Returning home to the advaitic self: Svāmī Rāma Tīrtha and his American audiences
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Barua, A. (2016). Returning home to the advaitic self: Svāmī Rāma Tīrtha and his American audiences. Religions, 7 (12)https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7120145
© 2016 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. A recurring theme in the Advaita Vedanta traditions is the necessity of empirical purification through means such as the cultivation of virtues, the study of the Vedas, and so on, even though the transcendental self has never been subject to any form of bondage. The traditions seek to mitigate this paradox by employing the vocabulary of a shift across the ‘levels’ of truth-while the worldly self is, empirically speaking, moving towards the goal of realization, from the transcendental perspective, the self never loses its eternal nature. We will explore how SvamI Rama Tirtha (1873-1906) addressed this theme of the recovery of one’s essential self in his lectures to some American audiences between 1902 and 1904. Drawing on some of the vocabularies of Swami Vivekananda, who had presented a ‘Practical Vedanta’ to Western audiences in the late 1890s, Rama Tlrtha developed an Advaitic form of self-realization that is practically engaged with the world and, according to him, is the spiritual quest of humanity across all boundaries.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7120145
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/290123