Swami Shantananda Puri

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 by purnayogi

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In this day and age where many so-called spiritual leaders openly lust after fame, fortune and power it is inspiring to know that there are still those rare gems who live the true spirit of renunciation. The best of the yogis never sell spirituality through websites, build huge ashrams or create allied businesses. Rather, the true masters sing their song quietly and humbly. They do not lust after disciples – rather, people are led to such ones just just like flies to a shining light.

Swami Shantananda Puri is such a rare one indeed.

Born in 1928, he is a ‘Parivrajaka’ Sanyasi. He is the disciple of Parama Poojya Sri Purushottamananda Puri Maharaj who was the disciple of Swami Brahmananda (the great disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa).

Divine-LineageLineage of Swami Shantananda Puri (click for larger view)

Swamiji is a scholar par excellence in Vedic Scriptures, Puranic texts as well as other texts. His deep knowledge and lucid exposition of Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Vasishtha, Ashtavakra Gita have made him a authentic guide and Guru of the thirsty aspirants for spiritual guidance and knowledge. His simplicity, transparent heart, deep faith in the Divine and absolute surrender to That, have made him an ideal combination of Jnana, Bhakti, and Vairagya. His mastery in Sanskrit, English, Hindi, and Tamil and his vast experience and deep insight have drawn innumerable followers from India and abroad.

Books by Swami Shantananda Puri


So far more than 22 books have been authored by him. A number of these books have already appeared in translation also in Hindi, Kannada and Telugu. He has written a commendable commentary in Hindi and Tamil on Shiva Sahasranamam which occurs in Linga Purana. He has composed in Sanskrit, Sri Ramana Maharshi Suprabhatam which has been brought out by Sri Ramanasramam by way of an audio cassette.

He has a gift for writing through which he expresses complex spiritual ideas in ways accessible to even a layman. His writings are peppered his various interesting anecdotes which serve to strengthen ones faith in God.

Some ebooks by Swami Shantananda Puri: (click to download)

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Links

www.ajati.com – Ajati is a Romanian disciple of Swami Shantananda Puri. His website has further information, links, photographs and articles.

Swami Shantananda Puri group – More books and articles by Swami Shantananda, some are in Hindi.

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Prana Pratishta

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2010 by purnayogi

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The life of a Hindu temple comes from its presiding deities. A special ceremony called prana pratishta (or murti sthapana) is held to infuse life into the deity without which they are mere stone idols. Prana is often translated as breath, but it encompasses much more than just physical breath. Swami Vivekananda defined prana as ‘the primordial force of which all the forces that we see in nature are manifestations.’ Prathistha means to secure, to stabilize, or to establish firmly.

Prana pratishta is therefore, the establishment of primordial force into the deity.

The actual details of this ceremony are secret and can take many days to complete. The prana of the deities comes from the very people involved in the ceremony. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that only accomplished sadhaks who have achieved great mental purity perform this ceremony.

The following extract from Aghora II by Robert Svoboda gives an intriguing glimpse into this secret ritual.

“A temple will only be useful to you if its Prana Pratistha has been properly performed. Prana Pratishta is the rite by which life-force is infused into the image, making it live. Every temple has had a Prana Pratishta done for the image which is worshipped therein, but if the Prana Pratishta is not done properly the image will not come to life. You can test this at the very end of the Prana Pratishta ceremony when a mirror is offered to the the image, so that the deity which has been invoked into the image can see itself. If the job has been properly done, the mirror will shatter. Only then can you say the image has any power, not before.”

Some useful links:

1. Prana Pratishta of Isha Dhyanalinga.

2. Prana Pratishta at Bangalore Brahmasthanam.