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Chicago | Member Since 2013


  • The Disappearance of the Universe

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Gary R. Renard
    • Narrated By Gary Renard, Doreen Virtue, Gene Bogart

    What would you do if you were sitting quietly in your living room when a mysterious couple suddenly appeared from out of nowhere, and then told you they were "ascended masters" who had come to reveal some shocking secrects of existence and teach you the miraculous power of advanced forgiveness? Would you call the cops? Call a psychiatrist? Call out for pizza?

    John says: "Positively Great"
    "Classical Advaita Vedanta in a New Age format"

    The audio of this book did not turn out to be as bad as some other reviews below suggest. Though it is improvable but is listenable. I am not a big believer in mediumship or angelic revelations but this work, even if it might be purely a fiction, seems to have been written with a lot of thought and imagination. It does have some trappings of New Age and that is why I reserve a bit of healthy skepticism.

    What made me a bit wary was the claim of this book that Thomas was killed in India. This seems to be retelling of a popular myth as the contemporary biblical scholarship, both secular and religious, now discounts this story as apocryphal. The fellow mistaken from St. Thomas was actually Thomas of Cana , a Persian merchant who escaped to India with other Christian refugees in 4th century CE. I was wondering if Purusa was real St. Thomas whether she would have still made this claim about St.Thomas' death in India which is now known to be spurious, based on a mistaken identity.

    Having said that there is a lot in this work that is thought provoking. It is basically retelling of classical Hindu philosophy of Advaita , or Non-dualism, in a New Age format.

    For a more orthodox and time-worn reading of non-dualism philosophy the reader is advised to refer to the works of Adi Shankara, the 8th century Indian mystic who reconciled Buddhism and Hinduism. Another classical Hindu work that comes to mind, which contains the same exposition, is "Yoga Vashishtha". A more contemporary and Christianized, and yet somewhat conservative and orthodox, reading and practice of his philosophy is also available from Self-Realization Fellowship founded by Paramhamsa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi (available on audible). The present work refers back to Course on Miracles, a work I am not very familiar with but would definitely like to check out after listening to this work. On the whole, I recommend this book but with a little caution however.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Hinduism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dr. Gregory Kozlowski
    • Narrated By Ben Kingsley

    Hinduism is a very broad term for the religious practices and doctrines of the Indian people. This tradition is believed to have begun in about 1800 BCE with religious poems known as the Vedas. Hinduism is best known in the west through the doctrines of Advaita, the belief that there is only one ultimate reality. Advaitans, however, worshipped a range of icons that represented the separate manifestations of the ultimate Brahman.

    Max says: "Hindusim 101"
    "Contains scholarly inaccuracies"

    Almost started enjoying this book until read some information which is patently false and would be considered offensive by many faithful Hindus, although Westerners, except for ISKON converts, would not easily notice them. The most glaring falsehood that this work propagates are as follows:describes Krishna's supposed 'love affair' with Radha (who allegedly married to somebody else)as a story which is canonical and part of Hindu belief. He further alleges that Gopis who danced with Krishna were married and had a "love affair" with him. The attempt is to portray the holiest figure of Hindus as a fornicator. This is the most glaring scholarly gaffe from this author and reveals serious shortcomings in his claim as a scholar of Hinduism.A brief examination, undertaken with sincere intent, would have revealed to him that Radha is a completely fictional character invented by poet Jayadeva around 12th century CE and that none of any canonical accounts of Krishna in Puranas and Mahabharata have any mention of Radha. With regard to supposed affair of Krishna with married Gopis, the author again shows callous disregard or ignorance of the Hindu, scriptures. According to Bhagavatham, whence this story comes, Krisnha was merely a boy of eight when he played pranks on Gopis. Out of hundreds of pages dedicated to Krishna, the episode describing the childhood pranks of Krishna with Gopis barely lasts a page. The rest of the scripture describes his miracles, statesmanship and military exploits in great detail.The author obviously ignored the canonical texts of Hinduism and built a narrative of Krishna as a playboy based on non-canonical stories which are popular only in a heretical fringe of Hindu society.Other glaring mistakes: failure to designate left-hand tantric practices as ostracized by lay Hindus,Sikh scripture not using Hindu names for God & containing Mira's verses,South Indian kings being Shudras,etc.

    11 of 19 people found this review helpful

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