Advaita Philosophy, Yoga Philosophy
Advaita Vedanta and Yoga
Nonduality Philosophy and Metaphysics


Advaita Vedanta (Monism) & Yoga Philosophy:Metaphysics of Nonduality

This website (previously is based on the book,The Circle of Fire — the Metaphysics of Yoga.

The basic questions that the book deals with are: Who, or rather, What, is God? How do we define God? Can we follow a spiritual path in the modern age? Are there practices and beliefs that we can follow that will lead us to a higher goal without contradicting modern science?

And the answer to this is Yes— we can certainly do this and this is through the path of Advaita Vedanta Philosophy and Yoga.

Even as we feel a spiritual pulse in our hearts, most of us do not want to abandon rationalism and reason.

This book shows that it is possible to have a spiritual conception that does not contradict science and rationalism. The goal of the book is to show that modern science and reason, instead of contradicting, in fact strengthens the Nonduality philosophy of Advaita. Thus in the book I have analyzed Advaita Vedanta and Yoga philosophy purely from a modern scientific and rational outlook and not from a traditional viewpoint.

The book deals with the philosophy of ancient India, and covers Advaita Vedanta Philosophy and Metaphysics, the Metaphysics of Yoga and its practise, and the tensions and synergies between other philosophies like Buddhism, Samkhya, Tantra, etc.

How do we define God? What is ‘God’?

God in Advaita Vedanta is defined as the Absolute. God here is not the simple minded personal God of dualism but a definition based on logic and rationalism. For an overview of the basics of Nonduality, you can go to my article, Advaita Vedanta philosophy.

How do we practice spirituality in the modern age?

The answer is through the path of Yoga. We often forget that Yoga is not just the practices of Hatha Yoga which are meant to acquire physical and mental strength. The higher forms of Yoga are an intense spiritual path which can lead us to the ultimate mystical goal of union with the Absolute. To read more on Yoga philosophy, you can go to my article, Yoga Practise.

Articles on the philosophy of Nonduality/Oneness of Advaita Vedanta

You can look up the Articles section to read various articles I have written on different topics. The articles mainly cover various issues related to the book like


Here I have dealt with topics which I could not cover in detail in the book itself due to lack of space.

Excerpts from The Circle of Fire.

You can also look up the "Excerpts" section to see excerpts from all the chapters of the book.

Discussion on a modern interpretation of Advaita Vedanta

The ancient tradition of Advaita through its long line of teachers and texts has also acquired many different interpretations and myths. These differing interpretations are but different ways of reaching the same ultimate teaching of Advaita Vedanta, that all is Brahman. They are not essential for the core of the philosophy. In ontology, there are two important ways in which Advaita Vedanta is interpreted, through Idealistic ontology and Realistic ontology, of which Realistic ontology conforms more to reason. A modern interpretation of the Advaita Vedanta would also require changes in the definition of the soul and in the position towards reincarnation. A contemporary re-interpretation of Advaitava Vedanta is more rational and in tune with our present views. and hence this is the philosophy that I put forward in this book.

The Interpretation of Advaita Vedanta in "The Circle of Fire" differs in some very important ways from the more traditional interpretations of Advaitavada.

1. Interpretating Advaita as starting from a realistic ontology/metaphysics as opposed to an idealist ontology/metaphysics

2. Rejection of a soul or Atman as an independent entity apart from our individual consciousness

3. Rejection of the Reincarnation theory

4. Rejection of the law of Karma as a deciding factor in what happens on death ( if Moksha is promised on liberation, it must be for all or for nobody, there cannot be any law or mechanism to choose at the time of death).

This present oulook on Advaita Vedanta is not a break from tradition and is still very much within tradition. There is enough textual support in the scriptures for this interpretation also. A close study shows that there is in fact more in the scriptures to support this fresh view of Advaita Vedanta as opposed to the more common lore. To see how the ancient scriptures support this modern interpretation of Advaita Vedanta, please go to the section under Discussion

For all these positions, I have gathered together a number of examples of scriptural support. All this can be followed from the appropriate links in the discussion section

The book, "The Circle of Fire" shows that through a modern interpretation of Advaita Vedanta, we can arrive at a philosophy which not only conforms to reason and logic, but also to science. This philosophy satisfies our desire for spirituality and our longing for truth, and at the same time allows us to accept and understand science. In this way, Advaita Vedanta can be the spiritual path for both the scientist and the spiritual person, so that the two need not be mutually exclusive.

* People who read this also read:

Alan Jacobs , President Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK

"This superb book tackles the difficult questions contained in the Metaphysics of Yoga with great clarity, so that to-day's educated laymen, eager to understand these great Truths, will find it comparatively easy to comprehend them.... I am confident that this book will serve as an indispensible guide for all those earnest readers keen to follow and understand the essential wisdom of the major Upanashadic Truths, still applicable more than ever for the modern man and woman."

Brian E. Erland ‘ Rainbow Sphinx’

" ....P. J. Mazumdar's book `The Circle of Fire' takes us deeper into the mysteries of the physical and non-material universe exploring the generally unnoticed, or ignored underlying harmony between modern science, Indian philosophy, Advaita, and the metaphysics of yoga....Mazumdar writes in a flowing, easy, almost conversational style that will immediately put the reader at ease. You will find yourself so immersed in this book that the pages will quickly disappear, the many diverse disciplines and concepts converge, and the authors point made before you realize the conversation is drawing to a close....the authors enthusiasm infuses his presentation with the spirit of adventure and discovery, raising Mazumdar work above the field of dry, impersonal analysis into the realm of personal applicability and infinite. "

Dennis Littrell

"He is also a man of science, a surgeon with a clear understanding of the scientific method and a man who is aware of the latest advances in scientific knowledge in such diverse fields as medicine, physics and evolutionary biology. What he tries to do here in this most interesting book is justify Advaitic philosophy in light of modern science.....What I think can be shown is that a philosophy or a religion or any metaphysical edifice is not in contradiction with science. In this sense I think Mazumdar is admirably successful....The strength of the book is in the clear delineation of the Advaita philosophy and how it differs from other philosophies such as Vedanta, Samkhya, Buddhism and others...For anyone interested in the philosophies of India and how they relate to the modern world, this is a book not to be missed."

* People who read this also read:

// //

Home Book Discussion Excerpts Reviews Contact Us
Articles Author Info Discussion Forum Live Chat Blog