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Published by ElizabethDarcy

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Published by: ElizabethDarcy on Mar 08, 2012
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]]RM¢XNHDRo]] Maneeshaapanchakam (English
 translation by S.N.Sastri) Introduction
In this work consisting of just five verses Sri Sankara has brought outsuccinctly the essence of Advaita Vedanta. The occasion for thiscomposition may first be n arrated. One day Sri Sankara was walkingtowards the temple of Lord Viswanatha in Varanasi along with his disciples.It so happened that a sweeper was walking towards him on the samestreet. Sri Sankara asked the sweeper to move away from his path. Thesweeper then asked him some questions which form the substance of twoverses which are a prelude to the main work. On hearing these questions,Sri Sankara realized that the person before him was no ordinary sweeper.Sankara replies to these questions in five verses. These five verses havebeen collectively given the name ¶Maneeshaapanchakam·. The word¶maneeshaa·, meaning ¶conviction· appears in the last line in all the fiveverses. According to tradition, the sweeper was none other than Lord SivaHimself in that form. Sri Sankara himself is considered to be an incarnationof Lord Siva. Therefore this work is in essence a dialogue between twoforms of Lord Siva, intended to convey to the world the essential teachingsof Vedanta. Questions such as whether even Sri Sankara practiseduntouchability in spite of being an enlightened soul have no place in thelight of these facts. Moreover, in all such cases the story by itself is notimportant. To derive various conclusions about other matters on the basisof the story would be going off at a tangent. One fact which emerges isthat, once a person has attained Selfknowledge, considerations such as hiscaste, etc., are totally irrelevant. The verses are now taken up one by one.The sweeper·s questions:"RS4RS"KVD1JMSRVD1JMSJo]
 FV64 6¢.ÏJ¤ÂVH/Î Y.ÏP3⁄4§8ÎBD/ÎBD/  ÎJ]] 1. O
̈ ̧
 great among the twiceborn! :hat is it that you want to move away by saying,μGo, goμ? Do you want the body made
up of food to move away from another body made up of food? Or do youwant consciousness to move away from consciousness?.ÏB9oBRP¤MP¡RPJ RP6RI1DI2ÎTV0Π
¢NS N§6 DMJ6R¡YJ.ÏHDMC0΢RaJ.¤ÏRQS
 VÂRP6 ]
̧ ̧
LRP¤L1 VN3⁄4 SND S
̧ ̧ ̧
 RJSNR8ÎMo.Ï SVQ4Q3⁄4R]] 2. Is there any
̧ ̧
 difference between the reflection of the sun in the waters of the Ganga andits reflection in the water in a ditch in the quarters of the outcastes? Or betwe en the space in a gold pot and in a mud pot? :hat is this illusion of difference in the form, ́This is a %rahmana and this is an outcasteμ in theindwelling self which is the ripple free ocean of bliss and pureconsciousness? Note. The indwelling self, which is identical with thesupreme Self whose nature is bliss and pure consciousness, is the same inall creatures. As the %hagavadgita says, ́The enlightened see the sameSelf in the %rahmana endowed with learning and humility, the cow, theelephant, the dog and the outcasteμ (5. 18). Sri Sankara·s answers:FB34JYVNMY¤X¤¡NJY¤Y5¤Ï0ÎJ6SYV4¥FF
aRQJ SP3⁄44NN¢ T.ÏMJJM¤X¤N3⁄4
 JFBJY xI¢]
D Jo DI2ÎT YJ¤YJ¤ F YJ¤B¤6JS
̧ ̧ ̧
 XRM¢XRR]] 1.If a person has attained the firm knowledge
 that he is not an object of perception, but is that pure consciousness whichshines clearly in the states of waking, dream and deep sleep, and which, asthe witness of the whole universe, dwells in all bodies from that of theCreator %rahma to that of the ant, then he is my Guru, irrespective of whether he is an outcaste or a %rahmana. This is my conviction. Note. Inthe waking state the physical body as well as the senses and the mindfunction and experience external objects. In the state of dream there are noobjects and the body and senses do not function, but the mind createsobjects and events and experiences them. In deep sleep even the minddoes not function. In all these three states consciousness is present. In the

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