'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
[You are reminded that reviewing the previous week's posts will become essential as the meanings of the Sanskrit terms may not be repeated. There may come additional or alternative meanings, but all should be noted. As study progresses, the technical terms must necessarily become 'second nature' to the student. When the Sanskrit is used, the translation will fall easily into place - or likewise, if the English is used, the Sanskrit term must easily come forwards.]
Please revisit THIS post and chant the mangala-charana. Please use the TattvabodhaH label to access all posts relevant to this text.
We come to the concluding suutra of the text. Here, Adi Shankaraacharya makes a quote from shruti - the scriptures - and that it is confirmed by smriti - the remembered histories - also. (You will note a change of meter in this chanting clip; this is due to the quote being made from another text.)
तथा चात्मवित्संसारं तीर्त्वा ब्रह्मानन्दमिहैव प्राप्नोति।
तरति शोकमात्मवित् इति श्रुतेः।
तनुं त्यजतु वा कास्यां श्वपचस्य गृहेऽथ वा।
ज्ञानसंप्राप्तिसमये मुक्तोऽसौ विगताशयः। इति स्मृतेस्च।
tathaa caatmavitsaMsaaraM tiirtvaa brahmaanandamihaiva praapnoti.
tarati shokamaatmavit iti shruteH.
tanuM tyajatu vaa kaasyaaM shvapacasya gR^ihe.atha vaa.
GYaanasaMpraaptisamaye mukto.asau vigataashayaH. iti smR^itesca.
"Thus the knower of the Self, having crossed samsaara, attains supreme Bliss here itself. The shruti affirms the knower of the Self goes beyond all sorrow; 'Let the wise man cast off his body in Kashi or in the house of a dog-eater...at the time of gaining knowledge, he is liberated, being freed from all the results of his actions.' So assert the smritis too."
Kashi is a historical name for Varanasi, a hub of sacred activity, and many of India's holy men go there to leave their bodies. However, if they are truly Realised, it matters not where the body is left and this is indicated by the quite marked comment that he could as easily pass away in the company of the very lowest of society… those who choose to eat dogs. The point being that the liberation has already taken place in terms of the jiiva, the body is now incidental. The space was always space and was never bound by the pot at all.
In leaving the body, the jivanmukta becomes videhamukta - liberated without body.
इति तत्त्वबोधप्रकरणं समाप्तम्
"Thus ends the praakarana called TattvabodhaH"
The end of the first major text of teaching in Advaita Vedanta! Well done to you for sticking with it. This may seem like a sudden sort of ending, but bear in mind that it is only the beginning of the journey in this philosophy. It is prakarana grantha, a beginner's text.
Sri Adi Shankaraacharya has written a wide range of literature which appeals to people of various ages, education and levels of evolution. In TattvabodhaH, he starts with the qualifications of the student, continues with the discussion of the jiiva, jagat and Iishvara and established their identity. Finally, he relates the nature of the Realised soul. The entirety of Vedantic philosophy is provided in this text, albeit at the simplest grade. However, serious seekers who take their time and reflect deeply even on this text alone, can find much to benefit them. It ought never to be forgotten to revisit the basics, even as we progress to the intermediate and advanced levels. This is not about cramming for exams, or to impress another with one's intellectual prowess. It is about transformation; deep and meaningful unfoldment of our fullest and best personality.
It is the tradition of gurukula teaching that, once a text has reached its conclusion, the mangala charana is sung once more, to bring auspiciousness to the student and to demonstrate gratitude. Please do take time to do that.