The Advaita tradition has not merely been the focus of my scholarly work; my personal world-view has been shaped by its insights and I continue to be deeply influenced by its understanding of human existence. One cannot, however, ignore the challenges of claims which are different from one's own and my encounter with other Hindu traditions and other religions has led to a re-evaluation of many aspects of my Advaita heritage. I have chosen, in what follows, to reflect on how my original understanding is being transformed by encounters with other traditions by focusing on the Advaita representation of brahman as nirguna and saguna. A more detailed treatment, both of the problems of this doctrine and the implications, for Advaita, of an alternative expression of the nature of brahman, exceeds the limits of this study and is the focus of my current scholarly project. In this study I must be content with sharing some of the specific questions I have asked, selective elements of my critique, and the general direction of my re-assessment of the Advaita doctrine of God.

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