At the Feet of the Guru by Kenneth Grant.

Starfire Publishing Ltd., London, 2006. 132 pages + 14 black-and-white plates. Hardback, sewn binding, with full-colour dust-jacket by Steffi Grant. Standard edition.

Collected for the first time as one volume, these penetrating essays on contemporary figures in Eastern Mysticism were written by Kenneth Grant from the early 1950s onwards. Published originally for the most part in various Asian journals from the 1950s onwards, with some in the 1970s encyclopaedia series Man, Myth & Magic, they concern Sages such as Ramana Maharshi, Pagal Haranath, Ramakrishna, Anandamayi Ma, Sivananda, and others. At the core of these essays is the crucial insight of Advaita, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘not divided’, and associated with the Indian school of Advaita Vedanta and the work of perhaps its most famous exponent, the Sage Sri Shankacharya. It is an insight which has been expounded most succinctly in modern times in the works of Sri Ramana Maharshi, of Tiruvannamalai, who is the subject of several of the essays in the present volume. Central to these particular essays is his technique of Atma Vichara, or enquiry into the Self, a practice leading to the dissolution of the veils of illusion which obscure the singularity and universality of Awareness, often epitomised as Cosmic Consciousness.

Generally regarded as uniquely Eastern, Advaita is on the contrary a fundamental insight that is at the core of most if not all schools of mysticism and spiritual progress which seek to penetrate to a reality beyond the glamour of appearances. It is implicit in the Western magical tradition, magic being specifically the manipulation of glamours. Much of Crowley’s work, for instance, is saturated with this insight. It is also this same fundamental understanding of Advaita which underpins Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies, and which is in the present volume consolidated and deepened over the course of these essays.

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