Adi Shankara

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Atman is an ever-present Reality. Yet, because of ignorance it is not realised. On the destruction of ignorance Atman is realised.

Adi Shankara (pronounced [aːd̪i ɕəŋkəɾə]), who lived early 8th century CE, was one of the most revered Hindu philosophers and theologians from India who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.

Quotes[edit]

  • Brahma satyan jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah
    • Brahman the Absolute alone is real; this world is transient (mithya is anirvachaneeya, cannot be defined, cannot be translated as unreal), but the jiva or the individual soul is not different from Brahman.
    • Refer to current Sringeri Shankaracharya discourses in Telugu and Tamil (two different pravachans). Do not blindly translate "Mithya" as Unreal. Do not misrepresent what Adi Shankaracharya preached in Sanskrit to his students and world using useless English translations.
      • Alternative translation: Brahman is the only truth, the world is illusion, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and individual self.
      • Translation in Global Encyclopaedia of Indian Philosophy (2010), by N.K. Singh and A.P. Mishra, p. 16.

Atma Bodha (1987)[edit]

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…
Adi Shankara quotes translated by Swami Chinmayananda in: Atma Bodh. Chinmaya Mission (1987): Representation of full list of the quotes in Atma Bodha by Adi Sankaracharya at shankaracharya.org. Accessed May 21, 2014.
  • 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.
    • p. 4: Quote nr. 2.
  • 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.
    • p. 7: Quote nr. 4.
  • 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.
    • p. 14: Quote nr. 8.
  • 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.
    • p. 16: Quote nr. 9.
  • Atman is an ever-present Reality. Yet, because of ignorance it is not realised. On the destruction of ignorance Atman is realised.
    • p. 82: Quote nr. 44.
  • Though he lives in the conditionings (Upadhis), he, the contemplative one, remains ever unconcerned with anything or he may move about like the wind, perfectly unattached.
    On the destruction of the Upadhis, the contemplative one is totally absorbed in "Vishnu", the All-pervading Spirit, like water into water, space into space and light into light.
    Realise That to be Brahman, the attainment of which leaves nothing more to be attained, the blessedness of which leaves no other blessing to be desired and the knowledge of which leaves nothing more to be known.
    • p. 98-101: Quote nr. 52 - 54.
  • Deities like Brahma and others taste only a particle, of the unlimited Bliss of Brahman and enjoy in proportion their share of that particle.
    • p. 107: Quote nr. 58.
  • All objects are pervaded by Brahman. All actions are possible because of Brahman: therefore Brahman permeates everything as butter permeates milk.
    • p. 109: Quote nr. 59.
  • The Atman, the Sun of Knowledge that rises in the sky of the heart, destroys the darkness of the ignorance, pervades and sustains all and shines and makes everything to shine.
    • p. 121: Quote nr. 67.
  • He who renouncing all activities, who is free of all the limitations of time, space and direction, worships his own Atman which is present everywhere, which is the destroyer of heat and cold, which is Bliss-Eternal and stainless, becomes All-knowing and All-pervading and attains thereafter Immortality.
    • p. 123: Quote nr. 68.

About Adi Shankara[edit]

  • [Sri Aurobindo] blames Buddhism for its negative attitude to the world, and Shankara for importing the same into Hinduism and thereby transforming the Vedic message beyond recognition: "Ancient or pre-Buddhistic Hinduism sought Him both in the world and outside it; it took its stand on the strength and beauty and joy of the Veda, unlike modern or post-Buddhistic Hinduism which is oppressed with Buddha's sense of universal sorrow and Shankara's sense of universal illusion,-Shankara who was the better able to destroy Buddhism because he was himself half a Buddhist.'
    • Sri Aurobindo: India's Rebirth, p.88. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743

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