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Back To The Truth: 5000 Years Of Advaita [Format Kindle]

Dennis Waite

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

A systematic treatment of Advaita which demystifies it, differentiating between approaches and teachers, enabling you to decide which approach is most suitable for you.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1610 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 641 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1905047614
  • Editeur : John Hunt Publishing (11 mai 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  27 commentaires
82 internautes sur 83 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Everything you wanted to know on advaita 26 mars 2007
Par Visvanatha Krishnamurthy - Publié sur Amazon.com
A marathon 600-page compendium, in English, of the entire philosophical field of spiritual knowledge known as `Advaita' (Non-duality) -- that is `Back to the Truth' by Dennis Waite. It is in fact more than a compendium; it is a masterly thesis presented by Waite from scratch all the way up to the dizzy heights of whatever peak you have heard about in Vedanta. It is a classic, unique in several respects.

Its first, and greatest, uniqueness is its strategy of presentation. The author strides like a colossus on the shoulders of all the giants of this ancient philosophy that was originally formally streamlined from the teaching of the Upanishads, by towering authorities like Gaudapada and Shankara, then supplemented and strengthened by a whole lineage of Masters over the centuries down to the times of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, now propagated worldwide in the twentieth century by Seers of the stature of Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Atmananda Krishna Menon, and the like and expounded resoundingly by Swami Sivananda, Swami Ranganathananda (and others of the Ramakrishna Mutt), Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Dayananda and scores of others through lectures as well as writings almost up to the present time. We hear the words of these originators and expositors all throughout the book. Further, the book testifies to the power of the electronic media of modern times most dramatically in the fact that, in addition to this time-tested foundation on which the author stands high on a pedestal, there are elaborate quotations of diverse writings (with most proper acknowledgments, of course) on the web by various modern authors on anything even remotely connected with advaita. Tons of credit are due to the author for his masterly handling of all this varied material and for his insightful stringing together of all of them - each one in its place, at the right time, in the right context, for the right purpose and with the right effect. Excerpts from traditional and modern teaching are presented in a wide variety of styles, says the author, "in the hope that something will click". Rest assured, everything clicks!

The second uniqueness of the book is the large spectrum of its coverage. The secondary title of the book, "5000 years of Advaita" is amply justified by this coverage. The first chapter looks at who we are not. We are neither the body nor the mind. The second chapter is about action, Karma, reincarnation and free will. Action involves the concept of a `doer' and this originates from the mistaken identification of ourselves with the intellect. What is the motivation for action? It is pursuit of happiness. Desire, motivation and purpose form therefore the subject of discussion. Then comes the difficult portion of advaita: knowledge, ignorance, superimposition, reality, `mithyA' and means of knowledge. The various spiritual practices advocated in order to prepare the mind on its spiritual ascent are examined in the next chapter, which is the longest. Chapters 6 and 7 take up the core of advaita: Who we really are; the nature of reality, Consciousness, cause and effect, `mAyA'. This listing of the chapters cannot however do the least justice to the extent and depth of topics dealt with in these seven chapters. The author takes the reader leisurely through the labyrinths of advaita step by step through all these discussions - now quoting a scripture, now excerpting from a modern writer, now interposing with his own synopsis of the argument, now prefacing a difficult logical breakthrough by an introduction, and now reproducing a whole passage from Ramana or Shankara or Ramesh Balsekar or any of the hundred (or so) authors he quotes with conviction. We get to go through the difficult terrains of pancha-kosha-prakriyA (methodology through the five sheaths), bhAga-tyAga-lakshhaNa (pointer through the giving up of contradictory parts), dRshhTi-shRshhTi (seeing is creation), adhyAropa-apavAda (denial of erroneous attribution) and such concepts galore. Think of anything in the advaita terrain, it is there, -- with all the distinction of precision and scholarship.

Thirdly, the author brings to focus the differences in the teachings by different Masters by broadly classifying everything (in terms of its teaching method) either as `traditional', or `direct approach' or `neo-advaita'. The first one goes back to the scriptures and all the commentaries. The third one, `neo-advaita' does not take the different levels of reality advocated by Shankara as of any value, and so the absolute level is the only level for them; there is no seeker, no ignorance, no path, no enlightenment, because Reality is One. The second one, the Direct Approach, is somewhere in between the other two.

And fourthly - this is really a superlative uniqueness - in order to help all those who are unfamiliar with the Sanskrit script or language, there is a 12-page brief introduction to the script and pronunciation as well as to the transliteration of Sanskrit writing.

Several other excellences are worthy of being highlighted. A pointwise bulleted summary at the end of each chapter helps the reader not to miss the wood for the trees. The encyclopaedic value of the book is further enhanced by

* the use of the bold type, in the text, of the name of every author who is quoted there,

* a detailed 40-page glossary of Sanskrit terms

* a list of around two hundred current teachers of advaita with web references for them

* a complete list of all web sites dedicated to advaita and organizations devoted to advaita,

* a long list of Recommended Reading, with brief notes on each item,

* a list of 378 references, and finally,

* an index.

In sum, this landmark book provides an enjoyably pleasant reading, inspite of its necessarily heavy content. It should be in the hands of every spiritual seeker, whether of the advaita school or not.
60 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 At last, the book you have been searching for 8 mars 2007
Par Linda - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book is a comprehensive compilation explaining clearly for a western audience the practical teachings of Advaita, these teachings have stood the test of time and rightly so.

For those that would like a bit more guidance than "you are that", this IS the book. FULL STOP with this one, submerge yourself in it, change the way you see the world and your self.

This book will make sense of the various teachings you may have already encountered, put them in perspective, clear confusion and correct misdirection. This book explains the direct path and how it works.

Knowledge is everything and here you will find the knowledge that provides clear pointers back to the truth of that which you truly are.

Non-duality, Advaita and Zen are all at home here and the material is supported by a massive amount of quotes from modern and traditional sages and teachers.

This is an excellent read, a substantial resource and I am sure will remain amongst my favourites.
45 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 DEFINITIVE WORK ON ADVAITA VEDANTA 15 mars 2007
Par Floyd Henderson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
In the book Back to the Truth: 5000 years of Advaita, Dennis Waite's magnum opus, the definitive study of Advaita Vedanta (from "A" to "V") has been penned. While providing the most scholarly work to date on the subject matter of Nonduality, the author's style assures an ease of readability that will make the content in this comprehensive volume readily assessible to beginners. At the same time, when Waite shares his unique and masterful take on the Teachings, he offers new elucidations of ancient understandings that will also make the book appealing to advanced seekers and to Advaitin teachers as well.
34 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ken Wilber of Advaita 10 juin 2007
Par Paula Marvelly - Publié sur Amazon.com
The most refreshing thing about Dennis Waite's books is the fact that he makes no claims for himself as to whether he is `self realised' or not during his forays into the great nondual teachings. (Indeed, it has always been a mystery to me that as soon as anyone `gets it', they can't wait to tell everyone that this is the case.) So here, for the first time to my knowledge, is someone who has spent a great deal of time researching and documenting the Advaita tradition from both ancient and modern sources, without the obligatory first chapter on how he `became one with the universe'. Essential reading for serious students of the mystical path.
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Hang Your Hat 18 mai 2007
Par Jerry Katz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Back to the Truth is an extensive overview of Advaita, a teaching whose source is the Upanishads. Advaita is the philosophy and teaching that reality is "not two." Dennis Waite quotes nearly 150 teachers of Advaita, about half of whom are living, and 378 sources are cited as references.

The author's purpose is twofold: (1) to compile within a single volume the most complete and up-to-date treatment of Advaita. He succeeds at that. It is clear that Waite is a voracious reader of nondual subjects. Dennis told me, or I read somewhere, that he reads with a pencil and makes notes in the books he reads. That is the only way Back to the Truth could have been compiled. It had to be written by a student and a scholar who knows "everything" written on Advaita, including emails posted especially to the Advaitin email list, and who is a gatherer and an organizer of themes.

And (2) to bring about a shift in the attentional direction of the reader. The latter is the primary aim of the book. That only makes sense. If a sage has any purpose at all, it is to get you to awaken. That is Waite's primary purpose. It's not a chosen purpose; it's the way it is. Dennis provides a number of hooks to hang your hat on.

What does it mean to hang your hat? When you've hung your hat, you've turned your attention around toward truth. Lots of hooks in this book. Even the curved neck of the swan on the cover looks like an inverted hook. Yes, these hooks should be inverted since they are associated with the turning around of attention.

Hooks in this book come in the forms of teachers of Advaita, a variety of themes (e.g., karma, death, desire, happiness, spiritual practices, enlightenment, nature of reality, methods of teaching, science, grace, creation.), metaphors, scriptural passages, and concise, detailed chapter summaries. Another hook is the voice of Dennis Waite himself, who gives this monumental work perspective:

"I began my own seeking on a traditional path and then moved into Direct Path, also dabbling in a neo-direction. Ultimately, however, I found it necessary to go back to the roots in order to really understand what is being said (not always clearly) by all teachers."

To back-up the book are 7 exceptional appendixes. In addition, there is a bibliography, an extensive glossary of Sanskrit terms, and an index which is good but does not present the themes as integrally and flowingly as the main text or even the appendixes. Shambhala Publications publishes excellent indexes, judging by the few I have on my shelves, especially for Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, by Chogyam Trungpa.

Jerry Katz
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