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The Vedanta Sutras of Narayana Guru

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Item Code: NAW054
Author: Swami Muni Narayana Prasad
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788124606575
Pages: 281
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 540 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About the Book
India's wisdom, one may say, attained its maturity in the Vedanta - the end or culmination of veda (knowledge). Vedanta may be seen as the finest fruit on the tree of India's wisdom, for it brings the seeker that ultimate knowledge that ushers in the gift of self-fulfilment (ananda). Over the centuries, brilliant saint-scholars like Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhya have interpreted the Vedanta in different ways. The philosopher-poet Narayana Guru belongs to this class of noted exponents of the Vedanta. And his Vedanta Sutras is a masterpiece in his attempt to restate the original Upanisadic teaching of non-dual Reality - his most succinct expression of that message. This book presents these sutras along with a highly-perceptive commentary that elucidates the Guru's interpretation of the Vedantic concept in a brilliant style.

Narayana Guru's Vedanta Sutras reveal the essential message of the Vedanta in 24 beautifully-fluent sutras. His simple and direct revaluation and restatement of the Vedanta, in general, has been found to be comprehensive and contemplative in its insight, reconciling the superficial disagreements of the Vedantic schools and restoring the pristine vision of the Upanisadic sages. In this scientific age, his work has often been acclaimed for its relevance. His Vedanta Sutras, compact yet profound in manner, is yet another example of this.

The thoroughly-engrossing commentary of Swami Muni Narayana Prasad is a unique effort. Its hallmark is his clear avoidance of exegesis with greater reliance on his personal conviction. Swami Muni Narayana Prasad places Narayana Guru on par with the siitrakaras like Badarayarta, Jaimini, Gautama and Kartada with this beautiful elucidation.

About the Author
Swami Muni Narayana Prasad, an internationally-acclaimed figure, is Head of the Narayana Gurukula, a Guru-Disciple foundation started by Nataraja Guru, the disciple-successor of Narayana Guru. In 1960, he became a disciple of Nataraja Guru and he was initiated as a renunciant in 1984. He has travelled all around the world imparting lessons and has spent three years in Fiji teaching Indian Philosophy. He was the editor of the publication on philosophy, The Gurukulam for twelve years and continues to be one of its chief contributors. He has a number of published works to his credit, some of which in English include Functional Democracy - A Failure in India, Basic Lessons on India's Wisdom, Karma and Reincarnation, and Commentaries on the Taittiriya, Katha, Kena, Prasna, Mundaka and Aitareya Upanisads.

NARAYANA Guru lived in India in the last phase of the nineteenth century and the first quarter of the twentieth century CE. Both in the Sanskrit language and in two regional languages of India, Malayalam and Tamil, he presented his vision of the Self with an astounding clarity and in minimum words. In India's ancient spiritual tradition, he added a new chapter which can, in effect, lead all seekers of wisdom towards a new era. The hierarchical presentation of the Science of the Absolute was formulated in pre-Vedic India. That science grew into a way of life and became the contemplative foundation of Indian civilization interlinking the periods before and after Christ. In India, spiritual thoughts began with Agamas (ancient predictions), followed by Nigamas, a period of deductions. Then came the dawn of the pre-Vedic period and the Samhitas of the four Vedas (the compendium of mantras or formulae neatly arranged by the Veda-knowers).

The votaries of the Vedas were very pragmatic people. They wanted to experience whatever was suggested in samhitas. The Samhitas were mainly preserved by learned families keen on acquiring wisdom. Out of the Vedas arose instructive injunctions on applying the formulae of the Vedas in the daily life of people. The literature that came to be formed in that period is called the Brahmanas. In childhood, adolescence and youth, young Indians memorized the Vedic chants and in their transition from youth to middle age they were very enthusiastic in experiencing whatever was passed on to them by their elders.

A COMMON factor linking living beings on earth is that they naturally turn away from painful experiences. In human beings this natural impulse to turn from painful towards more pleasurable states is expressed as a quest for happiness. Man, however, uniquely among living species, has the ability to question the meaning of happiness and the meaning of his own being.

In the cultures of both East and West such questions have always provoked philosophical thought and religious expressions which in earlier times were one and the same thing. They became two, in the West, only after the so-called "dark ages" when a general aversion developed, especially among thinkers, towards religion in the aftermath of the Inquisition. In the East, however, they have remained inseparable. Therefore Indian religious scriptures are, in essence, philosophical works.

In the West the different schools of philosophy derive from different sources. But the schools of Indian philosophy all derive from one primary source, the Vedas. Each of these schools places emphasis on particular aspects of the Vedas. Nyaya gives primacy to the categories of existence, Vaisesika to the nature of basic substances, Samkhya to the evolutionary aspect of nature, Yoga to practical discipline, Purva Mimamsa to Vedic rituals, and Uttara Mimamsa, or Vedanta as it is more commonly known, to the acquisition of knowledge of Ultimate Reality.

ALL life is one; only its living forms are multiple. That in which they live, breathe and have their being and which lives and breathes in them, is one unbounded, timeless existence. It is the reality underlying life and all else. To know this one causal reality and its wondrous self-revelation in its effects constitutes wisdom.

To seek, find and know the real nature of oneself and the world is the ultimate human achievement transcending and subsuming all others where individualized life experience is concerned. Its attainment corrects the errors of man throughout his history in understanding existence, and the mistaken views of dogmatic religion and mechanistic materialism which have conditioned his mind and kept from him the knowledge of his true nature. Gaining that knowledge brings him the gifts of wisdom which enable him to live free of fear, desire and anger, fulfilled in life and at peace with himself and the world.

This wisdom, too, is one. Through the course of human history there have always been some few enlightened visionaries, a few saints and seers, whose mission has been to restore to light the perennial knowledge of ultimate reality which, over the long passage of time, becomes lost to view. The interpretations of their vision have, of course, been expressed in the particular language and context of the time, culture, religion and social environment in which they lived. Inevitably, those expressions have differed very much, but they have all proclaimed the same oneness of reality.

Narayana Guru was one such exceptional seer and sage, a knower of reality gifted with mystic insight. His background is that of India's Hindu culture. He was born in 1854 in a village near Trivandrum in the south-west Indian state of Travancore, now part of modern Kerala. His father, a teacher, was a scholarly man versed in Astronomy, Sanskrit and Ayurvedic medicine; his mother was a simple, graceful, kindly woman endowed with beauty and sensibility.' Nanu, as he was then called, was acquainted with the Hindu scriptures and with the expressions of perennial wisdom contained in them at an early age. In his youth he mastered Sanskrit and became conversant with the doctrines of the Vedanta philosophy expounded by the great Upanisadic rsis (seers). While still a young man he took the path of sonnyasa (renunciation) and undertook the austere life of a mendicant monk. In early middle age he attained enlightenment and quietly began to teach.2 He was soon recognized to be a very great guru by an ever-growing number of devotees. His life and teachings soon began to assert an enormous and enduring influence in south India inspiring many great social, economic and educational improvements there, especially for the lowly poor and oppressed of Travancore. He died in Travancore in 1928. We know him today, first and foremost, as a spiritual teacher in the Vedanta tradition, a Vedantic To. His teaching is a revision and restatement of Vedanta's central message of the non-dual nature of existence. As Dr Paul Deussen so eloquently puts it in his Outline of the Vedanta System: "On the tree of Indian wisdom, there is no fairer flower than the Upanisads and no finer fruit than the Vedanta philosophy."

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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