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Quotes and Teachings from Prasnottara Ratna Malika of Adi Shankaracharya - Simple Teachings of Adi Shankara

Prasnottara Ratna Malika of Adi Shankara in Sanskrit is a collection of 67 verses (question and answers). It tries to answer questions that arise in the mind of common man who is new to the spiritual world.
  • Who can be considered as a Guru?
That one who knows the truth, who lives in and as truth and who always strives for the good of his disciple.
  • What is the seed of the tree of liberation (moksha)?
The attainment of perfect and true knowledge and its application in everyday life.
  • What is the root cause of fear?
  • Who is an intelligent person?
That one who is endowed with the power of discrimination.
  • Who is the enemy?
  • What is the essence of this life that we are leading?
The understanding that it is only transitory and will not last forever.
What can be considered as the dearest thing for a man?
The leading of a life that is entirely devoted to the good of himself and others.
  • What spoils the mind and brings down its efficiency?
Love of the abnormal or extreme kind.
  • Who is the blindest of the blind?
That one who is not free from all attachments and who rather sticks to them.
  • What is happiness?
The state of complete non-attachment to everything.
  • What is Holy Water?
One’s own pure mind.
  • What is Realization?
That which brings about freedom.
  • Who is the greatest of enemies?
Lust combined with anger, falsehood, greed and desire.
  • What is the source of sorrow?
The notion ‘mine.’
  • What is great gift?
Fearlessness at all times.
  • Who is a blind man?
One who performs deeds not prescribed by Dharma.
  • Who is a deaf man?
One who refuses to listen to the voice of wisdom.
  • Who is a dumb man?
One who does not discuss about spiritual matters with those who know more than himself.
  • What is meant by Daana (Charity)?
Daana is a gift given to another, even without a request from the other for such a gift.
  • Who is a friend?
One who keeps you away from Evil.

Who is a slave? – He is a slave who is indulged in physical pleasure.

What is salvation? – Detachment from all physical longings is salvation.

What is the worst hell? – Longing for body is the worst hell.

What is heaven? The state of no lust is heaven.

Who are enemies? – Our own sense organs are enemies but if won over they turn to be friends.

What is the cause of pain? Affection is the cause of pain.