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Sangeeta Vedanta

(Vivekachudamani or The Crest Jewel of Discrimination Of Sri Sankaracharya - In Song)

Dedicated to Gurudev Sri Swami Sivananda

Songbird sings joyfully!


Vedanta deals with the indivisibility of all things, you and me included. Systemized much later, in the earlier stages it was merely a dialogue or series of dialogues between master and disciple that took intellectual doubts to their logical conclusion and hence, ended learning. This laid the foundation for deep contemplation and direct realization.

Direct realization must happen! – or we are left with concepts, mere words that do not have the power to bring inner clarity. Through the words, you are learning about yourself and therefore, study of vedanta is the study of the self in stages, culminating in direct experience.

Songs have a unique way of driving home points that are diffucult to grasp or elusive, as they are not limited by the rules and structure of language. Songs use language but are not used by language. What the finger is pointing to is more important than the finger itself.

I have discovered this in the Inspiring English Philosophical Songs of Swami Sivananda, and this work is offered in the humble footsteps that follow this inspiration. The tune is simple and the rhythm is set to a four line verse for symmetry. Where it was felt to have five or six lines, I have indented them so it cues you to follow the same tune as the earlier lines so that the next verse may begin afresh.

One does not need any singing ability or talent for these songs – as the message is the music! The first few times you may find yourself concentrating on the words and tune, on the singing. If you continue without becoming mechanical, you will find yourself listening to the words of the song which is being sung. If you continue and stay alert, you will then find yourself contemplating of the meaning of the song which is being sung and heard. If you are determined and ever alert, finally something wonderful happens! – will find yourself meditating on that which the words point to while the song is being sung and listened.

I have found singing Swami Sivananda’s English Philosophical Songs to be the best meditations and have been immeasureably inspired by them. The essence of all teachings is contained in his magnificent songs. Simplicity of mind and heart is needed, together with discipline in regularity of effort till it becomes natural – not the singing, but all that follows as a result.

Wishing you a glorious journey through song!

Swami Suryadevananda

15 August 2010



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Introduction by Dr. Medha Sachdev


Note of Gratitude and Appreciation

I. First Steps on the Path

1. Prologue
2. The Fourfold Means for Salvation
3. The Appeal to the Higher Self
4. The Beginning of the Teaching
II.  Self, Potencies, Sheaths
1. The Sheaths
2. The Three Potencies
3 .Bondage and Freedom
4. The Freeing of the Self
5. The Food Sheath
6. The Vital Sheath
7. The Mental Sheath
8. The Intellect Sheath
III. The Witness
1. The Manifest and Hidden Self
2. The Bliss Sheath
3. Self: The Witness
4. Thou Art That
5. The Manifest and the Hidden Self
IV. Finding the Real Self
1. Bondage Through Imagination
2. The Way to Liberation
3. Selfhood Transferred to Things Not Self
4. The Real in Things Unreal
V. The Power of Mind Images
VI. Free Even In Life
1. Freedom Here and Now
2. The Liberated Sage
VII. The Three Kinds of Works
VIII. Guru and Disciple
1. Further Instructions
2. Song of Liberation
IX. The Perfect Sage
X. For Even Free
1. The Serpent’s Slough
2. The Self Endures
3. Benediction
Sanskrit Words
End Notes