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The whole Hindu Tradition is essentially founded on the Veda, meaning Sacred Science and Traditional Knowledge par excellence. The diverse metaphysical and cosmological conceptions of India are not at all incompatible. They are developments, darsana (perspectives), of the one doctrine constituted by the Veda, principle and foundation of all derived Branches.
This edition of atmabodha, which is here presented in English, has been translated directly from Sanskrit, edited and commented, by Raphael.
His commentary on Sankara's slokas is based on the following criteria:
a) To remain faithful to the Advaita and Asparsa Tradition to which the text belongs.
b) To make it accessible to the Western reader by using a conceptual methodology that harmonizes with the Western mind structure and its receptiveness. To do this without impoverishing, vulgarizing, nor forcing Advaita into a "system".
c) To stimulate the reader's consciousness in a suitable way, as Raphael is a living and practicing advaitin-asparsin.
In a Traditional conception only the Doctrine has value, not the individual presenting it. It is for this reason that Raphael focuses on an effective transmission of the Teaching, shunning all desire to express personal views concerning the Doctrine. He is a faithful interpreter and his efforts are concentrated on providing the Doctrine with incisive and clear meaning.
SANKARA has been one of the greatest philosophers of India. He dedicated his brief and intense life (788-820) to re-establish the authority of the Sruti, to codify the Advaita Vedanta, the doctrine of Non-duality, and to anchor the Metaphysical Tradition of the Veda through the foundation of monasteries (matha) and monastic orders. With his bhasya (commentary) to the Upanisad, the Brahmasutra, and the Bhagavadgita, and with his own writings, Sankara has profoundly influenced not only India's philosophical development, but that of the entire world.
RAPHAEL is author and Master in the Western Metaphysical Tradition as well as the Vedanta. For over 35 years, he has written several books on the pathway of Non-duality (Advaita). He has also translated and commented a number of key Vedanta texts from the original Sanskrit. His entire work is a conscious reunification of Western and Eastern Traditions into Unity of Tradition. Founder of the Asram Vidya Order, Raphael is now dedicating himself entirely to the spiritual practice. He lives in a hermitage connected to the asram and devotes himself completely to a vow of silence.