Ethnography of Mysticism - The Narratives of Abhishiktananda

Ethnography of Mysticism - The Narratives of Abhishiktananda

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Author: Susan Visvanathan
Publisher: Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Year: 1998
Language: English
Pages: 121
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185952531


Can sociology understand the mystic? This is the question that the author tries to answer.

This book attempts to understand the problem of personal experience in religion. It takes the biography of a French monk in India, called Henri La Saux to understand concepts such as friendship and dialogue across different religions. Henri Le Saux became known as Abhishiktananda and is best remembered for his love for Ramana Maharishi, the cerebral saint of India.

This book tries to understand Abhishiktananda's love for Ramana expressed through his writings and personal journeys. In order to comprehend mysticism, the author focuses on action and renunciation as two arms of the mystical journey. In this regard, it compares Abhishiktananda with Simone Weil, a great and heroic figure of our age, who dealt with fascism in Europe through personal intervention, liberating herself and others through the wisdom and grace of her encounter with God, and her courage in resisting Nazism.