One of the most profound autobiographies of a realized master, who was not an Indian by birth, is narrated in “Transcendent Journey”. This book was recommended to me by one of my friends, who was actually involved in proof-reading of this book.

Hansjuerg Habluetzel was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1929. He travelled to India to meet his destiny, his home. From a young age he used to wonder about life and had exposure to Yoga and Eastern traditions. He was gifted by his aunt a book, authored by Paramhansa Yogananda – “An Autobiography of a Yogi”. That was a turning point in his life that made him move towards India. The Swami merged into the Infinite in 2015.

The book has 7 chapters starting with “Avirbhava” – Advent to “Kaivalyam – Transcendence”. It narrates how he became Swami Jnananand Giri. The story starts at his childhood and how he discovered various masters in his journey towards realization. The book mentions several masters such as Swami Atmananda Giri (author’s master), Swami Purushottmananda Maharaj, Ma Anandmayi, Baba Shripad, Swami Shivananda, Swami Ranganathananda, Sharir Maharaj & many others. 

There are several quotes & incidents in the book that have made me re-read them. Especially around the passing away of Swami Bhumananda, how the author was overwhelmed by the events.

Some quotes from the book:

  1.  It is interesting to note here that the potential for Self-awareness comes into play through apparent Self-forgetfulness. The very purpose of this forgetting of the Self is to make possible the ecstasy of Self-discovery & experience of Self-realization. (3)
  2. Enjoy and be happy, but do not try to possess it. (233)
  3. Thoughts constitute the mind. Worldly thoughts create the worldliness of the world. Divine thinking dissolves the bondage to the world. (289)
  4. Writing mantra-japa is one of the most effective sadhanas. (299)
  5. God tests a devotee only for the purpose of blessing and advancing him. (350)
  6. Image worship has a deep significance. Form is a reminder of form-less. All creation reminds us of the creator. Worship(meditation, japa etc.) is simply act of attunement with the the One Creator. (94)

I want to elaborate on one thing from the book of Chapter 4 – Anubhuti-Experience. The chapter narrates the life & ultimate mahasamadhi of Swami Bhumananda, one of the close friends of the author. I would have read those 4-5 pages at least 50 times, and each time I had tears in my eyes. I never knew why. And after reading that part, I would close the book, without bookmarking those pages, and next time I would again search for it. Finally, I did that, with tearful eyes. 

The above is just a very small glimpse into what you can get by reading this book. It is highly recommended to everyone who is on a spiritual journey.

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