Look Inside


Express Shipping
Express Shipping: Guaranteed Dispatch in 24 hours
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: IDG470
Author: Swami Abhedananda
Language: English
Edition: 1992
Pages: 131
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About the Book:


SWAMI ABHEDANANDA has taught in this volume that knowledge of the Self lies at the root of all knowledge, whether of science, philosophy or religion. Men, who desire intellectual, moral, and spiritual development, must learn to discriminate between spirit and matter, soul and body and then realize the ground of the universe. This book will surely guide every sincere seeker after Self-knowledge.

About the Author:

SWAMI ABHEDANANDA, an apostle of Sri Ramakrishna-Born October 2, 1866-Spent his early life among the brotherhood in Baranagar monastery near Calcutta in severe austerity-Travelled barefooted all over India from 1888-1895-Went to London at the call of Swami Vivekananda in 1896-Acquainted with many distinguished savants including Prof. Max Mueller and Prof. Deussen-Landed in New York and took charge of the Vedanta Society in 1897-Became acquainted with Prof. William James, Rev. R. H. Newton, Prof. Josiah Royce of Harvard, Prof. Hyslop of Columbia, Prof. Lanmann, Prof. G. H. Howison, Prof. Fay, Mr. Edison, the inventor, Dr. Elmer Gates, Ralph Waldo Trine, W. D. Howells, Prof. Herschel C. Parker, Dr. Logan, Rev. Bishop Potter, Pro. Shaler, Dr. Jaynes, the chairman of the Cambridge Philosophical Conference and the Professors of Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Barkeley and Clarke Universities-Travelled extensively all through the United States, Canada, Alaska and Mexico-Made frequent trips to Europe, delivering lectures in different parts of the Continent-Crossed the Atlantic seventeen times-Was appreciated very much for his profundity of scholarship, intellectual brilliance, oratorial talents, charming personality and nobility of character-Made a short visit to India in 1906-Returned to America-Came back to India finally in 1921-On his way home joined the Educational Conference, Honolulu-Visited Japan, China, the Philippines, Singapore, Kualalumpur and Rangoon -Started on a long tour and went as far as Tibet in 1922-Established centres at Calcutta and Darjeeling-Left his mortal frame on September 8, 1939.

From the Preface:

Self-knowledge is a collection of six lectures, delivered by Swami Abhedananda in America. These lectures contain mainly the rich thoughts of the Upanishads. The Self has formed the central theme of the Swami's discussion, as the Self or Atman is the fountainhead of all things of the world and lies at the root of all knowledge, whether of science, philosophy, and religion, and the attainment of the Self is the summum bonum of human life. The Upanishads teach that those who desire intellectual, moral and spiritual developments, must learn to discriminate between spirit and matter, soul and body, reality and unreality, and must realize the Self, which is immortal, eternal and divine. The Self is devoid of all kinds of change and yet it is recognized as the ground (adhisthana) of all phenomenal changes.

Swami Abhedananda has discussed in the first chapter 'Spirit and Matter'. And says that these two words have various synonyms, such as ego and non-ego, subject and object; mind and matter. In the theory of superimposition (adhyasabhasya), Acharya Sankara has said: "Yushmadashmatpratyoya-gocharayor-vishaya-vishayinostamah-prakashavad-viruddhasvabhavayo....", i.e., the material object or non-self and the shining self-matter and spirit-are contradictory to each other. Sankara says: "It being an established fact that the object and the subject (non-self or matter and self or consciousness), that are fit to be the contents of the concepts 'you' and 'we' (respectively), and are by nature as contradictory as light and darkness, cannot logically have any identity, it follows that their attributes can have it still less, as the attribute of matter is insentience, and that of the Self is consciousness. These attributes cannot have any relation of identity or non-difference. But through ignorance we try to establish a mutual relation between the reality and the unreality-the unchangeable and the changeable". The Swami says: "Some say that spirit or mind or ego is the cause of matter, while others reverse the relation and believe that matter is the cause of spirit or mind or ego. The conclusions have given foundation to the various explanations of the universe, which can be classified under three heads: the spiritualistic or idealistic, the materialistic, and monistic theories. Now, what are the viewpoints of these theories? The Swami writes:

(a) The spiritualistic or idealistic theory claims that spirit or mind is the creator of matter and energy, hence the creator of all material objects; and it denies the existence of matter as distinct from the mode or condition of spirit or mind.

(b) The materialistic theory maintains that matter produces spirit, mind, ego, or subject.

(c) The monistic theory maintains that one and second less Self or Atman is the cause and foundation of every one of the phenomenal universe and everything that evolves from that prime-cause, goes back to the cause or source after playing the role of manifestation.

Now, in India, Greece, Germany and England, there have arisen a number of spiritualists or idealists like Bishop Barkeley, who denied the existence of the external world and told that matter is inseparable from the mental ideas. In India, the Yogachara Buddhists also said that the external objects of the universe are non-existent other than the mind or consciousness (vijnana). Sometimes Sankara, the greatest exponent of Advaita Vedanta, said: "characharam bhati mano vilasam", i.e., the objective world-appearance is the representation of the mind (vijnana), Majority of the scientists, physicists, chemists, medical practitioners and evolutionists of the present time maintain the naive materialistic theory. In India, the Charvakas and many other sects were also the believers of the materialistic doctrine.. The school of Advaita Vedanta upholds the monistic theory which explains everything through the viewpoint of the unparalleled Atman which is one without the second.

Swami Abhedananda first considers the materialistic theory, which reduces everything of the world into matter and claims that spirit is the product of matter. So first of all we shall have to know the meaning of 'matter' If we ask anyone whether he has seen matter, he will answer in a negative way, and will say that when he looks at a flower, he sees first the colour of the flower and then gets the fragrance that exists in the flower The psychologists say that colour is the result of the objective and subjective elements, and, therefore, colour is the product of combination of that which comes from the outside world and is given by the subjective mental activities. Thus we see and understand that colour does not rest in the flower, but it depends upon retinue, optic nerves and brain-cells as well and so it cannot be the same as matter.

Publishers' Note:

This beautiful volume of 'Self-knowledge' is reprinted for the ninth time. References of the different Upanishadic texts to which allusions have been made in the book have been supplied for the convenience of the readers. This book has proved of immense value to the earnest seekers of Self-knowledge. The teachings of the Upanishads have been presented in a nutshell. In this new edition a detailed Preface by Swami Prajnanananda has been added.


Different views of Spirit and Matter-Spiritualistic or idealistic theory-Bishop Berkeley-Modern Christian Science-Materialistic theory-What is Matter-Physiologist about Matter-Perception of colour-What is colour-What is sound Definition of Matter by John Stuart Mill-Herbert Spencer What is space-Ernst Haeckel- Matter is always objective Materialist theory is a logical blunder-Goethe's views about Matter-Views about Matter of Spinoza, Herbert Spencer, Kant, Plato, Emerson and Vedanta-What is monism J. J. Thomson on atom-Spirit or mind is uncreatable and indestructible-The universe is like a gigantic magnet-Spirit and Matter are two poles, positive and negative-Self or Atman is unchangeable and immortal-Spirit and Matter are but parts of one stupendous whole, God-The Cosmic Ego or God-He forms the background of our individual spirits-Whosoever realizes Him attains eternal Bliss.
The term Self-knowledge-The higher Self is same as the Absolute-Self annihilation is not the ideal of the Vedanta philosophy-Self knowledge alone helps us to realize the absolute Truth-Socrates and the Delphian Oracle-Vedanta about the Knowledge of the Self-What does an earnest seeker after Truth-The nature of true Self is infinite-The moment we realize the divine Self within us, we understand the immensity of the Self-Isha Upanisad about the Self-Every particle of the universe is in constant motion-Sir William Crookes, on vibration-The Self is above vibrations-Motion cannot produce knowledge-What says Sir William Crookes about thought vibrations-What is time-Self transcends the senses-Life is a mystery-Science does not help us to solve its problems-Analysis of the relative knowledge-Nature is called Maya-Scientists about Nature-What the Vedanta says about it-The act of Nature-Space-We cannot limit the Self by any means -There is only one infinite Existence-Hatred proceeds from imperfect relative knowledge-Self-knowledge removes hatred-What is true love-Vedanta about the term 'love'-Sorrow and fear arise from the sense of duality-Vedanta does not teach us to be selfish-What do we mean by Atman The word Kavi Self is described as the greatest poet-True Self is above good and evil-Good and evil are relative terms-Atman transcends the changes of nature, yet it permeates nature-Self can exist by itself-It is all-knowing-Perfect happiness comes only when Self-knowledge is gained-power of Avidya We are the parts of Divinity.
Brahmins were not the only teachers of spiritual Truth, but the Kshatriyas also-The examples of Drona and Kripacharya-Kshatriyas were the first teachers of the Brahmins in higher spiritual Truths-The Hindu rulers of early days-The great Hindu monarch Divodasa-The story of Pratardana-Pratardana went to Indra for the highest knowledge-Indra told him: 'Know me only'-Indra said: 'I am Prana, know me as Prana'-Life-force is free from birth and death-Prana is immortality-Prana is inseparable from intelligence same thing-Pratardana took life-force for sense-powers-Mind according to the psychologists of ancient India-Indra's next instruction-Mukhya Prana is something independent of the sense-powers-The scientist, anatomists and evolutionists about life-force-Vedanta about Prana-Life is the same as our self-consciousness-Ernst Haeckel about life or Self-Indra said about the states of deep sleep and dreamless sleep (Sushupti) The examples of blazing fire sparks-The dying man carries everything with him-An object of perception-The whole universe depends upon Prana-Prana is not many, but one-Self-consciousness lies at the root of all knowledge-The real subject of everything-Sound according to scientists-Vedanta philosophy about sound-Self-consciousness is compared to the centre of the wheel of a chariot-True Self is the prime source of everything
Prajapati said to the gods and demons about Atman-The Sama-Veda, the foundation of the science of music-Who are the Devas and Asuras-Gods and demons went to their respective leaders-Ancient custom of India in regard to the paying of homage to the superiors-Who is the best teacher Prajapati's instructions-Reflection seen in the eye is the real Self-Virochana understood the body as the Self-Indra was dissatisfied with the instruction-He came back again to Prajapati for true knowledge of the Self-Prajapati's instruction to Indra: "That which enjoys all dreams (svapna) during sleep is the true Self"-Indra found no good in this doctrine-Self as the enjoyer of perfect rest in Sushupti-The Self has no particular form-How can the formless Atman manifest itself through the body-All the powers of the senses proceed from the Atman-Prajna and Prana-The Self is the greatest Being in the universe-He who has acquired Self-knowledge can live in the world performing all kinds of works-He who possesses knowledge of the Self is the master of the world-Knowledge of the Self cannot be easily acquired
A Seeker after Self-knowledge-Mere reading of the scriptures does not give Self-knowledge-Earnest longing and sincerity are necessary-The nature of the mind-How do we hear, see etc, The mind according to Vedanta-The knowledge of the true Self alone can bring Immortality-Immortality is our birthright-Imperfection is due to the limitations of the Buddhi-Knowledge is one, not many-The teaching of the Kena Upanishad- intellect cannot reveal the Self-Secondary knowledge can only be obtained by intellectual apprehension-Apperception really proceeds from the Self-Absolute Truth is inexpressible by speech-The worshipper of a personal God is not the worshipper of the absolute Truth-Name and form are phenomenal-Prayers are nothing but words-The absolute Being is beyond the relation of time and space-What do we really mean by Self-knowledge is -There is a no other knower of the Self-Self is always the subject of consciousness-Analysation of perception-The source of consciousness in us is the Knower-Knowledge is inseparable from our true Self-The Self according to monistic Vedanta-How the intellectual understanding depends-The all-knowing Self may be compared to the self-effulgent sun-Self-effulgence needs no other light than itself-The state of Samadhi-Self-knowledge precedes even the conception of God-The Self is higher than the personal God-Difference between the relative plane and the absolute-Ego cannot exist without Self-knowledge-What is the real significance of 'existence'- Self-consciousness is the standard of all relative knowledge and relative existence-Knowledge and existence are one-Sat-Chit-Ananda Death means a change of the body-Not divine Incarnation can give us immortality-Real strength comes with the realization of the Self-Psychic power is inferior to spiritual power-Self-knowledge alone can make us escape from the law of Karma and rebirth.
The anecdote of Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi-Yajnavalkya wished to break the ties of the world-He first explained the true nature of the object of love to Maitrey!-Wealth is not dear-selfish love becomes unselfish when it is directed toward the Atman-One attached to his lower self loves wealth and comfort-All is known by knowing only the Self-The Self is all and all is the Self-Examples of the sound, drum, conch shell and fire-The knowledge which we possess and make use of in our daily life is the expression of the absolute knowledge-Latent energy of the Brahman-Self is the Alpha and Omega of everything-Individual self perceives sense-objects so long as it remains on the plane of relativity-Right discrimination-Self-knowledge is the goal of life.
References to passages from the Isha Upanishad-From the Kaushitaki Upanishad (Ch. III. 1-8)-From the Chhandgoya Upanishad-From the Kena Upanishad-From the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
**Contents and Sample Pages**

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories