Vasudevacharya (born 1955; previously known as Michael Comans) is a spiritual teacher on the subject of Advaita Vedanta, sanskrit scholar and author.
Early life and education
Vasudevacharya was born and raised, in Sydney, Australia. His father was Jim Comans, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross twice while flying Lancaster bombers during World War 2. He was also a noted Sydney sports lawyer.
Vasudevacharya graduated in arts and education at the University of New South Wales and in 1979 obtained a Master of Arts from Sydney University with a thesis on Swami Vivekananda and the Ramakrishna Mission. At Sydney University, Vasudevacharya was introduced to the work of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. He subsequently studied Advaita Vedanta at the Chinmaya Mission Ashram, Piercy, California, under the traditional teacher of Advaita Vedanta, Swami Dayananda Saraswati and later the advaita text Naishkarmya-Siddhi by Sureshvaracharya at Rishikesh, India, also under Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
Vasudevacharya returned to Australia in 1983 and completed his Doctorate in Classical Indian Philosophy at the Australian National University in 1987 under the supervision of indologist, professor Jan Willem de Jong. While doing his PhD he also studied with Pandit T.S. Srinivasa Sastri at Deccan College, Pune, India.
After completing his PhD he then served as a faculty member in the Department of Indian Studies at the University of Sydney. In 1995 he left university teaching to concentrate on writing, and teaching Advaita Vedanta. It was clear to him that a spiritual aspect of Advaita Vedanta could not be expressed in academia.In 1998, his teacher/ guru Swami Dayananda Saraswati gave him the name Vasudevacharya.
Vasudevacharya has continued to teach the entire Bhagavad Gita and most of the major Upanishads in the traditional manner to the general public. He has published a number of books and articles on Advaita Vedanta and western philosophy. He has also composed an original Sanskrit treatise on Advaita Vedanta titled Advaitapratibodha.
Vasudevacharya has travelled extensively in India, the Mediterranean and Middle East including Turkey and Egypt, where he has researched material for his publications, in particular his work on the meaning and nature of God “The Maker and the Material – God and the Material Cause”. This book raises the question about the relation that exists between the universe and God. He argues in favour of the idea that the cosmos can be understood as an emanation, or as a manifestation of God, and he suggests that this view carries beneficial implications for the welfare of the environment; primarily that it restores the conception, common in many ancient cultures, of the world as a sacred place.
Vasudevacharya’s book “The Method of Early Advaita Vedanta” published in 2000 is a detailed examination of early Advaita Vedanta which clearly emphasises the errors made in the past hundred years or so with regard to the study of Advaita Vedanta. The concept of knowledge alone as being the correct way to self-knowledge as opposed to some experience such as Samadhi or yogic practice is stated.
- Comans, Michael (1986) The Essential Definition of Brahman in The Voice of Sankara. A Quarterly Journal of Advaita Vedanta. (Madras) Vol 11, No.3 and No.4 1987.
- Comans, Michael (1988) Advaitamoda : a study of Advaita and Visistadvaita / by Vasudevsastri Abhyankar ; translated from Sanskrit with a commentary by Michael Comans ; with a foreword by J.W. de Jong; Sri Garib Das oriental series ; no. 80.: Satguru Publications, Delhi, India ISBN 8170301688 Search this book on .
- Comans, Michael (1989) Jnanasvarupa is Atmasvarupa: Advaitins Respond to Ramanuja’s Critique, Journal of Indian Philosophy Vol 17, No.2 pp 189–206. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands.
- Comans, Michael (1990) The Self in Deep Sleep According to Advaita and Visistadvaita, Journal of Indian Philosophy Vol 18, No.1 pp 1–28. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands.
- Comans, Michael (1993) The Question of the Importance of Samadhi in Modern and Classical Advaita Vedanta; Philosophy East and West Vol.43, No.1 (Jan.1993), pp 19–38, University of Hawaii Press, Hawaii
- Comans, Michael (1996) Shankara and the Prasankhyanavada, Journal of Indian Philosophy Vol 24, pp 49 – 71.
- Comans, Michael (1996) Extracting the Essence of the Sruti: The Srutisarasamuddharnam of Totakacarya – Publ. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, India. ISBN 9788120814103 Search this book on .
- Comans, Michael (1997) Later Vedanta, in B. Carr and I. Mahalingham (ed.), Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, Routledge, London.
- Comans, Michael et al. (1997) Exploring Religion –in collaboration with a team of experts in their fields of religion. Publ. Oxford University Press, Australia.–. ISBN 0195536894 Search this book on .
- Comans, Michael (1998) Swami Abhisiktananda (Henri Le Saux, 0.S.B.) and Advaita: The Account of a Spiritual Journey. Chp 8. Religious traditions in South Asia : interaction and change / edited by Geoffrey A. Oddie, Curzon Press, Richmond, Surrey. ISBN 0700704213 Search this book on .
- Comans, Michael (2000) The Method of Early Advaita Vedanta – Publ.Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, India. ISBN 8120817222 Search this book on .
- Vasudevacharya, M (2008) Inheriting Modernity: Religious Intolerance in Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in Archana Parashar and Amita Dhanda ( Eds), Redefining Family Law in India, Publ.Routledge, New Delhi, India.
- Vasudevacharya (2010) Advaitapratibodha – An original Sanskrit treatise on Advaita Vedanta, Publ. Sri Nithyananda Prakashana, Bangalore, India.
- Vasudevacharya, M (2017) The Maker and The Material – God and the Material Cause, Publ. Indiemosh, Hazelbrook, NSW, Australia. ISBN 9781925666823 Search this book on .
- Waverly College Yearbook and Student Register 1967–1973
- "Radio National". Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
- "Historical Tributes". www.mbhsdarlinghurst.org. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- "The Hindu : Philosophic bent of mind". www.thehindu.com. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- Narasimhan, Padma (1990). Swami Dayananda – Traditional Teacher of Brahma Vidya. TT. Maps and Publications Ltd, Madras. Search this book on
- "SRI VENKATESWARA TEMPLE (SVT) – Sydney, Australia". www.svtsydney.org. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- Vasudevacharya, M (2017). The Maker and The Material – God and the Material Cause. Indiemosh. ISBN 978-1-925666-82-3. Search this book on
- "The Question of the Importance of Samadhi in Modern and Classical Advaita Vedanta by Michael Comans, PhD". realization.org. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- "Traditional Teachers – Others". www.advaita.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
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