Swami Shankarananda. The Yoga of Kashmir Shaivism: Consciousness is Everything. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2006. Hardcover, 350 pp.
The author, an American-born student of Swami Muktananda, has authored several books, including the Australian best-seller Happy for No Good Reason. He studied under Muktananda for twelve years and was initiated into the swami order by him. For the past three decades he has been what he calls “a working yogi.”
The present book, which was mainly inspired by the teachings and writings of Muktananda, is intended as a user-friendly introduction to Kashmir’s brand of Shaivism, as embodied in the Shiva-Sutra, Spanda-Karika, Pratyabhijna-Hridaya, and Vijnana-Bhairava, which are all available in English translations.
True to his stated intent, Swami Shankarananda has produced a highly readable book on an abstruse spiritual-philosophical system. Giving primacy to practical matters, he has filled this work with precious anecdotes from his own life and that of his guru, Muktananda, as well as contemporary metaphors and similes, which clothe his more abstract discussions in flesh and blood.
Swami Shankarananda has succeeded in making Kashmir’s Shaiva Yoga come alive in these pages, and I consider this work the best introduction to that tradition thus far.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form requires prior permission from Traditional Yoga Studies.