Kaivalya Navaneeta – The Cream of Liberation

1. Prostrations to the holy feet of the unique Lord who like ether remains as the sole witness in the hearts of all beings, whether they are swayed by desire for wealth, lands, and women, or are free from such desire; and who shines as the towering peak over the seven successive spiritual heights,1 which are in themselves exalted over all other planes (of mind), or in Nannilam, the holiest of the seven holy places!

2. I worship the ever-shining Pure Consciousness, which manifests as Brahma, Vishnu, or mighty Shiva, according as He creates, preserves or withdraws (the universe), and also as the countless individual beings, yet remains ever-free and perfect as the blazing sun over the Ocean of Bliss.

3. I ever worship the lotus feet of my Master by whose grace I learnt that my very self is the all embracing Reality (Brahman) and the mosaic of the Universe but a phenomenon in me, and who remained as the Self, like the ether in a wall.

4. I adore the Almighty who manifested as my Master in order that the mind, the intellect, the senses and the body, might to my very knowledge be reduced to nothing, like mist before the sun, when He taught me “You and I are one,” to make me one with Him!

5. I adore the feet of the holy Master who shines forth for ever as the wide expanse which has no beginning or end or interval, and I proceed to tell you the true nature of the Absolute Being, to explain bondage and Liberation so that even those who are too dull to learn the scriptures, may understand.

6. All the ancient Sages drew from the boundless Ocean of milk, namely the Vedanta 2 and filled their pitchers, their works.3 I boiled them all (on the fire of the Master’s words), churned them (with the churn of enquiry into the Self) and I present this cream of Liberation — Kaivalya Navaneeta — to all.
Now, will those who have partaken of this and satisfied their hunger, roam about eating the offal of externals4?

7. After adoring my Master, Venkatesa Mukunda, who is himself ever-free, and who made me his own, I write this Kaivalya Navaneeta divided into two parts, the first of which contains a clear exposition of the Truth,5 and the second clears away all doubts arising from the former.6


The Exposition of the Truth:

1. See Section II, v. 149
2. The Upanishads.
3. The sutras, the itihasas, the kavyas and bhashyas.
4. i.e., seek fulfillment of their desire for worldly life?
5. Tattva-vilakkam.
6. Sandehantelithal.


Kaivalya Navaneeta - The Cream of Emancipation


The Kaivalya Navaneeta


The Kaivalya Navaneeta is a widely known Advaita classic in Tamil. Navaneeta means butter. Kaivalya or Revala is the state in which the soul exists, isolated from all connection with the body etc. From the vast ocean of milk (the Upanishads etc.) the great teachers have drawn the milk of wisdom and filled it in pots (ancient texts). Tandavaraya Swami, the author of Kaivalya Navaneeta says that he has extracted the butter from the milk. Those who have obtained this (being fed on the butter of divine wisdom – Brahma Jnana – and being eternally satisfied) will not roam about feeding on dust (non-real objects of sense).

The two sections of this work are called ‘The exposition of the Truth’ (Tattva Vilakkappadalam) and ‘Doubts cleared Away'(Sandeham telitarppadalam). They explain the basic philosophical principles and clear doubts which are likely to arise in understanding these principles.

V. A. Devasenapathi


Kaivalya Navaneeta - The Cream of Emancipation