After his masterpiece work combining spirituality with mathematics “Law of Love & The Mathematics of Spirituality”, Raju Chidambaram has come out with a wonderful exposition of the “advaita” monistic school of thought in “WHOSE LIFE ARE YOU LIVING?”. In this book he gives lucid account of the non-dualistic treatment of the human soul living in the mortal body with its innate urge to reach the ultimate goal of self-realization at the end of birth and re-birth cycles. Raju is a mathematician by profession and that expertise is evident in the logical arguments and virtual derivation of the sameness of the individual soul with the universal as stated in the mahāvākyā “tat tvam asi” i.e. “Thou art That”. This book is very strongly recommended for understanding the basics of advaita philosophy. DR. PRAMOD PATHAK, Author & Indologist, Nashik, India.
“The famous Indian spiritual philosophy of Advaita Vedanta has a reputation for being abstract and esoteric. Fortunately, longtime Chinmaya Mission member Raju Chidambaram has written a congenial and user-friendly introduction, which presents a reliable exposition of the essentials along with some original contributions based on his background in mathematics. The text flows like an intimate conversation with much reference to actual life rather than mere theory. Thus, Vedanta can be put into practice to raise one's consciousness and achieve greater happiness in life. It is the essence of what is best in the world's religions and satisfies those who approach spirituality through thought and reflection rather than through feeling and devotion, though the latter can be incorporated as well. This book is a useful and welcome introduction for anyone from any background who is interested in such matters.”
Trained formally in mathematical sciences in his student days, the author found a lasting interest in Vedānta later through his association with the Chinmaya Mission. He was born in the Trichur District of Kerala, India in 1940, and received early education in local schools. He received a B.A.(Hons.) in Mathematics from the University of Madras in 1960, Master's Degree in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta in 1962 and doctorate in Operations Research from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1967.
Dr. Chidambaram's working career spanning more than three decades was mostly spent in Washington, DC in the field of global satellite communications, but he also was at various times engaged in teaching and consulting in the US and India. In 1978 he had the first opportunity to listen to Swami Chinmayananda at the American University in Washington, DC. The power and logic of Vedānta, as taught by Swamiji, impressed him significantly. Since then both the author and his wife have been students of Vedānta as well as active members of CMWRC, the Chinmaya Mission branch in Washington, DC. The author served as the President of CMWRC during 1991-93 and later as a Trustee. As the Editor of Smrithi, a newsletter dedicated to Vedānta, he also published a series of articles on Vedānta during 1987-97 which helped formulate many concepts and thoughts that find a place in his later work.
Perhaps it is by sheer accident that you and I are born as human beings. Or is it decided by what we have done in the past? Such a question and many other philosophical deliberations have happened only in human minds. The author begins the book with fundamental question about existence.
But who is questioning this? We did not have such a question when we were young. Many of you may not have these questions even now! The questioning mind is the cause of evolution of human thinking, progress, and all scientific developments. As much as these have led to rapid material progress, the contemplative masters, the spiritual scientists of the past also have inquired into the nature of Life. They contemplated upon the possibility of non-matter, the imperceptible and the incomprehensible.
Such contemplations led them to believe in God, and religions started to flourish. Yet, those who were not content with mere belief in existence of the unknown as external to oneself, in their deeper meditative state realized the existence of Consciousness, present in all equally as their own Self
Knowledge presupposes human will, the intention to know, the inquiry into the unknown. Vedanta proclaims that Consciousness is neither known nor unknown. If it is known, it becomes a mere intellectual comprehension. If it is unknown then it remains something to be known, as something other than oneself. This paradox will remain until when one understands the role of appropriate inquiry through proper guidance by realized masters.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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