“From Arunachala”

A Hindu-Christian Understanding of Holy Mountains

Authors

  • Gregory Thomas Basker Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, University of Serampore

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.31056

Keywords:

Abhishiktananda, Ramana Maharshi, Arunachala, Holy mountains

Abstract

This paper discusses the commonalities/differences between the understandings of holy mountains in Hinduism and Christianity. The first part deals with Ramana Maharshi’s understanding of the holy mountain Arunachala—his attraction to and reinterpretations of it. The second part presents Abhishiktananda’s views on Arunachala, particularly with regard to Christian mysticism. Here the focus is on how he engaged in an interreligious interpretation of the mountain. In the final section, the paper explores the implications of such studies to the field of Comparative Religions. The paper deals with the following questions: Do comparative studies of religious concepts produce metanarratives for further investigation? Do similarities/dissimilarities point to a dependence/autonomy of concepts? Are there enduring patterns to look for in future in such intercultural hermeneutical exercises?

Author Biography

Gregory Thomas Basker, Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, University of Serampore

Gregory Thomas Basker teaches New Testament Studies and Christian Origins. He received his Dr. Theol. in 2014 in Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology from the University of Heidelberg.

References

Abhishiktananda. 1996. Hindu-Christian Meeting Point: Within the Cave of the Heart. Delhi: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

———. 1979a. Prayer. Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

———. 1979b. The Secret of Arunachala. Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

———. 1984a. Saccidananda: A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience, Del¬hi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

———. 1984b. The Further Shore. Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

———. 1989. Das Geheimnis des heiligen Berges: Als christlicher Mönch unter den Weisen Indiens. Freiburg: Herder.

Abhishiktananda. 2005. Innere Erfahrung und Offenbarung: Theologische Aufsätze zur Begegnung von Hinduismus und Christentum. Innsbruck-Wien: Tyrolia.

Eliade, M. 1958. Patterns in Comparative Religion, London: Sheed and Ward.

Hackbarth-Johnson, Christian. 2003. Interreligiöse Existenz: Spirituelle Erfahrung und Identität bei Henri Le Saux (O.S.B.)/Swami Abhishiktananda (1910- 1973), Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Maharshi, Ramana. 1955. Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam.

Natarajan, A.R. 2002. Arunachala: From Rigveda to Ramana Maharshi. Bangalore: Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning.

Osborne, Arthur. 1969. Ramana Arunachala. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam.

Sharma, Arvind. 2006. Ramana Maharshi: The Sage of Arunachala. New Delhi: Penguin/Viking.

Sharpe, Eric. J. 1975. Comparative Religion: A History. London: Gerald Duckworth.

Wach, J. 1958. The Comparative Study of Religions. Edited by J.M. Kitagawa. New York: Columbia University Press.

Published

2017-03-27

How to Cite

Basker, G. T. (2017). “From Arunachala”: A Hindu-Christian Understanding of Holy Mountains. Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology, 1(1), 27–45. https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.31056

Issue

Section

Articles