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Adi Shankara's description of the Non -Dual state

Adi Shankara,the 8th Century [ the exact date is unknown some scholars put it down as somewhere in the 5th century B.C. ] philosopher saint was arguably one of the greatest exponents of the "advaita" or NON DUALISM-THE ONLY REAL STATE.He was and is still an inspiration to those who aspire for that elusive state.

This is chapter taken from The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom by Adi Shankara and translated by Charles Johnston. Here Shankara gives golden advise to those who aspire to reach that only real state of existence that of ‘Non-Duality. I feel that all practitioners of Non- Dualism should try to understand the profound meaning behind the words.

As the space in a jar in universal space, so the Self is to be merged without division in the Self supreme; rest thou ever thus, O sage.
Through the separate self gaining the Self, self-shining as a resting-place, let all outward things from a world-system to a lump of clay be abandoned, like a vessel of impure water.

Raising the thought of "I" from the body to the Self that is Consciousness, Being, Bliss, and lodging it there, leave form, and become pure for ever.

Knowing that "I am that Eternal" wherein this world is reflected, like a city in a mirror, thou shalt perfectly gain thy end.

What is of real nature, self-formed, original consciousness, secondless bliss, formless, actless—entering that, let a man put off this false body of desires, worn by the Self as a player puts on a costume.

For the Self, all that is seen is but mirage; it lasts but for a moment, we see, and know it is not "I"; how could "I know all" be said of the personal self that changes every moment?

The real "I" is witness of the personal self and its powers; as its being is perceived always, even in dreamless sleep. The scripture says the Self is unborn, everlasting; this is the hidden Self, distinguished neither as what exists nor what has no existence.

The beholder of every change in things that change, can be the unchanging alone; in the mind's desires, in dreams, in dreamless sleep the insubstantial nature of things that change is clearly perceived again and again.

Therefore put away the false selfhood of this fleshly body, for the false selfhood of the body is built up by thought; knowing the Self as thine own, unhurt by the three times, undivided illumination, enter into peace.

Put away the false selfhood of family and race and name, of form and rank, for these dwell in this body; put away the actorhood and other powers of the body of form; become the Self whose self is partless joy.

Other bonds of man are seen, causes of birth and death, but the root and first form of them is selfishness.

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