This volume examines the role of divine grace in the non-dualist soteriology of Śaṃkara. The author argues that grace is an essential but generally overlooked feature in Śaṃkara's enlightenment spirituality.
Introductory chapters summarize recent developments in Śaṃkara research, Śaṃkara's epistemology and ontology, ancient Vedāntic teachings on grace, and modern scholarly disagreement about grace in Śaṃkara's Advaita system. The heart of the book consists of two lengthy exegetical chapters examining Śaṃkara's key passages on grace from his dozen genuine works. The final chapter presents for the first time a systematic summary of Śaṃkara's understanding of the operation and necessity of divine grace.
This book provides a useful summary of Śaṃkara's system as a whole besides offering a radical revision of the standard understanding of Śaṃkara's soteriology. It also reveals that Śaṃkara was much more indebted in his thinking to his Vedantic predecessors than had hitherto been thought.