The Vivekachudamani (Sanskrit Vivekacūḍāmaṇi) is an introductory treatise within the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Hinduism, traditionally attributed to Adi Shankara of the eighth century CE. It is in the form of a poem in the Shardula Vikridita metre, and for many centuries has been celebrated as a prakaraṇa grantha ('teaching manual') of Advaita. Vivekachudamani literally means 'the crest-jewel of discrimination'. The text discusses key concepts and the viveka or discrimination or discernment between real (unchanging, eternal) and unreal (changing, temporal), Prakriti and Atman, the oneness of Atman and Brahman, and self-knowledge as the central task of the spiritual life and for Moksha. It expounds the Advaita Vedanta philosophy in the form of a self-teaching manual, with many verses in the form of a dialogue between a student and a spiritual teacher.
The Reverend John Henry Richards, MA, BD, was an Anglican priest born in 1934 who was ordained a deacon in Llandaff in 1977 and a priest there in 1978. He served in Maesteg, Cardiff, Penmark, and Stackpile Elidor until his retirement in 1999, and died in 2017. He is known for his English translations of the Sanskrit Ashtavakra Gita and Vivekachudamani, of the Pali Dhammapada, and of the medieval Latin De Adhaerendo Deo, all of which he put in the public domain and distributed on the Internet in the late 1990s.