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Raimon Panikkar, The Rhythm of Being: The Gifford Lectures. A Review Article

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The Rhythm of Being is a remarkable book by Prof. Raimon Panikkar. It contains the Gofford Lectures he gave in 1989. The original title of the Lectures was “The Survival of Being.” Panikkar aims at a wonderful blend of East. After having mentioned in brief the ultimate questions he tries to show in a historical way how the answers have been attempted at by various philosophies and theologies. There is an attempt made to speak about the dwelling of the divine; we find a complementing of immanence and transcendence over here. Theology, Panikkar says, is theopraxis finally leading to orthopraxis, which is faith. Then he ventures upon the difficult theme of trinity or triad. An attempt is made to blend Trinity and Advaita — these are not monopolies of any forms of thought. As a consequence of the triadic concept he moves on to his fond phrase and coinage “Cosmotheandric Dimension.” The title is worth noting: “The Theanthropocosmic Invariant.” The three dimensions of reality — cosmos, theos and anthropos — intertwine so beautifully that they are interdependent and almost inseparable. Then he also turns his attention to the important concepts of nothingness (sunyata, nada) and freedom which have to be understood in the inter-independence of being. The penultimate chapter deals with the Divine Dimension of reality, which has to be met in silence. The attitudes to be maintained before God are essentially praising, glorifying, and thanksgiving, and the result of these is ananda (bliss). The final chapter discusses on the “Emerging Mythos” and the author stresses the need for a holistic approach. It would be a blend of homo religiosus and homo scientificus.

Affiliations: 1: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh India, Email:


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