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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Vivekacuḍāmaṇi literally means ‘crest jewel of discrimination’.

Significance of Vivekacuḍāmaṇi[edit]

Vivekacuḍāmaṇi is one of the prakaraṇa-granthas or elementary treatises of Advaita Vedānta by Śaṅkara (A. D. 788- 820). It is in verses of various metres, the total number being 579. There is a balanced combination of philosophical acumen and literary grace in this work.

Content of Vivekacuḍāmaṇi[edit]

Vivekacuḍāmaṇi includes discussions on the following topics:

  • Importance of attaining mukti or liberation
  • Means of attaining it
  • Place of bhakti or devotion in the path of liberation
  • Importance of self-effort
  • Liberation can be attained only by the knowledge of the identity of jīvātman (the individual soul) and Paramātman (the Supreme Soul)
  • Māyā and its two powers
  • Nature of the ātman
  • Means of destroying the bondage of sansāra or transmigratory existence
  • Nature of Brahman, the Absolute
  • Explanation of the mahāvākya tat-tvam-asi
  • Fruit of ātmajñāna or realization of the ātman, the Self
  • Characteristics of the jīvanmukta, the liberated soul
  • Prārabdhakarma, karma that has started giving its results
  • Conclusion of the treatise

Commentaries on Vivekacuḍāmaṇi[edit]

  1. By Keśavācāryasvāmin of Muni-maṇḍala
  2. By Candraśekharabhāratī (A. D. 1892-1954), a former pontiff of the Sāradāpīṭha of Srñgerī


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore