The present work is an in-depth study of Tayumanavar, a seventeenth century poet-philosopher, mystic and saint of Tamil Nadu. His profoundly philosophical humns were the poet`s creative response to the contesting creeds of his time, reflecting his own intimate religious and mystical experience of God, Siva (Sivanubhava).The present study of Vedanta Siddhanta Samarasam as God-experienced by Dr. Thomas Manninezhath will no doubt, awaken a new interest in the hymns of Tayumanavar and the legacy of religious experience they bequeath to us. Religious experience (anubhava), supported by reason and enriched by reflection, has to be the meeting ground for the followers of World Religions today.It is fascinating to see how Tayumanavar sought to bring about the harmony of two opposed traditions through a re-reading of his own tradition and a re-interpretation of the scholastic Advaita in favour of a more religiously inspiring popular Advaita.The work illustrates how many of our contemporary concerns enshrined in such concepts as Comparative Religion, Ecumenism Religious Dialogue etc. were also a concern within the `household` of Hinduism even as early as seventeenth century A.D. The author`s interpretation of Vedanta Siddhanta Samarasam of Tayumanavar offers a unique basis for religious tolerance and co-existence even in our present-day context of plurality of religions and creeds. That, indeed, speaks volumes for the actuality and relevance of the work.
DR. THOMAS MANNINEZHATH at present teaches Philosophy at DVK. He is the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy; Director of Centre for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) of DVK and the Editor-in-Chief of the international quarterly Journal of Dharma published by the CSWR, Bangalore.