More on Swami Atmananda Udasin

I have encountered many nondual teachers, both Neo-advaita and Classical Advaita, since 1994 when I first became aware of the path of nonduality, and became absolutely fascinated by it!  I have met, spoken with, and learned from H.W.L. Poonja, Adyashanti, Robert Adams, Yolande Duran, ShantiMayi, Eckhart Tolle, and several others.  Three years ago, I met one of the most profound nondual teachers I have encountered to date - Swami Atmananda Udasin.

After spending a considerable amount of time with Swami Atmananda Udasin, both in Rishikesh and California, I have to say that I have a great regard for Atmananda.  I first met him with a group of friends at a restaurant in Redondo Beach. As it happened, I was seated next to Atmananda, and we spoke just a few sentences. It only took me minutes to recognize that this fellow is really Awake. This wasn't so much about the words that he spoke, but the silent energy that was behind those words. Also I noticed that my mind got very quiet, very spontaneously, and remained quiet for the next several hours. There were also some powerful energy phenomenon that I was sensing during this meeting, which I also noticed on many of the subsequent meetings with Atmananda. Over time, I have learned that these energies are often very noticeable, when I am around someone who is truly Awakened.

Atmananda's teachings are Classical Advaita, and emphasize self inquiry and meditation. The talks he gives demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of Advaita, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism. While his speaking style is somewhat "professorial", he throws in some humor with the teachings too!  It is also obvious that his knowledge is not merely intellectual, but the things he speaks about come from his actual lived experience.  His answers to the questions that people ask in satsang reflect the insight, patience, and heart that he brings to every encounter  with the people who come to his satsangs.

When I visited Atmananda in Rishikesh this year, I had a chance to take a long walk with Atmananda and his monks along the River Ganga.  I noticed that he knew a lot of the "locals", and was quite friendly with them. In his interactions with the monks who are residents in the ashram, I see that he naturally takes on the role of "father" to them, making sure they are doing their studies, taking care of their health issues, and insuring that all the details of life at the ashram are handled. While he is at the ashram, he regularly puts in 18 to 20 hour days, and yet seems to handle these long hours relatively well (I couldn't do that). He clearly cares a lot for the people who he encounters, both in the ashram and the "outside world".

So to sum it up, I would say that I can wholeheartedly recommend Swami Atmananda Udasin to anyone who is truly interested in waking up.

~ Frederick R.

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