Since the start of December we have read a section in Shankaracharya’s Crest-Jewel Discrimination each morning in Satsang. Shankara was one of the great sage-philosophers of India, teaching nondualistic philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Through the path of self-knowledge Shankara clearly teaches how to awaken from ignorance created by the mind, and abide in the peace of our true nature.
“Man’s life of bondage to the world of birth and death has many causes. the root of them all is the ego, the first-begotten child of ignorance.
As long as a man identifies himself with this wicked ego, there can be no possibility of liberation. For liberation is its very opposite.
Once freed from this eclipsing demon of an ego, man regains his true nature, just as the moon shines forth when freed from the darkness of an eclipse. He become pure, infinte, eternally blissful and self-luminous.
When a man’s mind is overpowered by extreme ignorance, it creates the sense of ego by identifying itself with the coverings. When the ego is completely destroyed, the mind is cleared of the obstacles which obstruct its knowledge of oneness with Brahman.
The ego is a strong and deadly serpent, and the gunas are its three angry hoods. It lies coiled around the treasure of the bliss of Brahman, which it guards for its own use. The wise man, inspired by the holy scriptures, cuts off the three hoods with the sword of knowledge, and utterly destroys that serpent. Thus he enjoys the treasure of supreme bliss.
There is no hope of a man’s recovery, as long as any trace of poison remains in his body. Similarly, the spiritual seeker cannot attain liberation as long as any trace of the ego remains within him.
Utterly destroy the ego. Control the many waves of distraction which it raises in the mind. Discern the reality and realize “I am That”.”