Adi Shankara was one of the greatest philosophers of India. Probably born in the eighth century CE in modern Kerala, he established the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and unified the six main schools of Hinduism. He travelled across the Indian subcontinent—from Kanyakumari in the south to Kashmir in the north and Dwarka in the west to Puri in the east—propagating his philosophy through debates and discourses, establishing monasteries and monastic orders. He participated in philosophical debates with orthodox schools of Hinduism and heterodox traditions. He established several mathas or monasteries, inspired by the ancient ashrams (hermitages), all over the country, which have ensured the continuity of his teachings. By the time he died at the age of thirty-two, he had produced a cornucopia of commentaries on ancient Indian texts as well as original philosophical works which contain some of the greatest gems of human thought on the concept of oneness with the Supreme Being, caste and equality, meditation, knowledge, self-realization, moksha, pride, attachment, maya and much more.
Dr Nanditha Krishna is a historian, environmentalist and writer based in Chennai, with a PhD in Ancient Indian Culture. She has been Director, Professor and Research Guide for the PhD programme of the C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Institute of Indological Research, and is currently the President of the C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation. She is a prolific writer who has authored books such as Balaji-Venkateshwara, Ganesha, Hinduism and Nature, Sacred Plants of India and Sacred Animals of India among others, and research papers and popular articles on Indian art, religion and the environment. She is the winner of several awards including Nari Shakti Puraskar, Stree Rama and Outstanding Woman of Asia, and has a DLitt (Honoris causa) from Vidyasagar University, West Bengal.
India has produced some of the world's greatest religious leaders, sages, saints, philosophers and spiritual thinkers. They were monks, nuns and renunciates, nationalists and reformers. No one religion had a monopoly on them. They range from Mahavira and Buddha, who lived over 2,500 years ago, to medieval saints like Chisti, Avvaiyar and Guru Nanak, to more recent philosophers and religious icons such as Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Saint Teresa and many others. Each of them touched the lives of the people they lived among and the generations that followed. They inspired devotees and followers with their erudition and wisdom. The spiritual and philosophical heritage they left behind is India's gift to all Indians and the world.
Through the 'Life Lessons' series we will examine the teachings of some of India's best-known spiritual teachers. Each book will be a handy companion to help the reader along the difficult pathways of Life.
Happiness and sorrow are unavoidable. The world is a place of trials and problems recur in every generation. Is suffering a necessary part of human life? How can one overcome suffering? Can hardship make a person stronger? What is happiness? Everybody wants to be happy, but how does one achieve this state? Does happiness come from vast riches and great achievements or does it come from the satisfaction of the soul? Is worldly success more important or is it fulfilment that one should seek?
These and similar questions vex every individual and have preoccupied the minds of philosophers and religious savants down the ages. The answers that these great souls found to life's conundrums occupy entire libraries worth of books and texts. This series is culled from their essential teachings and will present to readers some of the greatest truths to be found in India's spiritual heritage in a simple and accessible way. It is to be hoped that what you find here will prompt you to go deeper into the life and work of those who plumbed life's greatest mysteries.
Walking in the footsteps of these great men and women can take each of us to greater heights of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. They can teach us how to find happiness and peace and the true meaning of wellbeing and success. Most of all, they can teach us how to value one another and cherish the holy gift of life.
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend