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Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism : The Oral Teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo Paperback – December 15, 1994
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The chapter 'Talks on Practice' says 'If you undergo these practices for 1000 centuries without full awareness/concentration, you will have wasted all those 1000 centuries'. I feel this is a great mantra to remember that it's the quality of meditation that matters the most.
In my opinion, a must read.
But as I came closer and closer to the last chapter, fundamentalism seem to have overcome the loving yogi. So in 90% of the book he is a peace loving, solve it all with care kinda' guy. But in the last chapter he goes mental over meat eating. Throwing curses here and there.
It truly shocked me. That this man so full of love could suddenly change into an "angry pastor" so to speak. No calm solution to help people realize the error of their ways, no, plain old catholic chock-treatment.
He is a master of his line, and hands out a ton of information. There is a lot to learn from him - in more ways than one. But for my taste, I did not like the sudden change of personality towards the end.
That said, this is sometimes a tactic used by the mystery schools to frighten people away from their books (just check out the old testament). But it would be too risky to poll that trick with only one man left in the world that holds the secrets.
He was no doubt a very good man. But the time has come to drop the threats and the invisible walls of the mystery schools - so I can not tollerate threats and give a high score.
The first chapter 'Fifteen Verses of Wisdom' went straight over my head, which shows I still lack understanding in this area. The chapter 'Talks on Practice' reveals the mechanics of meditation according to the system of Kashmir Shaivism. I found it clear and insightful. This was balanced by the chapter 'Talks on Discipline' which shows that Lakshmanjoo has the integrity to give clear guidelines to the spiritual aspirant on how one should conduct oneself on the spiritual path.
Finally in his last chapter 'The Secret Knowledge of Kundalini' Swami Lakshmanjoo gives real insight into the mechanics of the mysterious subject of kundalini. To date I have found other material on this subject to be rather nebulous and mere fantasy, based in the vivid imaginations of so called gurus and well read authors. Swami Lakshmanjoo takes this mysterious subject out of the category of fantasy and clearly defines how kundalini functions. His intimate description of the various modes of rising of kundalini, based on his own experience are truly fascinating.
This book is a revelation for the earnest seeker on the spiritual path.
Can hardly believe I wrote this review 6 years ago (it is now 24 Feb 2008).
Having delved deeply into the subject of Kundalini, I still find nothing to match Swami Lakshmanjoo's explanations on this mysterious subject. In my continued research I have found that almost all writings on Kundalini are based on what is known as the "Shat Chakra Nirupana," which elaborates on the six chakras in the subtle body. Everywhere you will find illustrations showing the chakra positions along the vertical axis of the spine and the various petals that emanate from each chakra.
After reading the last chapter in "Self Realization" I wondered why Lakshmanjoo made no reference to these commonly recognized lotus petals that surround the charkas. I found the answer in his earlier book "Kashmir Shaivism, the Secret Supreme", in the form of a small footnote which says: "in Kashmir Shaivism the lotus petals are neither experienced nor recognized."
This explains why Lakshmanjoo only talks about the chakras spinning with great velocity and power as the energy of kundalini rises from one chakra to another. Obvious isn't it, since the word chakra actually means wheel.
In this book Lakshmanjoo also explains the difference between prana kundalini, cit kundalini and para kundalini; subjects unique to Kashmir Shaivism. Based on his own personal experience, Lakshmanjoo elaborates with great clarity, leaving the reader convinced of his total authority on this subject.
For those interested in Kashmir Shaivism in general, and Kundalini in particular, I highly recommend this book, and the earlier one: "Kashmir Shaivism the Secret Supreme" which has two chapters on Kundalini.