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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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Is there a beginning and an ending? Do we really go on forever? Or is there just this one life time?


How did this theory of reincarnation come about? It is after all just a theory. It cannot really be proved. Do you believe in it because it was taught to you by someone or because it makes sense. Does it make sense only because it is repulsive, even subconsciously, to think that everything ends with this one life? Is it man's way of fulfilling a desire for his own eternity?

The theory of reincarnation also gives rise to other issues and questions. Under hypnosis, people have been able to re-trace past lives, or at least, so they believe. How, in fact, is it possible for a person living in our times to unearth objects hidden several centuries ago behind the cornerstone of a fireplace in a certain village in a country that the modern-day discoverer may never even have visited? And then go on to explain in detail what the object is and why it was hidden there in the first place? Pro-reincarnation literature is full of many well-documented cases of this sort.

Scriptural writings throughout the world make reference to reincarnation. Although Christians, as a rule, do not profess belief in it, the Bible does mention one of the 12 disciples answering Jesus' question "Who do ye say I am?" with the words, "You are Elias returned". Belief in reincarnation was quite widespread in Biblical and early Christian times.

Although we may never fully know the truth behind reincarnation, a good way of thinking of it, is as Ramana Maharshi taught, "You cannot remember your own birth, and you will not remember your own death - you are always here."

This approach makes much more sense, since we know that while alive in this body and mind, we have an attributable consciousness. Our consciousness is filled with ideas, thoughts, concepts - all attributes that anchor us to this state of Impure consciousness. Yogis, however, always seek Pure consciousness, that state without attributes. They want that state while still remaining in full awareness of it. This is possible through the experience of Satchitananda.

Apart from this, the very nature of our present state of consciousness would make it impossible for us to exist as an entity after death, since beyond our present consciousness there is only Pure consciousness and nothing else at all.

But this is not such a bad thing, is it? After all, in a state of deep sleep, our present consciousness ceases and in fact, everything else also ceases. In order to know or be aware of these states of death and deep sleep, one must attain one of the higher stages of samadhi. Upon death, after we have "shuffled off this mortal coil" and done away with the brain-mind-thought connection, we once again enter the state of Pure consciousness, but we remain without awareness of this state.

Let us assume for a moment that there is no such thing as reincarnation. Such an assumption begs the question about the origin of all these past lives that people are so sure they experience even in our times. Some clues to this may be found in the Hindu scriptures that speak about the Akashic records, a sort of book that records every thought and every deed of every individual. Now instead of considering the Akashic records to be an actual book, let us think about it as a part of the universal consciousness that retains in its memory, everything that has ever occurred, down to the minutest details. Would it not then be possible, for just anyone of us, to tune into that consciousness and tap into a part of the record that took place, say, in 18th century when a young girl hid an object under a cornerstone of a fireplace? Could we not tune into that little girl's actual state of consciousness itself, literally becoming that child in a specific memory frame?

One must not forget that scientists are only now beginning to discover the fantastic power of the mind. However, much before the theory of reincarnation, even before the advent of religions or myths, the ancient Yogis were well aware of the oneness of mind, and they knew also, that by tuning in to the right station, or simply aimlessly twirling the dial of their inner mind-receiver, they could pick up the most fabulous information. This could be what happens when a person believes that he or she actually was that girl who, two centuries earlier, hid an object behind that brick in the fireplace.

When the mind unfolds, "by accident", in an untrained initiate, he or she steps into a world or worlds never before experienced and the visions, both beatific and demonic, seen in those dimensions, seem very real to him or her. If, unlike our familiar dream visions, these mind experiences were to spill into the waking state of "objective" reality, the experience would be seen to take place in the person's very room or on a hill or in the sky. It is then that a link is created between the mind vision and our objective reality and the person undergoing the experience actually believes the vision to be as true and real as the surrounding "objective" reality, even long after it has vanished.

The entire Universal Mind is filled with dimensions that are normally unthinkable to us. Once in a while, these dimensions may become apparent and experienced. The Astral plane, for instance, resides within our minds, yet when we experience it, it seems to be real as our waking world of objective reality. This led to the fire and brimstone vision of the afterlife that has impassioned the sermons of preachers in a vast variety of Christian belief systems. The Astral plane is in fact home to various bat-eared, whip-tailed little monsters and all sorts of sulphurous worlds. Dante's Inferno, for instance, seems directly inspired by visions from the Astral plane.

Yogis, however, know that these worlds are unreal and mere hallucinatory milestones strewn along the path towards Pure consciousness. There are also other dimensions, like Sri Yukteshwar's Planet of Hirinyaloka, as well as other subtle ethereal planes that are home to the likes of Babaji. In order to see Babaji or the others who inhabit these subtle dimensions, one must be so still that not even a breath of mental disturbance takes place. However, one must never forget, that no matter how real the experience may seem, all these worlds and dimensions are mere products of the mind and nothing else. They are essentially no different from the dream state - a mere mental formation which appears real until one awakens to a another state of consciousness, such as what we like to call the "real" world.

The great siddhi powers that some people may unconsciously attain, trap them into believing that what they see is true. Even highly developed Yogis who attain these siddhi powers and can actually put them to work in the waking world, must give them up, for in the ultimate analysis, they are nothing but traps. They are the last traps set by the greatest illusionist of them all, Maya. All this relinquishing, renouncing or giving up must be accomplished before one can enter the fourth state of consciousness, Turiya.

So where does all this leave reincarnation? I think where it belongs. To those who wish to believe in it, and to those who have had experiences which make it appear all too real to them. One can only throw off the gross state of body and impure consciousness; when the time is ripe, one might take on another form. Whether one remembers the previous form, even when one has a tough time remembering one's own birth in the present life, is of little importance. And in the case where one does remember one form or another, one can never really be sure if it is a mere memory retrieved by tapping into the Akashic record, or instigated by the strong desire to cling to the reassuring belief that one has existed at sometime in the past and will therefore continue to exist at sometime in the future.

The Yogi is far more concerned with the here and now. To while away our time looking into the past or dreaming about the future, is to waste this present moment - and this is the only moment we have. We should learn to make good use of it. To the Yogi, the here and now is best used by ever seeking unity with the Atman, since the rest of life will then take care of itself.

Most people can work only so hard and then must rest or some how find diversion. The Yogi is no different. In the beginning the time required for work is just a few short minutes a day, but as awareness of the SELF unfolds increasingly, the Yogi lavishes increasing amounts of time on it, until he reaches the fourth state of consciousness. This state of consciousness, where one is ever united with the Paramatman in a fusion known as the fourth state of consciousness or Turiya. In that fourth state it is experienced in full blown Pure Consciousness as Satchitananda.


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