--> Skip to main content

Importance Of Viveka Or Discrimination In Vedanta

The maxim of the ornament being nothing but gold is oft quoted in Vedanta. The doubt may arise that though the gold be the basis, still differences are perceived and even graded within a set of gold ornaments, giving rise to different values.

Two gold ornaments may differ in the quality of their workmanship. One may be superbly crafted while the other only poorly so. Still the goldsmith agrees to evaluate the two on the basis of their differences, only because of the solid fact that they are both really gold. Were he asked to evaluate two superbly crafted ornaments, one of gold and the other of wood, he would assuredly excuse himself.

Viveka is the ability to differentiate what is changeless from what is temporary or misleading. Viveka is the ability to discern that which underlies all names and forms, the One because of which differences acquire value. By Viveka one moves from the certainty that one is this body to the certainty that one is bodiless.


Dhyana is concentration on an object. It fulfills the purpose of keeping away diverse thoughts and fixing the mind on a single thought, which must also disappear before Realization. But Realization is nothing new to be acquired. It is already there, but obstructed by a screen of thoughts. All our attempts are directed for lifting this screen and then Realization is revealed." — Sri Bhagavan in TALKS p. 357