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The Wisdom of Balsekar: The Essence of Enlightenment from the World's Leading Teacher of Advaita: The Concept of Nonduality Paperback – January 8, 2002

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About the Author

Ramesh S. Balsekar is known and loved by seekers from around the world as an eloquent Master of Advaita, or Nonduality. After retiring as President of the Bank of India, Ramesh translated many of the daily talks given in Marathi by his Guru Nisargadatta Maharaj. The teaching began in 1982 after Maharaj had twice directed him to talk, and since then he has written over twenty books on Advaita. Ramesh is widely regarded as undeniably unique and uncompromising in his presentation of the concepts, and for the clarity and 'purity' of the teaching. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Watkins (July 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842930796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842930793
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,108,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Paula Marvelly on October 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the manner of Shankara, who codified the Upanishads, and in more recent times, David Godman, who has anthologised the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Alan Jacobs has produced an essential guide to the principal teachings of Ramesh Balsekar, one of the world's leading exponents of Advaita.

In recent decades, the spread of nondualist philosophy - the belief that all of the manifest world stems from an underlying unified reality - has prevailed in the West. But this concept is not new. Since the Vedas, the earliest recorded scripture known to man, the pundits and sages have been pointing to this absolute truth. Nevertheless, the rise of the New Age has interpreted Advaita as a form of `be here now' hedonism; Jacobs' book rightfully reasserts its philosophical and sacred heritage.

`The Wisdom of Balsekar' is arranged alphabetically, divided into sections ranging between `Effort' and `Surrender', `Ignorance' and `Understanding', `Bondage' and `Enlightenment'. With extracts taken from Balsekar's vast corpus of work, Jacobs has managed to distil the essence of his profound wisdom and teachings. This makes not only for an excellent compendium but a text which can be dipped into as and when the need arises, such as the following quotation on `Acceptance':

At any moment, whatever is manifest is perfect. If it is deeply understood, every moment is welcomed and whatever that moment brings - `good' or `not good' - is accepted without any judgement, without expectation or anxiety. It is this attitude of acceptance which is the real freedom, freedom from expectation and desire, freedom from fear and anxiety. When this is deeply understood, you do not bother about what happens, what thoughts occur or what actions take place, or what emotions arise - they are all witnessed.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Roy Whenary on September 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for both newcomers to Advaita and those already familiar with the subject. The book is superbly edited together by Alan Jacobs, who has arranged it into alphabetical subjects, such as 'Enlightenment', 'Free Will', 'Happiness', etc. This makes it the perfect book for dipping into for inspiration. As a direct student of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, one of the most influential of modern Advaitists, Ramesh Balsekar must surely be essential reading for anyone interested in Advaita/Non-Duality. His knowledge of the traditional Advaita approach and his modern outlook combine to present the Advaita philosophy in a practical, liveable way for the modern reader. Highly recommended!

(Roy Whenary - author of 'The Texture Of Being')
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nat Hunt on December 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wayne Liquorman has said there are two Rameshes: the one who speaks academically in a public forum and the one who speaks much more personally one-on-one or to small groups. With The Wisdom of Balsekar unfortunately you are getting the academic Ramesh.

I found this volume to be way too heady. If that is your thing, then you will probably have the opposite reaction to this book, but I did not enjoy it or take much away from it at all.

If you want a more personable view into Ramesh's teachings, then I can whole-heartedly recommend Who Cares?!, linked below. (You can also check out my 5-star review of that one.)

Who Cares?! The Unique Teaching of Ramesh S. Balsekar
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