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An Indian Monk His Life and Adventures
An Indian Monk His Life and Adventures
Description
Back of The Book

W. B. Yeats considered this autobiography of Shree Purohit Swami of 'comparable importance' to Tagore's Gitanali. The book describes Shree Purohit Swami's life and adventures. In fact, in his own words, it is about his 'concrete life' not an abstract philosophy.' The Swami is like a minstrel and story-teller. In his belief he can only offer to God the service learnt in service of man or women. Shree Purohit Swami possessed 'heroic ecstatic passion prolonged through years, through many vicissitudes.' In his description of his journey up seven thousand steps at Mount Girnar, Yeats Claims one will find a philosophy that will satisfy the intellect and will be all one wants.

Shree Purohit Swami, being fluent in both Sanskrit and English, was instrumental in popularising the wisdom of Indian spirituality and philosophy through his translations of ancient Indian texts. His other books include The Geeta: The Gospel of the Lord Shri Krishna, The Ten principal Upanishads, The song of Silence, Aphorisms of yoga, In Quest of Myself, Harbinger of Love, Honeycomb, and Gunjarao. This Book carries an introduction by the noted Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).

Introduction

I Wrote an introduction to the beautiful Gitanjali of Tagore, and now, twenty years afterwards, draw attention to a book that may prove of comparable importance. A little more than a year ago I met its author, but lately arrived in Europe, at Mr. Sturge Moore 's house. He had been sent by his master, or spiritual director, that he might interpret the religions life of India, but had no fixed plan. Perhaps he should publish his poems, perhaps, like Vivekananda, go to America. He had gone to Rome thinking it was but courteous to pay his respects to the Holy Father, but though the Abbots of the most orthodox Hindu Shrines had given him their blessing and "the organizer of the Bharat-Dharma Mahamandal…. a general latter of introduction", he was not received. Then he had come to England and called upon the poet Laureate, who entertained him. He is a man of fifty, broken in health by the austerities of his religious life; he must have been a stalwart man and he is still handsome. He makes one think of some Catholic theologian who has lived in the best society, confessed people out of Henry James's novels, had some position at Court where he could engage the most absorbed attention without raising his voice, but that is only at first Sight. He is something much simpler, more childlike and ancient. During lunch he and I, Sturge Moore, and an attaché from the Egyptian Legation exceedingly well read in European literature, discussed his plans and ideas. The attaché, born into a Jewish family that had lived among Mohammedans for generations, seemed more Christian in his point of view than Moore or myself, Presently the attaché said: Well, I suppose what matters is to do all the good one can't "By no means." Said' the monk. "If you have that object you may help some few people, but you will have a bankrupt soul. I must do what my Master bids the responsibility is His." That sentence spoken without any desire to startle, interested me the more because I had heard the like from other Indians. Once when I stayed at Wilfred Blunt' s I talked to an exceedingly run himself into political trouble in India, he spoke of the coming independence of India, but declared that India would never organize. "There are only three eternal nations." He said, "India, Persia, China; Grease organized and Greece is dead." I remembered too that an able Indian doctor I met when questions London Indians about Tagore said of a certain Indian leader. "We do not think him sincere; he taught virtues merely because he thought them necessary to India". This care for the spontaneity of the soul seems to me Asia at its finest and where it is most different from Europe, the explanation perhaps why it has confronted our moral earnestness and our control of Nature with its asceticism and its courtesy.

We sat on for a couple of hours after lunch while the monk, in answer to my questions, told of his childhood, his life at the University, of spiritual forms that he had seen of seven years' meditation in his house, of nine years' wandering with his begging-bowl. Presently I said: "The ideas of idea have been expounded again and again, nor do we lack ideas of our own; discussion has been exhausted, but we lack experience, Write what you have just told us; keep out all philosophy, unless it interprets something seen or done."

I found afterwards that I had startled and shocked him, for an Indian, monk who speaks of himself contradicts all tradition, but that after much examination of his conscience he come to the conclusion that those traditions were no longer binding, and that besides, as he explained to Sturge Moore, a certain stage of initiation reached, is bound by noting but the will of his Master. He took my advice and brought his book, chapter by chapter, to Sturge Moore for correction. Sturge Moore, one of four finest critics would say: you have told us too much of this, or too little of that; you must make us see that temple more clearly", or he would cross something out, or alter a word, helping him to master our European sense of form.

The book lies before me complete; it seems to me something I have waited for since I was seventeen years old. About that ago, bored by an Irish Protestant point of view that suggested by it blank abstraction chlorate of time. I began to question the country people abour apparitions. Some dozen years later Lady Gregory collected with my help the stories in her Visions and Beliefs. Again and again, she and I left that we had got down, as it were, into some fibrous darkness, into some matrix out of which everything has come, some condition that brought together as though into a single scheme "exultations, agonies, and the apparitions seen by dogs and horses; but there was always something lacking. We came upon visionaries of whom it was impossible to say whether they were Christian or Pagan found memories of jugglers like those of India, found fragment of a belief that associated Eternity with field and road, not with building; but these visionaries, memories, fragments, were eccentric, alien shut off, as it were, thing the plate glass of a museum; I had found some thing of what I wanted but not all, the explanatory intellect had disappeared. When Shri Purohit Swami Mount Girnar, that creaking bed, that sound of pattens in the little old half-forgotten temple, and fitted everything into an ancient discipline, a philosophy that satisfied the intellect, I found all I wanted.

Contents

page
Introduction xv
Chapter I
How the Soil had been prepared 1
Chapter II
Grandmother and Nursing Mothers 6
Chapter III
I am not To be a Landlord 9
Chapter IV
You are a Brahmin be a Brahmin Always 14
Chapter V
Mahatmas and the Divine Master in a cobra 21
Chapter VI
The Philosophy of Riches 27
Chapter VII
The Astrologer's Prediction 40
Chapter IX
The Engine Refuses to move 47
Chapter X
"May Shri Gurudeo Bless You" 54
Chapter XI
"come to Me 62
Chapter XII
"Practise Penance" 68
Chapter XIII
God and Mammon 77
Chapter XIV
The God's Bed 83
Chapter XV
Mysticism is not Mystery, it is Mystery Unveiled 91
Chapter XVI
Religion versus Spirituality 96
Chapter XVII
The Kundalini 103
Chapter XVIII
Truth knows no Defence 107
Chapter XIX
My master 111
Chapter XX
Samadhi 117
Chapter XXI
The touchstone 122
Chapter XXII
For My Sake 126
Chapter XXIII
The ordeal of service 131
Chapter XXIV
Go back, my child 136
Chapter XXV
I Know him too well 141
Chapter Xxvi
The begging-bowl 145
Chapter XXVI
I am Dattatreya 151
Chapter XXVII
Another Temptation 157
Chapter XXIX
My Lord Shrikrishna 162
Chapter XXX
A New lease of life 167
Chapter XXXI
The Dream of the Himalayas 172
Chapter XXXII
who showed me the Way? 180
Chapter XXXIII
The Mandate 186
Chapter XXXIV
Out at Last 191
Chapter XXXV
The Assassin's Dagger 195
Chapter XXXVI
I am Brahma 200
Epilogue 203
Shri Purohit Swami Frontispiece

An Indian Monk His Life and Adventures

Item Code:
IDK543
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2003
Publisher:
Rupa and Co
ISBN:
8129100819
Size:
7.1" X 4.5"
Pages:
228
Price:
$8.50   Shipping Free
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Back of The Book

W. B. Yeats considered this autobiography of Shree Purohit Swami of 'comparable importance' to Tagore's Gitanali. The book describes Shree Purohit Swami's life and adventures. In fact, in his own words, it is about his 'concrete life' not an abstract philosophy.' The Swami is like a minstrel and story-teller. In his belief he can only offer to God the service learnt in service of man or women. Shree Purohit Swami possessed 'heroic ecstatic passion prolonged through years, through many vicissitudes.' In his description of his journey up seven thousand steps at Mount Girnar, Yeats Claims one will find a philosophy that will satisfy the intellect and will be all one wants.

Shree Purohit Swami, being fluent in both Sanskrit and English, was instrumental in popularising the wisdom of Indian spirituality and philosophy through his translations of ancient Indian texts. His other books include The Geeta: The Gospel of the Lord Shri Krishna, The Ten principal Upanishads, The song of Silence, Aphorisms of yoga, In Quest of Myself, Harbinger of Love, Honeycomb, and Gunjarao. This Book carries an introduction by the noted Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).

Introduction

I Wrote an introduction to the beautiful Gitanjali of Tagore, and now, twenty years afterwards, draw attention to a book that may prove of comparable importance. A little more than a year ago I met its author, but lately arrived in Europe, at Mr. Sturge Moore 's house. He had been sent by his master, or spiritual director, that he might interpret the religions life of India, but had no fixed plan. Perhaps he should publish his poems, perhaps, like Vivekananda, go to America. He had gone to Rome thinking it was but courteous to pay his respects to the Holy Father, but though the Abbots of the most orthodox Hindu Shrines had given him their blessing and "the organizer of the Bharat-Dharma Mahamandal…. a general latter of introduction", he was not received. Then he had come to England and called upon the poet Laureate, who entertained him. He is a man of fifty, broken in health by the austerities of his religious life; he must have been a stalwart man and he is still handsome. He makes one think of some Catholic theologian who has lived in the best society, confessed people out of Henry James's novels, had some position at Court where he could engage the most absorbed attention without raising his voice, but that is only at first Sight. He is something much simpler, more childlike and ancient. During lunch he and I, Sturge Moore, and an attaché from the Egyptian Legation exceedingly well read in European literature, discussed his plans and ideas. The attaché, born into a Jewish family that had lived among Mohammedans for generations, seemed more Christian in his point of view than Moore or myself, Presently the attaché said: Well, I suppose what matters is to do all the good one can't "By no means." Said' the monk. "If you have that object you may help some few people, but you will have a bankrupt soul. I must do what my Master bids the responsibility is His." That sentence spoken without any desire to startle, interested me the more because I had heard the like from other Indians. Once when I stayed at Wilfred Blunt' s I talked to an exceedingly run himself into political trouble in India, he spoke of the coming independence of India, but declared that India would never organize. "There are only three eternal nations." He said, "India, Persia, China; Grease organized and Greece is dead." I remembered too that an able Indian doctor I met when questions London Indians about Tagore said of a certain Indian leader. "We do not think him sincere; he taught virtues merely because he thought them necessary to India". This care for the spontaneity of the soul seems to me Asia at its finest and where it is most different from Europe, the explanation perhaps why it has confronted our moral earnestness and our control of Nature with its asceticism and its courtesy.

We sat on for a couple of hours after lunch while the monk, in answer to my questions, told of his childhood, his life at the University, of spiritual forms that he had seen of seven years' meditation in his house, of nine years' wandering with his begging-bowl. Presently I said: "The ideas of idea have been expounded again and again, nor do we lack ideas of our own; discussion has been exhausted, but we lack experience, Write what you have just told us; keep out all philosophy, unless it interprets something seen or done."

I found afterwards that I had startled and shocked him, for an Indian, monk who speaks of himself contradicts all tradition, but that after much examination of his conscience he come to the conclusion that those traditions were no longer binding, and that besides, as he explained to Sturge Moore, a certain stage of initiation reached, is bound by noting but the will of his Master. He took my advice and brought his book, chapter by chapter, to Sturge Moore for correction. Sturge Moore, one of four finest critics would say: you have told us too much of this, or too little of that; you must make us see that temple more clearly", or he would cross something out, or alter a word, helping him to master our European sense of form.

The book lies before me complete; it seems to me something I have waited for since I was seventeen years old. About that ago, bored by an Irish Protestant point of view that suggested by it blank abstraction chlorate of time. I began to question the country people abour apparitions. Some dozen years later Lady Gregory collected with my help the stories in her Visions and Beliefs. Again and again, she and I left that we had got down, as it were, into some fibrous darkness, into some matrix out of which everything has come, some condition that brought together as though into a single scheme "exultations, agonies, and the apparitions seen by dogs and horses; but there was always something lacking. We came upon visionaries of whom it was impossible to say whether they were Christian or Pagan found memories of jugglers like those of India, found fragment of a belief that associated Eternity with field and road, not with building; but these visionaries, memories, fragments, were eccentric, alien shut off, as it were, thing the plate glass of a museum; I had found some thing of what I wanted but not all, the explanatory intellect had disappeared. When Shri Purohit Swami Mount Girnar, that creaking bed, that sound of pattens in the little old half-forgotten temple, and fitted everything into an ancient discipline, a philosophy that satisfied the intellect, I found all I wanted.

Contents

page
Introduction xv
Chapter I
How the Soil had been prepared 1
Chapter II
Grandmother and Nursing Mothers 6
Chapter III
I am not To be a Landlord 9
Chapter IV
You are a Brahmin be a Brahmin Always 14
Chapter V
Mahatmas and the Divine Master in a cobra 21
Chapter VI
The Philosophy of Riches 27
Chapter VII
The Astrologer's Prediction 40
Chapter IX
The Engine Refuses to move 47
Chapter X
"May Shri Gurudeo Bless You" 54
Chapter XI
"come to Me 62
Chapter XII
"Practise Penance" 68
Chapter XIII
God and Mammon 77
Chapter XIV
The God's Bed 83
Chapter XV
Mysticism is not Mystery, it is Mystery Unveiled 91
Chapter XVI
Religion versus Spirituality 96
Chapter XVII
The Kundalini 103
Chapter XVIII
Truth knows no Defence 107
Chapter XIX
My master 111
Chapter XX
Samadhi 117
Chapter XXI
The touchstone 122
Chapter XXII
For My Sake 126
Chapter XXIII
The ordeal of service 131
Chapter XXIV
Go back, my child 136
Chapter XXV
I Know him too well 141
Chapter Xxvi
The begging-bowl 145
Chapter XXVI
I am Dattatreya 151
Chapter XXVII
Another Temptation 157
Chapter XXIX
My Lord Shrikrishna 162
Chapter XXX
A New lease of life 167
Chapter XXXI
The Dream of the Himalayas 172
Chapter XXXII
who showed me the Way? 180
Chapter XXXIII
The Mandate 186
Chapter XXXIV
Out at Last 191
Chapter XXXV
The Assassin's Dagger 195
Chapter XXXVI
I am Brahma 200
Epilogue 203
Shri Purohit Swami Frontispiece
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