As a scholar of Ecclesiastes, I am deeply impressed with his grasp of the book’s message. I enthusiastically recommend this book to all.
Tremper Longman III
Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies
An important exercise in reading across traditions.
Scholar of rabbinic literature,
former lecturer at Tel Aviv University,
and the founder and director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute
“Vanity Karma promises to expand our own vision for our lives,
inviting us to rise beyond the meaninglessness
that persistently plagues us individually and collectively”
Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
“Not just a serious contribution to inter-religious dialogue, but a spiritual manual in its own right. Vanity Karma is a unique addition to the spiritual archives of our day and age, offering profound insights relevant to Truth seekers of any tradition.”
Professor of Hindu Religion and Philosophy Rutgers University
In Vanity Karma “both Ecclesiastes and the Gītā speak to us within our own minds and hearts, as they have within the Swami’s, and so each one of us comes into a dialogue with both texts, a dialogue within each of us about the meaning of our own life.”
Graham M. Schweig
Professor of Philosophy and Religion Christopher Newport University, Virginia
An excellent contribution to the emerging field of comparative Hindu-Jewish studies and Hindu-Jewish dialogue.
Director, The Program for Hindu-Jewish Studies
University of Haifa
Scholars, seekers and others who find little satisfaction in current cultural reality maps should find good reading in this study of Qohelet [Ecclesiastes]!
Rabbi Shaya Isenberg
Emeritus Professor and Chair
Department of Religion
University of Florida
Adds a distinctive Hindu-Jewish bounty to the burgeoning field of interreligious studies.
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Jayadvaita Swami, steeped in both Jewish and Hindu traditions, has succeeded in writing a commentary that is at once scholarly and accessible, incisive and respectful.
Ravi M. Gupta
Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies
Utah State University
“Bringing to bear his transcultural perspective, Jayadvaita Swami adds immensely to our appreciation and understanding of Ecclesiastes.”
author of Forbidden Archaeology and Forbidden History of the Human Race
It is both an academic and a deeply touching story of the peace and serenity that is possible when human beings respond to the One Sacred Being of the universe.
Helen Rose Ebaugh
Emeritus Professor of Sociology
University of Houston
In Vanity Karma, Jayadvaita Swami manages to accomplish a difficult task: producing a work that is widely accessible, personally engaging, and academically credible.
Editor, Berkeley Journal of Religion and Theology
Graduate Theological Union
[Jayadvaita Swami] models a text study that is focused not on origins, literary structure, or intertextuality but on meaning—meaning that calls us to bring to bear all the sources of wisdom to which we have been exposed from our own and other traditions.
Rabbi Daniel F. Polish
Congregation Shir Chadash of the Hudson Valley, LaGrange, NY
Why am I here? What is my life for? What—if anything—does it mean?
Ecclesiastes, “the strangest book in the Bible,” begins with the argument that our life on earth is pointless, that we spend it working hard for “vanity,” for nothing better than vapor—and then die and disappear into oblivion.
In the 1960s the themes of Ecclesiastes profoundly moved a young Jewish American boy, starting him on a quest for meaning that led him to the Bhagavad-gita, India’s preeminent book of wisdom. Today, after following the teachings of the Gita for more than forty-five years, that young boy, now old and wiser, looks deep into Ecclesiastes again.
His thoughts and reflections, along with his modern English rendering of the full text of Ecclesiastes, make Vanity Karma valuable for the seeker, for the scholar, and for anyone serious about “the big questions” in life.