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So have We Heard (Old and Book)

So have We Heard (Old and  Book)
$23.00
Item Code: NAT938
Author: Swami Dharmamegha Aranya
Publisher: Kapil Math, Madhupur
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 8187928263
Pages: 190 (1 Coloured Illustration)
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 9.00 X 6.00 inch
PREFACE

It has been an elevating experience to translate It Susruma, the collected discourses of revered Swami Dharmamegha Aranya, from Bengali into English. I am deeply grateful to respected Swami Bhaskar Aranya of Kapil Math, Madhupur, for giving me the opportunity to take on this work, which I had long wished to do, ever since the publication of Iti Susruma in the form of a book. I can remember the time, when standing near the Kapil Cave, along with my mother Srimati Madhuri Gupta, I first saw Acarya Swamiji in early childhood. His gracious and blessed presence and his compassionate spirit left such a lasting impression on me, that to this day the memory sustains me.

We met Dharmamegha Swamiji, on the same occasion in another part of the Math premises. He very generously spared us some time and spoke to us and even showed me a sundial in the garden and explained to me how it worked. While translating the fourth section of the book, Iti Susruma entitled ‘Miscellaneous’ I recalled that incident. The interest and delight that Dharmamegha Swamiji took in natural phenomena, the cycle of seasons, the animals, birds and insects, the wonders of the firmament, the stars, and the workings of the universe, are reflected in his discourses, as also his involvement in astronomy, physiology and psychology. Those days at Biram, the ladies’ quarter of the Math, Swamiji’s mother known to everybody as Sadhu Ma, was in charge. She was a wonderful person, gentle, unassuming and full of affection for all those around her. Although we were stationed far from Madhupur and were not able to visit the Math often, we were in steady touch with Dharmamegha Swamiji through correspondence. His spiritual guidance and counsel helped us face life through its changing phases. In his Passing away there was a great void, but his spoken and written words remained behind, as a spiritual legacy to fall back upon. Swamiji was tireless in his effort to initiate the devotees to the ideals of the Samkhya- yoga system, the practice of recollection and right conduct through restraints (yama) and observances (niyama) which would lead one on the path of peace and enlightenment. His message rings clear through his letters, discourses and other writings in prose and verse, that although one cannot necessarily alter the external circumstances, one can change oneself from within and prepare for the path of liberation (moksa) as emphasized earlier by his revered guru Swami Hariharananda Aranya.

I have been assisted by Dr. (Smt.) Rajul Sogani of Delhi University in this work and we have derived immense benefit from the endeavour. In this attempt we have remained faithful to the original Bengali text of Iti Susruma as far as possible. An index has also been prepared according to the different topics of discourse. We hope that the English reader will profit from the translation and become conversant with the essential spirit of Swamiji’s teachings.

Introduction

The sages in the Upanisads, while imparting spiritual knowledge, have said, more than once, "So have we heard these immortal words from the sages who were well-versed in spiritual knowledge" (Isopanisad,1 10, 13 and Kenopanisad," 1/3). The phrase "So have we heard" has been used in this sense in the Upanisads by the sages, hence we have chosen it as a title for the present work which is a collection of the speeches of revered Swami Dharmamegha Aranya, a Samkhya-yogin in the tradition of the ancient sages.

Many of the speeches were recorded on tape while some were taken down directly on the spot, although Swamiji objected to the taking down of notes, as he thought that no lecture notes could be entirely faithful to the original. Keeping his views in mind we have been very careful and done our best to publish the notes of his lectures as correctly as possible. A proper knowledge of the secrets of the Samkhya-yoga practice cannot be acquired from the theoretical books available in the market. The sages in the Upanisads have emphasized that it is essential to get this knowledge directly from a learned preceptor.® This book is a record of the teachings of a great Samkhya-yogin and has been published for the benefit of those who have not had the privilege of being instructed directly from a preceptor.

The revered Swami Dharmamegha Aranya was engaged in spiritual pursuit since his childhood. He was born on 13 April, 1892 (the day of the Chaitra Sankranti according to the Bengali calender). It was the same year in which his reverend guru the renowned Samkhya-yogacharya of the present age, Swami Hariharananda Aranya left his home to become a wandering ascetic. Swami Dharmamegha Aranya was quiet, gentle and contemplative since childhood and Swami Hariharananda Aranya was his spiritual, moral and intellectual ideal. As a student he used to spend his long summer and autumn vacations at the Kapil Asram at Triveni. There he sat at the feet of his guru asa young postulant and studied the Patanjala Yogadarsana with intense concentration and devotion. The notes which he took down in Bengali during the course of his study of the Patanjala Yogasititra were later published from Kapil Math by Acarya Swamiji as a book entitled Yogasopana. Those who are interested in studying the Patanjala Yogadarsana in Bengali would greatly benefit if they first read the Yogasopdna because it is a comprehensive analysis of the Yogastitra and will enable them to make an entry into the fundamental principles of the Yogadarsana. Recently a Hindi translation of the Yogasopana has also been published. Preparing himself for the monastic life in this manner, Swamiji left his home in 1911 at the age of nineteen. He became a committed disciple of Swami Hariharananda Aranya, accepted the life of a monk and was named Dharmamegha by his guru. Initially he visited different parts of the country as a wandering ascetic, and then for many years he stayed in Kapil Asram, the lonely monastic retreat in Kurseong in the Himalayas, where he was engaged in the pursuit of his spiritual goal in total isolation. Later, after the _ passing away of Acarya Swamiji, he was cloistered in the Kapil Cave of the monastery at Madhupur and remained immersed in the practice of Samkhya-yoga till the end. His towering, calm and contemplative personality and his quiet, detached and spiritual way of life reminded the visitors of the well- known lines of the Gita describing the true yogin:

"Without pride and delusion, conquering the vice of attachment, dwelling constantly in the Self, puri- fied of desire, free from pleasure and pain, they tread undeluded, that indestructible path" (15/5).

His goal was to realize the principles of the Samkhya-yoga system as laid down by Acarya Swamiji in his own life and pub- lish Acarya Swamiji’s writings in a clear and accurate form for the benefit of those who wished to pursue the path of salvation. He fully endorsed the statement of the Buddha that teaching the dharma was the greatest service to mankind. In this context he often quoted Acarya Swamiji’s statement that if a scientist discovered a life-saving drug and did not make it available for the use of common humanity, then that drug would be of no benefit to the world. On the other hand, if he made the same drug available to people, it would benefit the world immensely. In the same way, if the sage who has attained spiritual peace, guided the suffering humanity towards the path of peace, he would benefit the world greatly. Throughout the long period of his life as a monk, he extended this service to people by giving spiritual instruction directly or through correspondence. His letters in reply to the queries of his disciples, eager for spiritual knowledge, were initially compiled and published with an introduction by Acarya Swamiji from the Kapil Math as Santi Lipi. Later, many more of his letters were added in the expanded and revised third edition of Santi Lipi. Recently the English and Hindi translations of Santi Lipi have also been published. These two books, namely Yogasopana and Santi Lipi were published from Kapil Math, at the initiative of Acarya Swamiji. Dharmamegha Swamiji himself was totally detached about his own writings. Acarya Swamiji, who was himself a great sage and scholar, never refrained from giving due credit to his worthy disciple. The sages of the Upanisads have described this kind of wonderful and sweet relationship between the learned master and the outstanding disciple as a rare phenomenon (Kathopantsad, 1/2/7) © Cloistered within the cave Swamiji continued to give spiritual instructions from the platform of the Kapil Temple till the very end of his life to the disciples assembled on the Acdrya Divas, * as a service to the people in search of salvation. Moreover, he also gave instructions individually to his followers, eager for spiritual knowledge. All his speeches and instructions recorded on tape and taken down in the form of notes by his devoted followers have been compiled to form the text of the present work, So Have We Heard.

Swamiji was the living embodiment of the ideal of Samkhya-yoga. Those who had the good fortune of seeing him personally or listening to his invaluable discourses were blessed by his association and inspired to walk on the path of salvation. His serene, detached and cheerful presence exemplified for his followers the qualities of the sthitaprajia (stable in mind) as described in the Gita:

- One who relinquishes all desires of the heart and is | perfectly contented within the Self is called stable in mind (2/55).

To conclude, the Caitra Sankranti of the Bengali year 1398 is the birth centenary of Swami Dharmamegha Aranya. In the sacred memory of this day we are releasing this book containing his philosophical teachings. It is dedicated to him as a mark of our profound reverence. We hope that this book will serve as a guide, even in his absence, and will keep alive the tradition of imparting instructions to spiritual seekers.

**Contents and Sample Pages**








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