Towards the beginning of Shankara’s Vivekachudamani, he summarises the entire vedantic path in 3 verses. The 509 verses that follow these 3 verses are mere elucidation on these 3 verses.
Verse 69 indicates the fruit of the path – the end of suffering (‘bondage of samsara’):
69. Listen attentively, O learned one, to what I am going to say. By listening to it thou shalt be instantly free from the bondage of Samsara.
The first step on the path is vairagya, or dispassion. This leads to a calm mind in which the ego is not allowed to act out:
70. The first step to Liberation is the extreme aversion to all perishable things, then follow calmness, self-control, forbearance, and the utter relinquishment of all work enjoined in the Scriptures.
Then the teachings are heard (sravana), reflected upon (manana), followed by a period of meditation on the Self (nididhyasana) for the ‘Muni’ (jewel) which is nothing other than moksha (liberation). Notice the stress on the ‘long, constant and unbroken meditation’. Then follows the nirvikalpa state (samadhi) which in turn leads to Nirvana (liberation or extinguishment of desires/egoic vasanas):
71. Then come hearing, reflection on that, and long, constant and unbroken meditation on the Truth for the Muni. After that the learned seeker attains the supreme Nirvikalpa state and realises the bliss of Nirvana even in this life.
This is the vedantic path in a nutshell.
For the entire text of Vivekachudamani click here.
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