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Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta Paperback – July 4, 1964

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Vedanta Press & Bookshop (July 4, 1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874810507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874810509
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


By drawing [on] the spiritual wisdom of the sermon [on the mount] using Vedantic tools, he teaches Christians how they can relate to Hinduism without conflict. The brief introduction traces through the origin of the affinity of the Ramakrishna Order to the teachings of Christ and the author finds the basis in the fact that like Krishna and Buddha, Christ did not teach a mere ethical gospel, but an uncompromising spiritual one. --Studies in Formative Spirituality

Swami Prabhavananda acquired a deep understanding of both the Bible and the western approach to religion. He had the highest respect for Jesus as a spiritual teacher and often used his words to elaborate and exemplify the themes he was explaining. This commentary is a thorough analysis of several chapters from Matthew from a principally Hindu viewpoint, with frequent references to Buddhism. Lucid and inspiring, it provides many valuable insights for daily living and the spiritual quest, as well as understanding of key issues in comparative religious studies. --Paul Rooke, International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society

This book is of everlasting and transcendental worth... The author has drawn upon profusely from the Upanishads, the Puranas and Patanjali Yoga Sutras, and dwelt on many incidents in the lives of the Monks of the Ramakrishna Order, as well as their Master Sri Ramakrishna ... This book is as much a treatise on Vedanta as upon the Sermon on the Mount, and in integrating both, as it were one philosophy, the author has made a stupendous contribution to Hinduism and Christianity. --Vedanta Kesari

From the Publisher

A book on the Sermon on the Mount should be no novelty in a Christian community. But when that books is written by a Hindu swami, a follower of Vedanta and The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, that certainly is unusual. More so since the swami extols the Sermon as though it were a scripture of his own.

Beautiful as the this interpretation is in itself, it is presented by Swami Prabhavananda not as a far-off, scarcely attainable ideal, which is the way most Occidentals read the Sermon, but as a practical program of daily living and conduct. So clear is the Swami’s reading of this great scripture, that many a Christian by means of it will discover a simpler approach to the teachings of his Master, more direct than any he had found heretofore.

More About the Author

Swami Prabhavananda was one of the pioneer swamis sent to America by the direct disciples of Ramakrishna to build on the work started by Swami Vivekananda at the turn of the century.

The swami was born in India on December 26, 1893. In 1914, after graduating from Calcutta University, he joined the Ramakrishna Order of India and was initiated by Swami Brahmananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.

In 1923, Swami Prabhavananda came to the United States. After two years as assistant minister of the Vedanta Society of San Francisco, he established the Vedanta Society of Portland. In December 1929, he came to Los Angeles where he founded the Vedanta Society of Southern California the following year.

Under the able care of the swami, the Society grew into one of the largest Vedanta Societies in the West, with monasteries in Hollywood and Trabuco Canyon and convents in Hollywood and Santa Barbara.

Swami Prabhavananda was a man of letters as well as a man of God. He wrote and translated a number of books with the object of making the spiritual classics of India available and understandable to Western readers. He was assisted on several of the projects by Christopher Isherwood or Frederick Manchester. His comprehensive knowledge of philosophy and religion attracted such disciples as Aldous Huxley and Gerald Heard. His publications, which include the Bhagavad-Gita, The Upanishads, Breath of the Eternal, How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Pantanjali, The Eternal Companion, and The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta, continue to this day to capture interest and draw people to the Vedanta philosophy.

Swami Prabhavananda passed away on the bicentennial of America's independence, July 4th 1976, fitting for one who gave so much of his life to this country.

Customer Reviews

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It will help you in your way to spirituality.
This is a refreshing encounter with a subject I usually shun, and you'll never think of Jesus the same way after reading this wonderful book.
Charlton Griffin
I would highly recommend that every person, of every faith should read this book.
Benjamin Griffin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Larry L. Looney on August 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Over the course of my life, I have been presented on various occasions with texts described as being 'comparative' of different religions -- usually one religion being stood up against Christianity, the author being a Christian, in an attempt to debunk the teachings of non-Christian faiths. I saw those books as little more than thinly-veiled attempts at propaganda, attempts to spread the Christian message (as the authors saw it) to the 'unsaved, misled masses'.
This book, which I originally stumbled across quite by accident, couldn't be further in theme and temperament from that lot -- this is aboslutely the gentlest, most respectful, most loving book that I could imagine on the subject. It makes no attempts at conversion, but in a very scholarly -- yet very readable -- way, takes Christ's Sermon on the Mount (paying special attention to the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer) and makes line-by-line comparisons to the ancient teachings of Hinduism.
Prabhavananda was a monk of the Ramakrishna Order -- and one of Sri Ramakrishna's most fundamental teachings was the 'oneness of all religions', that, when sincerely believed and practiced, 'all paths lead to the same goal'. This incredible, tender book shows how deeply true his teachings were. Ramakrishna -- a Hindu saint of the 19th century who worshiped God in the form of the Divine Mother, and who experienced ecstatic visions of Christ, Mohammed and Buddha as well -- was one of the most unique, unpretentious, all-encompassing figures in any religion. He embraced them all. Would that we had, in this 'modern, civilized era', when people are still killing each other over the way they each worship God, a teacher so unifying, so true of heart, that could shine the light of wisdom on our folly.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Charlton Griffin on December 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm not the kind of person who generally reads these types of books. I gain most of my spiritual solace from Mozart and wilderness hiking. However, this book is surprising. It illuminates Jesus in ways you have never considered and makes you wonder how Christians got things so muddled. This is a refreshing encounter with a subject I usually shun, and you'll never think of Jesus the same way after reading this wonderful book. I highly recommend it to people of all faiths.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "" on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
A rare treat. Seldom are philosophies of Hindu and Christian thought combined and made consistent in one text. Typically a short reference in a larger text will make note of similarities, but here we have a line by line explanation of the Sermon, references to Christ's teachings and the Lord's Prayer all in one small book.
Interesting to note the similarities and differences as I read, side by side, Martin Luther's Small Catechism and the Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta. Is Christ the "only son of God?" This book offers examples from Krishna and Arjuna, Buddha and the Torah and modern Avatar's woven into a consistent theme describing the power of devotional worship. I'm buying a copy for my Mother.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Orva Schrock on January 16, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i first read this book some 20 yrs ago and found it easy to understand and a clever uniting of vedantic teachings and the core teachings of christianity. over the years i've read it again several times. its simplicity is deceptive. the author is/was obviously a spiritual genius and modern saint. to pack so much universal truth into such a small book is, well, a miracle. if you are a sincere seeker of God, you will love this book. as you begin to live this book, its truths will reveal themselves fresh and new and undeniably true within you. i've read hundreds of "spiritual" books in my life and i would rate this one in the top ten without hesitation. don't miss this divine message; it speaks to the heart and soul in a truly wondrous way!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Butch on September 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
What did Jesus preach? It depended on his audience!

Jesus taught the masses according to their capacity. He spoke to them indirectly about spiritual truths through means of parable and metaphor. He was not an elitist. He was a realist. Even the Universe itself is but a parable God is telling us. I digress.

Jesus taught those closest to him through both indirect and direct means. "When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, the secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables..." Mark 4:10-11. NIV.

There is the exoteric "outside" type of Christianity of the masses and then there is the esoteric "inside" type of Christianity of the few. This is a tendency of all organized religions. But this is a book about the Sermon on the Mount. One type of Christianity is of the letter of the law, of doctrine, an indirect religion. The other a Christianity of the spirit of the law, of direct experience, a gnostic faith. Knowing through personal experience rather than believing through indoctrination. Believers are religious, knowers are spiritual. Jesus was an irreligious man. He was in direct communication with God and so was excommunicated and sentenced to death by the religious believers of his time. Jesus was a revolutionary, a freedom fighter that gave his life for his cause. The cause of spiritual freedom. The truth shall make you free.

Fundamentalist Christianity is doctrinal religion. Tribal religion. As I alluded to above every esoteric spiritual tradition has a fundamentalist crowd of outsiders claiming to be insiders. They know doctrine, but they do not know God.
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