“Once in a great while, a book comes along that contains such essential concepts that it strikes a universal chord and reveals what is true and sacred. Children of Immortal Bliss is such a book. It explores the core tenets of Vedanta (one of the six schools of Hinduism) from a philosophical and practical standpoint. Since its concepts are at the heart of every religion’s mystical roots, the reader will recognize ideas that he or she has heard before, but it’s the way the author frames them that makes them so accessible….

Hourihan’s voice comes through with such clarity that one feels that he is there to guide one personally, like a wise teacher whose presence illuminates an ocean of self-insight.

“… Amidst the plethora of books on spirituality, Children of Immortal Bliss is a rare and compelling find…. a consummate companion for the journey within.”

– Laura Ramirez, author of award-winning Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting.

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“I am just finishing the book Children of Immortal Bliss by Paul Hourihan and have never, ever read a more insightful book—and that includes many of the spiritual classics of East and West. If only Mr. Hourihan would write more than the few I have already read by him!!!”

– M. Ken Anderson

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“I have found Children of Immortal Bliss very useful for Westerners. I do believe exposure to the Indian ideal would help anybody to broaden his/her outlook and deepen their spiritual consciousness. I gladly recommend Children of Immortal Bliss for general Western readers looking for spiritually uplifting and emotionally fulfilling ideas of basic spiritual life.”

– Swami Tathagatananda, Senior Minister, The Vedanta Society of New York

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This is a welcome addition to the body of literature that seeks to illuminate the insights of India’s ancient sages for modern seekers of truth. Paul Hourihan explains precisely why Vedanta is as relevant and practical today as it ever was. We are all children of immortal bliss, and we desperately need to awaken to that reality.

– Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda and The Life of Yogananda

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“It can happen when first encountering Hinduism that it seems somewhat like traffic in India: chaotic. There are so many strains, variations, opposing views and interpretations that it is difficult to discern the wheat from the chaff. Sri Ramakrishna said that the scriptures in India are like a mixture of sugar and sand, that one should take the sugar and leave the sand.

“Mr. Hourihan’s book helps the student of Indian religion to discover and enjoy the essence of Hinduism. In an informative and readable way he presents the cream of Indian thought. Both the novice and those familiar with Vedanta will find much to enrich their understandings in Children of Immortal Bliss.”

– Brother Simeon Davis, Light of the Spirit Monastery

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Hear, O children of immortal bliss, you are born to be united with the Lord.

“Paul Hourihan, the author of Children of Immortal Bliss, has himself heard this call to realize that blessed state where the spiritual aspirant attains complete absorption in Brahman. This illumined introduction to Vedanta not only covers the essential foundational teachings of this sublime philosophy, but articulates these teachings in a uniquely accessible fashion. Beginning students will appreciate the heartfelt clarity and contemporary sensibility with which the author not only explains but also transmits the ancient teachings….

“This introduction to fundamental Vedanta truths will serve to inspire the reader to realize and make these truths his or her own.”

– Anurag Neal Aronowitz, Nectar of Non-Dual Truth, Issue #27, April 2012

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Children of Immortal Bliss is a splendid introduction to Vedanta for the average person, presenting this Indian tradition simply, and with the use of ideas and illustrations that will make sense of it to a wide audience. I particularly liked the frequent referral to American writers like Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman who also drew from Vedanta. Such familiar names will reassure educated readers that this way of thinking has a noble heritage in America as well as Asia. No less valuable is the concluding presentation of convergent lines of thought in Plotinus, Lao Tzu, Eckhart, and the Sufis, showing that under one name or another the ancient wisdom called the Vedanta in Hinduism is in fact the way of the wise across the earth.

“I hope this little book finds the wide audience it deserves, and touches the hearts of many for good.”

– Robert Ellwood, author and Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Religion, University of Southern California

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“Vedanta, a still little-known school of Hindu thought, may be said to have reached its apogee in the first quarter of the 20th century. Modern Vedanta, as interpreted by Swami Vivekananda, emphasizes peace between and among various sects and religions, as well as meditational practices rooted in ancient Hinduism. Hourihan attempts to reintroduce Vedanta to the public, reinvigorating its ideas for a modern audience.”

– Library Journal, March 2008

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I would recommend this book so much. I totally get what the author is trying to bring over. I find that after reading writings of Sri Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta, Paul Hourihan does bring a lot of clarity in the ancient Vedanta philosophy.

It is a joy to read this book, I could not put it down, though I will read it again soon. Such clarity shines from its pages.

– A. Goyvaerts, Ireland

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The modern world is filled with voices talking about God, gods, goddesses, saints, avatars, gurus, saviors and all manner of messiahs. Since the 60’s, eastern religion has become popular in the west, but we mostly glom on to the surface teachings without an understanding of the deep roots.

I appreciated Paul Hourihan’s careful summary of the Upanishads. He offers a historical perspective and then delves into the teachings themselves. Having read quotes and excerpts—but never attempted a full study of the Vedic scriptures—I learned how influential this entire system has been in the sacred traditions of the world.

On a personal level, I was delighted to find so much in common between my own journeys and that of the Vedic teachers and mystics. As someone untrained in these traditions, it warmed me to remember that the unitive experience produces a way of seeing the world and experiencing the Divine which transcends time, culture and dogma.

I’m grateful that Paul and Anna Hourihan have shared ancient teachings with the modern world so beautifully.

– Jacob Nordby, author of The Divine Arsonist, A Tale of Awakening

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This is not merely a book to be reviewed and commented upon. This book, in being a clear and precise effort to interpret the Vedanta for the modern Western reader, rises above being a book like other books. It aspires to connect us with the source, with Brahman. It aspires to the highest that can be attained by any being. Personally, I found that it was one of the best efforts towards this goal. That it served to recharge rather than drain me as I read it is my primary proof of this.

I have read many other books on the topic of Advaita Vedanta, and several translations of the principle Upanishads. There are those that almost seem to mask the magnificence of their subject matter by being dry-as-dust scholarly regurgitations, or outright attempts at deconstruction. The best are in the spirit and of the spirit of the perennial sources. This is one of those. It is as clear and unpretentious as, say, Joseph Campbell’s explanations. Still, some might ask why we need still another commentary on the subject. My answer to that is to ask what other effort is more worthwhile? To contemplate these teachings should be a joy whether you have read them once or a thousand times….

When you get so sick of your ego, with your lesser self, that you would rather perish than linger, then the eye of the heart will be opened and self will truly come to know Self. That is our immortal inheritance.

                         – Stanley Curtis, Amazon Reviewer

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Children of Immortal Bliss is an excellent book to enjoy and to study if you’re looking to re-energize your existing faith or are looking to ignite the spark within you that is thirsting for Universal Truths that bring peace to yourself and to others.

If you believe that there is significantly more to life than what we think and what we can perceive with our senses, then you are thinking the way that the mystics think. You are hungering for what is Real and lasting and are growing increasingly more dissatisfied with what is shallow, fleeting and impermanent. This book will help you satisfy that hunger and learn how to embark upon a relationship with that which is profound and everlasting—your True Self within.

Paul Hourihan explains India’s Vedanta philosophy in a straightforward and compelling way that allows us to truly believe that we are the light of the world and that all religious paths do lead to the same place. Learn about a philosophy that is based upon unity, love and bliss, embracing of all faiths, and is available to each and every one of us. Reinforce the importance of meditation as a practice that allows us to become mindfully focused on that which we already are and that which we are intentionally choosing to realize—our inner Divinity.

                            – Bob Gregoire, Lowell, MA

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In his wonderful book, Children of Immortal Bliss, the late Paul Hourihan provides readers with an easy-to-understand introduction to fundamental truths of Vedanta, one of the six main schools of philosophy in Hinduism. Hourihan states the book provides readers, “a new perspective of our true identity based on the ancient Vedanta philosophy of India.” Hourihan presents support for the universality of all religious truth and compares the spiritual traditions of such philosophers as Lao Tzu, Meister Eckhart, Plotinus and mystical Sufism. Hourihan suggests that the purpose of life is to realize the divinity of humanity and the book concisely describes the path to escape from the prison of ignorance into enlightened consciousness. Children of Immortal Bliss is a treasure readers are sure to keep on their bookshelves and refer to again and again. I highly recommend this jewel for the spiritually-inspired reader.

       – Karen Mueller Bryson, Ph.D., playwright and author

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If you’ve found it difficult to understand the ancient teachings of India, Children of Immortal Bliss is for you. Hourihan’s explanation of Vedanta, the mysticism of ancient India, develops ideas in easily understood terms. The section on meditation is an example.

“To realize God, first control the outgoing senses and harness the mind,” cries The Upanishads, Breath of the Eternal. But how does one harness the mind with its wild, assuming ways? Not by force, but by substitution of thought. By giving the mind an affirmation of Truth we bring it under control and have a defense against distractions….

Mysticism claims universality. Hourihan compares the teachings of outstanding mystics and finds parallel thoughts expressed in different terms. These thoughts have become the underlying foundation of every religion.

The teachings are ancient and the understanding thorough. Hourihan’s elucidation of Vedanta, while especially designed for the Western mind, also offers further understanding for those already familiar with Indian mysticism.

– Lyn Chamberlain

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Children of Immortal Bliss goes to the heart of the questions “who are we and what are we doing here?” As we read we feel “divine grace pouring through us every minute.” (Ramakrishna).

Bless yourself. Read this book.

– Susan G. Wooldridge, author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words and Foolsgold:  Making Something from Nothing and Freeing your Creative Process

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I can’t say enough about this well-written overview of the Vedanta Philosophy. Those of us born in the West face a double challenge when reading Vedantic literature: Time and Culture. Dr. Hourihan has bridged that gap for us and presented these ancient truths from India in an  illuminating and very enjoyable book. Highly recommended for those on the path to their True Identity!

                      – Gary Hogan, Laguna Beach, CA

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I very much appreciated the opportunity to read Children of Immortal Bliss I’ve often struggled to explain Vedanta and my related beliefs to friends and family members. As much as I value other works that I study (including the writings of Prabhavandanda and Chinmayananda), Mr. Hourihan’s book is one of the best I’ve found to help me clarify my understanding of basic points of Vedanta. I’m grateful.

                      – Merle Anderson, Mt. Shasta, CA

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As a long-time student of Eastern philosophy and spiritual teachings I found this book to be a compelling, concise, easy-to-read exposition of the basic points of Vedanta—the end of the Vedas that deals with direct experience of God/Self. You will recognize the commonality of these teachings with the Sermon on the Mount, Buddhist teachings, Jewish mysticism and more. The Truth is One though our paths to it are many.

                    – Meryl Steinberg, San Francisco, CA

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Going through the second reading. . . Simply Superb!!! . . . a must companion of Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy.

                    – Amal Gupta, Boston, MA

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Western readers curious about Eastern philosophy and religion—particularly Hinduism—will get much from this unusual book. India, as many in the West are aware, is home to the world’s oldest spiritual traditions and scriptural texts. The Vedas, the most venerable of these texts, are the basis for the mystical tradition known as Vedanta. In no other book have I seen the core concepts of Vedanta so clearly explained to non-scholars—especially unfamiliar terms and concepts that are confusing to Westerners not versed in Hinduism.

Hourihan also examines the teachings of Western mystics (Christian and Muslim) in light of their shared insights with the earlier traditions of India and China. By so doing, he demonstrates the universality of mystical experience; a fact that most, if not all readers will find appealing and uplifting.

However, the editorial tone of the Dedication, Editors Note, Preface and the title itself is somewhat devotional. Although this may be off-putting for some, it does not characterize the main body of the manuscript. It would be a mistake to dismiss this important book on such a trivial basis.

                     – Bruce Hulbert, Redding, CA

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This is to express my delight over your new book, Children of Immortal Bliss.  I very much enjoy the subject matter. I have admired the clear writing style in which these complicated thoughts are brought to paper and thread through the book. It is a book to be read many times.

                     – Margrid Rock, Redding, CA

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I have so enjoyed studying Children of Immortal Bliss. It has helped me to understand that I cannot reach enlightenment by striving, but by uncovering habits that produce Maya (fog). In our Western conditioning we are taught that our actions are the only way, and at times this habit energy can be very strong.  This book has been such a great help in my growth.

                     – Judy Mannino, Redding, CA

Children of Immortal Bliss