Those who are not capable of reading Sanskrit texts can understand the meaning very easily by reading Swamiji’s books, many people as soon as they see Sanskrit Sloka and word to word meaning, they feel boared to read such a dry book. The way Swami ji has presented those books. Questions and answers, they give complete meaning of the entire text which make it interesting for them to read repeatedly.
Sri. Ramakrishna Math Thrissur had published two small but enlightening books for our spirituality kindled readers entitled QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE and QUEST FOR MONISM. The readers should naturally feel the QUEST FOR ABSOLUTISM as all quests cease only by realising ABSOLUTISM. So, now, we are happy to publish QUEST FOR ABSOLUTISM by Swami Ramanujandaji, sister-volume of QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE for our readers.
We are fortunate to have been born in this blessed land, ‘the punyabhumi’, where the thirst for knowledge had been quenched completely by our great spiritual leaders, the Rishis. The study and practice of QUEST FOR ABSOLUTISM, i.e., Panchadasi, will surely lead one to the realisation of non-dualism or advaita which is the end of all human struggle and quest for freedom. Being the followers of great visionaries, it is our moral responsibility to make use of the precious treasure of spirituality that they have bequeathed to us. Swamiji wrote ‘Panchadasi’ with this aim in a very simple and comprehensive language and texture.
We extend our sincere thanks to Swami Ramanujanandaji and his friends who assisted him in bringing out such an enlightening work for the liberation of the whole humanity. We are happy to bring out this book on Sri. Sarada Jayanthi day as she is ‘Sarada’ the embodiment of learning.
Books are said to belong to different foundations (prasthanas) — scriptural, literary, historical and logical. The Panchadasi belongs to the last category. In other words, the author of this classic makes use of logic to convey his views on the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Therefore, it is not possible to understand anything if one or two sentences here and there of this book are read. It will be found that there are sentences rejecting Advaita. But they are the views of opponents. The author states the opponents views and then refutes them and finally establishes the Advaitic view. Therefore, readers are requested to go through the book from the beginning and to avoid the temptation of reading here and there.
There are many excellent translations of the Gita, the Vivekachudamani and the Panchadasi. Many times a question arises whether new books on these topics are necessary. Youngsters, students, teachers and even elders have expressed their opinion that our sacred texts do require simplification. One has to admit that simplification of a classic is a difficult task. Now, QUEST FOR ABSOLUTISM (Panchadasi for Beginners) is in the hands of the readers. They have to say whether this author has succeeded in his attempt to simplify this great classic.
Swami Swahanandaji (Head of Vedanta Society, Hollywood) and Swami Dayatmanandaji (Head of Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, Bourne End) have given encouragement to this author in his literary pursuits. Also they have contributed towards printing. Only because of their help, the printing of this work has been possible not otherwise. Swami Shakranandaji has taken the responsibility of publishing. Mr. P.R. Parameswara Kurup is a great help. Mr. Praveen Panicker’s help is there at every stage – in getting the manuscript ready and in getting the book printed on time. LIPI Laser Media, Vazhuthacaud, Trivandrum has patiently done the DTP work excellently which has enhanced the utility of this book. We are grateful to all those who have helped us, directly or indirectly, in publishing this book.
If the reader’s interest in aroused to know more about Advaita philosophy, the author would deem that his labour is amply rewarded.
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