Friday, December 09, 2005

Shloka on Sankaracharya Bhagavadpada


sruti smriti purananam alayam karunalayam
namami bhagavatpadam sankaram loka sankaram

I salute the divine feet of the great Sankara,
the repository of sacred scriptures,
an abode of immense compassion,
who ever accomplishes the good of the world

Taken from the preface of The Vivekachudamani of Sankaracharya Bhagavatpada: An Introduction and Translation by John A. Grimes. John Grimes, begins the Vivekachudamani with the following Shloka:

Sarva-vedanta-siddanta-gocharam tam agocaram
govindam paramanandam sad-gurum pranto'smy aham


This is what Grimes says about the invocation Shloka:

Traditionally, Indian philosophical treatises begin with an invocation to God and/or one's Guru. Sankara, in this invocation, igeniously, insighfully and subtly reveals the non-duality of Advaita even as he offers his obeisance simultaneously to both God and Guru. He was able to do this because, one of the names for God is Govinda and the name of Sankara's Guru was algo Govinda. Intriguingly, this stanza simultaneously admits both interpretations. Underlying this play of language is the insight that God, Guru and the goal of life for the individual are not different; they are the same.

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