Advaitamoda (''the fragrance of Advaita'') by Mahamahopadhyaya Vasudevasastri Abhyankar is a very useful book for understanding the two great Vedanta tradition: Advaita Vedanta and Visistadvaita Vedanta Advaitanmoda contains four chapters the first two chapters present the teachings of Advalta and of Visistadvalita respectively. Then follows a summa-tion of the differences between these two traditions. The third and fourth chapters enter into a detailed critique of the arguments which Ramanuja advanced against Advaita in the LAGHU and MAHASIDHANTA portions of his great work, the SRI BHASYA. The procedure followed in these chapters is that a passage from the SRI BHASYA is firstly cited and then taken up for discussion, In the way, most of the LAGHU and MAHASIKHANTA portions of SRI BHASYA syastemtionally quoted and discussed.
Dr. Michael Oomans from the Australian National University, who has studied Advaita Vedanta in traditional manner over a number of years, has translated the Advaitanmoda from Sanskrit into English . In addition to the translation, he has written a commentary in English upon much of the text, where he explains and elaborates various topics as they arise.
This commentary is very helpful, especially as it provides an accurate and detailed understanding of Advaita Vedanta. This work for all students of Indian Philosophy and especially those who are interested in the Vedanta traditions. The book contains an Introduction, Detailed Table of Contents the Translation of Advaitanmoda with Oommentray, the Sanskrit text an Index. The foreword is by Professor J.V. de Jong.
Dr. Michael Comans (M.A. Dip. Ed. PH.D.) Is a longtime student of Advaita Vedanta. After graduating with an M.A. In religious studies from the University of Sydney, he undertook a careful study of Advaita Vedanta and Sanskrit. He spent a number of years, first in America and later in Rishikesh, India, under the tutelage of Swami Dayananda Sarasvati and in that time he studied Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita and portions of the Brahmasutras, with the commertaries of Sankaracarya, as well as a number of other Vedanta texts. Later, he also studied under senior pandit srinivasa sastri of Deccan College. In 1986 he received the degree of Doctors of philosophy from the Australian National University under the guidance of professor J.W.de jong. Dr. Comans intends to keep researching a teaching in the field of Vedanta and Sanskrit.
In July 1986 Dr. Michael Comans submitted his study of vasudevasastri Abhyankar’s Advaitamoda for the degree of Doctor of philosophy of the Australian national university. Dr. Comans has been studying Vedanta texts for many years in the United States, India and Australia, and he has obtained and intimate knowledge of the Vedanta philosophy. The Advaitamoda is an important work, because from it we can learn how a prominent Indian Scholar steeped in both traditional learning and modern scholarship interprets the two main Vedanta systems: the Advaita and the visistadvaita.
Dr. Comans has spared no pains to explain the text of Advaitamoda and I have no doubt that his work will be welcomed by students of Indian philosophy. It is a pleasure for me to congratulate Dr. Comans on the publication of this first fruit of his Vedanta studies and to express the wish that it will be followed by many others. Much has been written on Vedanta both in India and outside India, but there is more than enough scope for further solid philosophy. Dr. Comans is well qualified to make his own contribution in this field of studies.
**Contents and Sample Pages**