Briefly about the VivekachUdAmani:

To begin with the Guru says: You are eally the paramAtman. Your involvement in the bondage of samsAra is due to your understanding being clouded by ajnana.This bondage to the anAtman is itself samsAra. The fire of discrimination between the Atman and the anAtman will completely burn out the effect of ajnana.

Upon this, the sisya, reverently submits to the Guru and asks seven questions:

  1. What is bondage?
  2. How did it arise?
  3. How does it continue?
  4. How is one released from it?
  5. What is this anAtman?
  6. Which is the paramAtman?
  7. How to distinguish between the Atman and the anAtman?

The Guru takes up the fourth question first, namely how liberation is achieved? The reason for this is stated by His Holiness thus: When a man is trapped in a burning house, his first impulse is to quench the flames and escape death, he will not linger to ask how the fire was caused, what is it's extent etc. 

The Guru tells the sisya, that to obtain liberation he should develop vairAgya, acquire the virtues of sama, dama etc., adopt sanyasa, give up all karmas, receive upadeas on the sruti texts from his Guru, contemplate thereon, discriminate between whatever is the anAtman and the Atman by unceasing mediation on the import of the scriptural texts, attain the state of nirvikalpa samAdhi and realise his non difference as the Atman from the ParamAtman. 

Next the Guru dwells on the fifth question, describing what is anAtman, by describing the sthula, sUkshma and kArana sarIra's. He addresses the sixth question next, then the seventh, then cycles back to the first, second and third questions. He then once again answers the fourth question, in detail, and finally confers some advice to the sisya on being slack in his practice and that he should be constantly wary of being drawn into the samsara again by the vasanAs.