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Shankara's Crest Jewel of Discrimination
Prabhavananda - Isherwood
The wind collects the clouds, and the wind drives them away again.

The Crest Jewel of Discrimination is a classic text of Vedanta regarding the path to God through knowledge.  Its basic teaching is that God alone is the all-pervading reality; the individual soul is none other than the universal soul.

Shankara (686-718 A.D.) is a prominent source of Eastern wisdom.  He has enjoyed great popularity due to the clear and rational manner with which he approaches religion.

Yet as this book will show, he was also capable of great devotion.  Renunciation, discrimination, self-control - these are his watchwords.  Some may find his austerity too forbidding, especially in the earlier part of the dialogue; but it is precisely this severity which supplies a valuable corrective to the dangers of easy sentimentality.

Shankara was under no illusions about this world of Maya; he condemns its apparent pleasures with brutal frankness.  For this reason he is able to describe so powerfully the complete transformation of the universe which takes place before the eyes of the illumined seer, when the world indeed becomes a paradise.  After arduous struggles, the pupil in the Crest Jewel achieves this realization, and Shankara's book closes with the magnificent outbursts of his joy.
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