This text is one among the many works by Jagadguru Adi Shankara Acharya, great teacher and reformer of Hinduism. According to the records of the Indian Shankara Mathas, on the other hand, the period is established between the and the B. Some Puranas and other ancient scriptures contain references to Adi Shankara as an incarnation of Shiva and Surya; certainly the extent of his preaching work in defense of Dharma and Vedic knowledge reveals an extremely powerful divine personality. The poetic image of the precious necklace of gems is meant to illustrate the wonderful qualities of this collection of questions and answers, that brings us directly in contact with the great Adi Shankara and his deep wisdom, just as if we were sitting in front of him in the ancient tradition of direct relationship between guru and disciple. These teachings are compared to precious gems for their richness and value, brilliance and inalterability, and also for the beneficial influence on the lives of those who will honor them by keeping them constantly close to their hearts. Some of the questions: who is a Guru, what is Dharma, what is God, what brings happiness, what is charity, what is wealth, what are the four forms of good fortune, which place we should avoid.
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Translation of "Prasnottara Ratna Maalika" - An Introduction Guru Vandanam I bow my head to Thee, my Guru who has endowed me with the physical and mental power of successfully accomplishing tasks like this translation which, for a normal person of my might is just unimaginable and of a giant himalayan size.
It is only with the blessings of my Guru that I have been able to complete this work and still am left with additional quest to do more translations like this one. This work of translation has been done with reasonable care and I pray to God that there be no errors which have cropped up by oversight. If you feel the work has come out well, the success is chiefly attributable to the Supreme Being and to my Guru only who have led me through this untiringly. On the other hand, if there are any mistakes in the translation or in the presentation, the only person to be blamed is me.
I sincerely appeal to you to let me know of any such mistakes so that I can correct myself in the future. Not just stopping with that, he has also written some slokas that are aimed at the common man who has not come up even the first step in the spiritual path. One of such slokas is this Prasnottara Ratna Maalika. Yet another that is widely acclaimed in this regard is the Viveka Choodamani.
The ultimate objective of both is to help a common man in crossing the samsaara sagara the ocean of worldly, materialistic life and to show him the path of attaining salvation. In this section, I have made a feeble attempt to provide a reasonable translation of all the slokas in Prasnottara Ratna Maalika.
Even after taking the best efforts and drawing from useful resources, it was not possible for me to provide the exactest meaning that is superbly and matchlessly conveyed by Sri Sankara in a word or two.
I would consider this as a valid and non-futile exercise if this translation helps atleast one reader in realising the essence of the slokas and changes his path and lifestyle. To the extent possible, I have tried to break up the sanskrit terms and given the english equivalents of the same in brackets so as to share the little sanskrit knowledge bestowed on me and also to imbue an interest in sanskrit learning for the readers.
I hope all the readers will take this cue and try to learn and further their sanskrit interests, which can save a great deal of our precious literature from decay. Please send in your feedback by clicking on Home and selecting the "Contact me" Link.
Prasnottara Ratna malika