[Advaita-l] Viveka

Br. Sridhar sridhar at amritapuri.amrita.edu
Mon Nov 5 00:22:40 CST 2007

|| Aum Sri Gurubhyo Namah ||  

|| Hari: Aum || 

Aum Namah Shivaya  

Sharing a few great thoughts of Swami Sivananda Saraswathy on Viveka: 


Viveka is discrimination between the real and the unreal, permanent 
and impermanent, self and the not­self. Viveka dawns in a man on 
account of the grace of God. The grace can come only when one has 
done incessant selfless service in countless births with the feeling 
of Isvararpana (offering unto God). The door of the higher mind is 
flung open when there is awakening of discrimination. There is an 
unchanging permanent principle amidst the ever-changing phenomena of 
the universe and the fleeting movements and oscillation of mind. 

The five sheaths are floating in the universal consciousness like 
straw on water. The five changing kosas (sheaths) are mixed up with 
the eternal atman (self). There is childhood, boyhood, adolescence 
and old age for this physical body. But there is an unchanging 
background for this ever­changing body and mind, like the blackboard 
or screen in a cinema which manifests various forms and figures. The 
witness or the silent spectator of these changes of the body and mind 
is permanent and unchanging. He is like the all­pervading space. He 
pervades, permeates and interpenetrates all these changing forms like 
the thread in a garland of flowers. This eternal essence of atman is 
present everywhere and in everything ­ atoms, electrons, mustard, nay 
in ants and mountains. He dwells in the chambers of your own heart. 
He is the soul of this tree, stone, flower, goat, dog, cat, man, 
saint or Devata (God). He is the common property of all, be he a 
saint or a sinner, a king or a peasant, a beggar or a baron, a 
scavenger or a cobbler. He is the very source for life and thought. 

The aspirant should learn to discriminate between the eternal and 
unchanging substratum of all objects and the ever­changing names and 
forms. He should seriously engage himself at all times to separate 
the eternal unchanging self. He should try to separate himself from 
the changing, impermanent five sheaths, from the passions, emotions, 
feelings, thoughts, sentiments, nay from the oscillating mind itself. 
He should distinguish between the mind and the witness who moves and 
illumines the mind, between ordinary sensation, feelings and 
sentiments and perfect awareness of pure consciousness which remains 
unaffected and unattached, between personality and individuality. He 
must also separate himself from the adventitious false 
superimpositions of the body, viz., position, rank, avocation, birth, 
caste, stage, and order of life. These are all accidental appendages 
of the false personality. 

|| Aum shAnthih shAnthih shAnthih ||  

srI pAda sEvAyAm  

 || Aum lokAh samasthAh sukhino bhavanthu ||  

japo jalpaH shilpaM sakalam-api mudrA-virachanA  

gatiH prAdakshhiNya-kramaNam ashanAdy-Ahuti vidhiH /  

praNAmaH samveshaH sukhaM akhilaM AtmArpaNa-dRshA  

saparyA paryAyaH tava bhavatu yan-me vilasitaM  

// Soundarya Lahari Verse 27 // 

-- srI shankara bhagavathpAda  

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