The autobiography of Swami Rama with 24-page photo insert
Lilias FolanA rare glimpse into a masterful teacher. Very inspiring and well written
Andrew WeillA memorable and impressive picture of a modern-day saint, whose legacy is very much alive in both the East and the West.
Publishers WeeklyThis biography of Himalayan Institute founder Swami Rama consists of anecdotes centering around the transmission of ascetic spiritual traditions from grandmaster to master to disciple. These tales of pilgrimages, initiations, revelations and miracles sometimes strain credulity, yet never fail to impart a sense of wonder and mystery. To wit, a begging bowl that miraculously refills with food is incredible, but apropos for the biography of a great sage. As told by Swami Rama's successor, Tigunait, these stories of the Swami are narrated in a style that falls somewhere between the critical distance of a scholar and the blind love of a disciple. Descriptions of the Swami's teaching methods reveal that his behavior could fluctuate inexplicably from kind to cruel. Although he holds a doctorate in Sanskrit from the University of Allahabad, Tagunait's many colorful stories characterizing the master-disciple relationship fail to clarify the dependence of ascetic practices on traditional Hinduism or even to the Vedic culture that Swami Rama claimed is at the heart of the Himalayan ascetic tradition. Nonetheless, this minor flaw should not deter readers from enjoying the account of Swami Rama's life and mission, particularly as very little is known about the relationship of ascetic practices to the wider scriptural traditions of India. This biography will fascinate readers who are interested in transnational Hinduism, science and spirituality (Swami Rama's control over involuntary physiological processes is well documented), and the mysteries of spiritual awakening. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library JournalTigunait presents a riveting and enlightening biography of the master he loves and respects, interweaving the story of Swami Rama's life, philosophy, and experiences with the wisdom of the masters throughout the ages. For devotees and practitioners of yoga or Eastern meditation, there is much to digest: Swami's place in India, his contribution to hatha yoga, his seemingly miraculous mind-body abilities, and his role as director of the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania. Tigunait reveals the contrasts in Swami's approach he is kind one day and seemingly harsh the next and shows how they are not so opposed to each other. As the disciple of the master Swami and his adopted son chosen to carry on his work, Tigunait, conveys the story with devotion and genuineness, sharing both his surprises and assurances. His regular contributions to Yoga International magazine and two doctorates lend weight to this biography. Recommended for biography collections and for sections covering yoga, spiritual healing, contemporary religious practices, and self-help guides. Leroy Hommerding, Fort Myers Beach P.L., FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
- Himalayan Institute Press
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