His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal was a preeminent sage and savant who adorned the Sringeri Sharada Peetham, established by Sri Samkara Bhagavatpada, as its 35th pontiff. He was born on November 13, 1917, and was initiated into Samnyasa on May 22, 1931, by His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharathi Mahaswamigal, a thoroughly detached and introverted jivanmukta (one liberated even while living) With the direct guidance of God and His Guru, He intensely engaged in spiritual practices right form the day of His Samnyasa and these culminated in enlightenment and establishment in the Supreme Brahman on December 17, 1935. Acharyal kept the details to Himself till decades later when in His infinite kindness, He made an exception and divulged them o the author, His disciple.
The book starts with short accounts about Acharyal and His Guru in the words of the reigning pontiff. H.H. Jagadguru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal, and Acharyal respectively. Then, after some relevant information relating to Acharyal’s pre-samnyasa days, commences a detailed account of His practice of hatha-yoga, devotion karma-yoga, kundalini-yoga, nada-anusandhana, contemplation on the Atman, meditation and samadhi on divine forms, scripture-based reflection on the Truth and savikalpa-samadhi and nirvikalpa-samadhi (the acme of yoga) on the absolute; and of His thorough elimination of notions of the non-Atman, His enlightenment and jivanmukti. Citations from the scriptures and other authoritative texts as also extracts from the discourses and dialogues of His Holiness have been included to provide clarifications and additional information. The book is thus even an exposition of yoga and Vedanta. H. H. Jagadguru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal has approvingly conferred on the work a benedictory foreword (srimukha).
Our pre-eminent Guru, who ought to be thought of at the start of every day, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal took Paramahamsa-samnyasa at a young age itself and was steadfast in the practice of yoga. Having experienced even the bliss of nirvikalpa-samadhi, He attained extraordinary perfection in yoga. Dedicated to the protection of tradition, He discharged the duties of the Samnyasa-asrama and the duties of a pithadhipati (pontiff); notwithstanding this, He uninterruptedly engaged in the practice of yoga. His mode of practice and the experiences attained by Him all bring on amazement in everyone. We are extremely happy that the brahmacarin Sri Umesh has authored this work to enable people to know about them. This author, the recipient of the limitless grace of the revered Guns, has correctly acquired the matters here directly from His lotus-mouth; it is, therefore, certain that this book reveals what are facts. We bless that those striving for liberation study this book with faith and advance in the spiritual path.
We are grateful to His Holiness Sri Sannidhanam for conferring His srimukha to this book. He had earlier asked the author to pen a detailed account of the spiritual disciplines practised by H.H. Mahasannidhanam and then expressed His appreciation of the material submitted to Him. Our namaskara-s to His Holiness.
But for Sri G. Ramasubramanian, chip book would not have appeared at all. He was the one who repeatedly pressed the author to allow the material that constitutes Part – II to be made available to the public as a book. With his efforts finally bearing fruit, he personally keyed in the portions in devanagari and those with diacritical marks. He contributed much to the proof correction and fully co-ordinated the publication. His has been a labour of love that is well consistent with his very deep devotion to Acharyal. We are highly thankful to him.
Sri H.N. Shankar scrutinised the manuscript and gave the author his scholarly comments and suggestions. Sri G. Raghavan generated the final print-out at his Anugraham Computer Services, while Sri N. Subramanian designed the cover and punted the book at his Sudarsan Graphics; both did so with personal involvement and deep dedication. Our thanks to all of them.
We sincerely thank Sri R. Sriraman, Sri Murali Subramanian and Sri R. Narayanan (Murugan) for their liberal donations towards the publication of this book.
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