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Item Code: NAM303
Author: Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Publisher: Arsha Vidya Research and Publication Trust
Language: Sanskrit Text With Transliteration and Word-to-Word Meaning English Translation
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9789380049434
Pages: 392
Cover: HardCover
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 6.0 inch
weight of the book: 625 gms


I teach Tattvabodha as an introductory text in a long-term study program of Vedanta. With pithy definitions, the text completely covers the various terms and topics. As a book of Vedanta also Tattvabodha is an eye-opener in terms of human problems and their solutions.


The source book of self-knowledge is Vedanta, which is the upanisad. But before we take up any given upanisad, we look into the subject matter of the upanisad presented in a separate book called as 'prakarana' by a given qualified author. 'Tattvabodha' is one such prakarana.

'Tattvabodha' means knowledge, bodha, of reality, tattva. 'Tattva' means generally the 'ness,' the essential nature of anything, the truth of it. Here, it is used in the sense of the ultimate truth. When we say that tattva is the ultimate truth, there is a definite meaning for it.

There is a truth, tattva, for everything. The pot has pot-ness as its truth because without the pot-ness there is no pot. And the pot-ness itself does not exist without a substantive, which, for a clay pot, is clay. So, does the clay have pot-ness? Clay cannot have pot- ness as its truth; it can have only clay-ness. Therefore, pot-ness is an incidental attribute to clay, while clay- ness appears to be non-incidental attribute of clay. Clay-ness itself is an incidental attribute because clay cannot exist without being atoms. It being so, clay-ness is an incidental attribute to atoms, and those atoms themselves have atom-ness, which are incidental attribute to particles.

As we analyse the truth of something, we keep finding that it is not the truth of that thing. And if we arrive at a truth that is not an incidental attribute, which itself is the truth, then it would be the ultimate truth. We need to use the word 'ultimate' because of this situation. We will analyse this later. Let us understand that tattva means the truth of everything. So, knowledge, bodha, of that truth, tattva, is unfolded in this book. It is a small book of definitions unfolding Vedanta. Therefore, Tattvabodha is the first book that we choose to study.

This is not a work that is traditionally enjoined. I picked up this book in order to teach somebody, so there is a story about how I came upon this book. I did not know that Tattvabodha existed in Vedanta literature. One Swami from the Fiji Islands came to me when I was in Rishikesh, and asked me to give ten talks on the Bhagaoadgtia. He was curious. Later, I came to know that he had received sannyasa by post from a respected Swami in Rishikesh. Now, he wanted me to give him ten talks on the Gita. I asked him, "Why ten talks? Why don't you study the whole Gita? I am here and we can have regular classes."

He said, "No Swamiji, I am going to the States, and there I want to give some talks on the Gita."

"Without knowledge of the Gita how are you going to give talks on the Gita?" "Just give me ten talks; it is good enough."

The Swami also said that he could sing some bhajans and play the harmonium, so ten talks were enough. I said, "I will not do it. If you want to study, you have to study properly." He replied, "Swamiji, I have no time, I have to go." I thought I should give him something which has some truth, and looked for a book which I could teach him in ten days. One Swami had passed away and all his books were sent to me. I looked into those books to see if there was anything that I could teach him, when I came upon this book Tattvabodha. I thought it was a simple book and I could teach it to him. So, I began to teach him. He did not complete this book, and at some point he felt satisfied he had enough for his satsanga talks. He went abroad.

This is how I came upon the book, Tattvabodha. Since then, I have been teaching it as the first book in every course that I have conducted. It seems to work, so let us look into it.




Introduction 1
Prayer 4
Sadhanacatustayam 14
Nityanitya-vastu-vivekah 27
Vairagya 45
Samadi-satka-sampattih 50
Sama 51
Dama 59
Uparama 63
Titiksa 66
Sraddha 71
Samadhana 85
Moksa 89
Understanding realities: satya and mithya 93
Defining atma 105
Confusion about atman is universal 109
Methods of analysis to resolve the confusion about atman 111
Atman is other than sthula-suksma- karana sarira 112
Atman is panca-kosatita 115
Atman is avastha-traya-saksin 117
Negation of not-I 119
Extending the knower-known boundary 122
The invariable consciousness 'I' is atma-svarupa 132
Consciousness is not an object and cannot be displaced  
Discerning what is real 142
Atman is not mortal but the truth of time 145
Atman is free from unhappiness 149
Unhappiness is against one's nature 156
Atman has no spatial limitation 158
Nothing is away from atman 163
Ignorance denies recognition of being limitless 165
Wholeness is never lost 167
Ananda is ananta -limitlessness 171
Svarupa-ananda and Experiential-ananda 173
Sthula-sarira 177
suksma-sarira 184
Panca-jnanendriyas, their function and presiding deities 195
Panca- karmendriyas - their function and their presiding deities 204
Karana-sarira 210
Avidya is anadi - beginningless 212
Avidya is anirvacya 213
Avastha-trayam 218
Five basic levels of error about atman 232
Annamaya-kosa 236
Pranamaya-kosa 239
Manomaya-kosa 243
Vijnanamaya-kosa 244
Anandamaya-kosa 247
Atman is not any of these 249
Atman is saccidananda svarupah 254
Sat 255
Cit 260
Ananda 262
Understanding 'tat' in tattvamasi 264
Creation 267
Brahman along with maya is the cause of the jagat 269
Creation of the five elements 285
From the sattvika aspect of the five elements comes the subtle sense organs 287
Creation and nature of the mind - antah-karana 291
Presiding deities of the mental functions 296
From the rajas aspect of the five elements comes the subtle organs of action 298
Grossification of the elements 302
From the tamas aspect of the five elements comes the tangible world 303
The process of grossification 305
Identity of Individual and Cosmos 308
The jiva 311
Isvara 317
Samsara is due to bheda-drsti 319
An objection 324
Equation of oneness is by implied meaning - laksyartha 326
Jivanmukti 339
Necessity for a Sadguru 342
More about the jivan-mukta 343
Three types of karma 353
Saficita-karma 358
Prarabdha-karma 359
Agami-karma 360
Three-fold karma for a jivan-mukta 360
The one who knows atman crosses sorrow 370


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