We are happy to announce we have published a new book, Light of Soham: The Life and Teachings of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik, which is now available as a paperback and as an ebook. At the end of this post we will link to multiple sites where it is available.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a young crippled boy in North India met a spiritual teacher in the Nath tradition of the great teachers Matsyendranath and Gorakhnath, who imparted to him the precious knowledge of yoga meditation. The boy began to apply himself to this meditation practice and became a very unusual saint indeed.
Gajanan Murlidhar Gupte, later known as Gajanana Maharaj, led an unassuming life, to all appearances a normal unmarried man of contemporary society. Crediting his personal transformation to the practice of the Soham mantra, he freely shared this practice with a small number of disciples, whom he simply called his friends. Strictly avoiding the trap of gurudom, he insisted that his friends be self-reliant and not be dependent on him for their spiritual progress. Yet he was uniquely able to assist them in their inner development.
Gajanana Maharaj taught the ajapa-japa of the Soham mantra with the breath. In Light of Soham his teachings for success in Soham sadhana and spiritual life in general have been collected from the writings of himself and his disciples. An appendix by Abbot George Burke on the method of Soham Yoga gives detailed instruction on how to practice this method of meditation.
Here is a review by Dylan Grant, an early reader of Light of Soham:
When it comes to reading “spiritual books”, you are looking at an extremely oversaturated market, compounded by the fact that many of these books are either very obscurantist or superficial. But with Light of Soham, published by Light of the Spirit Monastery which has also published commentaries on scriptures and other works, you have a special exception.
This book cuts straight to the problem of life – our separation from the Godhead – and without dwelling too much on this immediately cuts to the solution: Meditation. Every good meditative technique comes from a guru who can demonstrate its efficacy with his own life, and that brings us to Sri Gajanana.
The crippled Sri Gajanana is unheard of in the west, as far as I know, and this makes his teachings all the more profound as you cannot go in with any expectations. He calls himself “The Broom” to his students because he says his job is to clear away the debris in the minds of his students that prevents them from realizing their oneness with God.
I was immediately charmed by the presentation of this simple spiritual teacher and his humble moniker. It is an excellent refresher from the Hindu Gurus who parade themselves as living gods and messiahs to their servile followers. There is none of this pomposity at all in Sri Gajanana, indeed his speech is always surprisingly plain, and this makes it so that there is nothing to obstruct the light of his teaching from penetrating into the mind of his students.
The best part of the book is the section where he answers the complex philosophical, theological, and metaphysical questions of his students. Each answer is like a knife cutting through so many Gordian knots.
The third and final section of the book is about as excellent a “How-to” Manual on meditation as you will find anywhere. It is a perfect way to end the book.
It took me a very long time to finish this short 150-page book because I found it kept inspiring me to put it down and start meditating. Every “spiritual” book should do this. A wise man once told me that the only purpose of a spiritual book is to inspire you to meditate and to remind you of the necessity of inner experience when it comes to the divine. If that is true, this book is first-class.
For a limited time you can get Light of Soham: The Life and Teachings of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik at the introductory price of only 99¢.
You can get Light of Soham at the Amazon site of your specific country using this universal link: getbook.at/lightofsoham
You can get the ebook at Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Playster, Angus & Robertson and other online retailers at this link: books2read.com/lightofsoham.