The Multifaceted Jivanmukta
The book titled “The Multifaceted Jivanmukta” detailing the life and teachings of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamin, the 35th Jagadguru Shankaracharya of the Sringeri Sri Sharada Peetham, was released, with much appreciation, on 18th October 2017, His Holiness’s birth centenary, by the present pontiff of the Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamin, who had earlier graciously penned a benedictory epistle (Srimukha) for the book.
His Holiness was truly multifaceted. He was not only a spiritual giant, yogin, shastraic scholar, and compassionate preceptor but also an able administrator and adept in various secular fields. While grounded in tradition, He was catholic in His outlook.
The role of His Holiness both as an ideal disciple and a perfect Guru has been presented in depth in several chapters of this book. A detailed account is provided of His spiritual practices, such as Hatha-yoga, Kundalini-yoga, Nadanusandhana, contemplation on the Atman, meditation and samadhi on divine forms, scripture-based reflection on the Truth and Savikalpa-samadhiand Nirvikalpa-samadhi on the Absolute, up to their culmination in His enlightenment and jivanmukti (liberation while living) even before He was 20 years of age. How He compassionately graced disciples and others in various ways are covered in depth. His teachings in the form of parables, essays and expositions too form an important part of this book.
The intellectual acumen of His Holiness was not confined to matters philosophical and religious. The openness with which He considered the propositions of science, for instance, merits special mention. “How apt is it to view modern science as confirming what is said in ancient religious texts? Are the laws of nature sufficient to account for the appearance and development of the world and various life-forms? Do the laws of nature have a foundation? If yes, what is the nature of that basis?” – a chapter of this book titled “Scientific Insight” deals with how His Holiness took up such issues and threw light on them, with complete regard to the teaching of the scripture and without discounting scientific findings in any way.
This book has much to offer to all spiritual aspirants and the religious; to the traditionalists and the liberals; to the intellectuals and the common folk.