Saturday, 6 December 2014

Nirvana Shatkam - Traditional Vedanta Books - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Nirvana Shatkam is a śloka in six stanzas written by the great Ādi Śaṅkara (first Śaṅkarācārya) summarizing the basic teachings of Advaita Vedānta, or the Hindu teachings of non-dualism. When a young boy of eight (Ādi Śaṅkara), while wandering in the Himalayas, seeking to find his Guru, he encountered a sage who asked him, "Who are you?". The boy answered with these stanzas, which are known as "Nirvāṇa Śaṭkam" or Ātma Ṣaṭkam". The sage the boy was talking to was Svāmi Govindpada Ācārya, who was, indeed, the teacher he was looking for. These few verses can be of tremendous value to progress in contemplation practices that lead to Self-Realization.

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About Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita (Nondualism), and a Guru, belonging to the Navnath Sampradaya. Sri Nisargadatta, with his direct and minimalistic explanation of non-dualism, is considered the most famous teacher of Advaita since Ramana Maharshi. In 1973, the publication of his most famous and widely-translated book, "I AM THAT", an English translation of his talks in Marathi by Maurice Frydman, brought him worldwide recognition and followers.

According to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the purpose of spirituality is simply to know who you are. His discussions are not for academic scholars. He is a rebellious spirit, abrupt in his style of discussion, provocative, and immensely profound, cutting to the core and wasting little effort on inessentials. He talked about the 'direct way' of knowing the Final Reality, in which one becomes aware of one's original nature through mental discrimination, breaking the mind's false identification with the ego, knowing that "You are already That".

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