Creating Waves of Awareness
(1)"An autobiography of a Yogi- “Paramhans Yoganand”
This life story of Yogananda was instrumental in introducing meditation and yoga to the West. It includes Yogananda's and Sri Yukteswar's attempts to explain
certain verses and events of the Bible such as the Garden of Eden story, and
descriptions of Yogananda's encounters with Therese Neumann, Mohandas Gandhi,
and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
Autobiography of a Yogi is the most popular of Yogananda’s books. In 1999,
it was designated as one of the "100 Most Important Spiritual
Books of the 20th Century" by a panel of and luminaries convened by Harper Collins publishers.
Yogananda met many of India’s greatest sages. The book Mejda: The Family and Early Life of Paramahansa Yogananda, written
by his younger brother Sananda Lal Ghosh, sheds much light on the depth of his
spiritual attainment well before his graduation from high school and his
training with his guru, Sri Yukteswar. Yogananda recounts many of his spiritual
experiences and meetings with Indian saints, which began when he was only a
An authoritative text on the spiritual science of yoga (not merely the Hatha Yoga postures so familiar in the West), the book is not so much a
year by year chronicle of Yogananda's life, as it is a study of meditation and
yoga, and the saints who had a profound influence on his life.
The story of Yogananda's meeting and relationship to his guru, Sri Yukteswar, is highlighted throughout Autobiography of a Yogi, along
with the importance of the guru–disciple relationship. The chapter "Years
in My Master's Hermitage" is the longest in the book. The importance that
Yogananda gave to that relationship is made clear by the very first paragraph
of his autobiography:
The characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru relationship.
“Yoganandji” was one of the greatest masters who are India’s sole
(2) In Search of Secreat India by Paul Brunton
This Book was written by a British journalist,”Paul Brunton” gives a through account of monks, swamis, Siddha purushas (who attained siddhis) and great yogis of India.
on, this same journalist sacrificed his successful
career and took to meditation and ’’sadhana’’ of spiritual world.
book assumed significance because it was written during British was ruling India and the
world is being fascinated by technological advancements.
great monks, yogis, spiritual persons were largely unknown to the western world
was mostly considered as land of snake charmers even by well meaning educated
people. India was only a land of superstition, blind beliefs and a religious
country with unknown gods and nothing else.
book assumed much more significance and became very famous because it is for
the first time the whole world came to know a spiritual person called ’’Ramana
Brunton was a journalist and he came in search of real India. So he
met many yogis and some of them puzzled him. He had an enquiring mind but he
had his doubts even about the existence of God.
book there is an instance like this:
to Madras. He
met Shankara charya there. In the discussions there, Shankara Charya advises
him to see a spiritual man ( god man is a derogatory term invented in 1970’s by
journalists , so I do not want to use such a derogatory term).
Brahma gives him a ring and tells him that it would help meeting great Yogis.
Brahma stops his heart beating for a few seconds and surprises Brunton.
Paul Brunton left for Bombay and he booked his
ship back to England.
Something very strange happened. He canceled his journey and came back to Madras. Once there his
unstoppable journey towards small town called Arunachalam a small town with an
old temple and a hill called Arunachal.
is here something unbelievable happened to him.
Brunton describes in a lucid ,simple English.
When he entered the hall ( a small asbestos roofed
shed like hall on the peak of Arunachal hill) he saw at the end of the hall a
yogi with no cloths at all except a piece of cloth to cover his genitals
sitting on a couch ( may be a wooden cot ) and he was in deep meditation. So
Paul Brunton sat apposite to him on the floor and thought very strangely that
his ’’questions’’ those he painstakingly formulated while on journey by train were
all not really needed to be asked. Mr.Brunton looked on and was waiting for
that spiritual man to come out of his meditation but Brunton finds himself
going into a trance like peaceful state of mind.
spiritual man was actually Ramana Maharshi and outside Arunachal very few know
him in Madras (Chennai) at that time and none
know him in within India
or in the West.
second journey to meet Ramana Maharshi , that great ’’trance’’ happens to him.
Mr.Brunton was looking on at Ramana Maharshi and he himself went in to a deep
meditation without any effort.
some time (according to him) he comes out from ’’trance’’ and found Ramana
Maharshi talking very slowly to a rustic couple from a village.
one from the ashram ( a retired railway employee ) peered over him and tells
him that he was in a trance all the time . Then Brunton looked at the watch and
realized that he was in meditation for 3 hours !!
book in search of secret India
introduced the great saint Ramana Maharshi to the world and created a great
interest in mystic India.
book also gives his experiences with Meher Baba(Great Saint of Parsi Community).
It is really a wonderful book which can change one's life
and make us believe that there still are divine souls which help us reaching the
ultimate goal of life.
(3) Many lives Many masters by Dr. Brian Wiess-
In this book, author Brian Weiss, a psychiatrist and researcher at Mont Sinai, Miami, FL., documents the
past lives a patient by using a hypnotic regression technique. Through
regression both doctor and patient found explanations for the patient’s current
symptoms but also her current relationships. These regression experiences
allowed the patient’s to recover her health and become a healer and psychic.
The doctor, on the other hand, was transformed from a skeptical scientist to a
scientist who broad his spectrum to integrate soul searching, inner wisdom, and
other topics not considered conventional among the scientific community.
In the story, Catherine, the patient, relates
under hypnosis the experiences lived in past lives. She recalls passing through
at least 80 lives but the book present snaps of only nine of them. Those are
the lives the patient more vividly described during the sessions.
She described the experience from the point of
view of the woman, man, or child who was living it. Her life experiences varied
from being married man or woman, a single person, or an adult with children. In
her several lives, she was a victim, a servant, or a fighter. The book is not
only about this person lives but becomes an exploration of a variety of aspects
of the human condition through various centuries.
The stories related are diverse in context but
they also developed in different countries and in a variety of scenarios.
Through hypnotic regressions Catherine traveled to Egypt,
Switzerland, Germany, Italy,
England and France to
mention a few places.
Like a time machine, this book opens the window of
possibility of encounter of present and past. Interestingly enough, some of the
people the patient encountered in her past lives were present in her present
life. For example, a past life sister happen to be one of Catherine's current
She lived and died in diverse ways. From each live
she learned lessons. The lessons included learning about justice and fairness
by experiencing the opposite. She also learned about the use and misuse of
power. But she also learned to disentangle the hidden reasons of her anxieties
and fears. By living many times and by being able to recall her past life and
deaths, she learned not to fear death. The latter, seems to be the most
important lesson in this book.
But the book is also the conversion of a skeptical
scientist into a more open-minded scholar. With initial help from her patient,
the doctor was also able to uncover aspects of the healing process that guided
him through unknown territories. He opened his mind not only to better listen
to his patients experiences but also to receive through them, 'visits' from
masters. Those masters give him insights and lessons about life and about
healing [masters are described as entities who speak through the patient in
this case]. Later, he also learned to improve his analysis of patients and
receive messages using dreams. He also mentioned using other techniques such as
meditation to work with his subconscious mind.
The messages he received were initially about
healing but later expanded to cover future course of humanity [link to his
other books]. Among the messages he received was that humans lack the balance
to live in their surroundings. Humans, he says, need to take lessons from other
species and the way they live. Balance and harmony the author says are the
foundation of wisdom.
Yet for a human to be wise, patience has to be
learned. Wisdom is acquired very slowly. First, knowledge learned by
conventional ways needs time to become emotional and subconscious. And second,
knowledge needs to be applied to become permanent. This explains why 'many
lives and many masters' are required to help the transformation of humans to
Brian Weiss argues that when people do not live in
a compassionate, egalitarian, and loving ways, they are not expressing their
best. When people behave in such ways, they incur in debts that need to be paid
by learning more lessons. If an individual don't pay debts in one life those
debts are carried forward to other lives. Weiss suggests to follow the messages
passed by old sages over the centuries, that is “ we need to fill the heart with
But how one fills the heart with love? By
expanding the seeds of love through charity and kindness. By practicing being a
pure loving being. By living simply, and by ridding the self of fears. By
accepting the immortality of the human kind. He says that during altered states
of consciousness, people could reach states of loving with the purity of one's
Altered stated of consciousness can be achieved in
a variety of ways. Some scientists study such states in people who practice
meditation. But many recognize that such states can be induced by e.g.
hallucinogenic drugs. Yet, recently, scientists such as Jill BolteTaylor
(neurologist), have reported that minor changes in the human brain such as
those produced by stroke can also induce states of oneness with the world .
It is also known that right and left brained
dominated people differ in their ability to reach altered states of the mind.
Artist, and other right brain dominated people may have more access to horizons
of the mind non-easily available to people who are predominantly left-brain
The abilities of the human brain have only been
grasp up to now. Behavioral, Natural Sciences, Neuroscience, Psychology and
Psychiatry have yet a lot to learn about the human and other animal brains.
Hypnotic regressions, the way suggested by Dr. Weiss as a window to explore
more aspects of the subconscious and learn from the self maybe only a tiny
window to that knowledge.
(4) “Heaven and Earth”by James Van Praagh-
This book contains the techniques to listen to your inner voice
To make contact with the spirits of the departed souls
how to interpret our dreams &
useing our inherent psychic gifts to heal and help others
Dr.Pramod Shanker Soni,
Vaishali Nagar Kotra