Vedantasara is one of the best and most widely read introductory books in Sanskrit for the study of Vedanta. This book contains the original text, English translation, and detailed explanatory notes.
Read this book and follow this YouTube Playlist: Vedantasara of Sadananda – Here Swami Sarvapriyananda Ji has beautifully explained this text in a very easy-to-understand ENGLISH language.
Drig-Drishya Viveka is a Sanskrit text that delves into the distinction between the “Seer” (Dṛig) and the “Seen” (Dṛśya). It’s a significant work in the realm of Advaita Vedanta (Non-Dual) philosophy.
This text provides insight into the nature of reality and self-awareness. It explores the idea that there is a fundamental difference between the observer and the observed. In other words, it helps us understand that we are not just the things we see or experience, but there is something deeper within us that is the true “Seer” of all experiences.
The term “Drig” refers to the subject or the one who sees, while “Drishya” refers to the object or what is seen. The “Viveka” part of the title means discrimination or discernment. So, “Drig Drishya Viveka” is all about discerning the difference between the observer and the observed.
The text guides us to recognize that the true essence of our being is the unchanging “Seer,” beyond the temporary and changing experiences we have in the world. By understanding this distinction, we can detach ourselves from the ups and downs of life and realize our deeper nature that is beyond the limitations of the physical world.
“Drig Drishya Viveka” encourages us to go beyond the surface of our experiences and dive into a deeper understanding of ourselves and the nature of reality. It’s a profound exploration of self-realization and inner awareness, and it has been studied by seekers and philosophers for centuries to gain insights into the nature of existence.
Read this book and follow this YouTube Playlist: Introduction to Vedanta – Dṛg Dṛśya Viveka – Here Swami Sarvapriyananda Ji has beautifully explained this text in a very easy-to-understand ENGLISH language.
Aparokshanubhuti is a profound philosophical text attributed to the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, Adi Shankaracharya. The title can be translated as “Direct Experience,” and the text serves as a guide to understanding the nature of reality, self-realization, and the path to liberation within the framework of Advaita Vedanta.
In “Aparokshanubhuti,” Shankaracharya expounds on the concept of non-duality (Advaita), which asserts that the ultimate reality (Brahman) and the individual self (Atman) are fundamentally one.
The text emphasizes the importance of moving beyond intellectual understanding and directly experiencing this truth.
Shankaracharya advocates for self-inquiry (Vichara) as a means to realize this non-dual nature. He encourages seekers to question their own identity, transcending the limitations of the body and mind to discover the unchanging, eternal self.
The text also addresses the obstacles that hinder self-realization, such as ignorance and attachment, and provides insights into overcoming them. By understanding the illusion of the world and recognizing the underlying unity, individuals can attain liberation (moksha) and break free from the cycle of birth and death (samsara).
Shankaracharya outlines a progression toward realization, starting with hearing and contemplating spiritual teachings (Shravana and Manana), and culminating in direct, unwavering realization (Nididhyasana) of the non-dual truth.
“Aparokshanubhuti” has had a lasting impact on spiritual seekers and philosophers. It offers a transformative perspective on the nature of reality and self, guiding individuals toward direct experiential knowledge and the ultimate realization of oneness.
Vivekachudamani is a remarkable philosophical work attributed to the illustrious thinker and spiritual teacher, Adi Shankaracharya. The title translates to “Crest Jewel of Discrimination,” signifying the text’s role in guiding individuals toward discernment and self-realization.
Within its pages, Shankaracharya expounds on profound concepts that illuminate the path to understanding the nature of reality and the self.
Central to the teachings of “Vivekachudamani” is the theme of discrimination, or viveka. Shankaracharya emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between the impermanent and the eternal, the real and the unreal. Through discrimination, one can pierce through the veil of illusion and recognize the unchanging reality that lies beyond the changing world of appearances.
The text is deeply rooted in the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, which asserts the non-dual nature of reality. Shankaracharya explains that the ultimate reality, often referred to as Brahman, transcends all dualities and is the foundation of everything. He emphasizes the oneness of individual souls (Atman) with Brahman, debunking the notion of separation.
Vivekachudamani offers a practical roadmap for self-realization. It outlines the fourfold qualifications necessary for spiritual progress: discrimination, detachment, the cultivation of virtues, and an intense longing for liberation. These qualities pave the way for seekers to go beyond the surface of life and explore the depths of their true nature.
The concept of Maya, which creates the illusion of the world, is another pivotal theme. Shankaracharya elucidates that the world, while appearing real, is not the ultimate reality. Instead, it is a manifestation of Maya, guiding the reader to question the nature of reality and existence.
In terms of practice, Vivekachudamani introduces the idea of Nididhyasana, or deep contemplation, as a means to realize the non-dual nature of the self. This practice involves meditating on the teachings and insights presented in the text, enabling the seeker to experientially understand their unity with Brahman.
Ultimately, the text conveys that the culmination of understanding and practice leads to liberation (moksha). By recognizing their identity with Brahman, individuals break free from the cycle of suffering and rebirth.
As of now, I am unable to find any YouTube playlist/Podcast on Vivekachudamani. However, I will update this page whenever I find a good audio/video resource.
Out of the eleven principal Upanishads that Sri Shankaracharya commented upon, this two-volume set contains the translations of the Eight Upanishads (Isha, Kena, Katha, Mundaka, Mandukya (with Gaudapada Karika), Aiteraya, Prashna, and Taittiriya Upanishads) and their commentaries by Sri Shankaracharya.
The study of these commentaries by a great philosopher-saint like Shankara is indispensable for the proper evaluation of the Vedanta philosophy. It contains the text of the Upanishads in Devanagari, a lucid and faithful translation of the text and commentary, relevant notes, reference to quotations, and index to texts.
- Volume 1 contains these 4 Upanishads with the commentary of Adi Shankaracharya: Isha, Kena, Katha, and Taittiriya
- Volume 2 contains the remaining 4 Upanishads with commentary of Adi Shankaracharya: Aitareya, Mundaka, Mandukya (along with Gaudapada’s Karika), and Prashna
Follow these Playlists for a better grasp of these Upanishads:
- Katha Upanishad by Swami Sarvapriyananda – This is a very simple yet very important Upanishad. This Upanishad was the favorite Upanishad of Swami Vivekananda.
- Mandukya Upanishad by Swami Sarvapriyananda – Please note that this is one of the highest texts of Advaita Vedanta revealing the ultimate truth. This is meant for sincere students of Advaita Vedanta who have thoroughly completed the basics and other Upanishads. Please DON’T touch this text if you are new to non-dualism as this may make your brain feel very uncomfortable.
- More playlists/podcasts for other Upanishads will be added in the future.
The commentary of Shankara on the Gita is regarded as an outstanding specimen of Indian scholarship. The translator has accomplished his task in a most praiseworthy manner by giving a faithful translation, without in any way detracting from the strength or clarity of the original commentary. The inclusion of a ‘word index’ of the entire text has added to the worth of the book.
Though there are many classical commentaries on the Gita, this work stands next only to Sri Shankaracharya’s commentary as regards clarity, depth, and originality. This work of Madhusudana Saraswati, the Gudhartha Dipika (an annotation revealing the true import of the Gita) is probably the greatest of his many literary works.
Get both (Yes!) the books above and follow this playlist on YouTube: Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sarvapriyananda – Here Swami Ji has beautifully explained this text in a very easy-to-understand ENGLISH language.
Note: This is an advanced text of Advaita Vedanta.
Brahma Sutra Bhasya, composed by the venerable philosopher-saint Adi Shankaracharya, stands as a profound exposition that illuminates the essence of Vedanta philosophy encapsulated in the ancient Brahma Sutras. This commentary is a monumental literary achievement that has been revered for its depth, precision, and timeless wisdom.
Shankaracharya’s Bhasya serves as a guide to the comprehension of the Brahma Sutras, which are terse and aphoristic in nature. He adeptly navigates through these sutras, elaborating upon their meanings and unraveling the intricate threads of metaphysical inquiry. With surgical precision, he dissects the profound insights contained within the sutras, enriching them with his illuminating commentary.
Central to the Brahma Sutra Bhasya is Shankaracharya’s articulation of Advaita Vedanta, a school of thought that underscores the non-dual nature of reality. He expounds that the multiplicity perceived in the world is illusory, while the ultimate reality (Brahman) is singular and all-encompassing.
YouTube Playlist/Podcast Link will be added soon if found.
Ashtavakra Gita and Avadhut Gita
WARNING: These are the highest undiluted text of non-dual Vedanta. Please DON’T touch these texts if your mind is not prepared. Complete the above-mentioned Introductory texts/Upanishads first, then come to these texts.
This text centers on a dialogue between King Janaka and the sage Ashtavakra. The Ashtavakra Gita transcends conventional wisdom and offers insights that challenge ordinary perceptions of the world. It underscores the philosophy of non-dualism (Advaita), which posits that the ultimate reality is singular, beyond all dualities.
Ashtavakra emphasizes that one’s true self is distinct from the physical body, emotions, and thoughts. He dismantles the idea of a limited identity and urges the seeker to realize their essential nature as pure consciousness.
Detachment emerges as a key teaching in Ashtavakra Gita. Ashtavakra encourages seekers to free themselves from attachments, both material and emotional. This detachment enables a clear understanding of reality.
The text encourages contemplation and introspection. It guides readers to transcend the limitations of the mind and experience the freedom of self-realization. The ultimate goal is liberation (moksha), which is achieved by recognizing one’s identity with the eternal truth.
Ashtavakra Gita is a concise exposition of Advaita Vedanta, intricately addressing the spiritual journey toward transcendent peace and bliss. This text unfolds through a clear dialogue between the youthful sage Ashtavakra and his regal disciple, King Janaka.
For Ashtavakra, the paramount pursuit is self-knowledge, attained through direct mystical insight. This understanding is not a distant goal but a tangible experience within the profound stillness of personal meditation. The Ashtavakra Gita imparts subtle philosophical truths, elegantly conveying the depths of spirituality through this enlightening conversation between the sage and the king.
Avadhuta Gita is a remarkable spiritual text attributed to Dattatreya, a sage revered in Hindu tradition. This composition unveils the profound insights of an “avadhuta,” an enlightened being who has transcended ordinary perceptions of reality.
At its core, the Avadhuta Gita delves into the essence of spiritual wisdom through a variety of themes. Renunciation and detachment emerge as key principles, showcasing the avadhuta’s detachment from worldly desires and attachments. This way of life reflects an unwavering focus on discovering the ultimate truth.
The philosophy of non-dualism (Advaita) is a central thread woven throughout the text. The avadhuta perceives the interconnectedness of all existence, realizing that beneath the diversity of forms lies a fundamental unity. This understanding underscores the illusory nature of the world, prompting a shift in perception from appearances to the underlying reality.
The Avadhuta Gita portrays the avadhuta as someone who has surpassed societal norms and attachments. This isn’t an endorsement of neglecting responsibilities, but rather an illustration of the avadhuta’s liberated state, free from the limitations of conventions.
The text also expounds on the idea of self-realization and liberation (moksha). The avadhuta embodies a state of perpetual liberation, where the distinction between seeker and sought dissolves into the understanding of inherent unity.
Furthermore, the Avadhuta Gita emphasizes the role of a spiritual guide (guru) in one’s journey. The avadhuta acknowledges the guru’s importance in illuminating the path to self-knowledge.
The Avadhuta Gita’s impact is enduring, offering seekers an alternative perspective on life’s intricacies. By presenting the insights of an awakened being, the text encourages readers to question conventional perceptions, consider the impermanence of appearances, and strive for a deeper understanding of their own existence.
YouTube Playlist/Podcast Links for above mentioned advanced texts will be added soon.