishwanatha, which is one of the
moksha
, uh,
moksha-nagari
, it is said. Huh? There arefive places in India which are considered as providing
moksha
. Staying there or leavingthe body there are considered to be auspicious.One of them is Kashi. Others are Ayodhya, Dwaraka, Haridwar, Ujjain – these arealso considered as
moksha-nagari
. So, the
moksha
, nobody can really give you – Liberation, nobody can give you. Uh? Can anybody say that ‘ok, I will give you
moksha’ 
? Even if somebody says so, it is only a temporary relief from present problems.Real liberation comes only when we realize that we are already liberated. But thatis the way of 
Vedanta
– that you already a free individual, immortal being but notknowing that is the
agjnaanam
. And unless
agjnaanam
is gone, one can really cannot befree.So this
 Kashi-kshetra
is considered as a
moksha nagari
; because Kashi – yesterday also I have said that, ‘
kashyati iti kashi
’ : that which shines. That which shineseverywhere is called
aakasha
. Uh? ‘
aa
’ means
 samanta
,
kashyati
: that which shineseverywhere is
aakasha
.
 prakaasha
you know,
 prakarshyena kashyati
: very particularlyshines, (that is)
 prakaasha
.So here, ‘Kashi’ representing the highest abode of knowledge – in the past alsoand today’s world also considers that as the, one of the ancient cities of the world, whichhad the great masters coming there, learning and spreading the knowledge. So now, the
 Kashi-kshetra
he visited to have the
darshan
of Kashi Vishwanatha.

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