Swami Lakshman Joo Raina, also called lakshman Brahmacarin and Isvara Svarupa (1907-1991), was one of the greatest saints of 2oth century India, who was at the same time an extraordinary scholar who relived and revived the almost forgotten tradition of Kashmir Saivism. His high spiritual state was matched by his profound knowledge of the Saiva scriptures and of the great thinkers and commentators of the tradition — Abhinavagupta, Ksemaraja and others. Swami Lakshman Joo lived a secluded life in his ashram in Kashmir, but he taught the texts of Kashmir ‘Saivism to Pandits and scholars from different countries, besides giving spiritual guidance to a number of seekers and disciples.
On the occasion of his Birth Centenary, a volume in his memory is being brought out containing articles by scholar-disciples, devotees and relatives which throw light on the extraordinary life of this saint and on his contribution to reviving and continuing the tradition of Kashmir Saivism. Articles on his life by his close disciple Prabha Devi and his scholar-disciples Jaideva Singh and Jankinath Kaul 'Kamal', an exhaustive article on place in the Kashmirian Saiva tradition by Professor Alexis Sanderson of Oxford, to mention only a few, provide an insight into his saintly personality and his great qualities as a teacher. Even scholars and seekers who have never met him and have been deeply influenced by his spiritual presence have contributed an account of their experience.
The volume is richly illustrated by historical photographs which provide a visual testimony of the life A Swami Lakshman Joo. A list A his published works an important complement.
Dr. Bettina Baumer, indologist from Austria and Professor of Religious Studies. (Visiting Professor at several universities), living and working in Varanasi since 1967, is the author and editor of a number of book and over 50 research articles. Her main fields of research are non-dualistic Kashmir Saivism, Indian aesthetics, temple architecture and religious. traditions of Orissa, and comparative mysticism. She has been Coordinator of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Varanasi, and Fellow, Indian institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. She h. translated important Sanskrit texts. into German and English. She became disciple of Swami Laksman Joo in Kashmir in 1987.
Dr Sarla Kumar was a Lecturer and Reader in English Literature in various colleges of Delhi University. She has been a disciple of Swami Lakshman Joo for about 40 years, and since her retirement she has been devoting all her time to the study and practice of Kashmir Saivism. She is also the President of the Trika Interreligious Trust which engages in the teaching of Kashmir Saivism.
Sixteen years have elapsed since we have been separated from the physical presence of His Holiness Swami Lakshman Joo, our revered Master. It has been a difficult period of our lives when we had to summon all our faculties of fortitude to come to terms with our loss. However, it was only because of the unseen hand of our Master that we realized that he was always with us. It is only due to his powerful grace the we have emerged untouched by the troubled circumstances.
On the occasion of Gurudeva's Birth Centenary which falls on 9. May 2007; we, his devotees and disciples, are bringing out a collection of essays in his memory, titled Samvidullasah or "joyful manifestation of Divine Consciousness." It contains contributions by great scholars and spiritual people who have had direct experience of Gurudeva, but also by those who have not had the darsana of his physical form, but who have been touched by his grace.
My Guru sisters Bettinaji and Sarlaji have undertaken this difficult task to bring out this book, the fruit of their effort, to present to the readers Gurudeva's greatness. These two disciples have collected these articles on Gurudeva, and they have also illustrated them with beautiful photos which evoke his memory, and which have enhanced the importance of this volume. I am very happy and I express my gratitude and blessing on all the devotees of Gurudeva. The long-standing desire of the devotees to know about their Gurudeva will be fulfilled, and thus Gurudeva will bestow peace on the readers. One thing is certain, that Gurudeva's blessing is with all of us, whether directly or indirectly, and that he is guiding us from within. The readers of this volume can experience this themselves.
With blessings and asking for Guru's grace,
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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