Book Review

Doug healtherapies at HOME.COM
Wed Jul 26 15:15:44 CDT 2000

Thanks you for your recommendation.  I am very grateful that the members of
this list demonstate consideration for students at all levels of knowledge.
I will read it, and hopefullly gain the understanding to ask more informed

Doug Henley
---Original Message-----
From: S. V. Subrahmanian <svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2000 9:56 AM
Subject: Book Review

>Dear members (especially new to Vedanta):
>I read the book "Wanderings in the Himalayas" by Swami Tapovan Maharaj.
>original was in Malayalam called "Himagiri Vihar" which was later
>into English by Chinmaya Mission and presented as "Wandering in the
>Himalayas".  I would recommend it to students of Vedanta.  The highlights
>the book are:
>1.  Written by a Swami who was both a Srotriya and brahmaniSta.  He had
>committed his life to Vedantic study and preaching.  He spent all his
>spiritual life in the Himalayas and if I remember right, after he went the
>Himalayas in his 30's he never returned back to the plains.  I think
>Srinagar or somewhere in Punjab was the farthest he ever traveled away from
>2.  He was a perfect scholar in both Sanskrit and Malayalam.  He was a true
>ascetic, who had (really) renounced worldly life and spent his life in the
>contemplation of Divine.  He traveled to all places in the Himalayas
>practically with no paraphernalia.  He is supposed to have weathered cold
>breezes with just a blanket and survived many days with just one meal etc.
>3.  He uses real life incidents as pretext to explain Vedanta.  Some of the
>discussions I can recall are his explanation of the 6th Canto of Chandogya
>ie., discussion between Swetaketu and UddAlaka, discussions of works of SrI
>Harsha and others.
>4.  He was a perfect example of the amalgam of Bhakti and Vedantic thought.
>People who have confusion regarding the reconciliation of the two would
>in this book, a man who had a happy reconciliation in himself.  Also a
>Vedantin by study, practice and achievement, he worshipped God through the
>beauty of nature.  He is at his best when he describes the beauty of
>5.  He touches upon topics like : importance of Shastras, rituals, need for
>Sraddha, nationalism, rejection of materialism (totally), severe in his
>condemnation of Western influence in thought process, also discusses about
>false gurus, decay of Vedic culture etc among other things.
>7.  He seems to have truly loved God.
>8.  We are only used to travel adventures written by Westerners.  Now for
>those who thought so, here is a Swami who has written his travel adventures
>- both gripping and well presented.
>A good reading for all who have not read it yet.  Don't blame me if you
>in love with either Himalayas or Vedanta after reading the book
>Note: He was the Guru of Swami Chinmayananda.  The book is published by
>Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Mumbai.
>I am presenting here a brief synopsis directly from the cover page of the
>In this book you read how a man of Divine vision beholds Truth everywhere.
>Be it in the lifeless stones, or in the dumb trees, or among the singing
>birds, in the roar of the animals, in the silent womb of the jungle, in the
>bright expanse of the summer sky, or the whispering darkness - everywhere,
>at all times, here is a master mind who detects and perceives the play of
>the unseen in and through the seen.
>Wanderings in the Himalayas gives poetic descriptions of places of
>importance in the Himalayas, sacred in their cultural lore and in the
>traditional faith of India.  And it is at once as many pictures that smile
>forth their infinite beatitude - all captured and framed by Swami's mighty
>pen.  The sincerity of the writer lends a secret charm to his words and
>conveys truly the same feelings to the readers to enjoy the vision of the
>Infinite that plays in and through every form.
>Good luck for your reading.
>S. V. Subrahmanian.
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>bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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