Sarlikhya-yogacharya Swami Hariharananda Aranya, the founder of Kapil Math, Madhupur (east India) embraced a spiritualistic life at an early age and devoted his entire life in search of eternal bliss which according to him can only be attained through disciplining the mind. He felt that proper understanding of such a rigorous discipline lies in the teachings of Saritkhya-yoga philosophy. The philoso-phy was propounded by Indian sages from ancient times and carried on from generation to generation. But since system of writing was unknown at that time, the teachings were gradually fading into oblivion. The revered Acharya Swamiji revived this philosophy - almost single handedly and took up the task of explaining lucidly, its basic tenets.
While leading the life of a recluse, that can only be compared to the life style of rsis of ancient India, he wrote a valuable treatise Patafijal Yoga-darsan, giving a detailed explanatory account of the aphorisms of Saritkhya-yoga. This book is a real treasure for sincere seekers of truth, all over the world.
Apart from this magnificent volume the Acharya wrote a number of treatises, explaining the basic points of this difficult philosophy, to popularise it among ordinary people. `Apurva Bhraman Vrittanta' (A Unique Travelogue ) is to be placed in this category. Apparently written in a lighter vein, the exposition is charming in the original Bengali. In a most interesting way, it indicates the true path of reaching It.ddhi Mandir - a temple of general well being created through yogic power — and also hints at the hurdles to be crossed to reach the goal. He assumed a pseudonym for this book, Sivadhyan Bramhachari.
A part of Swamiji's ascetic life (1892-1898) was spent, in complete seclusion, in the caves of Barabar hills in Bihar, amidst a hostile environment. He then went to Varanasi and from there to the Himalayas, continuing his spiritual practice in places like Haridwar, Rishikesh and Uttarkashi where spiritual aspirants have congregated over many centuries. Later on, he shifted to the Eastern Himalaya and built for himself a small hermitage at Kurseong near Darjeeling. Named Kapilaram after the great rsi, Kapila, original proponent of Sarrikhya, it is presently a part of Kapil Math. Some of the experiences narrated in this book, we feel, must have been undergone by him while leading the austere life. He detailed them as lessons of life.
A Unique Travelogue is an humble attempt to render into English the highly philosophic and at the same time pleasantly readable treatise, so that this gem of a book may have a wider section of reader.
I was encouraged to take up the task by Srimat Swami Bhaskar Aranya the present head of the (apil Monastery. Prof .Gobinda Gopal Mukherjee, the erudite scholar, has kindly gone through the entire text. Some of my co-disci-ples have extended all sorts of help and guidance. I am grateful to all of them and sincerely thank them for show-ing keen interest in this work.
Finally, with deep respect I remember my preceptor Srimat Swami Dharmamegha Aranya, the worthy disciple of Acharya Swamiji, who in a most kind and sympathetic way initiated me to this discipline. May their teachings extend all over the world and guide laymen to the path of eternal peace.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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