Translation of "Prasnottara Ratna Maalika" - An Introduction

Guru Vandanam

I bow my head to Thee, my Guru who has endowed me with the physical and mental power of successfully accomplishing tasks like this translation which, for a normal person of my might is just unimaginable and of a giant himalayan size. It is only with the blessings of my Guru that I have been able to complete this work and still am left with additional quest to do more translations like this one. This work of translation has been done with reasonable care and I pray to God that there be no errors which have cropped up by oversight. If you feel the work has come out well, the success is chiefly attributable to the Supreme Being and to my Guru only who have led me through this untiringly. On the other hand, if there are any mistakes in the translation or in the presentation, the only person to be blamed is me. I sincerely appeal to you to let me know of any such mistakes so that I can correct myself in the future.

About Prasnottara Ratna Malika & this translation work:

Sri Adi Sankaracharya has composed a number of devotional slokas and has written a countless lot of bashyas and commentaries on great vedic and other spiritual literature. Not just stopping with that, he has also written some slokas that are aimed at the common man who has not come up even the first step in the spiritual path. These slokas are very practical and in the form of do's and dont's that will guide a lay man in life and gradually bring him to the path of salvation.

One of such slokas is this Prasnottara Ratna Maalika. Yet another that is widely acclaimed in this regard is the Viveka Choodamani. Both of these contain answers to common questions that will arise in one's mind about the rights and wrongs and provide the best solution for leading one's life in a truthful and honest manner. The ultimate objective of both is to help a common man in crossing the samsaara sagara (the ocean of worldly, materialistic life) and to show him the path of attaining salvation.

In this section, I have made a feeble attempt to provide a reasonable translation of all the slokas in Prasnottara Ratna Maalika. Even after taking the best efforts and drawing from useful resources, it was not possible for me to provide the exactest meaning that is superbly and matchlessly conveyed by Sri Sankara in a word or two. I would consider this as a valid and non-futile exercise if this translation helps atleast one reader in realising the essence of the slokas and changes his path and lifestyle.

To the extent possible, I have tried to break up the sanskrit terms and given the english equivalents of the same in brackets so as to share the little sanskrit knowledge bestowed on me and also to imbue an interest in sanskrit learning for the readers. I hope all the readers will take this cue and try to learn and further their sanskrit interests, which can save a great deal of our precious literature from decay. Please send in your feedback by clicking on Home and selecting the "Contact me" Link.