Books 4 You: You Are the Supreme Light: Life Lessons by Adi Shankara

Editor | Non-Fiction

Adi Shankara was one of the greatest philosophers of India. Probably born in the eighth century CE in modern Kerala, he established the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and unified the six main schools of Hinduism. He travelled across the Indian subcontinent—from Kanyakumari in the south to Kashmir in the north and Dwarka in the west to Puri in the east—propagating his philosophy through debates and discourses, establishing monasteries and monastic orders. He participated in philosophical debates with orthodox schools of Hinduism and heterodox traditions. He established several mathas or monasteries, inspired by the ancient ashramas (hermitages), all over the country, which have ensured the continuity of his teachings. By the time he died at the age of thirty-two, he had produced a cornucopia of commentaries on ancient Indian texts as well as original philosophical works which contain some of the greatest gems of human thought on the concept of oneness with the Supreme Being, caste and equality, meditation, knowledge, self-realization, moksha, pride, attachment, maya and much more.

Edited by Nanditha Krishna, the aphorisms in ‘You Are the Supreme Light’ (Aleph, pages 144, Price Rs 399) are culled from his greatest teachings and provide lessons on how to lead a fulfilling life. They are as relevant today as they were when Shankara first expounded his philosophy centuries ago.

About the author

Dr Nanditha Krishna is a historian, environmentalist and writer based in Chennai, with a PhD in Ancient Indian Culture. She has been Director, Professor and Research Guide for the PhD programme of the C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Institute of Indological Research, and is currently the President of the C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation. She is a prolific writer who has authored books such as Balaji-Venkateshwara, Ganesha, Hinduism and Nature, Sacred Plants of India and Sacred Animals of India among others, and research papers and popular articles on Indian art, religion and the environment. She is the winner of several awards including Nari Shakti Puraskar, Stree Ratna and Outstanding Woman of Asia, and has a DLitt (Honoris causa) from Vidyasagar University, West Bengal.

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