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Sun, Jul 21


Five summer Sunday sessions via Zoom.

A Remarkable Spiritual Journey

The Life and Philosophy of Shri Shankaracharya (788–820 CE)

A Remarkable Spiritual Journey
A Remarkable Spiritual Journey

Time & Location

Jul 21, 2024, 7:30 PM

Five summer Sunday sessions via Zoom.


About the event

On five summer Sundays beginning July 21 at 7:30 pm, we will explore the life and philosophy of Shri Shankaracharya (788–820 CE). Shri Shankara, an exponent of Advaita Vedanta or non-dual philosophy, is credited with reviving Hinduism during his short life of 32 years.

We will read and discuss the book, Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism's Greatest Thinker by Pavan K Varma.

  1. July 21: Life--A Personal Journey
  2. July 28: The Canvas Before
  3. Aug 4: The Audaciry of Thought
  4. Aug 11: The Remarkable Validation of Science
  5. Aug 18: Epilogue: The Legacy and Texts

About the Book

"What is Brahman? What is its relationship to Atman? What is an individual's place in the cosmos? Is a personalised god and ritualistic worship the only path to attain moksha? Does caste matter when a human is engaging with the metaphysical world? The answers to these perennial questions sparkle with clarity in this seminal account of a man and a saint, who revived Hinduism and gave to Upanishadic insights a rigorously structured and sublimely appealing philosophy. Jagad Guru Adi Shankaracharya (788–820 CE) was born in Kerala and died in Kedarnath, traversing the length of India in his search for the ultimate truth. In a short life of thirty-two years, Shankaracharya not only revived Hinduism, but also created the organisational structure for its perpetuation through the mathas he established in Sringeri, Dwaraka, Puri and Joshimatha. Adi Shankaracharaya: Hinduism's Greatest Thinker is a meticulously researched and comprehensive account of his life and philosophy. Highly readable, and including a select anthology of Shankaracharya's seminal writing, the book also examines the startling endorsement that contemporary science is giving to his ideas today. A must read for people across the ideological spectrum, this book reminds readers about the remarkable philosophical underpinning of Hinduism, making it one of the most vibrant religions in the world."

About the Author

Pavan K. Varma is a former Indian Foreign Service officer and was an adviser to the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, with cabinet rank. From June, 2014  until July 2016, he served as a Member of Parliament. He is currently the National General Secretary and National Spokesman of the Janata Dal, "The People's Party".

About Our Small Groups

Our discussions are sparked by questions. They will be both personal and academic, involve personal experience as well as understanding, heart as well as head.

In all our small groups, we use Socratic dialogue to unravel hidden meanings and new understandings. We will share personal insights and experiences. Always, our discussions will be respectful, opening our minds and hearts to each other and perennial truths at the heart of the world's spiritual traditions.

We will meet on Zoom at 7:30 pm for about an hour and 15 minutes.  You will also be added to a discussion group on our website,, to discuss topics between sessions.


  • Groups are open to new members up until the first session.
  • Registration is by donation on a sliding scale.
  • The groups are limited to 15 people.
  • We must have a minimum of five people to run a group.
  • Friends of the Oratory may join groups for free if they register when signed into their accounts on this website.
Membership Offer
Buy a membership and get 100% off this event at checkout


  • $50 Suggested

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    +$1.25 service fee
  • Other Amount

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    +Service fee



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