How Dr. Hari Prasad Shastri prepared to set out on his momentous spiritual mission

Those who are familiar with Dr Hari Prasad Shastri’s writings will know that there were three dominant spiritual figures who inspired and guided his steps in his early life. First and foremost, of course, there was, Shri Dada. But hardly less influential were those two other great spiritual luminaries, Paramahansa Swami Rama Tirtha and Swami …

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Paul Deussen’s meeting with Pundit Baijnath

When Pundit Baijnath unexpectedly appeared at a meeting in Najibabad in 1908, just after Shri Dada had been mysteriously called away to the Himalayas, he was to all appearances a prosperous, middle- aged lawyer, accompanied by three companions, coming to see his friend and finding him not at home. But the teachings which he gave …

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Shri Dada was Hari Prasad Shastri’s teacher

Shri Dada was Hari Prasad Shastri’s teacher. Hari Prasad Shastri wrote his biography “The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching”. Trevor Legget has a talk on these matters on this site. Narayana Prasad, later known as Shri Dada, was born in a rich family in Moradabad, a city of the United Provinces. In early youth …

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John of St. Matthias, under the new Rule took the name of John of the Cross

The year was 1567. Saint Teresa had just returned to the nuns of her own Reformed Order of Carmelites at Medina, after an interview with the Carmelite monk Fray John of St. Matthias, who had taken his vows in the monastery at Medina three years earlier. At this time Teresa of Jesus, as she was …

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Mohammed Shah

Some thirty years after the death of the great Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, the throne of Delhi was occupied by one of his descendants named Mohammed Shah. He was a man who loved luxury and took delight in sense-pleasures and allowed the administration to vegetate. The country grew in disorder. Corruption, jealousy, plunder, ruled …

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Gandhi was not a mystic but he admired Ramakrishna

To many British people in the second quarter of the century, M. K. Gandhi was the voice of Christian conscience, unnervingly embodied in a Hindu who was called Mahatma. Like the primitive Christians, he too was embarrassingly pacifist, and yet with a faint undertone of ambiguity (what was Peter, a fisherman, doing with a sword …

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Chuang Tzu was a native of what is now Ho-nan

According to H. G. Wells, humanity attained to adolescence in the 6th century b.c. It is hard to recognise the truth of this statement for even to-day nations behave as selfish and imprudent children, ignoring the law of philanthropy and believing in the supreme efficacy of physical force—blind to the operations of the moral and …

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Experience and Nature are the two great teachers of Goethe

The scholar, Faust, despairs of satisfaction, having failed to find it in philosophy, science, law, literature or theology. He despairs of it, and now seeks some means of making his dissatisfaction endurable. Faust descends to the level of the earth, and invokes this gross means in order to find a narcotic, which may help him …

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God manifests Himself in love and through love

This is an extract from a long article by Swami Rama Tirtha (Punjab, India, 1873-1906) which appeared serially from 1900 onwards in his Urdu magazine Alif under the title “Peace or War? Waves of the Ganges.” The extract here presented was written shortly after the Swami’s retirement to the forest as a monk, and deals …

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Sureshvara

Sureshvara was a pupil of Shri Shankara, the classical guide to the Upanishads in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. He is chiefly famous for three works: a relatively short treatise called Naishkarmya Siddhi , a sub-commentary on the Taittiriya Upanishad of comparable length, and an extremely voluminous sub-commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the last being his …

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The last Confucian sage was Wang Yang-ming

The last Confucian sage was Wang Yang-ming, a universal genius who as a Minister occasionally commanded military campaigns. A master strategist and tactician he lost very few men. On one occasion before an imminent battle, he made his dispositions and then in his tent began a lecture to his staff officers on strategy. The fighting …

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Yasenkanna an autobiographical narrative by Zen Master Hakuin

HAKUIN (1685-1768) was the greatest light of Rinzai Zen in Japan. He universalized it and brought its flavour into the lives of ordinary people, and all the present lines of transmission run through him. The pattern of his spiritual life is thus of great importance in understanding Rinzai Zen. Yasenkanna (which can mean literally ‘idle …

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Siddhi

When I first met Dr Shastri, I had done meditation for about seven years, on the lines of practising casting off thoughts including desires at any time, while being able to entertain them at other times at will.  My interest was to develop some powers and knowledge over self, and perhaps over external things directly.  …

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This Very Body the Buddha – What remains to be sought ?

This Very Body the Buddha – What remains to be sought ? For Nirvana is revealed before him ; This very spot is the Lotus Paradise, this very body the Buddha.  Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. THESE lines expressing the peak of realization conclude ‘ the Song of Meditation. After attaining the great freedom of limitless …

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Kobo Daishi

This is the first of a series of four articles designed to illustrate the lives of four great spiritual heroes of East and West, each of whom attained God-consciousness in this life, but whose personal histories were totally different from each other. The first, the priest Kobo of ninth century Japan, was a universal genius …

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