The Absolute which is free of every kind of relationship cannot but remain ever revealed and self-revealed. Everything cognised as other to It, the whole of this relative phenomenal universe of subject and object in the space-time continuum, appears to the senses and the mind some times revealed and at other times veiled. The cogniser of this appearance and disappearance of the universe has necessarily to be beyond the realm of appearance and disappearance, and therefore, eternal and ever revealed. A small cloud formed due to the heat of the sun appears to veil the big sun itself. But really it proclaims the presence of the sun and thus reveals the sun, because its very existence depends on the sun. Even so, this finite universe, a mere phenomenon which has come out of Consciousness, is erroneously thought as veiling the Absolute, but it is really revealing It through the process of appearance and disappearance. The great Acharya Sankara briefly refers to this fact while commenting on the Bhagavadgita verse XVIII-50. He says: "It is true that the Absolute is unattainable to those who are not initiated into the traditional knowledge by their preceptors, who have not properly grasped the import of Vedanta, whose intellect is completely engrossed in the external sense-objects and who are not trained in the right sources of knowledge. On the other hand, to those who are duly initiated, it is quite impossible to believe in the reality of duality -subject and object-of our external perception, because they perceive no reality other than the
Consciousness of the Self. For, the Self is not a thing unknown to anyone at any time. Neither is It a thing to be reached or rejected or acquired. If the Self were to be quite unknown, all understanding intended for the benefit of oneself would have no meaning. It is not possible certainly to think that they are for the benefit of the physical body, the organs and the like which are insentient. Nor is it possible to think happiness is for happiness' sake. Therefore, just as there is no need for an external evidence for knowing one's own body, so also, there is no need for an external proof to know the Self which is nearer than even the body. Even those who have the knowledge that the Self, being without any form, cannot be known through immediate perception, must admit that since an object of knowledge is apprehended through knowledge, knowledge is quite as immediately known as pleasure or pain. Moreover, it cannot be maintained that knowledge is a thing which one seeks to know. If knowledge were unknown, it would be something which has to be sought after, just as an unknown object of knowledge is sought after. Just as one seeks to reach by knowledge a knowable object like a pot or a cloth, so also one would have to seek to reach knowledge by means of another knowledge. But our experience is otherwise. Therefore, Knowledge is self-revealed, and hence the Knower is also self-revealed. No effort is needed for the Knowledge of the Reality. All effort is directed towards preventing the error of the non-self being regarded as the Self."
Salutations to the Supreme Reality transcending the mind and senses. We adore that Universal Essence that pervades everywhere, manifests as everything and which indwells all beings as the subtlest of the subtle Antaryami Tattva. Prostrations to the Satguru who reveals the Reality to the devout disciple dedicated to the quest after the Divine Truth. I am happy to give this foreword to the present English rendering of the great Totakacharya's Sruti-Sara-Samuddharanam and a very readable commentary upon this admirable work. It is of immense value to sincere spiritual Sadhakas upon the path of Vedanta. Thus they are of practical utility and help to all engaged in- living the life spiritual. Sri Swami Brahmananda Sarasvatiji of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy, Shivanandanagar, has rendered a valuable service in making available his notes of his personal study of the original Sanskrit work as well as its Hindi commentary. I congratulate the author and invoke upon him the blessings of Jagadguru Adi Sankara Bhagavat Pada and our worshipful Satguru Swami Sivananda Sarasvatiji Maharaj. May this book which is a labour of love of the translator and commentator find its way into the hands of every sincere student of the Jnana Marga. I wish the book wide circulation. May God bless Swami Brahmananda Sarasvati as well as all those associated in preparing the manuscript and printing and publishing this present volume. God's Grace be upon the readers of this work.
Prostrations at the feet of the Supreme, the Almighty Lord. If I am correct, it was on Guruvar, Thursday in the last week of April 1973, a copy of the book ',crud-Sara-Samuddharanam (Totakam)' of Sri Totakacharya, in Sanskrit, with a small commentary in Hindi, by H.H. Sri Swami Vidyananda Giri Maharaj, Mahamandalesvar of the local Kailasa Ashram, was given to me by H.H. Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, General Secretary of The Divine Life Society at its Headquarters. Sri Swamiji Maharaj asked me to study the book carefully. After the first reading, I felt the necessity of some help for a fuller understanding of the verses in the book. For this purpose, I approached Revered Sri Swami Jnananandaji Maharaj, the Head of the Sanskrit Department in the Ashram, who has remarkable scholarship in Sanskrit literature and admirable poetic talents. Swamiji Maharaj readily and gladly agreed to help me. The study of the verses under his able guidance was completed in about four to five weeks. After some days, I myself had another leisurely revision of the book during which the short notes which I had jotted down during the classes under Sri Swami Jnananandaji were expatiated. The manuscript that ensued from this revision, covered more than two hundred foolscap pages. An idea then struck me that it would he useful; if I could get these notes typed. This also was got done, thanks to the selfless service of the co-Sadhakas in the Ashram.
One day, when I was talking to Sri Narasimhuluji, who is in charge of the Press in the Ashram, and who was then acting as the Editor of 'The Divine Life' in the place of H.H. Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, the permanent Editor who was out of station for reasons of ill health, he enquired whether I had any article with me for 'The Divine Life' journal. I then suggested these notes of mine on the Sruti-Sara-Samuddharanam for publication as a serial. The Editorial Staff did not then want a serial, as there were already more than one serial occupying the space of the Journal. It was therefore decided to publish the matter in the form of independent articles under suitable headings. With some slight adjustments in the manuscript to suit the above requirement, it started appearing in 'The Divine Life' from its Issue for October 1974 onwards. The first article was published under the title "The Philosophy of Sri Totakacharya", the second one under the caption "Guru, God and the Absolute", the third under "Who Is a Disciple?", and so on, until the whole manuscript was covered, the last one being the article which appeared in the Issue for May 1976, under the heading "Who Is a Perfected Sage?"
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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