About the Book
Here we have a meeting of two great minds, a meeting of two great spirits. Here we have deep calling deep. The SaundaryaJahari is by Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada (Adi Sankara) and its exposition is by Pujyasrt Candrasekharendra Sarasvati Svami (the Sage of Kanci, widely known as the Mahasvarni). Adi Sankara is celebrated all over the world as a great bhasyakara, as a commentator of the Upanisads, the Brahmasutra, the Bhagavadgita and other texts. Here we have a bhasya of a great hymn composed by the bhasyakara and what we call "an exposition" of the SaundaryaJahari is indeed an inspired and inspiring work, a classic in its own right. The Mahasvami speaks with the heart of a poet, with the penetrating insight of a philosopher and metaphysician and with the vision of a mystic. There are passages that move you with their unobtrusive eloquence, passages in which abstruse ideas are explained in a masterly fashion. There is poetry in this exposition; there is the fervour of devotion as well as profundity of thought that is oceanic in its vastness and depth. Here we have a synthesis of bhakti and jnana, of Advaita and the Sakta doctrine. When the Sage of Kanci speaks of beauty he takes you to the sublime realm of aesthetic delight. How lofty must be his mystic vision as revealed in his dentification of beauty with love and compassion. He speaks of many laharis, many waves, and his own bhasya of the SaundaryaJahari is a flood of beauty that traverses various systems of thought: he harmonizes them as only he can, proving again that he is an acarya with rare insights and with an original and creative mind.
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