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Swami Satyananda Saraswati is considered to be one of the foremost Vedic scholars and Sanskrit translators in the West. He is the author of nearly 60 books in nine different languages representing a significant contribution to the understanding of Hinduism and Vedic religious practices.
Swamiji comes from the Dashnami lineage of Adi Shankaracharya, and belongs to the Saraswati tribe of renunciates and scholars who are living the life of a teacher and a knower of wisdom, worshiping with both spiritual knowledge and devotion. His Guru, Swami Amritananda Saraswati, initiated him into the Vedic Knowledge, Sanskrit, and the Chandi Path and sacred fire ceremony as his primary system of spiritual discipline in 1971.
He practiced the recitation of the Chandi Path in the Himalayan snow and in the hot springs of Bakreswar. Through this rigorous penance, he became impervious to the influences of heat and cold. Through his experiences walking the length and breadth of the Himalayas over 15 years, Swamiji fell in love with Sanskrit and became proficient in numerous languages including Bengali and Hindi. Wherever he went he would learn the local systems of worship and inspire those around him to participate. Swamiji’s expertise and experience spans many different religious traditions. His realizations and teachings make him a living example of Ramakrishna’s Gospel, “as many as there are individuals, so many are the paths to God”.
In 1979, Swamiji met Shree Maa when he was performing a vow of worship in a small temple in the interior of West Bengal. They toured India, spreading their divine love and inspiration by performing pujas, homas, and sharing their realizations, and teaching their methods of spiritual practice. In 1984 they came to America and established the Devi Mandir, where he and Shree Maa shine their beacon of light from Napa, California. Today, they share all their resources to give every individual an opportunity to access these spiritual teachings.
By Steven Newmark (Larkspur, California)
Swami Satyananda has done an excellent job of translating the Rudrasthadyayi. His rendition captures the passion and emotion of these inspired poems. Swami Satyananda has a knack for making ancient texts understandable and accessible to the western mind. This text can be read or chanted and is an important book for those who want to understand and worship Shiva.
This is such a difficult text to find, to read, to understand, to chant. Swamiji has made it ALL SO EASY…As with all of his books the transliteration is easy to read..The translation has made some of the hard to understand vagueness of this ancient text come to life with a new perspective that enlivens the reader as well as the reciter..Thank you Swamiji for your wonderful work !!
By Sushil Choudhury
I recently received a recording of Swami Satyananda’s Rudrashtadyayi, and took it to the Bakreswar Temple of Lord Shiva, where this text is recited daily by the priests of the temple.
I am also a priest of the temple, following in my family’s tradition since over 100 generations. I was born in a Brahmin family, and
completed a Master’s degree in Sanskrit as well as in Education. In addition to being a priest of this temple, I am employed by the Government of India as an Inspector of Education.
I played this recording for the other priests in the temple, and now we listen to it daily and chant along with the text. This recording is not regional chanting, particular to any special language group or dialect. It is the actual recording of a rishi reciting the Vedic texts. Just by listening to this recording the meanings of the text become clear. It fact, it is so accurate that we are able to translate most of the meanings just by listening to the recording.
We also greatly appreciate Swamiji’s translations in Bengali and English.
By Jason Carpenter, Sydney
I have been doing Shiva Puja for a while now and by chance happened to come across this scripture in praise of Lord Shiva. I recommend this translation highly for all devotees of Lord Shiva. Om Namaha Shivaya!
By Bill McDonald, Columbus
I love chapter 8 of this book just keep reading this book till you reach chapter 8 it is worth buying and reading again and again just for this one chapter!!!
By Shankar Subramaniam, Bangalore
We always heard the chanting of two chapters from Rudram (the Namakam and Chamakam) in Shiva temples. What a great delight to find them in this book and more importantly all the other chapters too, with translation! I can’t recommend this book enough.
By Arya Agrawal, New Delhi
The introduction says that Rudra is He who takes away tears and I find that reading this book and especially the translation fills me with joy! He does take away all tears. I strongly recommend this scripture to all who want eternal joy in their lives!
By Jonathan Fitzgerald, Suisun City
I received a copy of this book just a few weeks ago and started chanting it little by little. It is so beautiful and fun that I can say without a doubt that it is my favorite scripture to chant at this moment. I want to thank the authors for presenting this sacred hymn and translation.
By Sushil Choudhury, Department of Education,
Government of West BengalThe Rudrashtadhyayi is without doubt the most important Vedic text for the worship of Lord Shiva. Shree Maa and Swamiji have made a magnificent contribution, which empowers the entire Bengali community to enter into the Vedas.
By Swami Satyananda Saraswati
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