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Swami Harinanda

December 25, 1928 to August 19, 2014

Sadly, I must inform you that Swami Harinanda passed away early in the afternoon on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. His death came quickly and without pain. As per his wishes there was no service nor memorial, although he would have appreciated donations to the SPCA or any animal shelter that you like. It goes without saying that this one–of–a–kind and great man will be greatly missed.

I first came to know Swami Harinanda around 1995. He was a customer of mine. One way or another, we got talking about spirituality and he mentioned to me that he was a swami. I must admit, I thought he was joking. But then I realized he was serious. We corresponded by email. Amazingly, I still have a printed copy of his early emails to this day.

Swami Harinanda was able to answer some of my basic questions about yoga and although I had started on the yogic path before I met him, talking to and knowing Swami Harinanda helped make my path more clear.

I was lucky enough to have met Swami Harinanda for the first time in April, 1996. I can remember the first time I met him as I drove up to his house. He came outside to greet me — I felt a great sense of joy and calm come over me.

The next day, Swami Harinanda personally taught me the science of yantra yoga at his dining table. I wrote down the principles of yantra yoga on both sides of a blank piece of paper as Swami Harinanda talked. It was a beautiful moment for me — finally my teacher had come. These lessons I still have to this day and still act as my foundation regarding yantra yoga.

Starting around late 1996 to 1997, I helped Swami Harinanda build an early web site. Later we expanded and moved his web site to this current location real-yoga.com. Swami Harinanda wanted people to see the words real yoga — he wanted people to awaken to the truth of what real yoga is not. Swami Harinanda was not interested in yoga for health.

While building the real yoga web site, Swami Harinanda didn't know what information we should add. So I suggested to him that we should add informaton that is not easily found elsewhere regarding real yoga. I told Swami Harinanda that myself and others want to know why we should practice yoga, what are the types of yoga, who are some famous yogis and a lesson in pure hatha yoga. So this is what we did. I asked the questions, Swami Harinanda wrote the content.

Swami Harinanda was a pure teacher. He would never accept money for teaching. Yoga or spirituality is part of universal knowledge that belongs to everyone. Therefore, one cannot charge for what already belongs to them. Swami Harinanda always said that a good teacher has a day job and then teaches on his or her own time for free. The teacher should pay for any room rental, etc — this is the sign of a pure teacher which Swami Harinanda was.

Swami Harinanda was taught or told personally by Ramana Marharshi to never accept payment and as Swami Harinanda would always say, Ramana Maharshi is never wrong.

Swami Harinanda did not go to meet Ramana Maharshi in India, instead, they met on the astral plane. Ramana told Swami Harinanda that he did not need to be in a cave or anything like that to be a good student of yoga. Swami Harinanda took those words to heart and lived a normal life while being totally dedicated to self realization.

Swami Harinanda knew many little or lesser known things about yoga. He really studied the theory of yoga and put himself into a position to meet people that would impact him. Somewhere along the way he learned the Master's Chant, as an example, and many more things. Swami Harinanda would openly teach kriya yoga as well. Swami Harinanda loved the yogic life and just absorbed every little detail.

In 1996, I was personally quite ill and possibly near death. Swami Harinanda gave me the book on Karma Yoga by Swami Vivekanda to read. It was the best medicine I've ever received. From that day onwards, I fell madly in love with karma yoga. Knowing this, Swami Harinanda bestowed the name Karmananda to me. I thank him very much for this honour.

Swami Harinanda was a good teacher, a good person and a good friend.

- Yogi Karmananda

jaideemarketing-karmananda -a-t- yahoo.com ... replace -a-t- with @ to send me an email.


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CHAPTER 4

Dreaded silence to some and silence sought after by others. Silence is not easily attainable. The mind itself, like a forest full of chattering monkeys, is next to impossible to keep quite.

THE SILENCE OF MOUNA

After over half a century of studying and teaching Yoga, I feel I can safely say that I have provided quite a fair presentation of many views on a wide range of spiritual and philosophical topics. Those familiar with my work will have at some time gone through my presentation of the arguments both for and against the need for structured religions, dogma and superstition. All this is intimately linked to man's innate quest for meaning in the heavens, hells and hereafters, of reincarnation and karma and the host of related issues involved in man's thirst for the truth. In most cases, however, after all the "thinking" and "reflection", one finds that there has been little or no progress along the path towards truth.

As the mind feverishly ponders some of the more weighty issues at stake, the real answers seem increasingly elusive and the fevered mind appears only to come up with confused answers that tend, in turn, to generate even greater confusion, leading one inexorably further astray. Some of us lost in this labyrinth of seemingly endless dead-ends, however realize that the only way is to backtrack and start all over again. It is for the benefit of these few that I shall now endeavour to outline what exactly is required to attain self-realization without having to constantly face the bitter disappointment of finding even more dead-ends.

The truth is that the inner Self, dormant within each one of us, tries tirelessly to achieve its ultimate fulfillment through us, but as it gradually rises upwards to enter our conscious thought patterns, it becomes grossly distorted. I have discovered two ways to attain a direct reading of one's Soul force without any distortion at all - one method is extroverted, the other introverted.

Through Yantra Yoga, it is possible to attain immediate and balanced harmony by reconfiguring the mathematical vibration of one's personality to the exact time of birth on this earthly plane. This extroverted method allows one to transform one's personality into a balanced and harmonizing life-long Mantra.

The introverted way is to dive so deeply within one's Self that all mental fluctuations are eliminated. Through this technique, the self becomes self-evident and the unique message of self-fulfillment for each one of us bubbles forth and finds utterance. One becomes attuned to the inner Self, almost as if one can fine-tune the soul like a radio to receive a distant broadcast crisp and clear.

This state is obviously the ultimate goal of all the Yogas. Few, indeed, are those who, by design or good fortune, stumble upon a teacher who can emanate this truth of self-discovery in silence (mouna). The quote below is from a book of interviews with Ramana Maharshi.

A questioner asks, "Why doesn't Ramana go about teaching the Truth to the people at large?"

Ramana answers: "How do you know I am not doing it? Does preaching consist of mounting a platform and haranguing the people around? Preaching is a simple communication of knowledge, it can really be done in Silence only. What do you think of a man who listens to a sermon for an hour or so and goes away without having been impressed by it enough to have changed his life? Compare him to another who sits in a Holy Presence and goes away after some time with his outlook on life totally changed. Which is better, to preach loudly without effect or to sit Silently and send out Inner Force?"

What are the origins of speech? First there is abstract knowledge that begets the ego which in turn generates thought that is the father of the spoken word. So basically, the Word is the great-grandchild of the original source. If, therefore, the Word can generate an effect, it boggles the mind to consider how much more powerful preaching through silence must be…"

Only very few of us come to understand this elegantly simple truth, the truth of our ever present, eternal experience, the Truth of the Self. Blissfully unaware of the Self that most would not even like to hear of, the large majority excitedly seeks what lies beyond, feverishly eager to unravel the secrets of heaven and hell and reincarnation. Craving knowledge of mysteries, the madding crowd ignores the truth and in their crazed attachment to the meaningless noisy clamour of excitation, the hordes seek not inner silence, but formulate the most improbable rituals in the vague hope that the vain trappings of ceremony, religiosity and scriptural rectitude will bring them some enlightenment, only to be steeped in ever deeper chasms of darkness. For in the end, the real destiny of each and every one of us, is to return to the self in total silence.

Patanjali, one of the few souls who managed to rise above the surrounding cacophony, gave us this precious teaching in what is perhaps his most famous aphorism, Chitta Vritti Nirhoda, which means, total and complete annihilation of all mental fluctuations - silence without thought. To abide in the Self, one must find a path leading home. One such path is to study Yantra Yoga and choose a harmonized personality for oneself or else another road leads one to the inner Silence in which one realizes Ramana's sadhana, by asking "Who am I?" These are but some of the ways, for there are many others.

Another of such paths is the meditative technique I use. It is unlike most others since it does not require objects of concentration, such as mantras, to focus the mind. This technique can be used for meditation even while one is engaged in mundane activities such as walking to the local bus or doing household chores. Mantras and other fixed objects of concentration will eventually have to be done away with, since they tend to cement the mind. After years of repetition, mantras tend to become self-starting, enslaving the mind, quite like a needle that gets stuck in an overplayed LP record. Ultimately, one must become free of all mental fluctuations.

In summing up, if one wishes to unite with the Paramatman, then one must be ruthless and rid the mind and sensitivities with all their preconceived ideas of religious affiliations, no matter how comforting they are. It leaves one feeling rather bare, but this is what is called "walking the razor's edge." Be fearless!

There are those who are born fearless and wish not to have their mind conjoined to belief systems that others have constructed, but for those who have to let go after a lifetime of attachments, it is hard. Real Yoga is a way to learn to let go.

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