Vivekachudamani | The Path of Wisdom podcast

Vivekachudamani | The Path of Wisdom

Vedanta Society, San Francisco

These lectures on the topic of "Viveka-chudamani"- The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom of Sri Shankaracharya were delivered by Swami Tattwamayananda at the Lake Tahoe Retreat of the Vedanta Society of Northern California (founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1900) on July 14 - 22, 2018.

Introduction to “Viveka-chudamani" - The Crest-Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom
Sri Shankaracharya holds a pre-eminent position among the world's master-minds and spiritual teachers.
'Viveka-chudamani' is one of his introductory treatises (traditionally called 'prakarana-granthas') on Advaita Vedanta and is usually studied and memorized by students who learn Advaita Vedanta according to our old orthodox tradition. Being an original work of Sri Shankara's genius in 581 verses, the wonderful book contains a lucid and poetic exposition of the basic tenets of Advaita Vedanta in the form of a lively dialogue between the Guru and the Sishya (disciple) culminating in the highest Advaitic experience of the disciple. The book deals with topics like the value of human birth ( verses: 2,3,4,), qualifications of the disciple and of an ideal teacher (34, 35), the important disciplines to be practiced (16-19), the seven fundamental questions and their answers dealing with subjects like bondage, liberation, Atman, etc. (51), the instruction of the Upanishad Mahavakya `TATTWAMASI’ (तत्त्वमसि) (242-253), etc. Sri Shankaracharya's work, though a masterly philosophical classic, has a unique practical approach, dynamism, and movement that will not fail to sustain the interest of a serious student of Advaita Vedanta from the beginning to the end.
Before Sri Shankaracharya, the idea of Advaita or Non-Dualistic philosophy existed because it is as old as the Rig Veda itself, but the formulation of a complete and compact philosophical structure, expounding its metaphysics, ontology, cosmology, logic, and epistemology was entirely his contribution.
Considered to be an important preparatory text that should be studied and memorized before one steps into the more difficult works like the bhashyas on the "Prasthanatraya", "Viveka-chudamani" is lucid, simple and exhaustive in its treatment of the fundamental doctrines of Advaita Vedanta.
(The verse numbers indicated in these lecture-series may vary from some other versions of the text).
Swami Tattwamayananda, currently the Minister of the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, (originally founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1900) served in various centers of the Ramakrishna Order in India as editor, publisher, and teacher of Sanskrit, Advaitic texts such as Sri Shankaracharya's commentaries on the 'Prasthanatraya' (the fundamental Sanskrit texts of Vedanta philosophy), Buddhism and Indian philosophy. He underwent traditional training in Hindu scriptures, Sanskrit, Vedic and Vedantic literature for many years, from his early days. Before coming to the United States in January 2012 he was teaching Sanskrit, Vedantic scriptures and Indian philosophy at the Training center in Belur Math, the institution that trains the monks of the Ramakrishna Order at the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, Kolkata, India. Apart from his traditional education, the Swami has also received modern University education in English literature, psychology, European history, and Western philosophy. He is frequently invited for lectures on Yoga, Vedanta, and traditional Hindu scriptures and for participating in interfaith dialogues.

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