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Guru and Disciple (Excerpts from the book)

by Swami Abishiktananda

Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux OSB), a French Benedictine monk met Sadguru Gnanananda in December 1955 and later spent a few weeks with him in February / March 1956. He recognised in the sage a true Guru. He recorded the experience of the stay with him in a book in French titled "Gnanananda" published in 1970. Its English translation titled "Guru and disciple" was published by the Society for Promotion of Christian Knowledge, London in the same year. A new edition of the English tranlation has been published by the Indian Society for Promotion of Christian Knowledge (Post Box 1585, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110 006) in 1990.

The following excerpts from the book are included with the permission of Abhishiktananda Society.

In the book, Swami has adopted a pseudonym "Vanya" (forest dweller).

  1. The two questions of Swami Abhishiktananda: about
    • The Ultimate Reality
    • Initiation (Diksha)
  2. On meeting a true Guru: Inspired reflections of Swami Abhishiktananda on his darsan of Sadguru Gnanananda and on the mystery of the Guru.
  3. On Sri Gnanananda's age: Thoughts on Gnani's non-identification with his physical body and his transcendance of time and space.
  4. On Siva Linga: Swami Abhishiktananda spends a night alone in the temple in Agaram village near Tapovanam. His reflections on Siva Linga are profound.
  5. On Meditation (Dhyana) - The One Essential: Sadguru Gnanananda's clarifications to Swami Abishiktananda on various aspects of spiritual sadhana, dhyana, pranayama, etc.
  6. On Guru: Swami Abishiktananda describes Sadguru Gnanananda as an embodiment of love. The master expounds Guru Tattwa - the principle of the Guru. Guru Darsan is at the time of Self-realisation, and the Guru-murti, the visible Guru shows the way. After pointing out four types of bhaktas, Sri Gnanananda describes the characteristics of a Gnani who is the best amongst the bhaktas (devotees).
  7. "Drop the bundle, I shall take you over": The concluding pages of the book contain the conversations of Swami Abhishiktananda with Sadguru Gnanananda. After describing how to stay in the awareness of Atman, the Guru emphasises the importance of detachment and renunciation.
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