Adiswarananda, Swami 1925–

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Adiswarananda, Swami 1925–

PERSONAL:

Born May, 1925, in Calcutta, India. Education: University of Calcutta, M.A. Studied to be a Hindu monk at Ramakrishna Order of India. Religion: "Hindu Monk."

ADDRESSES:

Home— New York, NY. Home and office— New York, NY. E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER:

Religious leader, minister of religion, teacher, and writer.

MEMBER:

Ramakrishna Order of India (monastic member); Ramakrishna-Vivekanada Center of New York (spiritual leader).

WRITINGS:

Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 2003.

(Editor and author of introduction)Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Mother: Her Teachings and Conversations, translated by Swami Nikhilananda, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 2004.

The Vedanta Way to Peace and Happiness, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 2004.

Vivekananda, World Teacher: His Teachings on the Spiritual Unity of Humankind, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 2004.

The Spiritual Quest and the Way of Yoga: The Goal, the Journey and the Milestones, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 2005.

(Editor and author of introductions)Sri Ramakrishna/The Face of Silence, by Swami Nikhilananda and Dhan Gopal Mukerji, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 2005.

The Four Yogas: A Guide to the Spiritual Paths of Action, Devotion, Meditation and Knowledge, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Swami Adiswarananda has devoted his life to the study, practice, and teaching of his faith. Adiswarananda is a spiritual leader at the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York. The Ramakrishna Order, of which Adiswarananda is a part, is often referred to as the "Jesuits of the East" and has approximately 150 branches and 1,200 monks around the world. In an interview with Jon Sweeney for the Web site Explorefaith.org, Swami Adiswarananda gave this view of spirituality: "The purpose of all spiritual practices is to become sincere."

In 2003, Adiswarananda published his first book,Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta. The book outlines the practice and the goals of meditation, the three centers of consciousness, and techniques of concentration. Adiswarananda draws on a vast amount of Hindu teachings and writings and always keeps the conversation within the frame of his religion. In a review of the book for Publishers Weekly, one contributor pointed out that Adiswarananda gives "microscopic attention" to his subject, possibly "limiting its appeal to very serious students." Reviewing Meditation & Its Practices for Booklist, Jane Tuma called the book "an extensive guide" with "explicit, practical instructions."

Adiswarananda published three books in 2004, including Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Mother: Her Teachings and Conversations, The Vedanta Way to Peace and Happiness, and Vivekananda, World Teacher: His Teachings on the Spiritual Unity of Humankind. He served as editor of Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Mother, a work about the wife of Ramakrishna, Sri Sara Devi—referred to as the Holy Mother. The book covers the Holy Mother's life and the influence she had on the Ramakrishna. The book also contains conversations from the Holy Mother that were translated by one of her direct disciples.

The Vedanta Way to Peace and Happiness outlines the Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. This work also relies on scripture to capture the essence of the philosophy. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "novices may appreciate this book's pragmatic approach" to meditation.

In Vivekananda, World Teacher, Adiswarananda again gives details about a spiritual leader of his faith. Swami Vivekananda, a spiritual leader at the turn of twentieth century, brought teachings of spiritual freedom to America. Adiswarananda brings Vivekananda to a modern audience with Vivekananda's own words, newspaper articles, and the commentary of others.

The Spiritual Quest and the Way of Yoga: The Goal, the Journey and the Milestones was published in 2005. The text offers readers a guide to the yoga traditions used for generations to discover a true Self and find fulfillment in life. Adiswarananda stresses that the journey of finding these rewards is an inward one and must be done alone. Graham Christian in the Library Journal found that this book focused less on "contortionistic postures" and more on guiding readers on a "spiritual path toward ‘everlasting life.’"

Adiswarananda's next book,Sri Ramakrishna/The Face of Silence, was published in 2005. In this text, two biographies (one by Dhan Gopal Mukerji and one by Swami Nikhilananda) are combined to give the reader a fuller picture of Sri Ramakrishna. Adiswarananda edited the volume and provided the introductions for both biographies.

In 2006, Adiswarananda released The Four Yogas: A Guide to the Spiritual Paths of Action, Devotion, Meditation and Knowledge. An Internet Bookwatch contributor stated that Adiswarananda's "interpretive collection" gives readers a "plethora of informative commentaries," and a reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that Adiswarananda "unpacks with clarity the spiritual systems of Yoga."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 2003, Jane Tuma, review of Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta, p. 1930.

Internet Bookwatch, May, 2006, review of The Four Yogas: A Guide to the Spiritual Paths of Action, Devotion, Meditation and Knowledge.

Library Journal, August 2003, James R. Kuhlman, review of Meditation & Its Practices, p. 90; October 1, 2005, Graham Christian, "Spiritual Reading," review of The Spiritual Quest and the Way of Yoga: The Goal, the Journey and the Milestones, p. 80.

Publishers Weekly, June 16, 2003, review of Meditation & Its Practices, p. 65; June 14, 2004, review of The Vedanta Way to Peace and Happiness, p. 58; January 30, 2006, review of The Four Yogas, p. 66.

ONLINE

Explorefaith.org,http://www.explorefaith.org/ (October 23, 2007), "Swami Adiswarananda on Practicing Vedanta."

Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York Web site,http://ramakrishna.org/ (October 23, 2007), descriptions of The Face of Silence, The Spiritual Quest and the Way of Yoga, and Vivekananda, World Leader: His Teachings on the Spiritual Unity of Humankind.

SkyLight Paths Publishing Web site,http://www.skylightpaths.com/ (October 23, 2007), description of Sri Sarada Devi, The Holy Mother: Her Teachings and Conversations.

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Adiswarananda, Swami 1925–

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