Reviews of THE YOGA DRISTHI book


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Reviews of the book “THE YOGA DRISTHI of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj” released by Ananda Ashram on Guru Purnima July 2014. The book has been compiled by Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis of the UK and is edited by Ammaji and Dr. Ananda. Published by Dhivyananda Creations, Pondicherry and available from

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Reviews of THE YOGA DRISTHI book

  1. 1. Reviews of the book “THE YOGA DRISTHI of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj” released by Ananda Ashram on Guru Purnima July 2014. The book has been compiled by Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis of the UK and is edited by Ammaji and Dr. Ananda. Published by Dhivyananda Creations, Pondicherry and available from  Dr Swami Anandakapila Saraswati Sydney, Australia. "We owe a debt of gratitude to Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis for his meticulous work in extracting, with the precision of a surgical Alchemist, the wisdom and beauty left to us by one of the great masters of the twentieth century. I once introduced Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj as “having swept through the darkness of my young mind as a blazing comet and left me irrevocably changed”. The book elicits nostalgia when I read such a concentrated collection of his spiritual teachings, thus triggering recollections that reverberate down memory corridors. His presence and prescience resurrects, phoenix-like, throughout the pages. Excellent Blessings by Yogacharini Puduvai Kalaimamani Smt. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani followed by an Introduction from Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Chairman and Hereditary trustee, ICYER at Ananda Ashram and Forward by Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis comprise a portal of entry into this magnificent work as
  2. 2. we realize the effort, care and love that went into the collaborative effort to produce such a gem. The book is also filled with archival photographs of Swamiji’s transit through this incarnation and the astounding number of people whose lives he changed. “The Yoga Drishti of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj” is 288 pages of distilled wisdom culminating in a Biographical note, Topic Index, and Index. Indispensable for his students worldwide and highly recommended."  Yogacharya Rajudev Giri, San Francisco, USA. “Dr. Davis is to be lauded for compiling such a remarkable collection of Swami Gitananda’s writings. No one since Swami Vivekananda has brought such a dynamic understanding of the inner life to the reading public, and Dr. Davis’ collection captures the spirit, the depth of wisdom, and a taste of the lively good humor Swami Gitananda imparted to every soul he touched. There is something here for everyone whether it be the wizened Vedantist or the young neophyte first questioning the very nature of their existence. As the father of modern scientific yoga no one more clearly expressed the powerful ideas primed to open the reader into an ever expanding consciousness as Swami Gitananda. He was able to take the concepts of the rishis and fluidly wed them to contemporary science and culture in a way that was readily understandable to the modern reader. As such his writings have a universal application providing a foundation for not only the aspiring yogi, but the practicing psychiatrist, psychologist, educator, or anyone ready to lead a richer and fuller existence. Although what we find here is only a taste of the encyclopedic knowledge possessed by Swami Gitananda this work nevertheless gives us a marvelous distillation that was obviously collected with a great deal of thought and deep loving care. Even though Swami Gitananda always felt the yoga process needed to be imparted directly by a guru this wonderful work with introductory comments by his wife, Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, and son, Ananda Bhavanani, as well as Dr. Davis; and a touching afterward by Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani provide a rich insightful background for the uninitiated reader. “The Yoga Drishti” is an inspirational and thought provoking work that will be treasured by anyone fortunate enough to be introduced to its pages.”  Shantideva Acharya, Canada. “With joy and gratitude I second Rajudev's comments on Dr. Davis's compilation of the teachings of Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri as imparted orally, in written form and by example. This book is a modern day jewel in the vast and timeless panoply of yoga. As Dr. Davis remarks, this compilation is only a core sample of the immensity that was the life of our Swamiji. Nevertheless it has been selected with exquisite care and insight. Especially touching is Ammaji's account of the time preceding and surrounding
  3. 3. our great master's Mahasamadhi. How striking it is that as the ptolemaic planet Pluto neared conjunction with Swamiji's lagna, or ascendant, he expressed deepening awareness of and devotion to Lord Shiva, patron of yogis and lord of transformation. With his mastery of Yantra Swamiji must have foreseen the transition from Samsara to Nirvana and made preparations for that time. All who love yoga in general and the Rishiculture community in particular should possess this book and keep it nearby.”  Yogacharini Latha, Gitananda Yoga Society, Berlin. " Surely everyone, who takes this huge opus with nearly 280 pages into her /his hands, will feel the mighty and straight energy of Swami Gitanandaji, the Lion of Pondicherry in a direct and spontaneous manner! His heartful mind and Vak Siddhi will be felt for sure! Even if we have not been lucky to be taught from him, from his "mouth to ear" before his Samadhi in December 1993, we find here the possibility to have a joyful Darshan of him in the form of this book. I am thankful to Ammaji, Dr. Ananda and Dr. Alan Davis for making available this real source of Yoga and its Spiritual Truths. I bow my head to this magnificent work! The book contains the blessing from beloved Ammaji and also her beautiful manuscript "The last and final Lesson" describing the last year with Swamiji as his Rishipatni. The foreword is from Dr. Ananda, the successor and son of Swamiji and Ammaji who writes, “Yogacharya Dr. Alan and his Dharmapatni Yogacharini Cathy Davis were beloved students of Swamiji at Kambaliswamy Madam.” Through this book Dr. Alan brings back many of Swamiji`s masterful thoughts and teachings printed in "Yoga Life" during the years 1975- 2006 as also extracts from the Correspondence Course book "Step-by-Step" as a tremendous Yoga Seva. This book contains also many photos of Swamiji, Ammaji and Dr. Ananda "in old days" and we get to see the king-like Swamiji laughing and living his joyful his life in Anandam. All students of Ananda Ashram can be sure that they will walk here on the real ancient Yogamarga. Swamiji´s wisdom is again eternally fresh and finds permanent memory in the printed guideline. Thanks to the team of Ammaji and Dr. Ananda who together keep Swamiji´s spirit alive! For this book they got as a genius partner Dr. Alan. This book is highly recommended to everyone, who is looking for Yoga Dristhi in its real sense. It is special also as good example for all Yoga teachers and as the book has never ending inspirations for those caught up in the hectic activities of modern daily life. This "Yoga Dristhi" book can spring only from Ananda Ashram!"  Yogacharini Jnanasundari, France. "I was privileged to proof-read this book, and immediately felt that Swamiji had again found an outlet through which to remind us of our task in life – to evolve! The careful selection of quotations covers a wide range of Swamiji’s discourses, as one can see in glancing at the index. Dr. Alan had a massive task before him with such a prolific and inspiring speaker, and he has chosen well. Ammaji rounds off the book with the description of Swamiji’s last days; warning: this section is best accompanied by a good
  4. 4. handkerchief as it is extremely moving (speaking as one who has read this on several occasions and never failed to be moved). And the icing on the cake – the many beautiful photographs. (Note the hasta mudrâon the back cover.) I heartily recommend this book to everyone connected with the paramparya. Keep it by the bedside to dip into before sleep, or by your yoga mat to peruse before practice. Or in your bag to accompany you on the bus or train, or to quote from in yoga class. And as with everything Swamiji wrote, read it, re-read it, savour it. Swamiji roars on!" • Yogacharini Vijaya (Arja Miettinen-Baumann), Berlin, Germany. Dear Yoga practitioner! Do you really know what Yoga is? Do you really understand Yoga? Are you ready for real Yoga? This book is dangerous. After reading you may realise that you urgently need to do some fundamental changes in your life. You may realise that you have to destroy all that is there in your imaginations, thoughts, ideas and throw them away. If you take a deep look inside, it might happen that you get ashamed of the picture you find there. SWAMIJI’s teachings do not allow for any excuses, no hidings away of VASANAS with negative influences on your life, nor procrastination “let me do this tomorrow“ or other way around as Dr. Ananda would say “DIN, DIN, DIN, Do it now“. There is no option as – if not happened already – to start with cleansing oneself, building TAPAS and start moving, building steadiness of the body through Yoga Asanas, so that through this getting into contact with deeper layers of oneself, the emotions and mind is possible. When we realise that cleansing is necessary and we throw out all the garbage, then the question may arise: is it possible to put the remaining pieces of “the self“ back together to a new whole. The Lion of Pondicherry would definitely shout loud: YES YOU CAN! He would say: Do this step-by-step with full awareness or as written on the page 21 of Yoga Drishthi, a book so wisely extracted out of SWAMIJI’s teachings by the sincere student of Swamiji Dr. Alan Davis “Yoga technology can change the basic character“ but “only if consciousness is awakened, SWADHYAYA is cultivated and spiritual growth is desired“ and further on page 57 “first we live to learn, until finally, through the blessings of Yoga SADHANA, we learn to live.“ We get stronger and stronger, step-by-step. After work good done we then are not motivated any more by BHAYA (fear), DUHKHA (pain) or SUKHA (pleasure). We learn to live without excuses for our behaviour. We learn through wise living, through Yoga how to change our life, how to work out our KARMA. And we learn that especially all the negative experiences are important for our spiritual development. It is up to us to build up TAPAS, discipline of spiritual life to overcome the hindrances. If we don’t manage in our discipline of Yoga, that discipline which is
  5. 5. necessary to build up a spiritual life, our Yoga Sadhana and Yoga may simply go away. We lose our Yoga. So after getting in touch with SWAMIJI’s words, that eternal wisdom he passed over to us, we will very soon understand, how dangerous every and each word of SWAMIJI’s YOGA DRISHTI is! Now at the end, we have to make choices. We have to choose between the life of Yoga and the life of Bhoga. We do not have any other choice. There is no escape way. All this and much more is laid down in the messages of the book of Swamiji. This book is the perfect book for one’s own SWADHYAYA, for the nutrition of the brain and the heart. It is the perfect book for contemplation on ones art of living. Are we strong enough to live the Yoga life? Can we throw away that negative ego, become humble and attentive with a fresh clean heart of a child, open our very being to that high wisdom, doing our best in following his teachings, step-by-step? SWAMIJI’s life, his life of mystery so beautifully depicted by AMMAJI at the end of the book is an extraordinary example of a perfect life in DHARMA, a life of a Hero, a life in full awareness and consciousness. Doing always that what was necessary at that very moment. May we prove to be worthy of this knowledge and the teachings of the enlightened MAHARISHI, realized master Dr. SWAMI GITANANDA. How fortunate, how blessed we are to be part of this lineage, to have these deep spiritual teachings of the RISHICULTURE tradition. How blessed we are having the GURU KULA living this tradition through AMMAJI and Dr. Ananda. May we all learn from the source. Thank you for this book of deep spiritual wisdom.  Yogacharini Svaminī Haṃsānanda Giri, Gitananda Ashram, Italy. "It is indeed such a spiritually uplifting experience to hear once again the mighty roar of the Lion of Pondicherry soaring up high from the pages of this book. Dr Svami Gitananda Giri Maharaj’s words vibrate, powerful as ever, alive as ever, in each and every single pearl of wisdom enclosed in this oeuvre, as if going beyond what is but a fictitious boundary: the limit of time. The loving care with which the gentle yet firm hand of Rishipatni Meenakshi Devi has edited the volume truly palpitates like a beating heart all through these precious insights, along with the fervent touch of Dr Alan Davis's and Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani’s contribution. In a polyhedral fashion, the prism of these manifold teachings refracts the Light of Truth, according to the colour of one’s own vasanas and mind patterns, to help get rid of both and thus bestowing to each student and devotee a glimpse of the effulgence of Paravidya, the Supreme Knowledge. May the readers of this book find the steady boat of the Parampara, which safely brings us to the shores of Moksha, through the shoreless ocean of Guru Vidya."