[Advaita-l] Book Recommendation - Scientist's Search for Truth - Swami Virajeshwara

Divya Meedin divyameedin at gmail.com
Wed Jan 16 07:54:33 EST 2019

*Swami Virajeshwara Saraswati – Scientist’s Search for Truth*

*“I want to practise pranayama” I announced, keenly, as a few university
students talked on the subject of yoga over the afternoon coffee in a small
apartment house in New Brunswick, New Jersey.*

*“Don’t, by yourself” cautioned Murthy.*

*“Why?” I looked at Murthy demanding an explanation.*

*“It’s dangerous. It must be done under the guidance of a guru” he

*“I don’t have a guru. I learnt the asanas all by myself. I am trying to
learn pranayama also from a book” I persisted confidently.*

*“Don’t do that” Murthy warned me again, his large eyes ardent. “I have
known persons become mad without the guidance of a yogi guru. I will give
the address of a yogi, you write to him and he will tell you what to do.”*

*“Has he taught you pranayama?” I questioned.*

*“No. He has taught me mantra yoga” said Murthy.*

*“Mantra yoga?” – I reflected. It sounded weird, not real yoga. Whatever it
meant, it did not impress me. *

Scientist’s Search for Truth, an autobiographical account of a
scientist-turned-savant begins with Him having a conversation over coffee
with a fellow Indian student, regarding yoga. Swami Virajeshwara, then a
young student studying at Rutgers towards His PhD degree, with knowledge of
yoga gained at most from books, had just been set on His path to His
spiritual destiny.

His fascinating, at times amusing, and illuminating account of his life
journey from being an opinionated, forthright, self-righteous young man who
nursed initial ambitions to become a great yogi who also makes outstanding
scientific discoveries armed with a PhD, ending in him abandoning his
researcher job at IBM and returning to India only to backpack across
Ashrams to ultimately land at the feet of His Jnana guru Swami Vidyananda,
reads like a whirlwind ride through the stages of spiritual evolution.

People who are egoless are the ones truly fearless, and the author
fearlessly desisting attempts to hide His shortcomings that existed prior
to His revelation, leads us through His sharp sense of self-preservation
against sensual distractions and persecutions He faced during His life in
the US due to His skin color and vegetarianism, His being judgmental and
discriminating, His conviction in leading a celibate life, His opinion on
modern yogis/ self-styled teachers etc., and feels His ego melting away
when He finds the Guru who inspires faith in Him more than anyone else did.
The author has, while recounting his story, also delved into subjects such
as vegetarianism, Kundalini, Ego, misleading Siddhis, what is realization
and what is not, the limitation of Science and other religions in
pinpointing the Ultimate Truth etc. backed by His own experiences.

Swamiji shared a close rapport with the Jagadgurus of Sringeri Sharada
Peetam, and studied further Vedanta at the Matha’s branch at Kalady, before
settling down at His own Ashram at Anusoni, Tamil Nadu.

In His prologue to the book, Swamiji mentions that though His Guru had
advised Him to write a book chronicling His experiences, Swamiji had
desisted from doing so, for twenty years, in order to avoid increased
visitors to His Ashram, before finally relenting. The key takeaway for me
from this book - the unabashed tone of honesty and openness with which
Swamiji has narrated His take on things that matter to aspirants across the
spectrum - prompted me to share this review here on this forum.

Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi in 2014.

Books authored by Swami Virajeshwara Saraswati can be bought here:



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