Jayadvaita Swami was raised in an American Jewish family and received a Reform childhood training in his younger years. He tells of two greatly transformative moments. The first was discovering an important Biblical book from the same skeptical Biblical wisdom tradition that produced the Book of Job. Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) aroused in him existential despair and angst and essentially blew him out of both contemporary Judaism and the materialistic American culture. And then he encountered Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, his teacher, the founder of the Krishna Consciousness movement. Over time, he became Swami Prabhupada’s chief editor.
In this interestingly ecumenical translation and commentary, the author brings important comparisons from Vedic and Buddhist texts, as well as from other traditions and from modern scholarly research, to illuminate Qohelet’s presentation of all the obstacles to trust, faith and hope in the Divine Stewardship of reality.
As in Jayadvaita Swami’s spiritual quest, so in this volume: The wrenching questions about the sense of meaninglessness that mortality generates, as expressed in the Jewish Biblical skeptical wisdom tradition, as well as in wisdom traditions worldwide, are resolved by the far more transcendental reality map of the Vedic tradition, particularly as transmitted through his teacher. Scholars, seekers and others who find little satisfaction in current cultural reality maps should find good reading in this study of Qohelet!
About the Author
Jayadvaita Swami–writer, editor, publisher, and teacher–is an American monk in the tradition of Krishna spirituality. As a writer, he crosses cultural boundaries to go deep into “the big questions” that speak to the essence of everyone’s life. As an editor, he has edited more than forty volumes of translated Indian texts. As a publisher, he oversees the African division of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the world’s largest publisher of India’s classic books of spiritual wisdom. As a teacher, he travels year round, speaking on spiritual literature with clarity, joy, erudition, and wit. He has taught in more than sixty countries.