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The Heart of Awareness


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About the Author

Thomas Byrom, Ph.D., was educated at Oxford and Harvard universities and taught literature at St. Catherine's College and Exeter College.


This is a beautiful rendering of Advaita Vedanta teachings written by a follower of Shankara probably working in either the 8th or the 14th century C.E. The text sees duality as the root of evil, asserts the importance of belief in sharing one's world as limited or unbounded, and confidently proclaims radical monism. This book can increase understanding of the most important Hindu philosophical system and provide practical wisdom not only for Hindus but also for those inspired by the lyrical and ecstatic mysticism it conveys.

"This is an extraordinarily fine rendering of the Ashtavakra Gita , a book of unadorned compassion. As water wears away stone, so these profoundly simple truths wear away illusion."-Ram Dass

"Byrom's exquisitely clean and untroubled rendering of this spiritual classic irresistibly invites us to listen for what cannot be heard and to search for what cannot be seen."-Jacob Needleman, author of The Heart of Philosophy and Lost Christianity

"There have been English translations of the Ashtavakra Gita before, this is not only new and elegant but also the first to capture the spirit of the original in its freshness and directness. I warmly recommend it."-J. L. Brockington, Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit, Edinburgh University

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