Michael S. Allen

Sep 15, 2022

The Ocean of Inquiry

Niscaldas and the Premodern Origins of Modern Hinduism

Oxford University Press 2022

Michael S. Allen's book The Ocean of Inquiry: Niscaldas and the Premodern Origins of Modern Hinduism (Oxford UP, 2022) focuses on a single remarkable work and its place within that history: "The Ocean of Inquiry," a vernacular compendium of Advaita Vedåanta by the North Indian monk Niâscaldåas (ca. 1791 - 1863). Though not well known today, Niâscaldåas's work was once referred to by Vivekananda (himself a key figure in the shaping of modern Hinduism) as the most influential book in India. The present book situates "The Ocean of Inquiry" as a representative of both a neglected genre (vernacular Vedåanta) and a neglected period (ca. 17th-19th centuries) in the history of Indian philosophy.

Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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