Om May no harm be done Here, May the vessels of the great Seers continue in Salvation, May these movements be in accord with Divine Will, May this desire be motivated by Love, May what is not beneficent wither to obscurity.
CREST-JEWEL OF WISDOM
OF SRI SAMKARACARYA
Mohoni M. Chatterji, F.T.S.
second edition 1947 (with updates from later editions added)
(551) Just as a piece of wood is carried along to different places by a torrent, even so the body is led in time by daiva (Karma) into enjoyments.
(552) He who is liberated from the body and is himself perfect, abides in enjoyment like a worldly man full of desires created by past Karma (does). But he lives quietly as a spectator, free from desires and changes, like the centre of a wheel.
(553) He neither applies his senses to objects nor removes them therefrom, but remains a mere spectator. He whose mind is intoxicated with excessive draughts of bliss does not pay even the slightest attention to Karmic effect.
(554) He knows Brahman, renouncing the pursuit of either the visible or the invisible, abides in the atman alone and is evidently himself.
(555) The Knower of Brahman who has attained the end, is ever free, though living (in the world). By the destruction of upadhi, he, being Brahman alone, reaches the non-dual Brahman.
(556) Just as a male being is (always) a male, whether he acts (women’s parts in dramas, etc.) or not, so also he who knows Brahman and is perfect is always Brahman alone and not another.
(557) What is it to an ascetic who has become Brahman, if his body, already burnt up by the fire of wisdom, falls anywhere like the withered leaf of a tree? (He does not care what becomes of his body or where it happens to be placed for the moment.)
(558) The muni who ever abides in the all-pervading atman, who is full of non-dual bliss and is Parabrahman, does not wait for the proper place, time, etc. to throw off this lump of skin, flesh and filth.
(559) Neither the relinquishment of the body, nor of the staff, nor of the water-pot is mokshha (liberation); but mokshha is the happiness (that results from) untying the knot of ignorance in the heart.
(560) What good or evil (effect) is there to a tree if its leaf falls into a canal or a river, in a sacred place, or in a place where four ways meet?
(561) The destruction of body, senses, vitality, is like that of leaf, flower and fruit; but there is no destruction to one’s atman whose essence is truth and who is the embodiment of bliss. This remains (atman) like a tree.
(562) The true characteristic of the atman is that he is full of wisdom. It is repeatedly said that upadhi alone is destroyed.
(563) The sruti thus asserts the indestructibility of the atman when the modifications are destroyed: “Ho! atman is indestructible!”
(564) Just as, when burnt, a stone, a tree, grass, grain, a corpse, a cloth, etc. become earth only, so also the whole of the visible universe such as body, senses, vitality, mind, etc. when burnt up by the fire of wisdom, attain the condition of Paramatman.
(565) Just as darkness, different from (light), becomes merged in the light of the sun, so also the whole visible universe becomes merged in Brahman.
(566) Just as space (limited by form) becomes evident as such on the destruction of form, so also the knower of Brahman becomes Brahman alone on the destruction of the upadhi.
(567) Just as, when mixed, milk becomes one with milk, oil with oil, and water with water, so an ascetic who knows the atman becomes one with him.
(568) Thus the ascetic, renouncing the body, attains mukti (deliverance) which is mere existence, indestructible, the state of which is Brahman and he does not return again.
(569) Where is birth to one who has become Brahman, and whose body, etc. beginning with ignorance, are burnt up by (the fire of) wisdom through union with the atman who is existence?
(570) Bondage and liberation created by maya (illusion) do not exist in reality in the atman; just as (the idea of a) serpent and the opposite do not exist in a rope on knowing it (to be rope and not serpent).
(571) Bondage and liberation are said to be through the existence and non-existence of avriti (encompassing energy). There is no encompassing energy in Brahman. It (Brahman) is not encompassed, because nothing else exists therein. If there exists (something else) then non-duality is destroyed. But the sruti does not allow duality.
(572) Bondage and liberation are indeed false. Just as hiding from sight, caused by the clouds, is predicated of the sun, so also the ignorant impose the attributes of mind on the (one) real substance, whereas this (substance) is indestructible, non-dual, without attachment, and is wisdom.
(573) Belief in the existence of the (one) real substance and non-belief in its existence, are only the attributes of mind and not of the eternal substance.
(574) Hence those two, bondage and liberation, are created by maya (illusion) and they do not exist in the atman. How can (anything) be attributed to supreme truth which, like space, is indivisible, actionless, calm, blameless, stainless and without a second?
(575) There is neither restraint, nor birth, nor bondage, nor an adept (to aid the disciple), nor one desirous of liberation, nor one liberated-this is the highest truth.
(576) The supreme and most mysterious doctrine contained in the Vedas is now revealed to thee. Expound it to one whose mind is free from desire, whose vicious tendencies have vanished, and who aspires after liberation, and cause him to reflect on the same.
(577) Having thus listened to the teachings of the guru, the disciple saluted him respectfully, then, liberated from bondage, with the permission of the guru, he went away.
(578) The guru, whose mind is plunged in the ocean of real bliss, ever roams about purifying the whole world.
(579) Thus, in the form of a dialogue between a guru and a disciple, is revealed the nature of the atman, so that those who aspire after liberation may gain knowledge easily.
(580) May those ascetics who aspire after liberation and delight in the srutis, who have renounced the pleasures of the world, and who have expunged all vices from their hearts, as enjoined, and whose minds are subdued, respect these wholesome teachings!
(581) These words of Shankara, which secure nirvana, excel all others and point out an ocean of nectar close at hand, of non-dual Brahman which gives happiness to those who, suffering from fatigue and thirst caused by the rays of the sun of misery on the road of changing existence, wander in an arid region, desiring water.
Thus ends the CREST-JEWEL OF WISDOM
by Sri Shankaracarya,
disciple of Sri Govinda Bhagavatpada.
Ohm peace, peace, peace.