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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 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- ... replace -a-t- with @ to send me an email.

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Have you not thought it strange that all through history and in various cultures there has been reference to the Holy Trinity? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost; Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu and I daresay if one were to trace back to their sources one could find that triune aspect in all religions.

Whether it be externalized as God outside oneself, and the Son as apart from oneself, and the Holy Ghost not known by most who still seek its comfort, or in such Hindu Scripture as Brahma the creator, Shiva the destroyer of life and Vishnu the sustainer we find that the former is mystic in its context and the latter is more in keeping with what nature acts out. Still these little known forces, at least on the personal level, can be known through Yoga.

For instance we can take a parallel view of the Paramatman (God) as being no not other than Carl Jung's Overself. The Atman as being the seer of consciousness (Christ) and Ego as being one's attributable sense of identity. Without the Ego we would cease to exist and yet that same existence is something we cannot deny even when the ego has ceased, such as in deep sleep.

We cannot deny ourselves our own existence, and it is there where the triumvirate lay. Right within our own selves! As a mirror reflects externally, the great thinkers of the past have projected what was within us has been specifically recreated in a religious form and in a hidden way. Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." He did not say Become ye therefore....

Of course it was not meant that you, as separate from some Deity could become as perfect as that deity, but that you already are perfect. The present tense of "Be ye...." is indicative not only of being who you are , but as an admonition also.

It is difficult for most to grasp this "idea" that we already are perfect when we see so much in nature which we consider perfectly balanced, and yet at the same time we see in man what we consider imperfections to be improved upon. Why we separate ourselves as being something above and or greater than nature is an imponderable - except when one considers man's colossal ego - because given the right circumstances even the best of us return without a thought to our instinctive behavior patterns, that is: to preserve the species, flight or fight and self preservation.

The most civilized, highly cultured and spiritual type of man put under circumstances that war has engendered will commit acts of brutality that would otherwise have been thought impossible. That we should, in some cases gleefully, torture people with horrendous inventions of pain is unthinkable in more stable times.

Sitting comfortably in the safety of our own homes, protected by our societal laws it is so easy to want to raise not only the standard of living of other cultures, but also if not to change, to wipe out overnight a cultural aspect of their society.

Let me take you through a few instances of how we are so precious in the way we think about ourselves that we have to take care we don't become pompous in the face of what is real in this physical kosha land.

Man is nature. We are nature as much as the lion is nature. Our differences are in the complexity of our intelligence, and while things are going well with us we may even say we are superior to other species in the natural world. There is one famous guru in to days race to be the top Guru claims that we are the only species that lay claim to compassion - and also that lay claim to tears. This kind of superior thinking is denigrating to man rather than befitting him, as it shows his ignorance of the other species and just how out of touch we are. Here, I am not anthripamorphasising, but stating fact based on observation and studies done by anthropologists.

As much as all the species experience compassion, the degree of it can not always be seen in them all, but it is blatantly on show for anyone with compassion themselves to see in some of the species.

On the one hand we all have these characteristics, but we also have the other dark side. The wild dogs ripping at the testicles of bulls while on the run and eating at their bellies while alive, and in the same breath we can envision as so often happens in the news these days young human jackals kicking and beating a lone person to death - and glorifying it by continuing the beating after death.

Without glorifying too much the evils that man does to his own kind - because there are many, I would like to bring home how we all do the most horrifying harm to our fellow species in the name of power, excitement and for food.

We in the west have sanitized the killing of cattle by hiding the abattoirs away from the public. We claim they are killed humanely, but we know that is not so. The Asian countries who keep dogs in small cages for food and break their front legs so they cannot move and retain their fat is at least out in the open in their market place. This is a cultural thing and will take many years to eradicate. They do not hide from it as cruel as it is to us.

The Chinese cruelty of draining gall from bears is one of the most inhuman of tortures and only ranks ahead breaking the dogs legs and the way we in the west raise young veal.

So trying to alter the consciousness of whole nations is a Herculean task and on reflection may be the very wrong thing to do. I say that because in knowing human nature the more you tell someone they are wrong about something, the more they dig in their heels.

It is we as individuals that can change the world. We may not all become the so called Master or the enlightened Yogi, but we can all become gentle, kind and compassionate and try with our weight of consciousness to cast enough light for others still practicing these cruel methods, to illuminate for them just how negative painful and cruel is the suffering they are causing to fellow species.

If you are still into eating meat for instance do not create guilt in yourself over it as that will repercuss into greater problems for you, but just try slowly to withdraw from the taking of life in order to sustain yourself. Meat is not needed in this day and age of opulence.

Remember what I was saying about reverting to the wild? Well should things turn in others favor and not ours, we may be only to pleased to find a morsel of meat in order to survive. Never feel too smug in yourself that you will never eat meat again for given the right circumstances you will eat anything to survive. It is nature.

The point here is that here we are judging the cruelties of others in their treatment of animals when we are doing exactly the same thing. Most people don't want to think about it. They turn their head. They refuse to look at the picture proof of such torture.

In one sense Yogis are not most people and will face up to the responsibility of practicing a Sattwic life of high energy foods without the need of meat. We have also come a long way in realizing that we need no medications or sexual stimulations from the juices of the bear's gall. These are cultural superstitions.

Some of the Jain sect perhaps go to extremes by wearing masks so that they will not kill insects in their mouths, but the greater number actually care for and nurse sick and abused animals. They will not wear leather of any sort. An animal has to die for that leather jacket, those shoes and leather belt. They are the only sect of a religion that truly puts in to practice and exemplifies Ahimsa.

Although we my not be as devout in our endeavors, still those ideals are worth working towards.

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