I sit writing this testimony in utter bliss and joy. From head to toe I am washed by bliss with the light of Consciousness burning brightly. I have just finished Swami Shakarananda’s book Consciousness is Everything available at Amazon.
I have always hated eastern philosophy even from my early, pre-Zen days exploring Buddhist Sutras and major schools and how they critiqued each other. Kashmir Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta were just too complex and boring to me in comparison to finding all that I wanted to read in reading me, my Self, the I Am, the Void, the presence, the light of Consciousness. When I read philosophical texts my mind began to pop up and try to hold together the myriad of concepts and states found within those books, including especially, Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Maharaj’s books are filled with what Shankarananda calls G or Guru statements that shock you, but Nisargadatta’s talks are so chaotic, unstructured, and immediate, it is very difficult to find the underlying structure of his teachings. I persisted because I was watching a brilliant lightning storm of wisdom from this character, but never was able to catch him. Until now.
Swamiji’s book provides the overall structure that includes explaining all the concepts found in Nisargadatta, Ramana, and Robert Adams within a comprehensive overview, that in the largest sense explains all Hindu and Buddhist views within a living expression of otherwise lifeless scholastic philosophy.
There is so much light and love in this book; it is an expression of sheer joy in the exposition of our manifest and transcendent nature.
I would never have suspected such a book coming out of Swamiji. When I knew him from 1979 to whenever he left for Australia, when it came to teachings he was utterly silent. When it came to a description of his own attainment and states, e was utterly silent. Yet I felt the Shakti radiating from him, and in this book see a fruition of a level of alive teaching that is quite extraordinary.
This book may have the ostensible subject matter of Kashmir Shaivism, but it is really about Shankarananda, who really knows who he is. He has lived these teachings and evolved in them. Such a teacher is rare, as rare as this book, one I could never wrote because I hate scholastic detail and myriads of concepts and methods.
I wish to thank my spiritual brother Swami Shankarananda for his presence in this world and his manifestation through this book.