Re: Books By Disciples of Spiritual Masters
- Hello Tejvan,
I agree with you 100% and I have read a number of the books you
mentioned myself. Paul Brunton was one of the first ones right when I
started meditating. Later I was deeply impressed and inspired by the
Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. Before I got into practical meditation I
very much loved the stories about Zen-masters, less devotional, but
to the point, and laster I always had the feeling Guru had something
of a Zen master about him, his teaching could be very "straight", not
explaining, but making aware.
I am sure you know Madhuri's book about Guru, which offered so much
understanding of Guru's early years in the West and seemed to bring
them to life so vividly. Probably not everyone has the capacity to
express inner realities (or even be aware of them enough to write
about them), but there must be lots of talent in the Centre that
maybe has not come to the fore yet - and lots that is already
shining. I remember when Guru one time asked for a drawing competition regarding a special song or poem about his life. We had contributions from people who we had no idea were so gifted in drawing!
So maybe this is a great suggestion to also spread off board to all
those concerned who might not be reading here. I am thinking for
example of Pradhan, Chidananda or Anjali etc. who have shared so
eloquently in many other ways. Sometimes a personal invitation may
even be helpful or to start off with a short interview - I am just
musing, trying to figure out the possible "gospel-writers".
As you said, also simple, individual reminiscences or stories on
certain subjects or aspects of our life with Guru are great (like
the "miracle or compassion stories"), without the intention of
writing a whole book, like a collection of "glimpses of my life with
Sri Chinmoy" or "what Sri Chinmoy meant/means to me" or "how I found
my teacher" (something of this kind may be in the works). But they
should be whole stories in themselves, not embedded in other musings
like on this site...
Most definitely the best time to start is now, when our memories are
still as fresh as possible and when re-living those memories will help us appreciate even more deeply what we have been blessed to
experience - and lift us up at the same time.
- Hi Tejvan!
Thank you for your post! I have written down a few titles, to add some
books to my collections. It is really very inspiring to read stories from disciples about their master and it would be additionally inspiring if it were about our Guru.
Anyway there is one book, from a disciple about his life and how it
changed due to Guru's influence. Gunagriha wrote the book "Three times born" (I do not know if this is the English title, at least a translation of the German one).
It describes his life starting from his "first life" in Romania, his experiences there and fleeing to Austria. His "second life", deals with becoming a dentist in Austria and learning hypnosis and... until he finds Guru's book in a book store and realising that this man on that cover picture has no problems. His "third life" starts with a meditating on that picture and getting a cosmic experience, with many stories to follow. He writes in a humorous and entertaining way and it is definitely fanning the inner fire.
It is definitely translated but I have never seen it in New York.
Guru also approved of this book. So, if you are looking for a special book here you go.
Good night from Austria
- Yes Tejvan, I agree. Sometimes these books by other spiritual
masters can help to shed new light on an old theme and give us new
One of my favorites is a small book by Sri Aurobindo called the
Bases of Yoga. It is essentially a book of answers to questions that
Sri Aurobindo's students asked Him about the spiritual life. Although
the questions do not appear, you can glean the jist of the question
from the short replies which appear. This is not one of Sri Aurobindo's heavy intellectual works so it is easy to read, and it has been invaluable to me. There is a chapter entitled "In Difficulty" which has saved me on more than one occasion.
I am currently reading The Emergence of the Psychic by Sri Aurobindo
and the Mother. Also a very easy and insightful read.
One other excellent book that Shishir introduced me to is The Sermon
on the Mount According to Vedanta by Swami Prabhavananda. He takes Christ's sermon on the mount and compares the message that is within it to writings from other world religions and truly creates a feeling of oneness as he points out the similarities of the essential truths that lie within each. A very inspiring read.
I hope more people offer their favorites here.
I think many people would agree with you and many have expressed the
same idea about close disciples writing about their Guru. In the outer
world there were many different levels of 'closeness' with Guru, and all of those outer stories would be quite interesting, inspiring and
entertaining at times.
But inwardly we all had and have Guru close to us in one way or another on very spiritual and personal levels. Those experiences are also quite interesting and inspiring material for a book. I am sure much of that has not been shared here, but in a book it would be quite appropriate.
Some outer experiences with our Guru have been shared by some of us and there are some small booklets out already by people like Pradhan, Databir, Jagatarini, and others. Perhaps if you approach people
individually and privately you could inspire them to record their
experiences and from there the material from a book would be available.
Over the years I have contributed to this site some of my experiences
with Guru, especially in the world of running. I can easily collect them as they are already recorded, at least some of them. The difficult part for some people is to get them all together and into printed form. May I suggest just recording people telling their stories into a recorder and having material to transcribe? This is more work in the long run but it makes it more likely to get many more stories that way. Eventually, when others have the time and inspiration they can transcribe and organize the material.
I can only join you in recommending this book. If you love
Gunagriya's special kind of humour you will be deeply rewarded and if
you don't know his humour this is the perfect opportunity to
experience it (a third option does not exist, I suppose - not loving
his humour). And his humour is just a door-opener to the deep and
fascinating spiritual experiences and insights the book provides!
--- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, smarana31
> Hi Tejvan!
> Thank you for your post! I have written down a few titles, to add
> books to my collections. It is really very inspiring to readstories from disciples about their master and it would be
additionally inspiring if it were about our Guru.
>times born" (I do not know if this is the English title, at least a
> Anyway there is one book, from a disciple about his life and how it
> changed due to Guru's influence. Gunagriha wrote the book "Three
translation of the German one).
>his experiences there and fleeing to Austria. His "second life",
> It describes his life starting from his "first life" in Romania,
deals with becoming a dentist in Austria and learning hypnosis and...
until he finds Guru's book in a book store and realising that this
man on that cover picture has no problems. His "third life" starts
with a meditating on that picture and getting a cosmic experience,
with many stories to follow. He writes in a humorous and entertaining
way and it is definitely fanning the inner fire.
>special book here you go.
> It is definitely translated but I have never seen it in New York.
> Guru also approved of this book. So, if you are looking for a
> Good night from Austria
- Hi Tejvan,
What a great topic! I would like to add the title "A Disciple's
Journal : In the Company of Swami Ashokananda" by Sister Gargi
published in October 2003 ISBN 0970636822.
The author was a disciple of the head of the Vedanta Society
(Ramakrishna Order) of California in the 1950's. Some of my friends in
the centre have read it and find many parallels to our experiences in
her reminiscences. I have yet to read it myself but here is an excerpt
of a book review by Midwest Book Review Magazine - library review journal:
"A Disciple's Journal: In The Company Of Swami Ashokananda by Sister
Gargi (Marie Louise Burke) is the compelling and true personal
testimony of one woman's spiritual training during the course of two
decades, at the hands of Swami Ashokananda (1893-1969), the spiritual
teacher of the Ramakrishna Order and head of the Vedanta Society of
Northern California. Sister Gargi's journey began in the 1950s as she
learned meditation in the Hindu tradition of Vedanta, and as she
pursued her spiritual quest Sister Gargi became a literary figure in
the Vedanta movement. Sister Gargi's inner development, the highs and
lows of the path she followed, and the rewards of patient dedication
are all contained in this thoughtful and uplifting account,
recommended to all dedicated students of Religion, Spirituality, and
- Dear Tejvan, Smarana, Vasanti, Purnakama, Arpan, & Sharani,
Thank you so much for starting this topic, Tejvan, and thanks to all
the rest of you for joining in. I am saving all the titles everyone
mentioned. I can't wait to start reading some of these books! So
many books, so little time. I do love books.
As for Sri Chinmoy's close disciples sharing their experiences, I
know that Agraha has been writing down many stories about Sri
Chinmoy. He has read us some of these "juicy stories" after our
centre meetings, when he has been in town. We are blessed!
- Dear Arpan,
I would love to read books or booklets of inspiring disciples. As we
have seen in the works of those who previously wrote (pradhan, shushumna and others) we get a lot of inspiration and information that help us in our journey.
Each disciple has his or her own way of seeing the master which in turn helps all of us to see the many facets of the masters life.
Thousands of inspiring stories live in us and I feel it is important to make them available in one way or the other.
Hoping to hear or read from You.
- Returning from New York on the Tuesday after Sri Chinmoy's
mahasamadhi, I was diverted to a bookshop in JFK airport by what
appeared to be a blocked route to my gate. I looked at covers. On
the back of one book was something like (from memory), "That which
breaks your heart has the capacity to heal it".
The title of another book caught my attention, "Eat, Pray, Love", by
Elizabeth Gilbert. I browsed in it a bit, then replaced it on the
shelf above my head. Emotionally overwhelmed, I did not yet feel
ready to read anything to do with overt spirituality. Perhaps I
wasn't careful enough. The book fell to the floor. I bought it,
along with gifts for those waiting at home.
In the introduction the author emphasizes that she writes about
her experiences from her own viewpoint and that she does not speak for
her Guru. For this reason, her Guru's name is not given in the book.
Overtly. A description, "compassion's very heartbeat", brings a smile.
The comment by Sri Chinmoy on a quotation from Emerson might be apt:
"Fortunately, the disciples of all Masters have the same universal
experience." - Sri Chinmoy