Opera Omnia

Author’s Foreword

All the writings it is my privilege and responsibility to present here are not the fruit of mere speculation but rather are autobiographical, i.e. firstly they were inspired by a life and praxis which were only moulded into writing later on.

This Opera Omnia spans some seventy years during which time I dedicated myself to a deeper exploration of the meaning of a more just and full human life. I did not live for the sake of writing, but I wrote to live in a more conscious way so as to help my brothers with thoughts not only from my own mind but also arising from a superior Source which may perhaps be called Spirit – although I do not claim that my writings are in any way “inspired”. However, I do not believe that we are isolated monads, but that each of us is a microcosm which mirrors and impacts the macrocosm of reality as a whole – as most of the cultures believed who spoke of the Body of Shiva, of the communion of the saints, of the Mystic Body, of karman and so forth.

The decision to publish this collection of my writings has not been easy and, more than once, I have had to overcome the “temptation” to abandon the attempt, the reason being that, though I fully subscribe to the Latin saying that scripta manent, I also firmly believe that what actually matters in the final analysis is to live out Life; this has been demonstrated by the great masters who, as Thomas Aquinas affirms citing Pythagoras and Socrates in the Summa (but not Buddha, whom he could not know of), did not actually write a single word.

Halfway along the sunset of my life, having strayed from the right path and lost it, I awoke to find myself in a dark wood. as I had shed all my certainties.

It is undoubtedly thanks to Sante Bagnoli, and to his publishing house Jaca Book, that I owe the initiative of publishing this Opera Omnia and all my gratitude goes to him. This work includes practically all that has appeared in book form, even if some chapters have been inserted into different volumes according to their topic. Numerous articles have been added to present a more complete picture of my way of thinking, but occasional pieces and almost all my interview reports have been left out.
I would like to make some practical comments which apply to all the volumes:
a) in quoting references, I have preferred to cite my previously published works following the general scheme of my publications;
b) subject matter has been given precedence over chronology and thus the style may sometimes differ;
c) even if each of these works aspires to be a self-sufficient whole, some ideas recur because they are functional to the understanding of the text, although unnecessary duplications have been omitted;
d) the publisher’s preference for the Opera Omnia to be put into an organic whole by the author while still alive has many obvious positive features.
Should the author continue to live, however, he will be hard to put to stop himself from “introducing” alterations, revisions or merely adding to his original writings.

I wish to express my gratitude to those many people who over the years have supported me in the arduous task of giving shape to my thoughts as well those as who have translated from the various languages in which I have happened to write. This has been achieved  in the spirit of multiculturalism which I believe is ever relevant, in a world where cultures encounter and mutually enrich each other, provided they do not mislay their specificity. Moreover my special gratitude goes to Milena Carrara Pavan, to whom I have entrusted the publication of all my written works. 

Raimon Panikkar



Raimon Panikkar

official site

“Writing, to me, is intellectual life
and also spiritual expirience…
it allows me to ponder deeply the mistery of reality.”