This is an outstanding piece of scholarship. The author shows a deep understanding or Sankara's thought.
John M. Koller, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
This book is the first full-length study of renunciation in Sankara's Advaita Vedanta. It shows that a major misinterpretation occurred concerning Sankara's position on renunciation early within his won tradition, and has persisted amongst modern Indologists. Most interpreters of Sankara understand that he saw the monastic way of living as a sine qua non for full knowledge of the Self and spiritual freedom. But this study brings Sankara's real position to light and shows that, for him, inner renunciation of ego and doership was the only indispensable form of renunciation. Monasticism was quite useful, but not mandatory. Using Sankara's own hermeneutical principles as well as the modern philosophical approach, Marcaurelle shows the basic processes of interpretation and misinterpretation that can shape fundamental aspects of a spiritual tradition.
Included with the work is a discussion of particular interest given the world-wide revival of Eastern forms of meditation: a clarification of Sankara's view of the value of meditation.
The most remarkable thing about the book is the author thorough command of Advaita literature coupled with a passionate, keen and persistent concentration on his thesis. In this he emulates Samkaracarya, the greatest of all Advaitins. The intellectual importance of the book lies in the combination of scholarly expertise and persistence that the Author brings to his task.
Karl H. Potter, University of Washington
About the Author
Roger Marcaurelle is Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, Universite du Quebec a Montreal.
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