Anandamurti: The Jamalpur Years

front cover image for Anandamurti: The Jamalpur Years showing image of AnandamurtiIt was right around the turn of the cen­tu­ry that I con­ceived the idea of writ­ing the biog­ra­phy of my spir­i­tu­al mas­ter, Shrii Shrii Anan­damur­ti. Being both a writer and a dis­ci­ple, it was my dream assign­ment. I went to the monk in charge of the archives depart­ment, who had already spent near­ly ten years inter­view­ing Anandamurti’s dis­ci­ples, col­leagues, friends, and fam­i­ly, and he agreed to grant me access to his mate­r­i­al. For the next six years I con­duct­ed my own inter­views as well, trav­el­ing to dif­fer­ent parts of India, an odyssey that was even more reward­ing as a spir­i­tu­al prac­ti­tion­er than it was as a writer. I got to spend numer­ous hours in the com­pa­ny of many high­ly evolved yogis and devo­tees, most of them in the final years of their life, lis­ten­ing to their sto­ries and soak­ing up the spir­i­tu­al vibes. And when it came time to write the book, which I began in 2006 and fin­ished in 2010, it was like being back in my guru’s pres­ence, a bio­graph­i­cal dream that was also a kind of dai­ly dar­shan. It was tru­ly a priv­i­lege to have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to write this book.

Book Descrip­tion

While Parama­hansa Yoganan­da may have been bet­ter known, Anan­damur­ti was arguably the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry’s most com­pelling and con­tro­ver­sial spir­i­tu­al fig­ure. Con­sid­ered by some to be a social rev­o­lu­tion­ary with secret inten­tions of over­throw­ing the Indi­an gov­ern­ment and by oth­ers to be a pow­er­ful Tantric with super­nat­ur­al pow­ers, Anan­damur­ti kept him­self scrupu­lous­ly hid­den from the pub­lic eye through­out his life­time. His only inter­ac­tion with the pub­lic was through Anan­da Mar­ga, the spir­i­tu­al and ser­vice orga­ni­za­tion he found­ed in 1955, and its thou­sands of orange-robed monks who by the late 1960s had become so ubiq­ui­tous in North­ern India that they began draw­ing dai­ly men­tion in the press and lit­er­a­ture of the time. While Anan­da Mar­ga gained great noto­ri­ety, Anan­damur­ti him­self remained a mys­te­ri­ous fig­ure in India until his death in 1990.

Based on the oral his­to­ries of his dis­ci­ples, col­leagues, and fam­i­ly, Anan­damur­ti: The Jamalpur Years unveils a remark­able por­trait of this often mis­un­der­stood saint and social thinker. Rather than being an aca­d­e­m­ic study of one man’s life, Anan­damur­ti is pri­mar­i­ly a col­lec­tion of devo­tion­al and mys­ti­cal sto­ries set in a bio­graph­i­cal frame­work that pro­vides the read­er with a por­tal into the mag­i­cal world of Indi­an mys­ti­cism, yoga, and Tantra.

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Anan­damur­ti Sam­ple Chapters