Books Reviews



Written By Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanuji


Twelve Facets of Reality : The Jain Path to Freedom  is "Shant Sudharas Sagar" of Mahopadhyaya Vinayvijayji - 12 Bhavnas in capsule form. Gurudev Shree Chitranhanu draws upon his 38 years of experience in meditation to bring to life ancient reflections on conditions that actually exist in the real world and within, known as Bhavanas. Originally taught only to the aspirants in India. Each chapter presents different facets of reality which reveal the inherent perfection and radiant quality of the enlightened human consciousness. You begin to focus on life instead of death, on fullness instead of lack, on inner strength instead of dependency, on unity instead of alienation. In this perception lies the path to your freedom. The concepts of Anitya, Asharan, Aashrava, Nirjara, Nitya, etc. routinely take thousands of words and a great deal of contemplation but Gurudev has magically converted them into twelve facets of the most precious of gems - Mukti.

Realize What You Are : The Dynamics of Jain Meditation is a collection of instructions given by Gurudev on the fundamentals of Jain Meditation: a primer for a five-week meditation course. This step-by-step approach for the uninitiated is heaven-sent. He describes meditation not as a religion but as a means of learning the art of living, growing and communicating. After a few preliminary matters of selecting time and space for meditation, he quickly gets down to the serious business on hand and soon the reader will be chanting Veerum and Sohum. This book is intended to introduce the Jain meditation that has been practiced for more than 2,500 years. Going beyond the schools of "instant" meditation, many of which rely upon secret rituals and mantras, Jain meditation is universal, attuned to modern psychology and seeks to encourage us to overcome negativity, to realize what is permanent in ourselves, and to approach the world from that central perception. He asserts that meditation will improve your communication skills and you will be at peace with yourself.

The Psychology of Enlightenment : Meditations on the Seven Energy Centers advances his meditation instructions, dealing with each of the seven centers of energy corresponding to seven levels of aware-ness from which we can begin to discern our true nature. Practical meditation techniques for each center: Muldhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anhana, Vishuddh, Ajna and Sahasrara, are described in simple steps. Each of the first seven chapters deals with one of the seven centers of energy (chakras) within the body, corresponding to the seven levels of awareness through which we experience different aspects The book shows how the energy centers can be used for health and healing. The summary chart at the end of the book is a precious resource.

The Philosophy of Soul and Matter : is the heart of Jainism. From the laws of Karma to the matters of soul, in his anecdotal style, Gurudev has presented in less than 75 pages, eight types of Karma - a complex theory - in simple and clear terms. In the most modern language he has shown the oldest path to liberation : Samvara and Nirjara. Here he calls for self cleansing: evicting the old negative tenants (thoughts), getting in touch with the latent energy within, and to open each of us to our intrinsic nature so that we may experience the releasing sense of bliss and all-pervading peace which is our "birthright" as human beings. This is an excellent guide by which each can resolve and transcend difficulties and each can find the happiness, peace and fulfillment that we all seek, which is in fact our true nature.

Ten Days Journey Into The Self : is an elaboration of Gurudev's Immortal Song "Maitribhavanu Pavitra…"He considers the four virtues: amity, appreciation, compassion and equanimity, as four pillars on which life can be built. He moves on to the glory of Navkar Mantra as the Universal Mantra and how meditating with Navkar Mantra can overcome our inner enemies. He blends awareness of the exterior with the interior. Just as it takes time for the seed to grow, so also we need to take time to grow. By recognizing our inner divinity, we begin increasingly to appreciate the divinity in all life, the basis of leading a whole and balanced life.

The Miracle is You : is a collection of four articles developed from talks by Gurudev Chitrabhanuji given to various audiences over a three-year period. The Purpose of Life appeared in pamphlet form in 1973. The Teachings of Mahavira was delivered at Haverford College in November 1977, and A Philosophy for Life at Fordham University in April 1978. The fourth, The Miracle Is You, is at the Jain Meditation International Center in Manhattan, New York City, on May 25, 1978. His words speak to that within you and inspire you on your own journey for he emphasizes that it is in the diversity that each is unique and individual and it is in the quest for freedom that we feel unity with all life.

Reflections : is a collection of thoughts and is - as described by Elizabeth Cattell - the product of "a flow from a mind that has sensitivity for understanding human sufferings and aspirations, and for perceiving vital and essential truths in life."



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