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I bow down to the lotus feet of my teacher Shankarananda, whose only function is
I bow down to the lotus feet of my teacher Shankarananda, whose only function is

I bow down to the lotus feet of my teacher Shankarananda, whose only function is to consume the mighty shark of delusion and its retinue.

is to consume the mighty shark of delusion and its retinue. This book „Self knowledge‟ is

This book „Self knowledge‟ is presented to those who have become pure through austerities, peaceful by disposition, free from cravings, and desirous of liberation.

disposition, free from cravings, and desirous of liberation. Without Knowledge there is no liberation. Compared to

Without Knowledge there is no liberation. Compared to all other practices, Knowledge of the Self alone is the one direct means for liberation, just as fire is the direct cause for cooking.

liberation, just as fire is the direct cause for cooking. Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it

Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is not opposed to ignorance. Knowledge (on the other hand) verily destroys ignorance, like light destroys deep darkness.

destroys ignorance, like light destroys deep darkness. The Self appears to be finite because of ignorance.

The Self appears to be finite because of ignorance. When ignorance is destroyed, the one Self truly shines by itself, like the sun when the clouds have gone.

shines by itself, like the sun when the clouds have gone. Constant practice of knowledge purifies

Constant practice of knowledge purifies the individual sullied by ignorance. Knowledge then relegates itself like the Kataka-nut powder (that removes itself) after cleansing muddy water.

The world, filled with likes and dislikes, is like a dream. It appears to be

The world, filled with likes and dislikes, is like a dream. It appears to be real within its own realm, but is falsified when one awakens to reality.

its own realm, but is falsified when one awakens to reality. The universe appears to be

The universe appears to be real as long as Brahman, substratum of all creation, is not known. This appearance is similar to silver appearing on the shell.

This appearance is similar to silver appearing on the shell. Like bubbles in the water, the

Like bubbles in the water, the worlds rise, exist and dissolve in the Supreme Self, which is the material cause and the support of everything.

which is the material cause and the support of everything. All differing entities are projected on

All differing entities are projected on the substratum, just as different ornaments appearing on gold. The eternal and all- pervading substratum is existent and conscious by nature.

pervading substratum is existent and conscious by nature. Like space, the all pervading Lord associates with

Like space, the all pervading Lord associates with various conditions (Upadhis). Their differening conditions appears as if belonging to the Self, but when they disappear it is just one.

to the Self, but when they disappear it is just one. By Its association with different

By Its association with different conditions (Upadhis) attributes such as status and stages in life are super-imposed on the Self in the same way as water becomes flavoured, or.coloured, by things added to it.

water becomes flavoured, or.coloured, by things added to it. The physical body, made up of the

The physical body, made up of the (five) compounded elements, is born through actions (of one‟s previous lifetimes). It is a physical medium for (experiencing) feelings like pleasure and pain.

constitute the subtle body and are instrumental in gathering (different kinds of) experiences.

instrumental in gathering (different kinds of) experiences. Ignorance has no beginning, defies categorization, and is

Ignorance has no beginning, defies categorization, and is spoken of as the causal body. Know for certain, that the Self is different from these three conditions (physical, subtle, and casual bodies).

three conditions (physical, subtle, and casual bodies). A colourless crystal acquires a bluish tinge in association

A colourless crystal acquires a bluish tinge in association with objects like blue cloth. In the same way, the pure Self, Identified with the five coverings, appears as non different from them.

with the five coverings, appears as non different from them. Just as one threshes grain to

Just as one threshes grain to separate the husk and bran from rice, one should one should sort out the pure Self from its (apparent) coverings through reason and discriminative enquiry.

coverings through reason and discriminative enquiry. Although all-pervading, the (conscious) Self does not shine

Although all-pervading, the (conscious) Self does not shine uniformly everywhere. It manifests only in the (presence of) mind, like a reflection manifests in a polished surface.

of) mind, like a reflection manifests in a polished surface. Know the Self as distinct from

Know the Self as distinct from association with matter i.e. body, senses, mind and agency. It is the eternal witness of their activities, like a king (who witnesses all activity in the kingdom).

like a king (who witnesses all activity in the kingdom). The moon appears as if moving

The moon appears as if moving when clouds float around in the sky. Likewise, ignorant people associate activity of the sense organs with the (changeless) Self.

activity of the sense organs with the (changeless) Self. The body, senses, mind, and agency, depend

The body, senses, mind, and agency, depend on the conscious Self for carrying on their individual activities, just like people (engaging in activity) who depend on sunlight.

Just as the ignorant ones attribute blue colour to the sky, people superimpose physical and

Just as the ignorant ones attribute blue colour to the sky, people superimpose physical and sensory activities/qualities on the pure, existent, and conscious Self.

on the pure, existent, and conscious Self. The moon reflected in water appears to move when

The moon reflected in water appears to move when the water is disturbed. Likewise agency and other mental attributes are mistakenly superimposed the Self.

mental attributes are mistakenly superimposed the Self. Attachment, desire, pleasure, pain, etc., are perceived to

Attachment, desire, pleasure, pain, etc., are perceived to exist only when the mind is active. They are not perceived in deep sleep when the mind ceases. Therefore all these attributes belong to the mind alone and not to the Atman.

attributes belong to the mind alone and not to the Atman. The sun is by nature

The sun is by nature bright, water is cool, and fire is hot. Similarly the ever pure Self is by nature existent, conscious and full.

ever pure Self is by nature existent, conscious and full. When the Self‟s existen t and

When the Self‟s existent and conscious nature is identified indiscriminately with the mind‟s nature of thinking, there arises the notion - “I know”.

of thinking, the re arises the notion - “I know”. The Self has no modification, and

The Self has no modification, and the mind is not independently conscious. But the individual, with limited understanding , (mixes up Self and mind, and) mistakes himself as knower, seer, etc

up Self and mind, and) mistakes himself as knower, seer, etc Just like a person mistaking

Just like a person mistaking a rope for a snake, one mistakes oneself for an individual and is filled with fear. On recognizing “I am the Absolute Self and not the individual self”, one attains freedom from fear.

A lighted-lamp does not need another lamp to illumine itself. Similarly, the Self, which is

A lighted-lamp does not need another lamp to illumine itself. Similarly, the Self, which is the nature of consciousness, needs nothing other (than itself) to cognize itself.

needs nothing other (than itself) to cognize itself. Negating all the (apparently limiting) conditions with the

Negating all the (apparently limiting) conditions with the help of the statement like „It is not this, It is not this‟, may one recognize the oneness of the Self both individual and Absolute, as revealed by (Vedanta) statements.

and Absolute, as revealed by (Vedanta) statements. All perceptible entities from body upto ignorance are

All perceptible entities from body upto ignorance are perishable like bubbles. May one recognize that - “I am the Absolute Self, distinct from them (by nature).”

am the Absolute Self, distinct from them (by nature).” Being distinct from mind, I am free

Being distinct from mind, I am free from birth, old age, weakness and death. Being distinct from the senses, I am unassociated with objects like sounds, (sights,) etc.

I am unassociated with objects like sounds, (sights,) etc. Being distinct from mind, I am free

Being distinct from mind, I am free from sorrow, attachment, hate, and fear. According to the scriptural declaration, the Self is “pure, distinct from breath, mind, etc.”

the Self is “pure, distinct from breath, mind, etc.” I am eternal, free from attributes, actions,

I am eternal, free from attributes, actions, thoughts, and blemish.

I am ever liberated, free from changes, forms, and impurities.

am ever liberated, free from changes, forms, and impurities. Like space, I am present on the

Like space, I am present on the inside and outside of all things. I am immutable, eternal, uniform, (ever) attained, unconnected, pure and immovable.

I am verily that Supreme Brahman alone - eternal, pure, free, one, partless,full, and non-dual,

I am verily that Supreme Brahman alone - eternal, pure, free, one, partless,full, and non-dual, limitless, existent and conscious by nature

non-dual, – limitless, existent and conscious by nature Constantly repeated thus, the knowledge „ I am

Constantly repeated thus, the knowledge I am indeed Brahmanbecomes deeply ingrained, and removes ignorance and error in the same way as medicine eliminates disease.

and error in the same way as medicine eliminates disease. Seated in an isolated place, free

Seated in an isolated place, free of desires, possessing controlled senses and focused mind, one should contemplate on the one infinite Self.

mind, one should contemplate on the one infinite Self. Through knowledge, the wise one should merge

Through knowledge, the wise one should merge the entire world- of-objects in the self alone and constantly contemplate on the Self that is pure like space.

constantly contemplate on the Self that is pure like space. The knower of the Absolute discards

The knower of the Absolute discards all names and forms and remains as (the Self - ) limitless, existent and conscious by nature.

(the Self - ) limitless, existent and conscious by nature. There are no distinctions such knower,

There are no distinctions such knower, knowing, or known, in the supreme Self, for it is purely conscious and full by nature. It is illumined solely by itself.

and full by nature. It is illumined solely by itself. When the Self is deeply contemplated

When the Self is deeply contemplated upon, (clarity of) knowledge results, burning down the fuel of ignorance, in the same way as wooden pieces (rubbed against one another creates fire that consumes the wood).

Even though the Self is ever available (right here and now), it is missed, as

Even though the Self is ever available (right here and now), it is missed, as it were, due to ignorance. When ignorance disappears, the self is as though found, just like an ornament on one‟s neck (that seems lost and then found).

ornament on one‟s neck (that seems lost and then f ound). The universal Self appears to

The universal Self appears to be an individual through ignorance, in the same way that a lamp post appears to be a ghost. Agency disapears when one‟s real nature is realised to be the universal Self.

one‟s real nature is realised to be the universal Self. The ignorance represented by „I‟ and

The ignorance represented by „I‟ and „My‟ notions is destroyed by the knowledge born of Self realization, just as providing right information dispels confusion (in the wayfarer) about directions.

dispels confusion (in the wayfarer) about directions. The knower who is an adept, sees the entire
dispels confusion (in the wayfarer) about directions. The knower who is an adept, sees the entire

The knower who is an adept, sees the entire universe as located in the Self, and sees one Self as all, through the eye of knowledge.

and sees one Self as all, through the eye of knowledge. The entire universe is indeed

The entire universe is indeed the Self. Nothing other than the Self exists (in reality). Clay pots and jars are nothing but clay, so too the knower sees everything as one‟s own Self.

so too the knowe r sees everything as one‟s own S elf. The liberated one, endowed

The liberated one, endowed with self knowledge, rejects the

condition attributes previously superimposed on Self

existent Conscious, and full by nature, he becomes Brahman like the larva of a bee (that transforms into a bee.)

Being

like the larva of a bee (that transforms into a bee.) Being After crossing the ocean

After crossing the ocean of delusion and killing the monsters of likes and dislikes, (like Lord Ram who killed the Asuras) the spiritual adept is united with peace and shines, revelling in his own (true) self.

Free from dependence on external short lived pleasures, and established in the joy of Self,

Free from dependence on external short lived pleasures, and established in the joy of Self, the knower shines from within like a lamp placed within a jar.

knower shines from within like a lamp placed within a jar. Even though the contemplative sage

Even though the contemplative sage appears limited by conditions, he remains unt ainted like space (within a pot). The All knowing one appears like an (indifferent) fool ,and wanders around like the wind.

an (indifferent) fool ,and wanders around like the wind. When the (apparent) conditions are resolved, the

When the (apparent) conditions are resolved, the contemplative sage is totally absorbed in the all-pervading self, just like water merging with water, space with space, or light with light.

merging with water, space with space, or light with light. Realise Brahman to be the (ultimate)

Realise Brahman to be the (ultimate) attainment beyond which there is no further attainment; fullness beyond which there is no higher fulfillment; and knowledge beyond which there is no better knowledge.

and knowledge beyond which there is no better knowledge. Realise that to be Brahman, the (ultimate)

Realise that to be Brahman, the (ultimate) seeing beyond which there is nothing to be seen; attaining which one has no further birth; and knowing which there is nothing more to be known.

birth; and knowing which there is nothing more to be known. Realize that to be Brahman

Realize that to be Brahman which is non-dual existent, conscious and fulln by nature; infinite, eternal, one; and limitless from in every direction around, above, below.

from in every direction – around, above, below. Realize Brahman to be that which is non-dual,

Realize Brahman to be that which is non-dual, indivisible, full, one; as revealed through the Upanishads by implication by negating every thing else (other than oneself).

Entities, from Brahma onwards, depend on a mere fragment of the fullness of Brahman, enjoying

Entities, from Brahma onwards, depend on a mere fragment of the fullness of Brahman, enjoying it in different proportions according to their status (relative to each other).

according to their status (relative to each other). Every object is invariably associated with Brahman. All

Every object is invariably associated with Brahman. All actions are infused by Brahman; therefore Brahman is all pervading, as butter permeates all of milk.

Brahman is all pervading, as butter permeates all of milk. Realise Brahman to be that which

Realise Brahman to be that which is neither subtle nor gross; neither short nor long; free from birth, change; forms, qualities, colour and name.

free from birth, change; forms, qualities, colour and name. Realise Brahman to be that through whose

Realise Brahman to be that through whose light are illuminated entities like the Sun and the Moon, but which is never illuminated by them.

Sun and the Moon, but which is never illuminated by them. Pervading and illumining the whole

Pervading and illumining the whole universe from within and without, the universal Self shines by itself like (the fire in) a red- hot iron-ball.

shines by itself like (the fire in) a red- hot iron-ball. Brahman is different (in nature)

Brahman is different (in nature) from the universe. (But) there exists nothing that is separate from Brahman. Objects other than Brahman are mere appearances like a mirage in the desert.

Brahman are mere appearances like a mirage in the desert. Objects, perceived or heard, have no

Objects, perceived or heard, have no existence apart from Brahman. Attaining the knowledge of essential reality, one sees these as nothing but universal self - non-dual existent,.conscious and full by nature.

Heated by the fire of knowledge, and kindled by study of scriptures, enquiry and contemplation,

Heated by the fire of knowledge, and kindled by study of scriptures, enquiry and contemplation, the individual becomes free of all impurities, and shines independently like gold.

free of all impurities, and shines independently like gold. The self is the sun of knowledge

The self is the sun of knowledge that rises in the space of the heart and destroys the darkness of the ignorance. It is omnipresent, supports all, shines (independently, and) lights up everything else.

all, shines (independently, and) lights up everything else. Unconcerned about directions, space, and time etc., one

Unconcerned about directions, space, and time etc., one makes a pilgrimage to his own self is omnipresent, free from (opposites like heat and) cold etc., ever full, and unblemished. (Knowing thus,) one becomes all knowing, omnipresent, actionless and immortal.