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Abstract

In The Limits of Scripture: Vivekananda’s Reinterpretation of the Vedas (1994), Rambachan argues that influenced by the colonial Indian circumstances, Swami Vivekananda rejected Śaṅkara’s theory of the Vedas as the “unique and self-valid source” of Self-knowledge and proposed his doctrine of the four yogas as direct alternative paths to Self-realization--an argument that has greatly furthered the thesis that Vivekananda is a “Neo-Vedāntin”. He further writes that Vivekananda’s epistemological views are fraught with inconsistencies and “contradicts fundamental Advaita propositions”. Arguing that Rambachan’s critique draws from a selective and superficial reading of Vivekananda’s works, this article shows the unmistakable Upaniṣadic basis and consistency in Vivekananda’s teachings. I further propose that Vivekananda’s epistemological views better addresses the peculiar problem involved in “knowing” the immanent yet transcendent Self, and his doctrine of four yogas does better justice to the diverse teachings of the Upaniṣads than Śaṅkara’s scripture-based epistemology as interpreted by Rambachan.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-08
Open Access
No
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