THIS little volume with its foundation-stones of Truth is an effort to further the second object of the Theosophical Society as it was originally expressed by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy:
To promote the study of Aryan and other Scriptures, of the World's religion and sciences, and to vindicate the importance of old Asiatic literature, namely, of the Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Zoroastrian philosophies.
The translations herein are reprints from the Oriental Department Papers published by William Quan Judge in 1894, 1895, and 1896, as well as from Judge's Magazine, The Path. In introducing Charles Johnston, then a member of the Theosophical Society, as the translator of the Sanskrit works to be produced in his Oriental Papers, judge writes:
Of his qualifications there is no doubt, as he has had experience in this field, has also for some time been teaching Sanskrit, and brings to the work a sincere sympathy with Indian thought as well as devotion to the Society which will without question make the matter furnished of value as well as of interest.
In Śankarâchârya (the blessed teacher) we have an example of the statement that "Masters are living facts." Mankind needs such assurance these days, and needs not only the inspiration of the story of a man who has lived divinely, but also his kindly and strengthening words of wisdom. What greater gift could the Hindu sage have left us than that of a collection of soul-stirring thoughts?
For those who, with hearts fervent with compassion, seek
the holy path that brings to birth a 'sage of boundless vision,' Śankarâchârya's Crest-Jewel of Wisdom will be a practical and inspiring guide to life. Its teachings, the shared realizations of an enlightened god-man, tell us the laws by which we may 'untie the bonds of unwisdom,' and thus, evermore free, with minds calm and pellucid and hearts purified of reward-desiring actions, come to know and partake of the majestic power, light, and universal kinship of the Divine within us, our birthright as humans, and our passport to grander attainments in vaster spheres of consciousness.
Just as the sun with its splendor and its glories greets us every morning when we awake and silently through the day nourishes us in all parts of our being, and later as it sets at night, leaves a glow of rich color suggesting a spiritual mystery to be grasped somewhere, somehow--maybe in the morn's returning light--so the challenging message of Śankarâchârya's jewel-thoughts braces the spirits of world-weary ones as they turn to its radiant wisdom. They become illumined by the divine fire permeating its words, and as they turn from the study of its verses enriched for another of life's experiences, the glow of the gleaned awakenings will become a haunting memory leading them back to its precepts for another sunrise and sunset of the spirit.