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Contemplative Practice and Textual Agency in Advaita Vedānta

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Advaita Vedāntins consider contemplative practice (nididhyāsana) as one of the primary practices for gaining self-knowledge and liberation. However, the nature of contemplative practice is both ambiguous and contested. How do Advaita Vedānta practitioners actually engage this contemplative process? What are the relationships between contemplative practice, scriptural study, and liberating experience? This paper explores the nature of contemplative practice based on fieldwork with contemporary Advaita Vedānta monks from the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Asian Studies, The University of Texas at Austin;, Email:


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