Author: Swami Ranganathananda
Publisher: Advaita Ashram
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175053089
Sri Shankaracharya’s spiritual classic, Vivekachudamani, has been one of the most favoured works among the spiritual aspirants treading the path as delineated in Vedanta. The commentaries of Sri Shankaracharya, though astounding in their spiritual depth and vastness, are to a great extent abstruse for the lay aspirant.
But in his Vivekachudamani Shankara has presented the essentials of Vedanta in a language at once simple a well as poetic. Over and above this swami Ranganahananda’s commentary on it sets it in the modern backdrop with his distinctive emphasis on human welfare. It is an illuminating as well as inspiring piece of work for spiritual aspirants all over the world.
When I read this book, I was reminded of Swami Ranganathananda’s famous words: “ Are you growing spiritually? Can you love others? Can you feel oneness with others? Have you peace within yourself? And do you radiate it around you? That is called spiritual growth, which is stimulated by meditation inwardly and by work done in a spirit of service outwardly.” This is the message which Swamiji has brought out profoundly in this book for the benefit of mankind.
In the chapter on “Basics of Spiritual Life”, Swamiji highlights the importance of birth in a human body. Man alone can attain Self-realization. He substantiates this point with the help of illuminating references to the discoveries in science, especially neurology and biology. Evolution at the human stage is essentially psycho-social and not physical. He stresses the point that at the human stage man needs to take the onus of further evolution into his own hands and grow from being a narrow, sense-bound entity to a universal being with boundless sympathy, love, and spirit of service.
The purpose of Vivekachudamani is thus to kindle Self-knowledge which is essential for the growth of spirituality in an individual and to evolve enlightened human beings. Today men and women enshrouded in their respective narrow circles of community, religion, language and culture need to be released from these constraints to become “world citizens”. Vivekachudamani, with Swamiji’s sparkling commentary, is a science of human enlightenment, which cuts across the different religions, communities, cultures and civilization. It deals with man-making, i.e. making of universal men and women.
My salutations to Swami Ranganathananda for providing a beacon light to the searching enlightened readers.
-Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Former President of India)
Hints of transliteration and pronunciation
Foreword by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Shankaracharya – A brief survey of his life and work
Introduction to Vivekacudamani
The Basics of Spiritual Life
Steps to Self-realization through a Dialogue between the Disciple & the Teacher
The True Nature of the Self and the Related Topics