A former diplomat, Rajya Sabha MP and author, Pavan K Varma's book titled 'Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism's Greatest Thinker' was launched by Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Dr Karan Singh, in Delhi, on May 2. Also in attendance were senior political leaders and MPs including P Chidambaram and Manish Tewari among others.
'Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism's Greatest Thinker' is a well-researched account of the life, times and philosophy propounded by the child-seer who not only gave a form and structure to Hinduism but also travelled across India to set up monasteries. The book includes a select anthology of Shankaracharya's seminal writing and most importantly examines the startling endorsement that contemporary science is giving to his ideas today. It reminds readers about the remarkable philosophical underpinning of Hinduism, making it one of the most vibrant religions in the world.
Prior to the formal launch of the book, the author shared the dais with renowned journalist-turned-author, Vir Sanghvi and spoke about the sheer brilliance of Adi Shankaracharya and his relevance today.
Speaking on the occasion, author Pavan K Varma said, "I refuse to be a mute witness to the reduction of such a great religion (Hinduism) to its lowest common denominator by ignorant and illiterate people who think they are the self-anointed protector of Hinduism. I want to proudly say that I am a Hindu, but I want to say that for right reasons. I want those traditions to be respected- of inclusion, not exclusion; of assimilation, not hatred; of dialogue, not violence. I believe we need to have the knowledge of Hinduism and its great philosophy and if we don't, it's like to be reduced to that level."
Highly readable, including a select anthology of Shankaracharya's seminal writing, this book is a must-read for people across the ideological spectrum. The reason is that it reminds readers for the first time ever what truly is the remarkable philosophical underpinning of Hinduism, making it one of the most vibrant religions in the world.
Pavan K. Varma, a resident of Delhi, was conferred with a doctoral degree for his contribution to the fields of diplomacy, literature, culture and aesthetics by the University of Indianapolis in 2005.