We are currently witnessing a spate of atheistic and agnostic, generally scientistic, denials of the existence of God (Often perceived as appropriate responses to the ongoing onslaught of machinations of the fundamentalist media). Alongside these inceasingly popular books, we have a lengthening list of works which approach religion and the objects of its concern from a phenomenological standpoint, materlialistic analyses tracing what amounts to a "natural history" of God, or God as conceptually conceived. How can one adopt the pretense of attempting to study God when one's attention is focused on the ever shifting sands of temporal/material existence, where the mind is kept ever flirting with one image, or illusion, after the next?
I beg all of the authors of these books to turn now to this venerable masterpiece - The Crest Jewel of Discrimination, which gives a precise and comprehensive description of the nature and existence of God: ". . . beginningless, endless, immeasurable, unchanging, one without a second . . . pure existence, pure consciousness, eternal bliss, beyond action, infinite, omnipresent . . . cannot be grasped since it is transcendent . . . cannot be contained, since it contains all things . . . without parts or attributes . . . subtle, absolute, taintless, indefinable, beyond the range of mind and speech . . . reality itself, established in its own glory, pure, absolute consciousness, having no equal, one with a second . . ." This extract may serve the prospective reader as an example of the succint yet comprehensive analysis given here. The book is, as always in the style of Sankara, eloquent in its spare and direct rendering and clarification of the most obsessively mystifying, often abstruse and yet essential subjects. The translation here, of 1947 vintage, is justly celebrated.
Wisdom is revealed on every page - remarkably, every question the devoted seeker might ask is answered in detail and, best of all, the reader can carry this diminuative treasure trove anywhere - the ultimate distillation of Truth in a mere 150 pages.