In this verse from Viveka Chudamani (Crest-Jewel of Discrimination), Adi Shankaracharya teaches that the path to a tranquil mind lies in the practice of viveka, which means “discrimination” or “discernment.” What Shankaracharya would have us discern is the difference between “the highest goal” of spiritual life and the “myriad sense objects,” with their “imperfections.”

The “imperfections” that this sage asks us to observe have to do with the impermanence of the things of the world. Youth and physical beauty will inevitably fade. Riches and material possessions come and go. Personal relationships do not last. Attainments such as these can never give us lasting satisfaction, and, ultimately, thinking about such passing enjoyments will only agitate the mind. It is by directing our attention beyond the ephemeral that the mind becomes peaceful.

When we focus on “the highest goal,” the eternal state of oneness with supreme Consciousness, Adi Shankaracharya tells us, our mind becomes tranquil, pure.

Thus, in this verse we find a compelling means to put Gurumayi’s Message for 2019 into practice. By guiding our mind to “focus on and contemplate the highest goal,” we come to know the mind’s essential nature—we experience “the tranquil state of mind” that purely reflects the light of supreme Consciousness that is the mind’s very source. Through repeatedly focusing on that which is lasting, we delight again and again in the pure light of our own true Self.

Vivekachudamani verse 367
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