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Religions 2016, 7(12), 145; doi:10.3390/rel7120145

Returning Home to the Advaitic Self: Svāmī Rāma Tīrtha and His American Audiences

Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9BS, UK
Academic Editor: Peter Iver Kaufman
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 30 October 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract

A recurring theme in the Advaita Vedānta 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 Svāmī Rāma Tīrtha (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 Vedānta’ to Western audiences in the late 1890s, Rāma Tīrtha 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: Svāmī Rāma Tīrtha; Swami Vivekananda; Modern Vedānta; Practical Vedānta; Hinduism in America Svāmī Rāma Tīrtha; Swami Vivekananda; Modern Vedānta; Practical Vedānta; Hinduism in America
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Barua, A. Returning Home to the Advaitic Self: Svāmī Rāma Tīrtha and His American Audiences. Religions 2016, 7, 145.

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