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Other titles in the Library of Perennial Philosophy series:
Lamp of Non-Dual Knowledge & Cream of Liberation: Two Jewels of Indian Wisdom (Library of Perennial Philosophy)by Sri Karapatra Swami
Synopses & Reviews
The words of spiritual counsel which form the heart of this book are as clear and timeless as the desert stars on a winter night. Not only do the sayings of the Desert Fathers possess the imprint of eternity, but the fresh and vital commentary by Father John Chryssavgis provides a key which unlocks their relevance for the reader of today.
The actual Egyptian desert to which these monks fled in the fourth and fifth centuries was, of course, an actual place. But, the desert may also be understood as an inner geography of desolation and abandonment. Father John tells us that anyone who has experienced loneliness, brokenness, breakdown, or break-up--whether emotionally, physically, or socially--will connect with the profound humanity of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Various traditions from world religions teach that God enters into the empty soul. The universal and perennial message of these first Christian monks concerns the necessity of emptiness; they show us, by their examples, how to confront the chaotic impulses of the soul which drive us away from that still point where God is waiting.
In the Heart of the Desert portrays several of the key figures in early Christian monasticism including one of the Desert Mothers, Amma Syncletica. It also includes the first translation into English of the fifth-century text, The Reflections of Abba Zosimas. In a sense, this is not a book of the past, of the fourth or fifth centuries. It may be described as a book of the age to come, or of a new age. It speaks to our present age of an experience of a new life, of a fullness and renewal of life.
The spiritual tradition of India known as Advaita Vedanta is one of the most profound visions of the Absolute known to man. Its message speaks to the heart of freedom; it teaches that liberation is found only in the realization of God and that the deepest happiness is the knowledge of the essential identity between the soul and God.
Advaita Bodha Deepika (Lamp of Non-Dual Knowledge) and Kaivalya Navaneeta (Cream of Liberation) are two gems taken from the crown of that great tradition. The content of both represents a distillation of the soul of Hinduism. Opening their pages, the reader is transported back in time to a grassy spot under a shady tree outside a temple in south India to overhear conversations between master and disciple concerning the most important questions of human existence. Many people have found that Lamp of Non-Dual Knowledge is the clearest, easiest to understand summary of Advaita Vedanta. It is in the form of a dialogue between a seeker and his spiritual master, with the seeker posing many probing questions about the nature of existence, the universe, and humankind. Cream of Liberation is a widely known Advaita classic and outlines the basic philosophical principles in a very clear way, again in the form of a dialogue between master and devotee.
Among all of the explicitly formulated metaphysical doctrines found in the religions of the world, Advaita Vedanta is one of the most complete and clearly articulated. These two short classics (largely unknown in the West), presented in a single volume, provide an excellent introduction for the reader who wishes to drink from the stream of that transforming wisdom which Hindus call sanatana dharma (eternal religion). This is the underlying religion which has guided and illuminated countless souls since the Vedic period began some twelve hundred years before the birth of Christ.
Potent distillations of the Advaita perspective, considered by many the crown jewel of the Upanishadic tradition.
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